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Skoda Octavia Sportline 2024 review


Skoda’s trademark generosity is back: our 2022 Car of the Year winner gains a no-cost Sportline variant that ups the Octavia Style’s cool points

Good points

  • Great value for money
  • Real-world fuel economy
  • Flexible turbo engine
  • Good ride and handling
  • Choice of wagon or sedan
  • Big, high-quality cabin

Needs work

  • Power bump didn’t eventuate
  • Transmission isn’t sharp
  • On-screen climate controls
  • Optional adaptive dampers gone

We established two years ago that the current, fourth-generation Skoda Octavia was a great car. That’s why it won the Chasing Cars 2022 Car of the Year award, trumping a list of high achievers in that year. In 2024, most of that greatness remains unshadowed.

Australia doesn’t buy many sedans or wagons like the Octavia anymore, but that doesn’t mean the sensibly-sized, sensibly-priced Skoda shouldn’t be high on family shopping lists. It saves big cash compared to midsized SUVs that are so often deeply underwhelming.

The Octavia is anything but: here’s a well-made, great-to-drive European wagon (or liftback-style sedan) that can be had for much less than $50,000 driveaway, even with options thrown in.

Last year, the fourth-gen Octavia was available in Australia as a tastefully chrome-trimmed 110TSI Style model, which continues at $42,490 driveaway, or as a sporty 180kW RS ($56,990 driveaway), with wagons adding $1500 over their sedan counterparts.

Now, the kind of generosity that early Skoda owners in Australia became very used to has made a sudden return. Simultaneously with launching considerably cheaper versions of the Czech brand’s Kamiq and Karoq small SUVs, there’s a new Octavia option in town.

Priced identically to the elegant Style grade, the new 110TSI Sportline swaps chrome daylight opening and fascia trims for a meaner black pack and a lower-riding, subtly sporty suspension tune on passive dampers. 18-inch alloy wheels are the same silver kicks as the Style model.

2024 Skoda Octavia Sportline rear 3/4 static

Think of it as a fashionably black-packed Octavia Style with ride quality that’s maybe 15 percent firmer and you are in the right ballpark. The pair share a 1.4-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine, eight-speed torque converter auto and a torsion beam rear suspension.

Fair pricing nearly makes us forget that Skoda Australia teased a very different Octavia Sportline grade back in late 2022 which was going to pack a 140kW 2.0-litre turbo, a wet dual-clutch auto and independent rear suspension – a mini-RS of sorts.

That type of Sportline was scuppered after cost pressures made it certain that it would be uncomfortably close to the genuine Octavia RS in price. Hence the new Sportline-lite.

2024 Skoda Octavia Sportline interior steering wheel

But a very extensive road drive from Sydney’s suburbs to the south coast of New South Wales revealed that actually, Skoda can deliver a convincing package even with more modest mechanicals.

When we granted the Octavia our 2022 COTY win, the impressive contribution of a 110TSI Style wagon on that test was central to the Skoda’s achievement.

The new Sportline just reminds us of that car, albeit with a subtly assertive suspension tune that many drivers will like.

2024 Skoda Octavia Sportline front end static

Its combination of an impressively perky turbo engine that belies its 110kW/250Nm outputs and well-tuned ride and handling make this a seriously satisfying vehicle to rack up kilometres in.

The 110TSI versions of the Octavia are now exclusively passively damped, with the almost ‘secret’ option of adaptive dampers within the Tech pack sadly discontinued earlier this year.

While the adaptively-damped ride was clearly superior – and fitted to our COTY-superstar Style wagon – the standard dampers still do a good job of softening broken New South Wales tarmac.

Even the Octavia’s affordable torsion beam rear suspension fails to crash into the generally refined feeling of the Skoda with next to none of the cabin boom such designs normally transmit. Road noise, too, is quite well-suppressed.

We’d have to nitpick but one weak spot could be the eight-speed automatic that most road testers actually mark as a positive.

At least until Australia’s new emissions standards kick in next year, our market is essentially ‘second-world’ to the Volkswagen Group, so our Octavia (along with the Skoda Karoq and the Volkswagen Golf) do without the latest 1.5-litre turbo and DSG automatic.

2024 Skoda Octavia Sportline drive selector switches

Instead, an older – but still impressive – 1.4-litre continues, except that the Group now teams it to a simpler eight-speed torque converter auto. Low-speed refinement is superior to a basic DSG but on the move, the slushbox’s shifts are considerably less crisp than a dual-clutch.

Still, that is a seriously niche point. We’d similarly have to scratch around looking for criticism of the Octavia’s smartly-presented and well-made interior.

Inside, the Octavia Sportline is a bit dark but the standard manual cloth seats are extremely comfortable and supportive in that firm European way. Power-adjustable, heated pews are found in a $3200 premium pack.

That pack is worthwhile: it also bundles digital radio, a third climate zone, extra USB ports and heating for the rear seats, adaptive lane keeping, and memory and tilting functions for the side mirrors.

The tech stack is superb for the class, blowing away the likes of the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata or Mazda 6 for the sophistication of the infotainment – which includes a fully customisable digital driver display and wireless smartphone mirroring, standard.

We’ll grant that the on-screen climate controls are unnecessarily finicky but they are accessible via a dedicated hard key shortcut, at least.

2024 Skoda Octavia Sportline driver instrument cluster

Much appreciated is the classy-feeling perforated leather steering wheel with lovely metallic rollers for the volume and hard buttons for other functions.

Despite not being too big or bloated – it’s 4.7 metres long and just 1410kg – the Octavia Sportline has voluminous capacity for broods and their cargo. The back seat has huge legroom (and standard air vents) while the boot measures 600 litres in the sedan and 640 litres in wagon format.

The ease just continues with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty that Skoda claims beats some other brands for warranted inclusions across that time.

2024 Skoda Octavia Sportline interior wide shot

Further, a seven-year service pack costs $2750 at the time of purchase, meaning annual maintenance averages $393 across that time window and/or 105,000km.

We’d opt for the care plan simply to lock in the peace of mind that you can run the car, fuel it, register it and keep it insured – and have to do little else.

Beyond being an impressive vehicle to drive, the Skoda Octavia is a really satisfying car to live with: properly thought out, well-executed and likeable.

2024 Skoda Octavia Sportline luggage space

While my personal tastes favour the silver-trimmed Style model, the darker-theme Sportline will suit many others, particularly given you sacrifice nothing in the process.

Ultimately, what seals the deal is the price. An Octavia Sportline with premium paint, the premium package, and a seven year service plan comes to the grand total of $49,210 driveaway Australia-wide.

In a year where everything suddenly seems a lot more expensive, that’s a more-than-impressive deal.

Overall rating
Overall rating
Overall rating
Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

1395 cc
110kW at 6000rpm
250Nm at 1500rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
45 litres
5.7L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
789km (claimed)
Front Wheel Drive
4689 mm
1829 mm
1470 mm
Unoccupied weight
1325 kg

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