Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s buckets of front space in the Octavia; a very tall driver will certainly be able to get comfortable and the interior feels more spacious than most rivals. Storage is very good, too; the door pockets are big enough to hold a 750ml bottle and the glovebox is a practical size. There’s a cubby behind the gear lever to store your phone, and it’s well placed to allow use of the USB ports on the centre console. However, even without the charging cable connected, the space isn’t broad enough to take larger modern smartphones. There are also two cupholders behind the handbrake.
Skoda’s so-called Simply Clever package is a worthwhile and reasonably priced option and adds a number of thoughtful finishing touches. These include a removable phone holder that occupies one of the cupholders – although, again, good luck getting your iPhone into this – and a lidded waste bin that fixes into a front door pocket. SE models and above also have a central armrest that doubles up as extra storage space.
The Octavia is a match for the Ford Focus when it comes to rear leg room. Behind a tall driver with their seat pushed back, even a long-legged rear passenger will be able to lounge in comfort. There’s loads of head and elbow room, too, but the middle rear occupant will have to straddle the car’s large raised central tunnel. At least with generous under-seat foot space, there’s plenty of room for their feet, and the Octavia is still one of the more comfortable cars in the class for three rear passengers.
A central armrest with two cupholders is an optional extra on SE models, but standard on SE L and upwards. You'll also find document pockets on the backs of the front seats, and the deep door pockets are roomy enough to hold a 1.0-litre drinks bottle.
Seat folding and flexibility
The Octavia’s rear seat flexibility options are fairly conventional. There are levers on the top of the rear backrests – and conveniently in the boot as well – that release the 60/40 split-folding seats.
All but entry-level cars get a height-adjustable passenger seat with lumbar adjustment. A fold-flat passenger seat is a relatively inexpensive option, but is only available on SE and SE Drive trims. It allows you to carry particularly lengthy items like such as skis or planks of wood.
The Octavia’s huge boot is a big selling point. Despite its sloping lid, it’s as tall as the boots in most squared-off hatches, such as the Focus or Volkswagen Golf, but much, much longer. In fact, it's long enough to give its Octavia Estate sibling a run for its money, and can take an impressive 11 carry-on suitcases – most cars in its class will only manage around five.
There are neat touches such as the Velcro restraints that are clipped neatly to the side of the boot. You can also add various practical add-ons, including various boot nets and dividers, and a double-sided boot floor with carpet on one side and a washable rubber surface that won't be ruined if you dump muddy boots on it.
You can't add a height-adjustable boot floor, though, so there’s no way to level out the sizeable step in the floor that’s formed when you fold the rear seats down.