Used Skoda Octavia Estate buying guide
Skoda's previous-generation Octavia Estate was a step up in desirability over the original car, but it still offers the load-lugging capability that buyers expect.
On the road, the Octavia Estate handles surprisingly well. It's fun to drive on twisty B-roads and makes a comfortable cruiser thanks to it smooth ride.
Refinement at cruising speeds is excellent, with little road- or wind noise making it into the cabin. All engines are gruff when worked hard, however.
The interior is a real selling point. The dashboard uses high-quality plastics and is logically laid out making it a pleasant place to spend time. Rear-seat passengers get decent legroom, while boot space is an impressive 540 litres with the seats up and 1620 litres with them folded. However, Classic and Ambiente trim cars have a step in the boot when the rear seats are folded.
A huge range of engines is available in the second-generation Octavia Estate. Petrol buyers can choose from 1.2-, 1.4-, 1.6-, 1.8- and 2.0-litre engines, which produce outputs from 79bhp in the 1.4-litre up to 197bhp in the 2.0 vRS. The 1.4 TSI is our pick of the petrols for its combination of power and fuel economy. It produces 120bhp, with average economy of 44mpg and CO2 emissions of 148g/km.
Diesel fans can choose from 1.6-, 1.9- and 2.0- litre engines producing from 104bhp in the 1.6-litre up to 168bhp in the 2.0 TDI vRS. The most efficient models are the Greenline versions. Powered by a 104bhp 1.6-litre diesel, the first version – on sale from 2009 to 2010 – averages 64mpg, while the subsequent version does 68mpg. Our pick of the diesel range is the 2.0-litre that was on sale from 2010 to 2013. It produces 138bhp, with average economy of 57mpg and CO2 emissions of 129g/km.
Four-wheel drive is available on 1.8- and 2.0-litre petrol versions and 1.6-, 1.9- and 2.0-litre diesels.
Skoda also produced an Octavia Scout edition that was an Octavia Estate with a raised ride height, plastic cladding and additional underbody protection.
In 2009, the second-generation Octavia Estate was given a face-lift. The styling was updated with revised headlights and bumpers. Inside, the interior trim was improved and the stereo was updated.
Early entry-level cars were called Classic, but the name was subsequently changed to S and then Active. These versions get electric front windows, electric mirrors and a CD player.
Ambiente trim adds remote central locking, electric windows all round, air-conditioning and body-coloured door mirrors and handles. The name of the trim was changed to SE and then to Ambition in 2011.
Elegance specification adds climate control, alloy wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors and automatic windscreen wipers.
Top-of-the-range Laurin and Klement cars get leather seats, heated front seats, automatic lights and a multi-function steering wheel.
Early, high-mileage cars are available for as little as £1000.
We've found a 1.4 TSI Elegance with DSG gearbox for £8000. It's covered 66,000 miles and is on a '59-plate.
Skoda makes reliable cars and it performs well in our JD Power reliability survey – although, there are a few problems that have been reported.
It is important to check the suspension on high-mileage cars, especially if you are going to carry heavy loads.
Skoda recalled early 2.0 TDI models with a six-speed manual gearbox because the flywheel in the clutch could fail and cause a fire. Cars affected by the problem had the flywheel and the clutch pressure pipe replaced.
Cars with the six-speed DSG gearbox were recalled because the clutch could operate unexpectedly causing a loss of power to the wheels. Skoda reprogrammed the gearbox control unit to remedy the problem.
Second-generation Skoda Octavia Estates with common-rail engines had the high pressure pipes replaced because there was a problem that could result in fuel leaking.
Skoda should have fixed all of these issues, but make sure they've all been taken care of before you buy a used example.
By Matthew Burrow