Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI Ambition Plus Review
Expansion Plans

19 Nov 2019

It never fails to amaze me, that modular architecture, when it comes to developing cars, can be stretched this far. That is the privilege you get from being such a large automobile builder. Volkswagen’s MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) architecture is used throughout most of the group’s brands, from the iconic Golf GTi, the stonking Audi RS3, the 5+2 seater SEAT Tarraco… and then there is this. The Skoda Octavia.

With the revising of the VES, the previous 1.0 we tested had fallen out of favourable pricing, no thanks to the additional penalty imposed. However, with that, the Octavia is now sold with a 1.4 litre engine, and with neutral VES banding.

Built with practicality in-mind, the Octavia is not only made to fit its function, but form-wise, it is a rather pretty car. Crisp angular styling in the front and rear, lends a touch of premium-ness to Skoda’s compact sedan. LED headlamps and daytime running lights on our Ambition Plus test car, also adds more clarity to your drive.


With a long wheelbase of 2,686mm (66mm more than its Golf cousin), passengers, especially those at the rear benefit from heaps of legroom. Built to carry four, and the occasional fifth passenger, the Octavia’s seats are comfortable and ideal for long drives.

Large rear doors are also an added plus, offering easier access, great if you are placing your little one into a child seat, or if you have family members who could use a little help from you as they enter or exit.

Skoda has kept their dash neat and simple. Switchgear, taken from the shared VW/Skoda/SEAT parts bin, click with the sort of quality you can expect from the group. Analogue instrument dials are large and easy to read, while the multi-function steering wheel offers enough toggles to keep your hands on the steering while driving.

An 8” colour touchscreen fronts their ‘Bolero’ infotainment system, offers Bluetooth and SmartLink connectivity; the latter supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.

One of the brand’s important cornerstones is practicality, and the Octavia is no exception. From door pockets, capable of holding 1.5 litre bottles, under-seat umbrella holders for rainy days, and a liftback-style boot, capable of carrying 590 litres, complete with hooks to hang any bags with loose items in them, would easily please those in need of storage space in their daily driver.

The Drive

Under the hood, the compact Sokda is fitted with a Volkswagen-sourced 1.4 litre TSi engine, which delivers a healthy 148bhp and 250Nm. The latter is available from between 1,500 to 3,500rpm. Drive to the front wheels is provided via a quick-shifting 7-speed DSG transmission. Its century sprint benchmark at 8.2 seconds, is a welcome improvement over the  former 1.0’s already decent 10-second sprint timing. Fuel economy at a combined 19.2km/l is actually very impressive.

A cost-effective MacPherson strut front-end and torsion beam rear, is tuned to deliver a comfortable ride, and works well with the Octavia’s long wheelbase; meaning that you can spend hours on the road without much of the effects of driver fatigue.

While we would not expect razor-sharp handling from this vanilla Octavia, as compared to its higher-performing RS245 sibling, the 1.4 litre Octavia does handle decently well, as long as you do not try to overcook it.

There is a considerable amount of steering assistance too, after all, this Skoda is intended for a relaxing drive, and none of that white knuckle stuff. 

Driver aids like its rear-view camera with Park Distance Control (PDC), and for the Ambition Plus model tested here, Blind Spot Detect with Rear Traffic Alert, helps to make driving the Octavia a little easier.

Our Thoughts
What you will get is, a family car brimming in value. From hard-to-beat passenger accommodation, cargo room to fuel economy. 

Sadly with its 148bhp power rating, you will be shelling out a little more, as it sits in the higher tier Category B COE territory.


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In Summary

We Like

Heaps of space, passenger comfort, lovely engine and transmission combination, styling.

We Don't

Small kerb between the rear seats and boot when seats are folded. priced higher due to category B COE.


If you are not into paying more for an SUV, the Octavia is quite the ideal car for young families, with enough rear seating space for the kids to grow up in (with or without child seats).

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Engine Capacity 1395cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 150bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1500rpm


Acceleration 8.2s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 219 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 19.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4670 x 1814 x 1461) mm
Wheelbase 2686 mm


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs