Skoda Octavia iV Estate long-term test: report 2

The Skoda Octavia Estate has a five-star What Car? rating, but does the plug-in hybrid version continue to impress when you live with it every day?...

Skoda Octavia Estate LT

The car Skoda Octavia Estate 1.4 TSI iV SE L Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here A category winner in our recent Electric Car Awards, we now want to see if the Octavia hits the mark in everyday use

Needs to Prove it’s more than just a practical wagon. It’ll need to dispatch commuting work and family life with flair, and deliver impressive real-world fuel economy 

Miles covered 5550 Price £34,255 Target Price £32,629 Price as tested £37,045 Test economy 83mpg Official economy 246.1mpg 

27 April 2022 – Getting to know you

One month in and I’m enjoying my Skoda Octavia Estate. To be honest, I’ve always been a huge fan of the car throughout its four generations, sold on its immense practicality, tempting affordability and decent driving manners. You see, my day job at What Car? is as the used cars editor, and I’ve found while doing this gig that there aren’t many questions regarding usability and value for money for which the answer isn’t a second-hand Skoda Octavia Estate.

Skoda Octavia Estate LT

This latest and brand-new version of mine has added an extra layer of desirability by being noticeably more upmarket inside. The plush plastics on the doors and suede-effect material on the seats and dashboard are especially pleasing, and even the harder materials are nicely textured and mostly confined to less prominent locations. If this is a shift aimed at taking the Octavia more upmarket, I wholeheartedly approve, especially because the not-inconsiderable price of the plug-in hybrid version I’ve chosen certainly demands a little luxury.

It all looks very modern, too. I’ve just about got used to the two-spoke steering wheel and dinky little gear selector now, and the dash and dials are neat, simple and easy to read, with very few supplementary buttons and switches to clutter up the modern vibe in the interior.

Skoda Octavia Estate LT

Alas, not everything’s perfect, even with me viewing my Octavia through rose-tinted spectacles. You see, in order to declutter the interior of buttons and switches, a lot of the things you'll need to use regularly are accessed via the infotainment system’s touchscreen, and regular readers will know that we’re not always so fond of this arrangement. That’s because these systems can be distracting to use while on the move, sometimes requiring you to take your eyes off the road for valuable extra seconds if you wish to select the right thing.

The touchscreen itself also takes what seems like a little too long to fire into life when you start the car up and, on top of that, the buttons you need to press to use the 'menu' and 'home' pages are quite a stretch from the driver’s seat. Having said that, the graphics are all crisp and clear and I have to admit the screen is a good size, so for the time being at least, I'm keeping those tinted spectacles on. 

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