Skoda Octavia Estate (2013 – 2020) Review
Skoda Octavia Estate (2013 – 2020) At A Glance
The Skoda Octavia is the brand’s most popular model with good reason. It is a credible alternative to compact estates like the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Renault Megane Sports Tourer but does so by offering more space than pretty much all of its rivals but without charging more for the privilege. It also ticks all the regular Skoda boxes; it’s well-built, well-specified and comes with a wide range of efficient engines. It might not be the best car in the class in terms of the driving experience.
As an estate there's stacks of room with 1,740 litres of space with the seats down, fold flat seats and plenty of cubbyholes. This time though, Skoda has turned the practicality up a notch and thought about those small touches that make a difference to everyday life.
That means that the sill sits lower for easier access, a foldable front passenger seat to allow loading of long items (up to 2,920mm in length), an underfloor boot compartment and a one-touch seat-fold lever in the boot that eliminates the need for clambering over the seats to fold them down.
Talking of seats, there's plenty of space in the back for two fully grown adults and getting in and out of the car is easy thanks to big doors and the car sitting lower to the ground than before. There are plenty of thoughtful ‘Simply Clever’ touches throughout the Octavia too, like a built in ice-scraper, reversible rubber boot carpet and door-pocket waste bin add to the appeal and make it stand apart from rivals.
Inside, the car's dash is identical to the Octavia hatchback, which is very good news. It's stylish with an upmarket look and feel and represents a real step-change to the cabin of the old car. Of particular note are the materials that have been used.
Whereas in the old car it felt very workmanlike, there's more of a flair to the new Octavia, with a more interesting mix of colours and textures and a new steering wheel. There's better refinement on the move, too, thanks to better insulation from wind, road and engine noise.
It features a familiar range of engines, with 1.2 and 1.4-litre TSI petrols and 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels.
The 2.0-litre TDI with 150PS is perceptibly more quiet and refined and at 1,600kg offers the best towing weight of any Octavia Estate. Both the 1.6-litre diesel and 2.0-litre can be specified with four-wheel drive, which combined with winter tyres make them a good choice if you live in a more remote area.
When it comes to suspension set-ups, petrol-engined cars with more than 140PS and TDI models with more than 150PS get a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension rather than the torsion beam on lower powered cars. This means better handling in corners and a firmer ride but it's still supple.
Standard on all cars are alloy wheels, Bluetooth, DAB radio, a leather steering wheel, daytime running lights, hill hold, a touchscreen stereo system plus a USB port for connecting iPods. On the safety side there's ESC on all models and seven airbags.
The Octavia Estate is one of the most sensible cars you can buy - and that’s meant as a complement, not an insult - because it does everything you could reasonable ask of it with ease, and without breaking the bank either.