Octavia iV Estate SE L 1.4 TSI 204PS DSG
EV or not to EV, that is the
question. The answer, however, is
not the automatic Yes
assume because there is an
and its appeal is that
it comes without any range
MAKE NO MISTAKE EV range anxiety is real which is why plug-in
hybrids are still, for many, the cars best suited to fighting the on-going climate
war. Skoda's take on the plug-in, as presented in its highly-rated Octavia iV,
which uses a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain (turboed 1.4-litre petrol combustion
engine partnered with a small electric motor) makes a great deal of sense.
Despite the handicap of a hefty battery pack and other PHEV hybrid hardware,
the 4.7-metre-long Octavia estate not only walks the walk, but it sprints the
sprint too: with 201bhp backed up by 258lb ft of torque it will scoot from standstill
to 62mph in a seamlessly crisp 7.6 seconds; given its head, it will run to 136mph.
That's more than just pretty good, particularly for a family wagon.
cherry on the Octavia iV cake is that it can cover as much as 40 miles using
pure electric power from its fully charged battery pack. However, to be in with
a chance of hitting this plug-in hybrid's headline 282mpg combined fuel consumption
figure, owners do need to plug in at every opportunity. Not a hardship given
0-100% recharging takes three hours using a 7kW wall box or six hours from a
three-pin, domestic mains socket.
cherry on the
Octavia iV cake is that
it can cover as much as
40 miles using pure
electric power from
its fully charged battery.
However, to be in with
a chance of hitting this
plug-in hybrids headline
282mpg combined fuel
owners do need to plug
in at every opportunity.
Not a hardship given
0-100% recharging takes
three hours using a 7kW
wallbox or six hours
from a three-pin
Keep your iV charged and, if you are regularly covering short commutes, school
runs or shopping expeditions, you'll come close to forgetting what a petrol
station forecourt looks like. Not bad either are the iV's planet-friendly CO2
emissions: as low as 23g/km.
Forget to recharge and you will, surprisingly, still be smiling
stuck out in the sticks and with no choice but to cover 150+ miles without any
recharging whatsoever, we still recorded a highly commendable 60.6mpg.
Not surprisingly, bearing in mind its eager 201bhp, the hybrid feels punchy
right from the get-go, always responding willingly to your right foot. And,
for the record, even driven in its pure electric mode, the iV doesn't hang about.
Most drivers will be content to keep the iV's Drive Mode selector in its Normal
setting, leaving the Octavia free to function as a hybrid and doing what it
does best: switching fluently between combustion engine and pure electric to
deliver the optimum performance and economy in all situations. In addition to
the choice of driving modes, there's also the option of selecting between power
sources: Hybrid, Electric or, as already mentioned, an automatically managed
combination of them both.
Power is put down through the front wheels via a smooth-shifting six-speed dual-clutch
automatic 'box. The drivetrain is well matched by the Octavia's chassis dynamics;
both have been designed to prioritise smooth-driving comfort. For those times
when you really do need more bite, the Drive Mode menu offers a Sport setting.
Engage it, and the iV surges forward with real gusto. An Individual mode lets
you fine-tune everything (chassis, steering, drive, AirCon, etc) to your own
Or you can simply maximise economy by selecting the Eco mode. Don't forget that
the uber-green overall fuel economy figure assumes you will be plugging-in at
every opportunity and running on the battery pack. For those times when you
can't recharge, as happened to us, you can still see 60+mpg. However, if you're
intent on wringing out every last hybrid mile from the iV then you'll like its
Eco mode because there's really no noticeable loss of oomph laid-back
drivers won't notice the difference while reaping the PHEV rewards.
As is the trend in EVs and PHEVs, the autobox's selector lever is a nifty thumb-sized
'tab' and it works perfectly. There's the usual P, R, N, and Drive/Sport
settings, complemented by paddle-shifters on the steering wheel's horizontal
bars for manual shifting anytime you please.
cabin is everything a driver could ask for: comfy, spacious, well put together,
well kitted-out, and flaunts a smart Audi-esque look. Think A3 and you'll get
the picture. Tactile trim blended with some nice styling touches (like the denim-fronted
dash and slick chromium highlighting) creates a welcoming ambiance that lasts
from the moment you belt-up to the moment you climb out at journey's end.
sporty seats are effectively bolstered and proved satisfyingly supportive (especially
so on long trips). Although usually upholstered in an all-season-friendly microsuede,
the chairs in our test iV were covered in the even better optional black leather
(and a real snip at just an extra £250).
a mid-size estate
the Octavias rear cabin
offers a respectable
amount of room for
heads, legs, and feet
even a six-footer will sit
comfortably with room
to spare when the front
seats are set as far back
as they can go (which
is a long way!).
windows are large and
let in plenty of light;
they also ensure great
views out for kids and
in the back.
