New-look Skoda Octavia undercuts rivals at £26,775

2024 Skoda Octavia reveal estate front
2024 Skoda Octavia reveal estate front

New-look Skoda Octavia keeps petrol and diesel options

The new-look Skoda Octavia is now on sale in the UK, priced to undercut the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra and offering the choice of petrol or diesel power.

The updated family car – which introduces a new front-end design, a revamped infotainment system and a more powerful vRS range-topper – can be ordered in four trim levels and two bodystyles: hatchback and estate.

The base trim is SE Technology, priced from £26,775 with the 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine, £28,815 with mild-hybrid assistance and £29,320 with diesel power. The estate body adds around £1000 to the cost, depending on engine and trim.


Standard kit includes 16in alloy wheels, LED lights at both ends, heated front seats, a 13in touchscreen, a digital driver's display, wireless smartphone mirroring and a charging pad.

SE L trim bumps the entry price up to £31,250 – adding larger 17in wheels, dynamic indicators, plusher interior upholstery and a raft of extra tech – while fully equipped Sportline trim tops the line-up at £32,255.

The most expensive version of the new Octavia is the Sportline Estate with the mild-hybrid petrol engine, priced at £35,352.

However, that will be superseded by the hot vRS, which will be priced up "at a later date", Skoda said.

2024 Skoda Octavia: what's new?

The Octavia's new look is distinct from the rest of the Skoda line-up, with more angular LED headlights nestled above a bold crease in the front bumper – said to be a reference to the Czech flag – which is especially pronounced on the vRS range-topper.

The most notable upgrades are inside, where a new 13.0in infotainment touchscreen (shared with the recently updated Volkswagen Golf) has been added as an optional extra.

Regardless of which screen is fitted, ChatGPT artificial intelligence is integrated into the infotainment software’s voice assistant, with Skoda promising flexibility and capabilities “far beyond” its current iteration.

The options for charging devices have also been upgraded, with the new ‘Phone Box’ providing up to 15W wireless charging – and now with cooling to stop phones overheating. Plus, the USB-C connections now deliver 45W, triple what they provide in the outgoing Octavia.

The three ‘smart dial’ controls introduced on the new Kodiaq and Superb – which provide a physical interface for various functions, such as the air conditioning, sat-nav zoom and drive mode – have not been included, so the only way to adjust the temperature in the new Octavia is to use the touchscreen.

Skoda has placed an emphasis on the use of sustainable materials in the new Octavia: the leather seats featured as part of the Suite upgrade package are tanned using coffee husks, rather than chemical dyes, while the cloth seats featured as part of the Lodge and Sportline interiors are made from recycled fibres.

The ‘Simply Clever’ ice scraper and optional umbrella have also made the switch to more sustainable materials, according to Skoda.

Under the skin, the Octavia’s tweaks are primarily aimed at boosting efficiency. The entry-level 114bhp 1.5-litre powerplant’s turbocharger has been reworked to minimise thermal losses and boost economy. It’s paired with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but it can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch box. Going for the auto adds a 48V mild-hybrid system that does not add any additional power or torque but allows the car to coast with the engine completely off – boosting fuel efficiency.

The 1.5-litre unit can also be had with 148bhp, offering the same combination of manual and auto boxes, with the latter mild-hybridised.

The range-topping vRS gets the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot as the new VW Golf GTI, sending 261bhp and 273lb ft through the front wheels. The lone gearbox option remains the seven-speed auto, after the manual was dropped last year.

The vRS diesel has also been axed, meaning the most powerful Octavia to use the black pump has a 148bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre. It’s also available with 114bhp.

The Octavia 4x4 will not be available at launch, but will return to showrooms in 2025. It uses a detuned version of the vRS engine, sending 201bhp through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.