Skoda Octavia Estate review
"The Skoda Octavia Estate is a roomy and desirable family car with value for money on its side"
- Huge boot
- Smart design
- Efficient and punchy engines
- No longer a budget choice
- Rivals have longer warranties
- Steering lacks feel
If you need a big, practical family car then the Skoda Octavia Estate should be on your shortlist. It’s long been one of the best options in this market sector, whether you appreciate space, value for money or even a good driving experience. This new version still lives up to that reputation despite competition from the excellent Ford Focus Estate, SEAT Leon Estate, and the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports estate. The Octavia Estate saw off all of those rivals to win the Best Estate Car award in the Carbuyer Best Car Awards 2022.
This is the fourth-generation Octavia Estate and like previous versions, it uses parts shared with the Volkswagen Golf. This new version looks more like the larger Skoda Superb thanks to the updated bodywork, and it’s still one of the roomiest and more practical cars in its class.
It’s packed with technology too, including a sharp and easy-to-use infotainment screen on the dash that houses the sat-nav, smartphone link software and other useful features. Small touches such as the ambient lighting and soft-touch materials mean it feels upmarket and pleasant in the cabin.
The Octavia has always been a class-leader when it comes to boot space and this new model is actually even bigger than before (by 30 litres) at 640 litres with the seats in place. The plug-in hybrid models are a bit smaller inside at 450 litres, however, due to the need to carry a battery pack. There’s lots of room in the cabin for people and plenty of storage cubbies, though, so all versions are great for family life.
There’s a good range of engines available here, including some smaller, fairly efficient petrol engines and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with a handful of different power outputs. The diesels are good for longer trips and possibly higher-mileage company-car drivers, although the plug-in hybrid Octavia iV Estate is the best option for low Benefit-in-Kind tax rates.
With adaptive suspension fitted the Octavia soaks up the bumps of UK road surfaces with aplomb, and is best left in Normal mode, where the Octavia is both relaxing and composed to drive. While its chassis rightly prioritises refinement and comfort, with some body lean in corners as a result, it offers plenty of grip, light steering and respectable driving dynamics.
The Skoda Octavia Estate has long been a go-to car for buyers in need of space and a classy interior, and the latest model only makes it more compelling. With improvements across the board, it’s one of the best family estate cars around. To ensure it stays that way, the Octavia range is getting a facelift in the coming months.