What is it?
If buyers need even more rear load space than the cavernous Octavia hatchback offers, Skoda has them covered, with the quite frankly massive (internally at least) Octavia Estate. Unlike some of its contemporaries, the Octavia wears its practicality trump card like a badge of honour, so it comes with a class-leading 610-litre boot (1,740 litres with the rear seats folded) and has a folding front passenger seat, allowing for items up to three metres in length to be stowed safely.
What’s under the bonnet?
Customers will be able to choose from the usual 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels as well as 1.2 and 1.4-litre turbo petrol engines. CO2 emissions fall as low as 99g/km in the 1.6 diesel, for road tax free motoring. They’ll get even lower, too, once the Greenline editions appear. Even in its most polluting guise (the 2.0-litre diesel), the Octavia manages emissions of just 124g/km.
What’s the spec like?
Even the basic S models at £16,790 are equipped with DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, slots to hook up your MP3 player and an eight-speaker stereo system. Top-spec Elegance models at £21,040 are further kitted out with rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, headlight washers, electrically folding door mirrors and a very impressive built-in sat nav system. Never before has a work-a-day estate from a value manufacturer felt so upmarket.
What’s it like to drive?
Being a family oriented car, Skoda has made ride quality and comfort the focus for the Octavia estate. It shares the same suspension setup as the hatchback and as such, is as comfortable as anyone in the market for this sort of car could hope for. That’s not to say it’s a pudding in the corners. While it won’t set your hair on fire, the Octavia is more than willing when you’re in the mood, changing direction positively and feeling no way near as staid as it’s exterior visage would suggest. The extra shot of power and torque from the 2.0-litre unit is welcome, and with it, the Octavia feels muscular enough to make light work of even the longest drives.
What do the press think of it?
What Car? said: ‘It’s not the most dynamic estate available, but it is wonderfully versatile and a very sensible choice.’ Auto Express said: ‘It’s roomier than ever, with more standard kit and efficient new engines.’
What do we think of it?
As painless a car to live with as it is possible to get, the Octavia appeals with its premium feel, ultimate practicality and anonymous image. It’s the sort of car you could imagine keeping for years, only giving it up when it finally breathes its last.