Ford Focus Estate vs Skoda Octavia

Ford Focus Estate and Skoda Octavia Estate
Credits: Otis Clay
11 Jul, 2011 11:08am

Ford has bold sales targets for its new Focus estate. We see if it can deliver, as it meets its Skoda rival

Space and grace – these are the order of the day from the latest Ford Focus.

The third-generation hatchback hit showrooms earlier this year, but estate car buyers have been forced to wait a little longer. Is that patience about to be rewarded with a class-leading debut? Or will it stumble at the first hurdle?

The new load-carrier is expected to account for 15 per cent of Focus sales, which equates to around 12,000 vehicles per year, so it has to be good. Limited luggage space is one of our biggest complaints about the hatch but, to answer this, the estate is 198mm longer than before. Here, we test the entry-level petrol model in mid-range Zetec trim against a practical opponent.

The Skoda Octavia has never struggled when it comes to size; it’s one of the biggest cars in the class. But on paper, the model in this test trails in terms of under-bonnet capacity, as it features a 1.2-litre petrol engine. This turbo unit replaces the trusty 1.6-litre, yet it should still give the Ford a run for its money with its pace and efficiency. Plus, the Skoda has price on its side – so the scene is set for a close contest...

Video: watch the Ford Focus Estate in action


WHICH of these two models best meets the estate car brief? If stylish looks are the priority, the new Ford Focus is the car for you. But in virtually every other respect, the load-carrying Skoda has the edge. The new 1.2-litre TSI engine ensures the bigger, thoughtfully designed Octavia is the faster and more efficient choice. And while the Focus is arguably more engaging to drive, the Skoda strikes a better everyday balance between comfort and handling ability.

All of this would be enough to justify paying a premium, yet the better car here is also the cheapest – by some distance. That’s bad news for the naturally aspirated Focus. The Skoda ownership experience also promises to be one of the best around, if our annual satisfaction survey is anything to go by, so this is a resounding victory.

Disqus - noscript

Once again a car of the VAG group wins again!

How much to they pay you to always favor there cars?

From the same old bland Golf to the old mans Skoda, they win even thought they're not always the better car.

How do you sleep at night?

Let's face it Focus's are plain boring. Well done Skoda!

calling yourself no_1fordfan and call others prejudiced?

Skoda make brilliant cars. i'll be the first to wait in line for a joyster...

Ford need to try harder than slinging a lump of expensive fashion fodder out on to the street. Well done Skoda for making a brilliant car for a sensible price (and hugely cheaper still if you look at their offers).

Could be worse Mr Ford Fan, What Car flatly refuse to recommend anything that doesnt carry a BMW badge. This test was hardly conclusive and the Skoda seemed to get the nod because of its TSi Engine whilst the Focus had the old normally aspirated 1.6 petrol that no one will buy. With another Engine the Focus may well have made a better case for itself.

VAG group cars win, especially Skodas, as they are purely and simply the best quality, best all-round cars you can buy today. Ford Focus's are just built to satisfy the reps and rental companies, whereas Skoda build cars that customers want, with features customers need, and timeless looks and top notch build quality.Another well deserved win for the Octavia :-)

Having owned 2 Discovery's was told to try a Skoda Octavia which I bought in 2001 (2000 reg) an Octavia SLX Diesel.I have now covered 258,000 miles averaging 50+mpg (this is my personal car not mini cab) and this has been a good work horse transporting both my children stuff back and forth to university etc and other large stuff.
If I could I would get the Superb Estate as the name says it is Superb in and out.
So all you people who knock Skoda remember you would have no problem drivening a Polo ,Passat etc the only difference between the 2 is the body and name, oh yes the Price .
The Skoda is the most used car by the mini cab firms and why that because it does the job and reliable .

As the new Focus is so pig-ugly, I don't care whether it is cheaper or more expensive, I just don't want one. Why Ford have chosen to make it look like something the Koreans might have come up with 5 years ago, I cannot imagine. Even the Koreans design better looking cars than this nowadays.

I would normally disagree, but it really seems as though some of the above posters are right. I just remember about 2 weeks ago an Auto Express I bought which had a yellow 1.6 turbo Focus Estate, so why then whinge that this model has no turbo and there is a 1.6 turbo version available if Auto Express wanted to test one.
While I may not be a fan of the styling of this new Focus, mainly the front, but the Skoda, just looks plain boring, if it wasnt for the front grill design the Skoda would have looked nice.

Not sure about the Skoda being the most used car by minicab firms, from my experience in London that is, it appears to be the Toyota Avensis and Vauxhall Zafira

It's great to see the shoe on the other foot now after all the jokes.
I'm on my second Octavia, a Vrs tdi estate with 205bhp remap and love the Q car looks and stonking grunt. Collected a massive fridge in it the other week. Tough car to replace!. I'm first in the queue if they make the rumored Vrs Superb especially in 4x4 guise.

It's great to see the shoe on the other foot now after all the jokes.
I'm on my second Octavia, a Vrs tdi estate with 205bhp remap and love the Q car looks and stonking grunt. Collected a massive fridge in it the other week. Tough car to replace!. I'm first in the queue if they make the rumored Vrs Superb especially in 4x4 guise.

I'm surprised at AE slightly as all the photos in the magazine and here on the site show that the photographed car (and possibly tested car too) is the TDI version of the Octavia not the TSI !!!

Even if they've actually tested the TSI vs the focus they could have easily doctored the TDI photos..

Well spotted!. Photo 3 of Octavia interior also shows what appears to be a blue car judging by sills etc. Don't doubt the report but a bit naughty !!

Why do you persist in putting the Octavia in the same class as the Focus. By most yardsticks and certainly size it is in the Mondeo class. One senses you just cannot believe what good value it is.

AE and Volkswagen sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

Please you guys, get a room! If you were more "loved up" with the VW marque you'd be nicked for "Inappropriate Behaviour In A Public Place".

As with your Seat Alhambra/Ford S-Max "Head to Head", if you're going to compare at least compare like for like. Don't pick and choose to prove your point, if the Skoda's a turbo, the Ford has to be a turbo too. That way performance, space, economy, running costs, purchasing cost and value for money can be compared properly. If the turbo Ford cost X number of pounds more than the Skoda turbo you can tell us but don't skew the results by comparing mismatched cars and specifications, you do yourself and us the readers a disservice by trying to prove your point in this way.

Still, gotta love the Octavia, what a motor!

If you say it enough people will believe it, that's what VW have been doing for 30 years by telling us they are SOOOOOO reliable. Skoda Fabia estate? nothing FAB about them, power stering failed on my 50,000 mile £1400 and after I'd fixed it couldn't sell it cos no 1 wanted and old man car. SEAT Ibiza climate control packed up on 35,000 £700 engine management failed on 42,000 £800, paint started flaking from doors after 4 years around the windows on both sides, Auto wipers have never worked properly since new, needs a monsoon to get them to start, washer pipes that pop off every time it freezes and every bird dropping that ever touched the paint has marked it.
The resale values are like comparing apples with oranges, the only car you'll pay list for is a VW, so a 20k VW with a residuel of 14k seems better than equivellent ford etc with res of 11k or 12k but with the usual discounts the others offer percent is the same. I've seen £20k astra estate selling new for £15k. you've already saved 5k so wouldn't expect it to still sell for 14 after a couple of years