Skoda Octavia Estate - Engines, drive & performance
While the Octavia is smooth and quiet, other estate cars are more fun to drive
A selection of driving modes are offered, including Eco, Normal, Comfort and Sport. During our test, we found Normal mode to be the best all round setting, offering a decent blend of refinement with a smooth ride and light steering. In Sport mode the Octavia feels somewhat compromised, hanging onto gears for too long. Eco mode nullifies the engine's responsiveness to the point where you simply have to work it harder to make decent progress.
Through corners there's good balance, despite the Estate's extra length compared to the Volkswagen Golf with which it shares its underpinnings. While a Ford Focus Estate is more fun to drive, the Octavia Estate offers a decent level of agility. There is a noticeable amount of body lean in tighter bends, which is the only compromise made for the car’s impressive refinement and comfort. If you like the sound of the Octavia but fancy something a bit more exciting, Skoda also offers the high-performance Octavia Estate vRS which we’ve reviewed separately.
Skoda Octavia Estate petrol engines
The Octavia Estate is currently available with two petrol engines, namely a 108bhp 1.0-litre and a 148bhp 1.5-litre. Both are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although are optionally available with an automatic and mild-hybrid technology. The 1.5 is capable of 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds; the smaller 1.0-litre engine is noticeably slower, covering 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds.
The Octavia's 2.0-litre TDI diesel may sound familiar but it's a new engine, replacing the smaller 1.6-litre. It’s available with two power outputs, the first of which is an entry-level 113bhp version aimed at drivers who value economy over outright pace, with a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds. It can be specified with a six-speed manual gearbox, with an automatic option available for extra cost.
The more powerful diesel uses the same 2.0-litre engine with a 148bhp output. It is only available with an automatic gearbox but is capable of similar fuel economy to the 113bhp. It’s far quicker off the line, with a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds producing strong acceleration from low in the rev range. While it does emit the traditional diesel clatter if you push it hard, once at motorway speeds it operates smoothly in the background.
Its 360Nm of torque certainly feels like plenty for this sort of family wagon and, like in the Golf hatchback, the automatic seven-speed DSG gearbox feels well tuned, with precise and seamless gearchanges.
Due to the decline in popularity of diesel engines, you can no longer specify one in the entry-level SE trim. Buyers must now step up to the mid-range SE Technology if they wish to get the less-powerful 2.0-litre unit and the top-of-the-line SE L if they want the punchier 148bhp version.
The Skoda Octavia iV plug-in hybrid offers private and business buyers a tempting package. Its 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and electric motor combine to produce up to 201bhp, providing brisk and smooth acceleration from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds. Given the PHEV will often prioritise electric power at low speeds, this is typically the quietest and most relaxing version of the standard Octavia to drive – despite being the most powerful. An even more potent version of this package is offered in the Octavia vRS.
At the time of writing, Skoda has paused sales of the plug-in hybrid Octavia iV in order to keep up with demand in the light of production issues. Like what happened with the entry-level Skoda Enyaq iV, sales will resume at some stage but for now it’s hard to give an exact estimate as to when. We recommend keeping an eye on Skoda’s website to keep up-to-date on which models are available at any particular time.
Which Is Best?
- Name1.0 TSI SE 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.4 TSI iV SE Technology DSG 5dr
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto
- Name2.0 TSI vRS 5dr DSG
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto