It’s common knowledge that Skoda are renowned for being one of the more affordable car manufactures around, but over the years the Czech brand have dramatically upped their game with more practical yet stylish models to offer the modern day car buyer. Cue the Skoda Octavia Estate. Now into its fourth generation which, according to Skoda, is better than ever, the latest model continues to offer practical and affordable motoring that’s associated with the Octavia. The latest update sees this spacious family car become even more desirable with its stylish design, but competition in the estate car class is rife with the Octavia Estate competing for sales against the likes of the Ford Focus Estate, SEAT Leon ST estate and the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer.
Being part of the Volkswagen Group, the Octavia Estate benefits from some of the latest Volkswagen technology and is based on the same underpinnings as the new Volkswagen Golf. Currently, there are three engine options available, although the range is likely to expand over time, with mild and plug-in hybrid options likely to be added to the line-up. The Octavia is available with either a 1.0L turbocharged petrol with 109bhp or a 1.5L 148bhp turbocharged petrol engine. The diesel engine option is limited to a 2.0L TDI with 114bhp but will be well suited to drivers that cover long distances and are looking for high fuel economy. Depending on which engine option you choose, the Octavia manages 0-62mph in a respectable 8.3sec, while flooring the accelerator will see the estate hit a top speed of 139mph.
On the road, the Octavia handles well and the selection of driving modes improve the overall quality, making for a refined ride. ‘Normal’ mode will be the most favoured setting if you’re looking for refinement, with its light steering and smooth ride. The Octavia Estate is surprisingly agile, although there’s a noticeable amount of body lean, more so than in a Ford Focus Estate or Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, but it has plenty of grip and the steering is precise, leaving you safe in the knowledge that the Octavia is never anything less than stable and secure. Around town, the car is easy to manoeuvre and park, while on the long motorway journeys, the Octavia makes for a comfortable companion. It’s also a relaxing car to drive, the optional adaptive suspension system allows you to stiffen or soften the ride and does a great job of smoothing over the harsh bumps. However, wind and road noise aren’t that well isolated when compared to the Ford Focus Estate, although the extra sound insulation does minimise it somewhat.
The latest generation is noticeably more refined and classier than its predecessor. The interior benefits from more screens, giving the cabin a sharper look, with fewer buttons cluttering the dash. All versions are well-equipped and include a 10.25inch digital instrument cluster, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality as standard. The Octavia Estate is available in a number of trims: SE First Edition, SE Technology, SE L and SE L First Edition. SE Technology gains front and rear parking sensors as well as satellite navigation while upgrading to SE L or SE L First Edition trims add a chrome exterior trim, electrically adjustable, folding wing mirrors, as well as heated front seats and micro-suede cloth upholstery. Additional safety features include adaptive cruise control, hill start assist and blind-spot detection.
Up front, the cabin is wide and open, with plenty of space for the driver and front-seat passenger. Taller drivers will have no problem getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Octavia Estate – even with the optional extra of a panoramic glass roof. There’s also plenty of storage space available with deep door pockets and a large storage space hidden under the front armrest that’s perfect for hiding electronic devices and other valuables. Rear seat passengers will have plenty of space to stretch out with head and elbow room to spare. However, middle seat passengers may struggle to get comfortable on the longer journeys, particularly with the raised central tunnel forcing them to place their feet either side of it. In terms of boot space, the Octavia is (unsurprisingly) top of its class with 640L to play with, but the split-folding rear seats take this up to an enormous 1700L leaving you safe in the knowledge that you can take everything but the kitchen sink with you.
Should you buy one? The Skoda Octavia Estate has long been the car for buyers looking for space and practicality and the latest generation is no different. With its classy interior, generous space and vast boot, this family-sized estate should be at the top of any buyer’s list looking for those must-haves.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
• Practical √
• Spacious √
• Interior √
• Standard equipment √
• Wind & Road Noise X
(Skoda Octavia Estate SE Technology)
• Price: £23,620
• Max speed: 139mph
• 0-62mph: 8.4seconds
• Range: 58.9mpg
• Engine layout: 1.5 TSI Petrol
• Max. power: 148bhp
• CO2: 129g/km
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