Skoda Octavia long-term test: report 5

The Octavia has always been one of our favourite family cars, and this latest one promises to be more versatile than ever. Let's see how it fares in day-to-day use...

Skoda Octavia long term

The car Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE L First Edition Run by Allan Muir, managing editor

Why it’s here To see whether the latest Octavia can be more than ‘just’ an exceptionally practical family car that offers fine value for money

Needs to Be just as practical as its predecessors, comfortable in all situations, a relaxed motorway cruiser and relatively cheap to run

Mileage 2010 List price £25,150 Target Price £23,266 Price as tested £26,950 Test economy 40.6mpg Official economy 50.1mpg

23 April 2021 – Fill your boots

I’ve been looking for tasks that might properly test the load-carrying ability of my Skoda Octavia’s big boot, but so far I haven’t had much joy. 

Skoda Octavia long term

A recent outing to my local garden centre might have posed a challenge if I’d bought a few full-grown trees, but the shrubs and plants I ended up getting barely necessitated dropping the rear seatbacks, although I did so anyway to ensure they weren’t squished in any way. I seem to remember a similar load pretty much filling the extended load bay of a Volkswagen Golf a few years ago. 

The sizeable step that’s left in the Octavia’s extended boot floor when the seatbacks are down wasn’t a problem with a relatively light load like this. In fact, with a sheet down to prevent the carpet from getting dirty, I barely noticed it.

Skoda Octavia long term

No doubt plenty of families would appreciate all the space that’s available and have no trouble making full use of it, but the Octavia actually has more than I really need. If only I had an old garden shed to demolish or a garage in need of a clearout.

Meanwhile, I’m regretting the fact that I didn’t add a rear-view camera when I chose the specification of my car, even though it’s available for £605 (along with LED rear lights and dynamic indicators that scroll in the direction in which you’re turning). 

Skoda Octavia long term

My Octavia has parking sensors front and rear (although, disconcertingly, they sometimes fail to work), and a graphic pops up on the infotainment screen when you’re reversing to show the car’s proximity to objects around it. However, in practice the graphic is of little use and quite distracting, catching my eye when I should be looking in the rear-view mirrors or over my shoulder. 

I never used to think I needed a rear-view camera, but one would be handy in the relatively long Octavia, especially for getting lined up properly when reversing into a supermarket parking space. Because there’s nothing I dislike more than not being dead centre between the white lines.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term Skoda Octavia >>

Also consider