Skoda Octavia iV Estate long-term test: report 6

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

The car Skoda Octavia Estate 1.4 TSI iV SE L Run by Mark Pearson, Used Cars Editor

Why it’s here To see whether this category winner in our Electric Car Awards can also hit the mark in everyday use

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

Mileage 6899 List price £35,880 Target Price £34,295 Price as tested £37,045 Test economy 151.3mpg Official economy 246.1mpg 

19 July 2022 – Putting the boot in, and the occasional thump too

My Skoda Octavia Estate looks better than most, I think, thanks to its gleaming black magic pearl effect paintwork (a £595 option) and, especially, its rather fancy 19in Becrux anthracite alloy wheels (likewise an option – this time a £910 one).

Skoda Octavia Estate LT

The only thing that worried me about specifying those wheels was the effect they might have on ride quality. The standard car’s ride, on 17in wheels, is pretty relaxed most of the time, albeit with a tendency to thump when it encounters a pothole or crater.

My larger wheels, in combination with the extra 250kg of weight my iV plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version carries over the regular car, have alas heightened this tendency. That means my Octavia Estate can feel rather soft – pitching under acceleration and diving under braking – but then disturbingly firm when encountering a broken surface.

In truth, though, for me, this occasional shake, rattle and roll is not bad enough to be a dealbreaker. My decision to go for the larger wheels was mere vanity after all, and as with many things in life, you reap as you sow. 

Skoda Octavia Estate LT

The Octavia is still a pleasure to own. It has plenty of room inside both up front and in the rear. The good news is that with the driver’s seat set right for six foot-odd of me, I can likewise sit behind in the rear passenger seat in reasonable comfort.

Three people across the rear bench can be done too, but it helps to be younger, slimmer and more flexible if you’re planning to do this for any length of time. 

And then there’s the Octavia Estate's boot, which has always been its pièce de résistance. It’s impressively long, wide and easy to access, and with the rear seats folded down, the space is vast.

Skoda Octavia Estate LT

Interestingly, with its battery pack and other PHEV-related hardware to carry around, my iV’s boot isn’t quite as capacious as the standard car’s, because the floor sits higher. It's still pretty massive compared with most other plug-in hybrids though, and the requisite charging cables do sit rather neatly in their own cubbyhole beneath the floor.

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