Skoda Octavia Estate 4x4

10 May, 2013 11:30am Paul Bond

A new all-wheel-drive system adds yet another string to the brilliant Skoda Octavia Estate's bow


Fitting four-wheel drive adds to the Octavia Estate’s already impressive talents. The extra grip combined with the cracking 2.0-litre diesel engine means it’s better to drive than the standard car. Inside, it’s just as large and wonderfully refined as the base model. If value is your top priority, we’d stick with the standard estate, but as a go-anywhere family car, the 4x4 is hard to beat.

We were blown away by the new Skoda Octavia Estate and its combination of space and value when we drove it last week. But if you spend £1,450 more, you can add four-wheel drive to the long list of features. We drove the flagship 2.0-litre TDI model to find out if more grip adds appeal.

Successive snowy winters have seen the popularity of SUVs soar, so offering customers this option could give the Skoda an edge on front-drive-only rivals like the Ford Focus Estate and Vauxhall Astra ST.

From the outside, there’s little to distinguish the Octavia 4x4 from the rest of the range, apart from subtle boot badges and 17-inch alloys.

A Scout version with raised ride height and rugged underbody protection will arrive later next year, but for now this 4x4 is a more subtly styled alternative.

No change to the ride height means there’s no more body roll than in the standard estate. In fact, thanks to mechanical upgrades, this is now the best handling Octavia.

Underneath, it gets the same complex multi-link rear suspension as high-powered versions of the VW Golf, plus an electronic diff lock and its clever XDS braking system for extra grip when cornering on slippery surfaces.

On the road, that translates to a planted and composed ride, while the added grip allows you to use all of the smooth 2.0-litre TDI engine’s extra power.

With 44bhp and 70Nm more torque than the 1.6 TDI we tested last week, it covers 0-62mph three seconds faster, in 8.7 seconds, and feels significantly more eager and responsive in-gear.

Unlike the Yeti SUV, there’s no dedicated off-road mode or hill- descent control, but the Octavia 4x4 can tackle gravel tracks and steep inclines with ease. And for drivers who don’t leave the tarmac, it offers a safety net when the weather conditions take a turn for the worse.

During normal driving, the Haldex 4x4 transmission only sends power to the front, but when the car senses a loss of grip, it reacts fast enough that you never notice any loss of stability. Stop-start is fitted as standard and there’s no auto, which helps keep CO2 emissions to just 124g/km.

Economy is 10mpg worse than the equivalent front-wheel-drive estate, but the 4x4 is still cleaner than any four-wheel-drive rival. And while it’s only available in SE trim, that keeps the asking price low, undercutting its close rival, the Subaru Legacy, by £4,510.

Disqus - noscript

Another 5 star review for a VAG product...

Either you're being paid by VW to make these reviews... or you dont take account of Styling, Desirability and driving experience. Either way, this is never a 5 star car whilst the likes of the focus only gets 4 stars.

"Either way, this is never a 5 star car whilst the likes of the focus only gets 4 stars"

Yes, agreed, they did rate the Focus too high.

Sorry but you're a cyclist... your opinion is invalid

Ya the Focus 4x4 is def... oh wait, they dont have one!

and your point is...

Why would you want a focus 4x4?

Why would you want a Focus full stop! This is better than the Ford in every way. It looks timeless, it hasn't got that godawful troutpout nose the Focus has, it has much better quality and is the more desirable car.

I was never comparing this to the focus! I was merely saying this is never a whole star better, and it's just not.

You can disagree with the styling of the focus, civic, juke, but at least all those manufacturers could be bothered to try something. Actually open your eyes and look at this car and honestly tell me that it excites you?!

As a Skoda owner, yes, I do like the styling, but no cars styling 'excites' me - women do, but not cars! The designer of this also designed the Bugatti Veyron - again, a car who's styling i like, but I wouldn't cream my pants over one.

You sound like a Skoda owner... Let me guess, a car is merely a 'tool' to get you from A to B right?

Personally I would rate this car at least 2 stars better than a Focus.

LOL. clearly clueless. The focus is a MILES better car than the octavia.

Haven't all you Skoda owners got Deal or No Deal to be watching?

I don't have a Skoda, and I've never owned one - I have a Focus. Drove a company pool car Octavia regularly though and it leaves my Focus for dead. (2010 Zetec).

