The Skoda Octavia has been a massive UK success since it first hit showrooms in the late 'nineties.
It's based on underpinnings shared with the Volkswagen Golf, as with the Audi A3 and its bigger brother, the Skoda Superb
The Skoda Octavia Estate is among the most practical family cars you can buy, building on the established virtues of the Octavia Saloon with extra space and versatility
You can also choose it in a four-wheel drive variant, which provides extra security and agility in bad weather and tricky road conditions
The engines are also seen in other cars from Volkswagen Group companies which include Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi and SEAT
In the Octavia they range from a 1.0-litre TSI petrol to a 2.0-litre TDI diesel, the latter of which will be most appreciated by higher-mileage motorists.
Even the 1.0-litre TSI petrol doesn't feel underpowere, and at over 62mpg it can be remarkably economical, too.
Four-wheel drive variants are available with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, while the two-wheel drive 1.6-litre TDI diesel can manage over 74mpg
Real economy fans, though, will appreciate the GreenLine III model, which can achieve over 80mpg if you don't mind sacrificing a little performance
The Octavia Estate has a smart, grown up look to it, which is fuss-free and has no styling gimmicks. It's a well presented, attractive car
It's a masterpiece of rational design - everything is in its right place and there's no overstatement or unnecessary embellishment
With sensibly sized wheels and tyres, the ride is very comfortable and the Octavia is a very soothing car for long journeys - an excellent motorway car
Like the styling of the exterior, the dashboard is no-nonsense in design and this makes it very easy to use, putting the driver immediately at ease
All models feature a touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth mobile phone connection and support for music stored on a memory card
SE Models get voice-activation, while SE Sport models and above have navigation as well as a WIFI hotspot provision enabling internet access for passengers
All models, apart from the 2.0-litre diesel, offer a manual or automatic gearbox choice – the latter being a modern dual-clutch DSG system
Front seat space is perfectly adequate and drivers shouldn't struggle to find a comfortable position behind the wheel, thanks to height-adjustment
Those in the rear are unlikely to feel cramped, either – there's more space inside than a Ford Mondeo or Mazda6, both cars from the class above
The Octavia Estate is made extra easy-to-use thanks to clearly marked controls that enable the seatbacks to be dropped in one simple operation
A hatch in the rear seatback allows long items to intrude into the passenger compartment without having to fold either of the rear seats out of the way
There's extra secure storage for valuables and oddments in underfloor compartments, while the bootspace can be concealed beneath a tonneau cover
Unfortunately the rear seat doesn't fold to be completely flat, but the bootspace is huge and otherwise very well designed, with no loading lip
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