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.
Real economy fans, though, will appreciate the GreenLine III model, which can achieve over 80mpg if you don't mind sacrificing a little performance
It's a masterpiece of rational design - everything is in its right place and there's no overstatement or unnecessary embellishment
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
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
All models feature a touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth mobile phone connection and support for music stored on a memory card
Nobody on board will feel left out, thanks to convenient features such as USB connections
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
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
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
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