Skoda Octavia Estate
- Model spec: Skoda Octavia Estate Elegance
- Price: £25015
- Engine: 2.0 TDi CR DPF
- Max Speed: 134
- 0-60: 8.6 seconds
- BHP/Torque: 148 / 320
- Economy: 63mpg combined
- C02: 110g/km
- Tax: 30/year
A few years ago if you mentioned that you owned a Skoda, of any type, you would have been given a smile followed by a secret disapproving look. That’s all changed, because Skoda are having the last laugh and they have been for some time now.
The Octavia has always been Skoda’s workhorse, the second generation went under the knife and received a number of cosmetic procedures in 2013 that have changed it beyond recognition. Octavia MkIII is so far removed from the MkII its now like comparing Mach 1 to lightspeed.
Something that hasn’t changed is the vast number of options open to the buyer. With six trim levels and 22 model derivatives to choose from the Skoda menu means you won’t be short on the specific model tailored for your needs or the right price point.
“On the outside the Octavia features Skoda’s new, sharper design language its very photogenic exterior is matched by a functionally plush interior which is spacious for all concerned. “
The range of engines available is also equally vast, three petrol units include the 1.2-litre TSi, 1.4-litre TSi and 1.8-litre TSi with power ranging from 105bhp to 180bhp. The vRS is specifically equipped with a 2.0-litre TSi or TDi. And the diesel brigade is represented by the tried and trusted 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDi units which are available in a number of power derivatives ranging from 105 to 150bhp.
The Octavia is of course hatchback and estate friendly and in estate mode that menu extends to over 30 model specifications with prices starting from £16k and ranging up to £28k for the top spec Laurin Klement version. The more sporty vRS is available in both petrol and diesel version’s and is priced from £24k-£26k. And there is a fuel sipping, tax friendly GreenLine edition for eco warriors.
On the outside the Octavia features Skoda’s new, sharper design language its very photogenic exterior is matched by a functionally plush interior which is spacious for all concerned. The fit and finish is without question even the basic switch gear feels refined for the class and in mid-range Elegance spec the half-leather/alcantara seats enliven the quality of the interior ambiance.
Elegance trim level has exactly what you need in terms of kit such as start stop, cruise control to name a few. Options fitted on the test vehicle included Sat-Nav, Spare Wheel and Park Assistant. Cosmetically the 17-inch alloy wheels do the business, on the inside the DAB Radio touchscreen infotainment system has undergone a UI update and is now simply clever and easy to operate. Safety wise you also get a driver fatigue alert and Automatic Post Collision Braking System.
Road manners are well considered, the Octavia uses the same chassis as the VW Golf and SEAT Leon ST, and you can have fun in the Octavia when needed, the ride is comfortable although on the slow bump rebound there is a slight shudder to the chassis but the almost near neutral handling balance allows for a bit of give and take when it comes to tackling those corners. Grip is plentiful and a well weighted steering always gives the feeling of confidence and reassurance through the corners.
The 2.0-litre, 145bhp diesel has now been refined to a point where it is better than ever. Diesel clatter is well insulated and very little noise is absorbed into the cabin. It’s a strong punchy engine at low and high revs and mated to the 6 speed manual transmission, changing gears feels precise as well as allowing for excellent fuel runs of 63mpg on a combined run thanks to a long geared ratio setup.
Equipped with Skoda’s Performance Mode Selection which consists of Eco, Normal, Sport or Individual this system alters the characteristics of engine torque, accelerator and steering software mapping. All very technical, the driving modes are best put like this, sluggish, peppy and potent and self-service.
Last but not least is the practical nature of the Octavia Estate, the Honda Tourer recently usurped the Octavia for class leading boot space but you won’t be complaining with a standard 610-litres with the seats up and 1,740 with the seats down. In fact the Octavia is closer in size to the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat than it is to its Ford Focus and VW Golf rivals. Its got that 60:40 split thingy too. Its also got extra cubbie storage spaces and the floor folds back in a concertina fashion increasing the depth by a further 2-3inches, an exceptionally useful and simply clever bit of packaging.
The Octavia Estate also comes with the latest generation of more efficient and therefore tax friendly engines, with 5 or 6 speed manual transmissions to choose from as well as the dual shift DSG, C02 ratings on some models are as low as 99 g/km. Throw in an options list and good level of standard equipment and Skoda Octavia is the everyman/every woman car that has matured into a classy but affordable proposition.