Review

Skoda Octavia Estate

Price  £17,880 - £29,410

Skoda Octavia Estate

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Very large boot
  • Cheap to run
  • Low prices
Cons
  • Lack of badge appeal
  • Options are expensive
  • Rivals have longer warranties

At a glance

The greenest
Greenline III 1.6 TDI CR 110PS 5dr £21,720
The cheapest
S 1.0 TSI 115PS 5dr £17,880
The fastest
SE 2.0 TDI CR 150PS 5dr £22,030
Top of the range
Laurin & Klement 2.0 TDI CR 150PS 4X4 5dr £29,410

“The Skoda Octavia Estate is one of the most practical family cars you can buy, with low running costs and strong build quality adding to its appeal.”

The Skoda Octavia Estate is a fantastic family estate car, with one of the biggest boots on the market. It's one of Carbuyer's favourite cars thanks to the amount of space and comfort it offers for the money, while a pleasant interior and driving experience seal the deal.

The Octavia Estate competes against cars like the Ford Focus Estate, the Volkswagen Golf Estate and the Kia C’eed Sportwagen, but it's got a bigger boot than any of these cars. Only the Honda Civic Tourer and Peugeot 308 SW estate outdo the Octavia Estate in terms of outright carrying capacity, but the Honda is more expensive than the Skoda, and the Peugeot's interior doesn’t feel as well made; neither of these cars can quite match the Octavia's overall breadth of abilities.

On the road, the Octavia Estate feels safe and secure - it's easy to drive and there's plenty of grip. It's not what you would call thrilling – keener drivers may want to consider the Ford Focus Estate – but the Octavia Estate is relaxing and it eats up motorway miles with ease.

The Skoda Octavia Estate is available with a tried-and-tested range of petrol and diesel engines from the Volkswagen Group, including the ultra-efficient 80mpg 1.6-litre diesel Greenline III model. There's also a performance orientated Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, and the rugged four-wheel-drive Skoda Octavia Scout estate, both of which we’ve reviewed separately.

Our favourite engine is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel. Its 148bhp is plentiful enough to get the Octavia Estate from 0-62mph in just 8.6 seconds, and while it's 71 mpg can’t match the Greenline III's fuel economy figure, the 2.0-litre TDI is easier to live with, as it needs to be worked less hard – something you’re likely to notice when overtaking.

Petrol versions of the Octavia Estate are likely to be less popular, but the turbocharged 1.2, 1.4 and 1.8-litre petrol engines are all good. At one end of the scale, the 1.2-litre petrol manages 57.6mpg, while at the other, the 1.8-litre's 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds makes the Octavia Estate a quick car. If you’re after a petrol, the mid-range 1.4-litre is the best choice. It's powerful enough to get the Octavia Estate from 0-62mph in just 8.5 seconds, while its 55.4mpg is barely worse than the 1.2-litre engine.

In addition to the Octavia Scout estate, the standard Octavia Estate is also available with four-wheel-drive. Skoda asks about £1,500 for this, which is a fair price. However, four-wheel drive adds weight, reduces fuel economy and adversely affects CO2 emissions, so unless you really need the extra grip, we recommend sticking with two-wheel-drive.

Inside, the Octavia Estate is remarkably spacious: both front and rear passengers benefit from generous levels of head and legroom, while the interior feels well built and is smart, even if it's not the last word in design flair. The Octavia Estate is also a comfortable and quiet car with soft suspension, and wind noise is minimal when driving at speed.

Aside from the Scout and vRS models, the Octavia Estate is available in five trim levels, starting with S and rising through SE, Greenline III, SE L, and the top-spec Laurin and Klement - which is luxurious but expensive. Whichever version you choose, you’ll find the Octavia Estate a well-equipped car. Even entry-level S trim includes air-conditioning, electric front windows, a digital radio and alloy wheels as standard.

We recommend the SE model, as this strikes the best balance between equipment and value. SE Octavia Estates come with rear parking sensors (useful on car of this length) all-round electric windows, front fog lights and a driving mode selector, which allows you to choose from eco, comfort and sport modes. There's also an SE Business model, which we recommend for company car buyers. It's well-equipped, yet attracts just 16% Benefit-in-Kind tax when combined with Greeenline III specification.

The Skoda Octavia Estate further cements Skoda's reputation for reliability and ease of use: the (mechanically identical) hatchback Octavia came an impressive 11th out of 200 cars in our 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, while Skoda's third-place finish out of 32 manufacturers provides further reassurance that the Octavia Estate should be a remarkably dependable and easy car to live with.

The Octavia Estate is also very safe, with its hatchback sibling garnering the full five stars in its Euro NCAP tests. The independent organisation praised the strength and protection provided by the Octavia, while a host of airbags, together with electronic stability control and a tyre pressure monitoring system gives further peace of mind.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.5 / 5

The Skoda Octavia estate has an economical 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine, which can return 80mpg and emits less than 100g/km of CO2

Engines, drive & performance

4 / 5

Not as much fun as a Ford Focus, but the Skoda Octavia estate is relaxing and quiet to drive

Interior & comfort

4.4 / 5

There’s loads of space in the Skoda Octavia estate and the interior feels solidly built

Practicality & boot space

4.8 / 5

The Skoda Octavia estate has one of the biggest boots in its class

Reliability & safety

4.8 / 5

The Skoda Octavia Estate is one of Britain’s more reliable cars

What the others say

4.3 / 5
based on 4 reviews
5 / 5
"If it's practicality you're after, the Octavia Estate's boot is roomy enough to embarrass cars from the class above like the BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi A4 Avant."
4 / 5
"Pricing is extremely competitive, resale values are excellent, and fuel and maintenance costs are among the lowest in the class, so it's one of the best-value estates to buy and run."
8 / 10
"The Skoda Octavia Estate is a big, family-friendly car with a smart interior and strong, efficient engines."
8 / 10
"Well thought out, versatile and thoroughly decent family estate. Difficult to criticise on any level."
What owners say 
4.4111801242236
4.4 /5 based on 161 reviews
81%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
30 Mar 2016
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