New Skoda Octavia Estate review

Category: Estate car

On a space per pound ratio, the 2024 Octavia Estate is one of the best estate cars available

Skoda Octavia Estate front left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate interior dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia Estate boot open
  • Skoda Octavia Estate infotainment touchscreen
  • Skoda Octavia Estate left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front detail
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear detail
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front right static
  • Skoda Octavia Estate right static
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear left static
  • Skoda Octavia Estate interior front seats
  • Skoda Octavia Estate interior back seats
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate interior dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia Estate boot open
  • Skoda Octavia Estate infotainment touchscreen
  • Skoda Octavia Estate left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear left driving
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front detail
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear detail
  • Skoda Octavia Estate front right static
  • Skoda Octavia Estate right static
  • Skoda Octavia Estate rear left static
  • Skoda Octavia Estate interior front seats
  • Skoda Octavia Estate interior back seats
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Skoda has an enviable reputation for offering spacious, sensible, good-value cars and the Skoda Octavia Estate is a great example.

Like the Skoda Octavia hatchback – a mainstay of the brand’s line-up – the estate has the underpinnings of the VW Golf but stretches the distance between the front and rear wheels to increase passenger space, and adds extra metal to the rump to make more room for luggage.

Octavia Estate buyers have a range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from, some with mild-hybrid technology to improve efficiency and performance.

Of course, competition for the best estate car title is fierce, so how does the Skoda Octavia Estate stack up against the sweet-handling Ford Focus Estate, the practical Toyota Corolla Touring Sports and the versatile Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer? Read on to find out...

Overview

The Skoda Octavia Estate offers a vast boot considering its size and generous space for occupants but it's far more than just a big box on wheels. The relatively plush interior, generally cosseting ride and frugal engines make it a fantastic car for covering big distances in, especially if you stick to our favourite 1.5 TSI 150 engine and SE L trim.

  • Supple ride most of the time
  • Plush interior
  • Well priced next to rivals
  • Rivals are more fun to drive
  • Body control could be better over big undulations
  • Heating controls are in the touchscreen
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Our Pick

OurPicksRRP £32,480
Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE L 5dr review
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

If you plan to do a bit of towing, one of the Skoda Octavia Estate’s diesel engines will be for you. The 114bhp 2.0 TDI 116 offers decent performance, but the 148bhp 2.0 TDI 150 is the really impressive performer.

It can get you from 0-62mph in a very respectable 8.6 seconds (rather than the TDI 116’s 10.1 seconds), and pulls like a train from low revs. It certainly feels punchier than the 2.0-litre hybrid Toyota Corolla Touring Sports – even though that has more power. The TDI 150 is only available with a seven-speed automatic gearbox while the TDI 116 comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Our pick of the Octavia Estate engine range is the excellent 148bhp 1.5 TSI 150 petrol. You need to rev it harder at times, but when you do it's plenty quick enough, with 0-62mph taking 8.5 seconds. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but you can option an automatic gearbox, which also adds mild-hybrid tech. The auto box responds keenly enough to shift down a gear when you need a burst of acceleration.

There’s also an entry-level petrol engine that produces 114bhp and is available with the same gearbox options. It feels peppy enough around town and when you’re cruising, but does feel a little strained when accelerating to higher speeds.

At the time of writing, Skoda has not confirmed whether there will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) engine available, but we expect a powerful vRS with 261bhp to be added to the range later.

Suspension and ride comfort

The Octavia Estate’s ride is, on the whole, excellent. It’s noticeably softer than in a lot of estate-car rivals, including the Ford Focus Estate, and makes the car ideal for relaxed jaunts on motorways and A-roads. It’s also fine around town when you encounter rounded-off lumps in the road, such as speed bumps.

Skoda Octavia image
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So why doesn’t it get five stars here, then? Well, while it’s great 90% of the time, it can get surprisingly thumpy over sharper potholes and could be better controlled over a series of bigger undulations encountered at speed.

The Sportline version comes with slightly firmer suspension to reduce the effect. Adaptive dampers (DCC) are an option if you go for SE L trim or above and can be stiffened to dial out excessive float. It’s worth considering, although does add to the overall cost.

For the best ride, we recommend avoiding the bigger alloy wheel options, which don’t do it any favours at all.

