Review

Skoda Octavia estate

Price  £17,115 - £28,665

Skoda Octavia estate

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Huge boot
  • Economical range of engines
Cons
  • Still not that desirable
  • Pricey options
  • Only gets a three-year warranty

At a glance

The greenest
Greenline III 1.6 TDI CR 110PS 5dr £21,105
The cheapest
S 1.2 TSI 105PS 5dr £17,115
The fastest
Laurin & Klement 1.8 TSI 180PS 5dr £27,375
Top of the range
Laurin & Klement 2.0 TDI CR 150PS 4X4 5dr £28,665

“With one of the biggest boot in its class, the Skoda Octavia estate sets the bar in terms of practicality, reliability and value for money.”

You’re unlikely to hear people speak more highly of the Skoda Octavia Estate than we do here at Carbuyer, and we have a list as long as your arm of reasons why. Central to its appeal is the car's excellent value.

It offers the quality of Volkswagen parts, for less than VW will charge you, and then doubles its appeal by surrounding them in a larger, more practical body. The latter's particularly true of the estate and its huge boot.

Get inside and you’re instantly aware that this is a Volkswagen Group car, thanks to its beautifully built cabin, clear controls, and excellent attention to detail.

Volkswagen engines are employed throughout the Octavia range, which is good because they are some of the best on offer. The firm gives the Octavia everything from the 1.6-litre diesel engine of the very frugal GreenLine model, to the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the vRS, which it shares with the excellent Golf GTI.

Trim levels offer a similarly broad variety with the Lauren & Klement getting luxuries such as a leather interior, which are usually reserved for premium-brand cars, but even the basic model gets alloy wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system, air-conditioning, and a raft of safety features. 

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.5 / 5

Economical 1.6-litre TDI diesel will do 74mpg and less than 100g/km of CO2

No Octavia Estate is expensive to run with even the high-performance petrol Skoda Octavia vRS estate capable of 44.1mpg. We would always be tempted by the economical GreenLine model, though. It can get economy of 74.3mpg and produces low CO2 emissions that mean road tax is free. For all-round ability, we would recommend the 2.0-litre diesel 150. It has plenty of performance yet can still get economy of 68.9mpg and emissions of 106g/km.All Skoda’s now also come with a gear-change indicator, which should help you save fuel.

Skoda offers fixed-price servicing that means you know exactly what you’ll pay for the car’s scheduled maintenance. Skoda’s reputation for reliability is excellent, but it would still be nice if the car offered a more competitive warranty than the current three-year/60,000 mile scheme.   

Engines, drive & performance

4 / 5

Not as much fun as a Ford Focus, but relaxing and quiet from behind the wheel

The Skoda’s suspension is a little firmer than you’ll get in the Volkswagen Golf's, and it doesn’t strike the same excellent balance between comfort and fun driving that the VW Golf does, but it gets very close.

It gets the same engines as the Volkswagen does, which means you can choose between economical diesels – topped by the frugal GreenLine – or quick petrols, the 2.0-litre petrol Skoda Octavia vRS estate being fastest of all. It’s effectively a Golf GTI, with much more space and a lower list price, and can get from 0-60mph in just 6.8 seconds and tops out at 154mph.

Go for the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol, or one of the 1.6-litre diesels and you’ll still not be disappointed – they get from 0-60mph in 9.9 and 10.4 seconds respectively - while the more expensive 2.0-litre offers an excellent balance of performance and economy. It can get from 0-60mph in just 8.2 seconds.

Octavia’s can also be equipped with an excellent DSG automatic gearbox and grippy four-wheel drive.

Interior & comfort

4.4 / 5

There’s loads of space, and the interior feels solidly built

When Skoda setup the Octavia suspension it focussed on comfort rather than being fun to drive in the corners, but it means the Octavia Estate is a very relaxing car to drive. The steering wheel has lots of adjustment and the driver’s seat can be altered for height, too, so getting a comfortable driving position is easy. Although the Octavia is a large car, good visability means it is easy to park.

