Skoda Octavia estate (2005-2013)

"The value for money Octavia Estate boasts a huge boot and class-leading practicality."

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Pros

  • Huge boot and practical interior
  • Comfortable drive
  • 4x4 available

Cons

  • Noisy 1.9-litre diesel
  • Shape of boot floor
  • Some safety kit not standard

The Octavia estate builds on the strengths of the hatch with a generous helping of practicality and impressive value for money. Thanks to a huge boot, there’s even more room for luggage. The Octavia estate is available with a wide choice of engines, from the entry-level 1.6-litre to the newer 1.2, 1.4 and 1.8-litre TSI petrol options and of course the best-selling 1.6, 1.9 and 2.0-litre TDI diesels. There is a highly efficient GreenLine model and sportier vRS version, too. Additionally, the estate is available as a 4x4. A special version called Scout has increased ground clearance.

MPG, running costs & CO2

Diesels are impressive, especially Greenline model

The Octavia estate uses a little more fuel than the hatchback, but most engines still offer a good blend of economy and performance. The diesel engines are cheapest to run, in particular the 1.6 TDI. A modified version of that engine powers the special GreenLine model, which returns 64.2mpg and emits 114g/km of CO2. Adding four-wheel drive reduces fuel economy further, while the Scout model is worse again. It’s still cheaper to run than aconventional off-road car, though. The Octavia estate holds its value better than the hatchback does, while parts, servicing and insurance are all quite reasonably priced.

Engines, drive & performance

Good on the road but avoid the 1.9-litre TDI

Although the Octavia Estate is a little heavier than the hatchback, you won’t notice this in the road. The cheapest 1.6-litre petrol engine is adequate, although not as impressive in terms of performance as the newer TSI petrol engines. TDI diesels really suit the Octavia Estate, especially if you intend to tow a trailer or caravan. The 1.9 TDI is loud and harsh, though. The vRS versions are fast and more stable at higher speeds than the regular models. The 4x4 Scout offers limited but occasionally useful off-road ability.

Interior & comfort

Good seats and suspension make the Octavia a comfortable choice

Passengers in the Octavia estate will feel comfortable even before the car moves off. That’s thanks to a spacious cabin with plentyof room for five adults and supportive, firm seats. The driver’s seat offers loads of adjustment, as does the steering wheel. The instruments are clear and logically laid out. On the move, the Octavia soaks up bumps well and feels stable on the motorway.

Practicality & boot space

Spacious but boot is oddly shaped

The Octavia Estate’s 605-litre boot is huge, dwarfing those of rivals such as the Renault Mégane Sport Tourer and Volkswagen Golf Estate. It’s even better than larger and much more expensive cars such as the Volkswagen Passat Estate. The rear seats split and fold to create a total volume of 1,655 litres. However, the load area isn’t completely flat, which means rectangular items – such as washing machines – are more difficult to store. A high loading lip means you’ll have to lift items over it before placing them into the boot.

Reliability & safety

Good build quality, but could be safer

The Octavia’s interior quality is first-rate, and general fit and finish is excellent. VOSA, the organisation which manages recalls for all UK new cars, records only one minor safety issue, affecting cars built in 2009. However, several models lack standard safety equipment like electronic stability control, and the Octavia only scored four stars in the Euro NCAP test.

Price, value for money & options

Practicality for a low price

Few cars can match this Skoda’s appeal when it comes to practicality. No rival offers quite as much space per pound. However, the entry-level S version is best avoided, as it does without an alarm, rear electric windows or climate control. Many models don’t feature electronic stability control or curtain airbags. The Scout version appears expensive in comparison to the rest of the range, although it’s a cheap alternative to a traditional 4x4.

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