Let me guess, for you a car is something that you hope will compensate for your unattractiveness right?

Well... I wouldn't say compensate, I would go with it 'complements' my look. It's an image thing, you Skoda drivers wouldn't understand this concept.

And with a name like 'Pwned'... Are you 13 years old or something? Commenting on here straight from putting your Playstation controller down? Pathetic.

Haha, touched a nerve there!
I don't drive a Skoda, or own a game console but I do like putting sanctimonious, supercilious tw@ts in their place.

Do you like that alliteration?
Back to your compensatory vehicle Mr Fat and Ugly no mates.

At what point do I look like I'm bothered by your retarded comments?

The only person who looks like a TW@T here is you, for being a keyboard warrior so far off the mark its hysterical.

If I were you I would channel some of your anger into online dating sites, where I'm sure you can find yourself a lovely girl to talk to instead of having nothing better to do with your sad pathetic life, that you have to search through car reviews for santimonious supercilious tw@ts like me to put in my place.

Good luck!

I have to disagree with many posters on here. I think that this is a great car - as the cliche goes: "all the car that most people will ever need".

The major fly in the ointment for me is that I have to drive an automatic (for medical reasons), and Skoda are only offering manual transmission.

5 stars all the way for me.
Performance, economy and load lugging.

Haha, your response is a dead giveaway. You've been owned sucker!

Bored now, that was too easy. Goodbye.

That' so funny, he says "at what point do I look bothered..." and then writes that last paragraph. Bellend.

Your bored?! I was bored from your first comment.

I do love keyboard warriors.

loving this intellectual conversation!

Pwned you definitely seem to be the kid who got bullied at school and mouths off online but would be shy as anythin in real life. hahaha what a douche


Hold on, who's the keyboard warrior here? Looking back through your comments Heavyrightfoot you definitely do seem to be a santimonious supercilious tw@t

Don't think you understand what a keyboard warrior is.

It's someone who plays the big man online but in person would never in a million years have the balls to say what they type. Yes, my comments are arrogant, but nothing i've commented here would i think twice about not saying to someones face.

On the other hand, I would bet a lot of money that that 'pwned' wouldn't dare call me ugly or fat if he saw me in the street.

I would bet an awful lot.

Not at all, I bought an Octavia vRS as I wanted something sporty, very fast, very reliable and well built that would age well and look good. It's great, only blinkered idiots still living in the past still stereotype Skoda owners. Try looking on Briskoda or at some skoda tuning sites - theres a huge enthusiasts market out there.

It's all in personal preference really. I acknowledge that Skoda's are great cars, but like a lot of people, I would choose the 4 ring alternative. Perhaps to compensate for my ugly looks? I'm not sure, but IMO showing off a Skoda to your mates just isn't quite as nice as showing them your BMW or Audi.

Again though, all down to personal preference.

Can't we avoid the personal abuse? I do have a suspicion that some contributors are either fourteen year old boys or the elderly who have had to give up driving. I have no evidence at all to back this up and I certainly don't wish to make abusive comments about anybody in particular.
Dealing with Skoda in principle as very very few can have either seen or experienced the new Octavia, this is not a "high end" marque. It is beloved of minicab drivers because the fuel consumption is low, so I am informed. Other cabbies mutter darkly about a proneness to wheel bearing failure. I could not comment with any authority as to this but every design of motor vehicle has some problem or other and anyone who says otherwise is but a fanboy!
Comfort levels matter little for minicab use but as a family vehicle the old Octavia had very great deficiencies. The rear seating is hard and not very well shaped whilst I have to look back to a Mark 1 Cortina that was once in the family to think of rear suspension as ill sorted. We can hope the new one is very much better in this regard. However an unusually frank review of the Rapid on another online website suggests this hope may be optimistic if the (slightly) smaller sibling is anything to judge by.
Lastly a plea to road test writers. When reviewing a family vehicle review it as such. Not just from the point of view of the driver but from that of the benighted passengers being humped and bumped and b*ggered around in the rear!

added feature of 4*4 drive with xds braking system and best skoda octavia available upto now deserve 5stars

Key specs

  • Price: £22,390
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo, 148bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 8.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 132mph
  • Economy: 57.6mpg
  • CO2: 124g/km
  • Equipment: DAB radio, Bluetooth, reversing sensors, climate control
  • On sale: 21 June