Skoda Octavia Estate 2013

2 May, 2013 3:45pm Paul Bond

We drive the all-new Skoda Octavia Estate, ahead of its arrival in UK showrooms next month

Verdict

5
The new Octavia Estate is hard to fault. Not only does it now look and feel like a car from the class above, it also offers more interior space than any rival. The 1.6-litre TDI isn’t the best engine for keen drivers, but the superb efficiency and strong refinement mean it’s a fine family choice. Plus, the generous standard equipment and low running costs will make it hard to beat for private and company buyers alike.

Skoda has decided bigger is definitely better, so the latest Octavia Estate is the most spacious yet, with more room for luggage than the Audi A6 Avant. And as the outgoing model was Europe’s best-selling estate cars last year, the pressure is on for this new car to deliver.

Thanks to its clever MQB platform, Octavia dimensions have grown. It’s now 90mm longer and 45mm wider than before, and the wheelbase has stretched by 108mm. However, the sharp new styling ensures it looks just as compact as the model it replaces. Smart optional details like the silver roof rails (£120) and slender LED running lights boost its desirability, too.

The boot loading lip is now lower and wider than before, to help make loading larger items easier, and with the rear seats folded, boot capacity is now a massive 1,740 litres (160 litres more than the hatch). Leave them in place, and it has a capacity of 610 litres.

New handles in the boot make it even easier to flip the seatbacks down, plus the front passenger seat folds flat, so you can carry flatpack furniture that’s almost three metres long.

But the Octavia caters as well for people as luggage, with masses of head and legroom, while build quality inside takes a big step forward. The sweptback dash is smart and uncluttered, and major contact points such as the steering wheel and gearlever have a really robust and classy feel.

There are four engines to choose from at launch, and our car featured the the ultra-efficient 1.6-litre TDI, which is set to be the top seller. It comes with a precise five-speed manual box and emits just 99g/km of CO2 – so there’s no road tax to pay. Skoda claims 70mpg-plus fuel economy, while an even cleaner GreenLine version, due out later this year, promises even more.

The 1.6 TDI feels surprisingly brisk thanks to its 250Nm of torque. Once you’re up to speed, cabin refinement is excellent, too. The engine can get a little vocal while accelerating, though, and the more responsive 2.0-litre diesel will only cost you £900 more in SE trim.

The ride is clearly set up for comfort rather than driving fun, but even though the Octavia has grown, the narrow footprint and light, accurate controls make it really easy to place on the road.

Body roll is minimal in corners and there is plenty of grip from the front tyres, although for extra security in poor conditions, both diesel models are available with four-wheel drive. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the new Octavia Estate is that it’s a whopping £460 cheaper than the equivalent VW Golf hatch – whichever way you look at it, that’s incredible value for money.

Disqus - noscript

Glad to hear that the vehicle is set up for comfort rather than handling fun. Hopefully it will be better than the outgoing model.
Two trips today by minicab, one by newish Octavia and the return by oldish Vectra. Both had similarly austere interiors although the Vauxhall seats were better shaped in the back.
Over the same route the Vauxhall was a vastly better ride and was quieter and less vibratory as well. On the plus side for the Skoda, the Vauxhall driver said that Octavias were somewhat cheaper to run. For this reason I can see why they have been popular with cabbies although this does little for their passengers.

too big a boot lip, the purpose of an estate car is to take a load more easily.

"Octavia Estate is hard to fault"

I found one... it is difficult to think of a car with less street appeal.

For less street appeal see anything by Renault and most Peugeot/Citroen cars.

I would yawn, but it's so dull that I can't even bring myself to bother to open my mouth...

Admittedly far from the world's most exciting motor, and £20 grand is still a lot of money, despite the saving compared to the Golf, but the Skoda range has an 'honesty' about it, offering lots of space and kit for the price.
The design may not be revolutionary, but the big windows offer excellent visibility in all directions.
If your main requirement in a car is to transport a family and all their gubbins a long way I can see the appeal.

"Pricey Extras"
They forgot to mention those nice LED daytime running lights are a £1200 extra as part of a headlight pack. So £20k only gets you the old fashioned halogen ones. I then left the showroom. Shame really as I had just sold my previous version. No new Skoda for me.

What about the Range Rover Sport - all the appeal of a brick, and owned by either footballers who know nothing about cars, or by arrogant idiots with no personality, just coke-induced stares.

The range rover has a design than stands for pure class. I cant think of a car with more street appeal other than the audi a5 actually.

It really doesn't matter how many plebs own one... all sorts of people will always flock to the best cars on the market. That doesn't mean because Rooney has one, or because a range rover cut me up on the motorway im going to buy a Skoda Octavia Estate. I would rather own a car driven by footballers than by an age group of 85-90.

I assume the snobbish critics of Skoda cars

have never owned one...I have owned many makes of car and cant fault the VRS I had it was top drawer..i don't currently own a skoda but will be returning to the marque pretty soon ..don't judge until you have driven one for a period of time

article needs a small revision - Front seat is NOT completely flat when folded - this is an OPTION & doesnt come as standard & only available on cloth trims I understand

Key specs

  • Price: £20,040
  • Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel
  • Power: 104bhp
  • Torque: 250Nm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 10.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 121mph
  • Economy: 74.5mpg
  • CO2: 99g/km
  • Equipment: DAB, 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth, reverse sensors, leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, touchscreen media display
  • On Sale: 21 June
AEX 1330
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