The all-new 2020 Skoda Octavia will get a range of hybrid options and a more upmarket interior
Following a multitude of teaser images and design sketches drip-fed to the media during the past few weeks, the wraps are finally off the 2020 Skoda Octavia.
The tweaked styling accompanies a range of new engines and a thoroughly redesigned interior, plus a slightly bigger boot on both the hatchback and estate models. UK specs and techs are yet to be finalised but the 2020 Octavia will go on sale in spring next year.
This is the fourth Octavia produced by Skoda under the stewardship of the VW Group, although the nameplate was first used 60 years ago. It’s an immensely important car for the brand as half of Skoda’s profits come from its family-size model.
The Skoda Octavia gets new styling that follows the sharp, angular lines set by its larger and more expensive sibling, the Superb. At the front, the two-piece headlights have been replaced with slim, angled clusters with LED headlights and daytime running lights and these sit either side of a reshaped grille with spindly new inserts. The lower air intake stretches the width of the car, and the front fog lights are joined by a chrome bar. There are strong lines on the bodywork, wheel arches and on the bonnet.
On both the hatchback and estate models, the window line and shape of the rear have been altered. Reshaped tail-light clusters are fitted, with LED elements as standard and, just like on the Skoda Scala, the tailgate-mounted Skoda badge has been replaced with spaced chrome lettering.
In truth, the Octavia’s interior has been completely overhauled. In front of the driver, there’s a new two-spoke steering wheel with a range of buttons and features, while a large new storage cubby sits ahead of the gear lever. Above that, the dashboard is unrecognisable from the current car.
The cabin feels more upmarket than before thanks to plenty of soft-touch materials, chrome touches and configurable LED ambient lighting. There’s also a rocker-switch-style gear selector similar to the one seen in the new, eighth-generation Golf. The options list includes luxurious extras such as massaging seats, three-zone climate control, matrix LED headlights and a head-up display. A digital instrument cluster is offered on top models.
Besides the new touchscreens and switches, Skoda has fitted its bestselling model with extra safety technology. Collision avoidance assistance, emergency steering assist and predictive cruise control will all be offered, while the car’s traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assistance and lane-keeping functionality have all been improved.
The current Octavia hardly lacks boot space but Skoda has slightly increased these figures for the fourth-generation model. The hatchback is now said to offer 600 litres (more than many estates), while the Skoda Octavia estate has 640 litres on offer, with row two in place.
Just like previous models and new models like the Skoda Kamiq compact SUV, there are a number of ‘Simply Clever’ features. These include an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap, a parking ticket holder, a stowed umbrella and a funnel built into the screen wash reservoir. You can opt for a Sleep Pack, which includes more comfortable rear headrests, sun blinds and even some blankets that can be packed away when not in use.
Skoda has revealed that the Octavia will be available with three petrol and three diesel engines, plus mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, although it’s not yet confirmed which engines are destined for the UK market.
The petrol range kicks off with a 108hp 1.0-litre engine, which will be reserved for cheaper, range-entry models. This engine and the 148hp 1.5-litre both come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while a 2.0-litre engine with 187hp has all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox. As for the diesels, they’re all 2.0-litre engines tuned to deliver 114, 148 or 197hp, with all-wheel-drive optional and standard for the latter two engines respectively.
Choose a petrol engine paired with an automatic gearbox and it’ll come with mild-hybrid technology to reduce fuel consumption. A 48-volt belt-driven starter motor and battery can store energy captured from braking, allowing the car to coast without the engine running, even at motorway speeds.
A plug-in hybrid version, called the Skoda Octavia iV, will also be available on every trim level except the base ‘S’ and the rugged all-wheel-drive Scout. It’ll combine a 1.4-litre petrol engine, a 13kWh battery and an electric motor, with a total output of 201hp. Up to 34 miles of electric-only range is promised, as is wallbox charging. Skoda hasn’t revealed official fuel economy figures for any powertrain yet.
As mentioned, Skoda UK hasn’t confirmed specs and techs, but trim levels are likely to match the current model, with S, SE and SE L making up the main range. These will be joined by a rugged Scout, a luxurious Laurin & Klement, a racier-looking Sportline and at least one quick vRS model. The Scout will have its suspension tweaked to ride 15mm higher than the standard Octavia, and both the Sportline and vRS models will have their suspension lowered by the same amount.