Skoda Octavia Estate rear left driving

Handling

The softness of the suspension means there’s more body lean when cornering than in a Focus Estate or Toyota Corolla Touring Sports.

Even so, while those rivals feel more agile, the Octavia Estate grips resolutely and it's never anything less than stable and secure if you're driving normally. 

Meanwhile, its steering is precise and has plenty of reassuring weight, providing you with a good sense of connection to the road through the front tyres.

Noise and vibration

The petrol engines are fairly smooth in everyday driving but they become vocal when worked hard. As you might expect, the diesels generate a little more vibration, but even these aren’t intrusive.

Road noise is a mild bugbear and wind noise isn’t as well isolated as it is in the Focus Estate at 70mph. The Octavia Estate is also prone to suspension noise – you can hear it working away over really broken surfaces.

Automatic versions can coast when you lift off the accelerator pedal to save fuel, before re-engaging drive smoothly when you put your foot down again. The mild-hybrid system switches the engine on and off smoothly and relatively quickly.

Driving overview 

Strengths Comfortable ride; strong engines; reassuring handling

Weaknesses Rivals are more fun to drive; can be slightly bouncy over undulations; relatively noisy on the motorway

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

Finding a comfortable driving position is very easy in the Skoda Octavia Estate, thanks to plenty of reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel and a wide range of movement from the seat.

To make life even easier, a powered driver’s seat with memory function is available as an option with SE L and Sportline trim. Meanwhile, all versions include adjustable lumbar support for the driver to boost comfort.

A 10.3in digital instrument display is standard on all trims, and is easy to read with plenty of layout and content options. In fact, it’s so impressive that it makes the optional head-up display (available on SE L trim and above) seem an unnecessary expense. 

It’s a shame the air-con controls are located within the central infotainment touchscreen because it would be much simpler and less distracting to have physical controls, which you get in the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports (but not the Ford Focus Estate or Seat Leon Estate). The temperature icons are always on display at the bottom of the screen but other functions are hidden away in menus.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

With large side windows and relatively narrow pillars front and rear, the Octavia Estate has great all-round visibility. It makes this relatively big estate car one of the easiest to manoeuvre in tighter spots.

To help out with those parking manoeuvres, all trim levels come with front and rear parking sensors. You’ll have to go for Sportline trim to get a rear-view camera as standard, while a system called Park Assist that will steer the car into a space for you is part of a pricey Assisted Drive Package Plus (available on all trim levels).

LED headlights help you pick your way at night but they can be upgraded on Sportline trim to adaptive matrix LED headlights that are twice as bright as the standard units on full beam. The matrix lights adjust the light pattern automatically to avoid dazzling other drivers.

Skoda Octavia Estate interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

All Octavia Estates come with a 13.0in touchscreen infotainment system positioned high on the dashboard, where it's easy to glance across when you're driving. It’s also packed full of features including Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, a DAB radio and built-in sat-nav.

The system’s graphics look sharp and it responds to inputs quickly enough. However, some of the icons are on the small side and tricky to aim for, and it takes time to figure out where some of the functions are tucked away in the menus. Helpfully, you can use voice control to activate some of the functions for you and you can also add shortcuts to the top corner of the screen.

Five USB-C ports come as standard in all Octavia Estates: two in a handy cubby in front of the gearlever, another two for rear-seat passengers and another up by the rear-view mirror. If you’re wondering why you’d want one there, it’s to power a dashcam. Wireless phone-charging is also included.

You get an eight-speaker sound system as standard, while a 12-speaker Canton upgrade is an option on SE L trim and above.

Quality

The range of plush, squidgy plastics on the top and front of the dashboard, and above the armrests on the doors, makes the Octavia Estate feel sufficiently classy. There are harder plastics lower down but the Octavia still feels more upmarket than the inside of a Focus Estate or Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer.

SE L trim gets a faux-suede wrapping on part of its dashboard and a wider range of upholstery options that helps to lift the ambience further.

The metal-effect scroll wheels on the steering wheel and the row of buttons below the touchscreen don’t feel particularly dense, but the interior as a whole feels solidly screwed together.