Excellent interior quality and a clear dashboard design mean that the Skoda is not only a nice place to sit, but also a very easy car to operate and most plastics are soft to the touch. It might run the Volkswagen Golf a close second, but it beats cars such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Honda Civic and Hyundai i30.

Choosing a model fitted with the larger 18-inch alloy wheels means settling for a crashy ride and more tyre noise.

Practicality & boot space

5 / 5

Octavia estate has one of the biggest boots in class

All Octavias offer more space than the Volkswagen Golf that they are based on, but the Octavia Estate takes it to the extreme with a huge 610 litre boot that’s only recently been bettered by the 624-litre boot that you get in the Honda Civic Tourer estate. The Skoda’s still cheaper to buy mind you. Fold down the Skoda’s rear seats and you get 1,740 litres of space and that’s more than pricier models from the class above, such as the Ford Mondeo and Mazda6. The Skoda’s boot also features a false floor, where you can hide valuables, and you can choose a folding front passenger seat that’s handy if you need to carry long items. It is, however, a shame that even the top-of-the-range Laurin & Klement model does without the useful cargo net, it's a £50 option.

As with the boot, the Octavia’s passenger compartment also offers more space than the Ford or Mazda and getting five people comfortable shouldn’t be a trial, even if the middle seat in the back has tighter foot room.

Cubbyholes are plentiful and the Octavia has decent door pockets, a glovebox and cupholders. 

Reliability & safety

4.8 / 5

Skoda continues to impress with another strong performance in the Driver Power survey

Look up ‘customer satisfaction’ in the dictionary and you’ll probably find Skoda’s name written in bold. The company took first, second and third place in our 2014 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. That said the Octavia had a comparatively sharp drop from 4th to 28th place out of 150 cars, with owners marking it down for seat comfort, in-car tech, and ride quality. The car still scored well in areas such as practicality, running costs, performance and build quality.

With a five-star rating for safety from Euro NCAP, you can be assured that the Octavia is a very safe car. All Skodas now come with tyre pressure monitors, which alert you when they sense a puncture, and are another box ticked in a list of safety equipment that includes seven airbags, a braking system that applies the brakes after an accident to prevent secondary collisions, and electronic stability control. At extra cost, you can also choose autonomous braking, and a system that stops the driver falling asleep at the wheel.

Price, value for money & options

5 / 5

Lots of standard equipment including alloy wheels and a cooled glovebox

Offering value for money is the Skoda Octavia’s forte, and it significantly undercuts the Volkswagen Golf with which it shares many parts. Even basic S models get air conditioning, a touchscreen infotainment system and alloy wheels, while SE spec gets you climate control and rear parking sensors. Elegance models and above have leather seats and sat-nav, and Elegance models also get auto-dipping headlights that sense oncoming traffic and dip their beam automatically. Topping the range is the Octavia Laurin & Klement, named after Skoda’s 19th Century founders. It adds part-leather, part-Alcantara trim, brown dashboard trim, xenon and LED lights and 18-inch wheels, plus driver assistance tech like collision warning and lane-departure assist. It’s a very pricey top-end model, though, so our advice is to pick a carefully optioned SE or Elegance spec car, with smaller wheels for a better ride. The new Black Edition models get 18-inch alloy wheels and a sporty body kit, but are cheap to run.

Options for basic models include keyless entry and start, park assist – which affectively parks the car for you – and sat-nav.

What the others say

5 / 5
based on 1 review
5 / 5
The new Octavia Estate is hard to fault. Not only does it now look and feel like a car from the class above, it also offers more interior space than any rival. The 1.6-litre TDI isn’t the best engine for keen drivers, but the superb efficiency and strong refinement mean it's a fine family choice. Plus, the generous standard equipment and low running costs will make it hard to beat for private and company buyers alike.
Last updated 
12 Sep 2014

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