Estate Car of the Year 2020: Skoda Octavia Estate

The Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2020 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate commended

If you’re after an estate car, space will be a high priority, and there aren’t many family wagons that offer more room for either passengers or their luggage than the latest Skoda Octavia Estate.

Like the hatchback, the Estate benefits from the same tweaks to its engines, interior and infotainment. However, the primary reason it’s our winner for 2020 is the way that it combines 640 litres of luggage room – and the flexibility that any estate car such as this needs to offer – with technology, comfort, performance and efficiency.

Levers in the load bay fold the rear seats flat, revealing up to 1,700 litres of carrying capacity, but just as in the hatchback, when the rear seats are up there’s a level of passenger room that no rival in its class can match – you’ll have to look to bigger family wagons to find a car at the Octavia’s level.

With a refined, more simplistic design compared with its predecessor’s, the Octavia Estate’s cabin follows the hatchback’s look, with a horizontal layout that integrates a new infotainment system and digital dash, as well as plusher materials and plenty of storage, increasing the flexibility on offer.

Under the bonnet it’s a similar story to the hatch as well, but consider a diesel if you’ll be carrying plenty of passengers and luggage on a regular basis, because the extra torque could help progress.

The TDI units are even more refined than the ones in the previous model, and the same can be said of the petrols, which we’d pick. They all drive with the kind of easy-going nature you want from an estate.

A long wheelbase and a chassis set-up focused on the soft side really fit the brief and give the car its trademark comfort, so travelling long distances in the Octavia isn’t a problem.

The connectivity on offer will keep your passengers entertained as well, while Skoda’s trademark focus on affordability and low running costs means the Octavia Estate hasn’t lost sight of what it needs to deliver.

Our choice

Skoda Octavia Estate 1.5 TSI 150 SE First Edition (£23,370)

For the same reasons we chose this trim level for the hatchback in our Compact Family Car class, SE First Edition is our choice in the estate. It best combines the equipment buyers want with the least outlay. The 1.5-litre petrol is smooth; features such as AEB, adaptive cruise and blind-spot assist make it a great family estate.

Commended

BMW 3 Series Touring

One of the key factors in the 3 Series Touring’s commendation is that you can buy it as a plug-in hybrid for the first time. So buyers after ultimate efficiency from their ultimate driving machine needn’t compromise. It’s a great-driving premium estate with plenty of practicality, including a handy split-opening tailgate.

Mercedes E-Class Estate

If it’s ultimate carrying capacity in the greatest luxury you’re after, then the E-Class Estate delivers exactly that, thanks to a 640-litre (1,820 max) boot. There’s superb infotainment in this facelifted car and a range of efficient engines – including a pair of brilliant plug-in hybrids, offering as much flexibility as you’d want.

New Car Awards 2020: the winners

Recommended

New 2021 Mercedes C-Class: UK prices and specs revealed
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New 2021 Mercedes C-Class: UK prices and specs revealed

Mercedes C-Class line-up opens with £38,785 C 200 Sport, but only petrol and diesel options are available for now - you’ll have to wait for the plug-i…
28 Jul 2021
New long-range MG 5 EV on sale now from £26,495
MG 52021 -
Electric cars

New long-range MG 5 EV on sale now from £26,495

The MG 5 EV can now be specified with a larger 61.1kWh battery pack, which boosts the estate’s maximum range to 250 miles
20 Jul 2021
Best family cars to buy 2021
best family cars
Best cars & vans

Best family cars to buy 2021

What are the best family cars on sale? Whether you're after an SUV or an affordable hatchback, out top 10 list reveals all...
8 Jul 2021
Estate Car of the Year 2021: Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate - header
Skoda Octavia Estate

Estate Car of the Year 2021: Skoda Octavia Estate

The Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2021 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate commended
7 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Limited-run Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition unveiled
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Limited-run Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition unveiled

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021