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Family Car of the Year 2024: Skoda Octavia

The Skoda Octavia is the 2024 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Dacia Jogger and Honda Civic commended

Little sums up Skoda’s brilliant values quite like the Skoda Octavia – a car that does the sensible stuff so very well. It really is the do-anything family companion. 

Family cars don’t need to be sporty, but they do need to be comfortable, clever, well equipped and efficient, and those are four very big ticks for Skoda’s mid-sized car; it dwarfs the likes of the Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf in terms of its dimensions, even though it’s in the same price bracket. Despite the matching figures, the Skoda feels more expensive inside, thanks to a smarter cabin with slick in-car ergonomics – a crucial benefit when family life is so hectic.

It’s available as a hatchback or an estate, which sell in roughly similar numbers in the UK. Both feature a huge boot, but that doesn’t come at the expense of terrific rear passenger space. High-mileage users are also catered for in a way not many car makers still do, with not one but two diesel options, plus a pair of petrol units. 

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The latest Octavia was launched earlier in 2024, with the mid-life facelift smartening up the front end and lifting standard-kit levels to give the car even more appeal. Equipment on even the entry SE Technology trim looks generous, with a big 13-inch touchscreen infotainment joined by heated seats, wireless phone connectivity and front and rear parking sensors. 

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The Octavia’s appeal is very rational, but it’s a family car and it excels at the things a family car needs to be good at.

Our choice

Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI SE Technology (£26,775)

The diesels are a good bet for anyone doing a high mileage, but the newly introduced 116bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine is the best all-rounder and only available in entry-level SE Technology spec. It’s a trim we’re happy to recommend, because you get all the basics for a very competitive price, although going up to SE L would also be a sensible choice for the extras it brings. 

Commended

Dacia Jogger

The Dacia Jogger is brilliantly no-frills simple, and offers the cheapest route into a new seven-seat car in the UK. The chunky looks increase the charm, and the Jogger is as cost-efficient to run as it is to buy, thanks to a choice of small petrol or petrol-hybrid engines.

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Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a sophisticated and classy hatch, with less controversial styling than some past models and a smooth hybrid powertrain that helps boost efficiency. It’s also got impressive boot and passenger space, and Honda took a big step forward with interior quality and usability with this latest generation of the car. 

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You can find all the information on our New Car Awards 2024 winners and the reasons why we chose them on the pages below. Just follow the links to read more…

New Car Awards 2024: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

Auto Express Issue 1,838

For the full New Car Awards experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special 2024 New Car Awards collectors' edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

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As Editor, Paul’s job is to steer the talented group of people that work across Auto Express, Carbuyer and Driving Electric, and steer the titles to even bigger and better things by bringing the latest important stories to our readers. Paul has been writing about cars and the car industry since 2000, working for consumer and business magazines as well as freelancing for national newspapers, industry titles and a host of major publications.

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