Skoda Octavia Estate Review
The Skoda Octavia Estate offers huge bang for buck if you want outright space and practicality. Just don’t expect it to excite you inside, or on country roads.
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- Huge boot for families
- Sensible price and running costs
- Solidly constructed cabin
What's not so good
- Bumpy at low speeds in town
- Pretty uninspiring to look at inside
- Won't wow you on a country road
Skoda Octavia Estate: what would you like to read next?
The Skoda Octavia Estate is one of the largest load luggers you can buy, yet is sensibly priced and won’t cost the Earth to run. It’s in competition with estate version of other family cars such as the Seat Leon, Ford Focus, VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra.
This Skoda Octavia might be all-new, but it’s still very clearly an Octavia. Up front, you get the same distinctive grille, though it’s bluffer than before and the horrible twin headlights of the old car have been scrapped for a pair of slim-line LEDs.
The crease that runs down the side of the car makes it look more imposing – like shoulder pads in a 1980s suit jacket – and you can now have wheels up to 19 inches in size, even on non-vRS models. The new look is finished off with crystal-style rear LEDs.
Skoda has made a big effort to make the new Octavia feel more upmarket than the last car, with soft-touch plastics, textile padded trim finishes and thickly stuffed seats that could rival your armchair at home for comfort. Even so, it’s still blander inside than a Focus or Leon.
That said, there’s an exception. The interior is dominated by a large central infotainment touchscreen, even on entry-level models, while the majority of physical buttons are found right in the centre of the dash. It looks modern and is easy to use, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. Lovely digital driver’s dials come included too.
There are slightly nicer cabins and better driving experiences out there, but the Skoda Octavia Estate still ticks so many boxes and looks better than ever.
If it’s space you’re after, look no further than the Octavia Estate. There’s a huge amount of it for adults no matter if they’re sat in the front or back, while its huge boot is among the largest you can buy in any estate car. It comes with plenty of practical touches, too, and the rear seats fold for those trips to the tip.
There’s a generous range of efficient engines to choose between in petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid flavours. The usual rule applies – if you’re often in town, the 1.5 petrol is best. Often on the motorway? Go for the 2.0-litre diesel. Company car drivers will find the plug-in hybrid the cheapest to run, plus there are powerful vRS models on offer too.
The Octavia Estate is easy to manoeuvre and park in town, although its suspension can be a bit noisy and abrupt over bumps – a VW Golf is better here. The Octavia isn’t going to set your pulse racing in twisty country roads, either (a Ford Focus is more fun), but it has plenty of grip and precise steering nonetheless. On the motorway, it proves a comfortable cruiser.
So, if you’re after a serious spacious and practical estate car, head to our Skoda Octavia Estate deals page to see how much you could save.
Cars don’t get much more practical than the Skoda Octavia Estate. It’d be nice to have an adjustable boot floor as standard, mind you.
If it’s lots of space for the family you’re after, look no further than an Octavia Estate.
There’s a huge amount of it for adults no matter if they’re sat in the front or back, so there’s even more for kids. Three adults sat side-by-side in the back won’t even have too much to complain about.
There are plenty of handy cubbies and pockets inside the Octavia Estate for storing your odds and sods. The glovebox is a good size and the front door bins are big enough to take a large bottle of water and lined with felt for a more premium feel.
In the back, there are generous pockets on the backs of both front seats including a handy pouch for smartphones, as well as another two good-sized door bins for water bottles on each rear door.
The Skoda Octavia Estate has a gigantic 640-litre boot, but while the hatchback Octavia’s boot stands out for its size amongst other family hatchbacks, the Estate versions of the Octavia’s alternatives have comparably big boots. These include the Seat Leon Estate and VW Golf Estate.
However, that doesn’t detract from the fact that the Octavia Estate’s boot is huge and comes with plenty of practical hook and straps. You can also have an adjustable boot floor (unlike the hatch) which is standard on SE-L models, although it’d be nice if you got it as standard on all Octavias.
The Skoda Octavia Estate has great engines and is good to drive on all roads. Only a bumpy ride in town lets it down, and don’t expect it to put a smile on your face on country roads.
The Skoda Octavia Estate will eventually be available with a choice of three petrol engines. Both the 110hp 1.0-litre petrol three-cylinder and the 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrols come with a six-speed manual gearbox with the option to upgrade to a seven-speed automatic.
Choose the auto and you’ll also get a 48V mild-hybrid system which allows the car to coast on the motorway to save fuel.
The top-of-the-range petrol is a 190hp 2.0-litre that gets from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds, plus has four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox as standard.
If you do lots of long journeys, though, you’ll still be best off with one of the Octavia’s three 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engines, which you can expect to return fuel economy of around 60mpg. The 150hp version if the best balance of power and economy.
This is the first time you can have your Skoda Octavia as a plug-in hybrid. It uses a combination of a 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to produce 204hp in total.
Its lithium-ion battery gives the Octavia Estate an all-electric range of nearly 35 miles meaning, if you have a short commute and somewhere to charge your car, you’ll be able to get to and from work on cheap electric power alone.
The Skoda Octavia Estate is a very good car to drive, although it does have some weaknesses.
First is its tendency to bump over broken roads in town more than, say, a VW Golf. That said, it’s easy to live with in urban environments otherwise. It has great all-round visibility and is easily manoeuvrable around car parks.
On country roads is where it’s also shown up by cars like the Ford Focus. The Octavia Estate grips hard and has precise steering, but it doesn’t have the same control of its body and sense of eagerness to change direction of the Focus. In short, it’s just less fun to drive around corners.
Most buyers won’t care, however, and on the motorway, the Octavia proves a quiet and comfortable cruiser, if not ultimately as quiet as a Golf at 70mph. You can also spec a system that will brake and steer for you on the motorway to make things even more relaxing.
If you want to be wowed each morning when you climb into your car, the Skoda Octavia Estate won’t be for you. However, it feels built to last which important in a family car.
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