The rear seats are
particularly comfy and
to make things better
for two theres a wide
and well-padded drop-
down centre armrest with
Adding to its
practicality are large
bottle holding door bins,
front seatback pouches
with built-in smartphone
pockets close to
charging USB ports,
and central air vents...
driver and front passenger are both well looked after with full-range powered
seat operation (and plenty of room in which to move them, including two fists'
of headroom even with the seat jacked up), three-setting memory recall functions,
three-stage seat heating, adjustable lumbar, and height-adjustable seatbelts.
As you'd expect, the driving position is spot-on, with fine visibility courtesy
of the relatively slim A-pillars and generous side glazing.
If you're 'old school' and prefer to look over your shoulder to reverse, then
you'll find the view more than good enough to do your business. Parking or manoeuvring,
this Octavia estate is refreshingly hassle-free to place accurately even before
you factor in its front and rear parking sensors. Another plus for single drivers
travelling with one youngster child seat fittings not just in the back
but on the front passenger seat too.
Once upon a time Skoda was seen as the brand people bought because they couldn't
stretch to a VW or even an Audi. Not any longer because anything you can get
in one of them, from safety to tech, you can now have in your Skoda.
Such as the iV's Virtual Cockpit 10.25-inch digital instrument display. Customisable
on the go, it offers multiple-choice layouts than will show as little, or as
much, as you demand. The graphics and clarity are all first-rate, as they are
too on the widescreen stand-alone 10-inch infotainment and navigation touchscreen
sited top-dead-centre of the dash and sensibility positioned high enough to
minimise the time your eyes are away from the road whenever you need to scan
Safety aside, it's a very nice display indeed with large, foolproof icons that
are easy for your fingertip to home in on while you're driving; once tapped,
the system responds smartly. Plus, of course, it's all easily controlled from
the multifunction (and heated) steering wheel and you still have the option
of using the voice feature to manage navigation, phone, and temperature commands
including ordering it to read out your emails.
the system also comes with Bluetooth, smartphone mirroring via Smartlink (Android
Auto and Mirrorlink) plus a wireless Apple CarPlay connection, the expected
DAB radio, decent sounds, four USB-C ports, and an SOS e-Call button to summon
emergency aid if you're ever involved in an accident.
Too many of today's cars come up short when it comes to providing a home for
you and your passengers' 'stuff'. Not so the Octavia, which provides long and
wide front door bins that easily hold 1.5-litre bottles (with room to spare
for much more), a big chilled glovebox and, beneath the sliding central front
armrest you'll find more 'cooled' storage. There's also a large open smartphone-accommodating
tray ahead of the selector pad, served by two of the latest small C-type USB
ports and a converter lead, siamesed dual-use cupholders, a drop-down overhead
storage box for your shades, and a multi-use storage locker in the driver's
lower fascia. Both doors are fitted with umbrella 'holsters'; other helpful
details include a ticket holder on the offside screen pillar and an ice-scraper
clipped inside the fuel filler flap where it's easily gettable on gloves-on
you get plenty of kit: keyless entry and start/stop (note, keyless entry and
exit locking is on all four doors, not just the front two), Drive Mode selection,
multifunction leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, parking sensors with manoeuvre
assist, rear privacy glass, heated front seats, digital instrument panel, two-zone
AirCon (offering standard AirCon, Classic AirCon or Air Care programmes, with
one-touch activation of regular tasks such as defrosting the windows, warming
your feet or hands, cooling your feet, etc), frameless auto-dimming rearview
mirror, powerfolding heated and auto-dimming door mirrors, four quick-acting
one-shot up/down windows, auto-hold electric park brake, and a set of stylish
features are equally comprehensive with Front Assist automatic emergency braking
and predictive pedestrian protection (which warns the driver via an audio/visual
signal as well as a gentle jolt of the brakes), Side Assist, lane-keeping assistance,
and the very useful Rear Traffic Alert.
decent ride generally
compromise in the
but not so in the
Dynamically, its supple
rather than soft.
