Skoda Octavia – What you need to know

Volkswagen's own Czech marque sells a small car for a range of budgets and buyer preferences

Available in wagon and sedan (liftback) bodies the Skoda Octavia comes in four trim levels with a family-friendly interior space and a relatively compact exterior.

So let's take a look at what is what and which one is going to best suit you and your budget. The good news is that each model's spec is the same for both body styles, except when the trim level is exclusive to just one of the body styles.

The range kicks off with the Octavia 110 TSI manual sedan at $25,890 (drive away), which features the following standard equipment:

• Eight-inch infotainment touchscreen
• Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality
• Adaptive Cruise Control
• Dual-zone air conditioning
• 17-inch alloy wheels
• Rear view camera
• Auto-dimming interior mirror
• Umbrella

Octavia options

Ten colours are offered in the palette, with the pearl and metallic paints adding $500 to the purchase price. Personalising your Skoda Octavia is made easy with a couple of option packs available.

First up is the $4900 Tech Pack in the Octavia 110 TSI, including a 9.2-inch touchscreen (standard is eight-inch) with satellite navigation, adaptive LED headlights with functions that light the way when arriving and departing home, travelling through tunnels and when in rain. There is also parking assist, adaptive chassis control, wireless charging and a premium 10 speaker sound system.

The Tech Pack in the Octavia 110 TSI Sport model will set you back $3900 as the light assist features and adaptive LED headlights are already standard in that level of trim. If you choose a step up to the Octavia RS 180 TSI model the Tech Pack isn’t offered, but you do get as standard: drive mode selection and LED adaptive headlights with light assist function, which are both elements of the pack on the lesser variants.

A Luxury Pack is also available and costs the buyer of the Octavia 110 TSI $4200. For that you get leather trimmed seats, electrically-adjustable driver and front passenger seats with memory functions, heated front and rear seats, blind-spot protection and lane-keep assist, two extra airbags (for a total of nine), passenger protect assist and auto dimming, plus folding exterior mirrors.

In the Octavia 110 TSI Sport the pack is $1600 for the lane assist and blind spot detection, heated pews and the folding, dimming exterior mirrors.

If you want the Luxury Pack in your range-topping RS 245 it adds $1500 to the price and gets you the power adjustable seats, lane keep, blind spot detection and the additional airbags.

Safety and Driver Assistance

All Skoda Octavia variants are fitted with airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls and ISOFIX child seat anchor points. Also standard on the Octavia range are emergency city brake with front assist, adaptive cruise control, hill-start assist, anti-slip regulation, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, along with tyre-pressure monitoring and driver-fatigue detection. If you want more, choosing the Octavia Sport 110 TSI gives you rear-side airbags, passenger protect assist and the light assist features from the Tech Pack, above. Only the Octavia RS245 has front fog lights with cornering function and parking sensors front and rear.

Infotainment, Comfort and Convenience

An eight-inch infotainment screen with smartphone connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus voice-control, audio streaming and Bluetooth, USB, two SD card slots and eight speakers, is standard in the Skoda Octavia 110 TSI, Octavia Sport 110 TSI and Octavia RS 180 TSI. Tick the RS245 box and the touchscreen grows to 9.2-inches and adds satellite navigation to its repertoire.

Do you enjoy driving and having a bit of a punt on winding roads? You can opt for the Tech Pack or go straight to the RS 180 TSI as a minimum for the drive mode selector.

Are you after a bit more than dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, adaptive cruise control, power (and heated) exterior mirrors, power windows and reading lights in both rows? Wander over to the Octavia Sport 110 TSI with its height-adjustable front sports seats and privacy glass.

Do you want an adaptive chassis with driver selectable modes to spice up your driving? The Octavia RS 180 TSI is the one and you also get aluminium finished sports pedals plus sports seats with red stitching and the RS logo.

Cloth upholstery features in the Octavia 110 TSI and Sport 110 TSI variants, with leather and fabric in the RS 180 TSI. But if you want the sportiness and lux of suede and leather covered sports seats, zoom across to the Octavia RS245.

Outside, the entry-level Octavia 110 TSI makes do with height-adjustable halogen lights, with all other models gaining LED headlights with washers and LED day lights.

The Sport 110 TSI model can be distinguished by its black (sedan) or body-coloured (wagon) spoiler, with the RS 180 TSI and RS245 getting a unique RS sport spoiler.

All wagon variants get roof rails; they are silver on the Octavia 110 TSI and black on the other models.

If a ground-hugging sport chassis is a must have, the Sport model is the most affordable way to snare it.

What about red brake calipers? Only the RS180 TSI or RS245 come with those, as well as black door mirror caps, grille surround and chrome exhausts, plus RS badging naturally.

Inside, both RS variants present their own distinctive instrument panel.

Distancing each model are their wheel sizes and design. On the Octavia 110 TSI it's 17-inch alloys, and 18-inch for the Sport 110 TSI, RS 180 TSI and RS245 in Turini, and Gemini styles respectively – the latter finished in anthracite.

Engine and transmission choices

Both the Octavia and Sport variants are powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 110 kilowatts and 250 newton metres of torque. As standard, the default transmission is a six-speed manual gearbox – with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto as an option.

The seven-speed auto is the only transmission available in the RS 180 TSI and RS245 and it is bolted to a more powerful 2.0-litre turbo four developing 180kW and 370Nm of torque.

Drive away prices for the Skoda Octavia range are:
Octavia 110 TSI Sedan Manual – $25,890
Octavia 110 TSI Wagon Manual – $27,390
Octavia 110 TSI Sedan Automatic – $28,390
Octavia 110 TSI Wagon Automatic – $29,890
Octavia Sport 110 TSI Sedan Automatic – $33,390
Octavia Sport 110 TSI Wagon Automatic – $34,490
Octavia RS 180 TSI Sedan Automatic – $42,990
Octavia RS 180 TSI Wagon Automatic – $44,490
Octavia RS245 Sedan Automatic – $48,490
Octavia RS245 Wagon Automatic – $49,990

Octavia verdict

From an aesthetic point I prefer the Skoda Octavia as a wagon, and it also gets my tick for its greater versatility. Now to decide which one. The Octavia Sport 110 TSI offers more features than the entry-level Octavia, most notably the rear side airbags, plus the benefit of LED lights and the look of larger alloys and body-hugging sports seats.

As much as the RS245 looks tempting with its snappy interior, I'd save my bucks and go for the identically powered Octavia RS 180 TSI. With the savings, I'd spring for the luxury pack and its additional safety kit and heated pews.

Related reading:
Five things I love about my Skoda
Skoda Octavia RS 2019 Review
Skoda Octavia RS 245 2019 Long-term test