Skoda Octavia Estate

Years built: 2004 to date Prices: £4,000-£24,500 Our pick: vRS 2.0 TDI

The Octavia is a consistent hit with us, no matter which bodystyle you choose. But it’s hugely practical as an estate.
The revised model arrived in 2009, with tweaked looks and mechanical updates, while pre-facelift examples now appear better value than ever.
Buyers have a wide range of engines and trims to choose from, including a four-wheel-drive soft-roader in the form of the Scout. Steer clear of the entry-level Classic, as it comes nowhere near as well specced as others, and the same goes for the cheapest 1.6-litre petrol engine – it’s sluggish and will prove difficult to sell on.
The 1.9 and 2.0-litre TDI diesels are undoubtedly the engines to go for; they’re well proven throughout the VW Group. Keen drivers will love the 197bhp petrol vRS, but you can have the same car with a 168bhp 2.0 TDI diesel, promising just as many thrills with lower running costs.
A 580-litre boot is not to be sniffed at, but fold the back seats flat and you get a van-like 1,620 litres of luggage space. Skoda’s approved used scheme is excellent, so check out main dealers for nearly new models; private sellers and independents will have the cheapest examples.

Driver Power 2011

What you said: “Satisfying to own and meets all my family requirements – which covers everything from transporting kids and dogs to towing a caravan. I doubt I could find a better all-rounder.”

Value choice

2000 to date
If you want a cheap and cheerful estate, the old Mondeo runs the Skoda a close second as a top-value buy. The load-lugger has aged well and is just as good to drive as the hatchback. Supply is strong so there are plenty to choose from, too.

Nearly new

Estate  2010 to date
One of the best family cars there is. The Superb Estate’s boot is huge and rear legroom is generous, while a beautifully finished interior and sharp chassis add to the appeal. Supply is limited, but tracking one down is worth the effort.

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