SKODA describes the Octavia iV as its blueprint for the future. It really is that important to the brand.

As the car that lifted Skoda out of the bargain basement and into the mainstream, the Octavia had already won over legions of drivers before it reached this point.

Now you can have an Octavia that in theory you might never need to take to the petrol station again.

The Octavia iV is a plug-in hybrid that will meet virtually all your driving needs particularly in the estate form tested here and in typical Skoda fashion it is very clever. There's even a vRS version too for those demanding extra performance.

The regular version produces a combined output of 204PS from the 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine combined with a 85kW electric motor and 13kW battery, and should be able to travel on electric power alone for more than 40 miles. For the average commuter, that means the petrol engine will be largely redundant.

Available in SE Technology and SE L trim levels that both include dual-zone climate control, keyless start, an array of connectivity features and a 10.25-inch touch screen, the Octavia iV is a terrific all-rounder, particularly for company car drivers looking to make tax savings.

Using the same petrol/electric drivetrain technology seen in the Superb iV, drivetrain, the Octavia iV is the most fuel-efficient Octavia ever built. The official fuel consumption figure of 282.5 -188.3mpg is largely meaningless because it is wholly dependent on whether you keep the electric motor topped up through charging.  The CO2 outputs are at only 24-33g/km on the combined cycle are equally dependent on how you use the hybrid system. 

What the hybrid system gives is the strength and cruising ability of the four-cylinder petrol engine with the high-torque, zero emissions 85kW electric motor. There are also a host of driving modes such as E-mode that will keep the Octavia iV in electric drive only for driving in urban areas or on short commutes.

In hybrid mode, the car's electronic control unit continuously assesses the current driving situation. As soon as the vehicle is in motion, interaction between the petrol engine and electric motor is automatically regulated. Either they complement one another when used simultaneously, or the electronics activate only one of them. Hybrid mode also offers the option of charging the battery via recuperation or the engine while the car is moving. This allows the driver to set their own desired battery level. If the current charge is below the specified amount, the vehicle tops up the battery using the petrol engine and brake energy recovery until the desired mark is reached. If the current charge is higher than specified, the energy is used until the desired level is met, and this is then maintained.

The system can also operate completely autonomously in hybrid auto mode. This means the control unit decides based on the current driving situation when to draw power from the battery and when to recharge it using recovered energy. A full charge on a standard domestic or workplace 16-amp supply will take 3.5 hours from empty to full. In addition to being supplied with a 16-amp AC charge cable for wallbox/chargepoints, the Octavia iV also comes with a 10amp mains UK 3 -pin charge cable as standard.

What really seals the deal is the way the car drives. It cruises beautifully, has plenty of poke on offer and goes about its hybrid tasks with a minimum of fuss. In addition, the quality of the cabin fittings and fixtures are excellent, and there is an airy ambience. My only gripe would be the lack of a rear view camera, although parking sensors come as standard.

The future looks rosy for the Octavia.


Skoda Octavia iV SE L Estate

Price: from £34,230 (range from £30,776)

Powertrain: Plug-in hybrid utilising 1.4 TSI petrol engine, 85kW electric motor and 13kW battery to produce 204PS

Transmission: Six-speed DSG automatic

Performance: 0 to 62mph in 7.9 seconds; top speed 136mph

Economy: 256.8 to 188.3mpg combined (official figure)

CO2 emissions: 24 to 33g/km


Performance: *****

Economy: ****

Ride/Handling: *****

Space/Practicality: *****

Equipment: ****

Security/Safety: ****

Value For Money: ****