Body roll is well
managed and the
steering is precise,
turning in cleanly.
Despite the iVs
serving up a relaxed
ride, it grips strongly
and stays reassuring
through the twisties.
A big plus is the
progressive and nicely
thats notable for the
recuperation (for the
battery pack) and
Add to all the above
its quiet and refined
progress at all speeds
and you have
one very nice to drive
The Octavia scored a five-star Euro NCAP rating and comes with a full suite
of airbags including one for the driver's knee, plus LED headlights with LED
daytime running lights, LED front fog lights and LED rear lights with those
swish animated turn indicators.
Also present and correct is a speed limiter with adaptive cruise control (which
can take the stress out of long journeys by maintaining a consistent gap between
you and the car in front, and where necessary braking to match its speed, even
down to a stop). Other useful features include the likes of auto lights and
wipes, headlight washers, tyre pressure monitoring, and drive-off automatic
For a mid-size estate the Octavia's rear cabin offers a respectable amount of
head-, knee- and leg room: even a six-footer can sit comfortably with room to
spare when the front seats are set as far back as they can go (which is a long
way!). The glasshouse's windows are large and let in plenty of light; they also
ensure great views out for kids and grown-ups travelling in the back.
The seats are particularly comfy and to make things better for two there's a
big, wide, and well-padded drop-down centre armrest with pop-out cupholders.
Adding to the practicality are large bottle-holding door bins, front seatback
pouches with built-in smartphone pockets close to charging USB ports, and central
air vents. With the armrest folded away there's ample room for three side-by-side.
Not only will your passengers be sitting comfortably but it gets better because
one of the Octavia's major strengths is its ride. Rolling on 205/55 (comfort-profile)
17-inch alloys it serves up a fine ride; one that's equally polished whether
you're mile-eating motorways or zipping along A-roads.
The ride's fluency extends to urban landscapes too, where the iV stays nicely
composed even riding over lumpy blacktop and speed humps. Optional on SE L trim
models is an adaptive damper set-up that give the driver more control over the
suspension's firmness or comfort, but when the standard arrangement is as accomplished
as the iV's is, most drivers will be glad to stick with it.
decent ride generally means some compromise in the handling department
but not so in the Octavia's case. Dynamically, it's supple rather than soft.
Body roll is well managed and the steering is precise, turning in cleanly. Despite
its predisposition towards serving up a relaxed ride, the iV grips strongly
and stays reassuring through the twisties. A big plus is the progressive and
nicely modulated braking that's notable for the smooth handovers between energy
recuperation (for the battery pack) and conventional stopping. Add to all the
above its quiet and refined progress at all speeds and you have one very nice
to drive motor indeed.
iV's boot capacity is 450 litres: capacious enough to hold around seven carry-on
cases or a large family's monthly grocery shop. There's no load lip and the
tailgate swings high, so loading is a doddle. Tugging the two levers in the
boot releases the 40:60-split backrests which then tumble forward by themselves
to create a seriously cargo-friendly 1,405-litre loadbay with a long floor.
Two boot lights are a bonus (and better than one, one being the norm for most
cars) plus there's the usual practical Skoda 'aids' such as four sturdy flip-out
bag hooks, side compartments to swallow any oddments, tie-down lashing eyelets,
and a 12V socket. Helpfully, both the iV's plug-in charging leads (three-pin
mains and wallbox/chargepoints) can be stored in a bespoke cubby under the boot
floor. Adding to the estate's versatility is a full-size central load-thru hatch
that makes light work of carrying skis or long flatpacks. Another appreciated
touch is the time-saving roller luggage cover which automatically retracts halfway
as the tailgate rises; tap it once and it will retract fully. The iV will also
tow a braked 1,500kg good enough to haul most things.
So, to EV or not to EV? The answer, going by Skoda's Octavia iV, is that when
it comes to greening-up, you do have a choice. And a week behind the wheel of
the plug-in petrol-electric hybrid Octavia iV will convince many to stick with
the plug-in. Satisfying to drive and competitively priced against other PHEVs,
the handsome Octavia iV also happens to be a very accomplished family estate
in its own right, one that's comfortable and practical enough to satisfy not
just its owner, but friends and family too. ~ MotorBar
Skoda Octavia iV Estate SE L 1.4 TSI 204PS DSG
Maximum speed: 136mph | 0-62mph: 7.6 seconds | Test Average: 60.6mpg
Power: 201bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2: 23-28g/km