Skoda Octavia Sportline 2019 review
Our Rating

4/5

Skoda Octavia Sportline 2019 review

Can a new sporty-looking grade enhance the Octavia’s abilities further?

Introduction

Look across the automotive industry and there’s big money to be had in selling sporty-looking models without the associated high running costs (or performance) of hot models.

It’s nothing new, but the rate of growth here is too much for most brands to ignore. And one of the latest firms to jump on this trend is Skoda with its ‘Sportline’ equipment grade.

These essentially take the look of the hottest vRS models and apply this to its run-of-the-mill models – the Karoq, Kodiaq and Superb, for example.

Sportline is also nothing new on the Octavia – many previous generations have been offered with this trim level – but it’s only now making an appearance on the latest iteration of the hatch. Aside from the sportier bodykit, it benefits from more on-board technology and an improved interior.

Styling highlights include a gloss black styling kit and large 18-inch alloys resembling those of the hotter models. It really looks like a vRS to the untrained eye.

Performance

Sportline grade limits the engine choice to one petrol and one diesel unit, which both produce 148bhp.

The turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine fitted to our test car was paired to a six-speed manual transmission that’s widely used across the Volkswagen Group. It allows for a 0-60mph time of 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 139mph.

The real-world performance never feels quite as rapid as those figures suggest, with the engine not having the smoothest of power deliveries. It’s safe to say the vRS looks don’t equate to vRS performance, but that was never the aim here.

Ride and handling

The standard Octavia is rather good at just being a tremendously easy car to get you from A to B in comfort, with all buttons and controls being exactly in the right place. It’s far from exciting, though.

The Sportline is much the same story, although the sportier suspension setup enhances the Octavia’s already good handling. But that’s not at the expense of the comfort, as even the stiffer springs and larger 18-inch alloy wheels have very little impact on ride quality.

If you want something truly sporty, though, the vRS remains by far the best option.

See Available Octavia deals

Interior and equipment

Sports seats with a stylish red pattern and a flat-bottomed steering wheel are the few cues to demonstrate that this car is different to the regular Octavia. But aside from these details, everything is just as positive as the standard car’s cabin.

The Octavia comes with an excellent touchscreen, which is both easy to use and doesn’t ever feel over-intrusive – such is the case with systems that control functions like climate control.

The cabin is also very well built, with plenty of soft-touch plastics used throughout, with a real feeling that this interior is made to last. But the other key advantage to the Octavia is the vast boot space. With the hatch, there is 590 litres of capacity, which increases to 620 litres on the even more appealing Estate model.

Sportline sits near the top of the Octavia trim levels, which means the model comes with plenty of kit as standard. This grade adds an eight-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, sports seats and black headlining, along with the aforementioned bodykit and larger wheels.

Further features include adaptive LED headlights, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers.

Cost

The Sportline might look a bit expensive next to standard trim levels – such as SEL. However, it’s worth considering the additional standard equipment gained with this trim level, along with the styling kit.

Prices start from £23,895 for the 1.5 TSI hatch and rise to £27,885 for the 2.0 TDI Estate. For the kit on offer, it’s attractively priced. But given a vRS 245 can be bought for £27,695, the Sportline’s pricing looks a little bit ambitious next to the real deal.

As for running costs, Skoda claims the Octavia Sportline, as tested here, can return 46.3mpg on the combined WLTP cycle while emitting 115g/km in CO2 emissions.

- Entry Level Octavia Sportline - starting from £23,895.00

- Range topping Octavia Sportline - starting from £27,885.00

Prices correct at time of publishing from the manufacturer website.

Verdict

This new Sportline grade builds on what is already a very compelling package. The standard car’s impressive affordability and spaciousness are enhanced with extra pizzazz thanks to this car’s vRS-inspired looks. And it’s therefore able to deliver the looks of the performance models, without the pricey running costs.

However, with the vRS not being that much more expensive to buy in the first place, and the lesser trim levels still coming well-equipped, this Sportline doesn’t feel the best bet in the Octavia range. However, should you want its looks, and affordable running costs, the Sportline is an appealing option.

Interested in a new Octavia sportline? Find local prices, today!

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