Interior overview 

Strengths Plush materials; comfortable driving position; great visibility

Weaknesses Distracting touch-sensitive controls

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

Being considered spacious among estate cars isn’t easy for the Skoda Octavia Estate because the class includes behemoths such as the BMW 3 Series Touring and Skoda Superb Estate. Even so, the Octavia holds its own, with plenty of space up front. A very tall driver will be able to get comfortable and the optional panoramic glass roof doesn’t eat into head room.

Storage is better than in many rivals, too. The door pockets are a good size, with provision for a 1.5-litre bottle, and the air-con-cooled glovebox is big enough to keep your entire meal deal fresh. There’s another large covered storage cubby beneath the front armrest that is perfect for hiding electronic devices and other valuables, and is also cooled.

Behind the gearlever are two fixed cupholders, which have been designed to grip a drinks bottle so tightly that you can twist its cap off with one hand while driving.

Below the central air vents on the dashboard is the wireless charging tray for your phone, with plenty of space for keys and a wallet or purse beside it.

Rear space

There’s a good amount of head and leg room in the rear for a car of the Octavia Estate’s size, with space for a six-footer even when the front seats are slid back. Just bear in mind that the Ford Focus Estate shades it for rear leg room, while the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports has a bit more rear head and leg room.

If you're the middle-seat passenger, you have to place your feet either side of a raised central tunnel, but if you're one of the two outer passengers, there's loads of foot room under the front seats. If you plan to have someone sitting in the middle seat often, it’s worth knowing that the Corolla Touring Sports has a much smaller central tunnel.

In terms of storage, the central armrest has built-in cupholders and the rear door pockets are a decent size. There’s a map pocket on the back of each front seats, along with a smaller smartphone pocket. You can also add an additional storage tray that mounts on top of the centre transmission tunnel as part of the optional Family Package.

Skoda Octavia Estate boot open

Seat folding and flexibility

The rear seats in a Skoda Octavia Estate fold in a conventional 60/40 split but you do get a ski hatch so you can thread longer items through in between two outer rear passengers. The backrests can be folded down using a couple of levers in the boot, so you don’t have to walk around to the passenger compartment.

Even so, the rear seats in the Peugeot 308 SW are slightly more versatile, thanks to the fact that they split in a 40/20/40 configuration, making it easier to put long items in the boot and into the interior.

Boot space

Boot size is a major highlight. The Octavia Estate’s 640-litre boot is huge compared with similar-sized rivals, and even manages to beat that of the Mercedes E-Class Estate (at 615 litres with the rear seats up).

We managed to fit nine carry-on suitcases below the Octavia’s parcel shelf, helped by a load area that’s longer and taller than in most comparably priced estates, as well as being a practical squared-off shape.

When the back seats are folded down, the space is truly vast, although the seats don’t lie completely flat, leaving an awkward step in the extended load area, unless you opt for the variable-height boot floor. It's standard with SE L trim and we’d recommend adding it if you choose a difference trim. 

You also get a 12V socket, bag hooks and a couple of compartments at the side to stop your boot clutter sliding around.

Practicality overview 

Strengths Huge boot; lots of space for four occupants; plenty of interior storage

Weaknesses Only SE L trim has an adjustable boot floor

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

When it comes to value for money, the Skoda Octavia Estate is at the sharp end, with the entry-level version undercutting the Ford Focus Estate, Toyota Corolla Touring Sports and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer. If you want something slightly cheaper, there's the Seat Leon Estate.

The Octavia Estate is predicted to depreciate at around the same rate as the Corolla Touring Sports and slower than the Focus Estate, helping to keep PCP finance rates competitive. Likewise, insurance costs should be around the same as for the rivals. 

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are good, and broadly in line with the Focus's, although the hybrid Corolla performs even better. The Octavia Estate is currently unavailable as a PHEV – if that's what you want (for example, as a company car with lower BIK tax), consider the Astra Sports Tourer, Leon Estate or the bigger Skoda Superb Estate.

Equipment, options and extras

First off, all versions of the Octavia Estate have a few handy features, including the umbrella in the passenger door and an ice scraper clipped to the fuel filler flap.

Entry-level SE Technology comes with plenty of equipment and is worth considering. It comes with 16in alloy wheels, heated front seats, keyless ignition, two-zone climate control and cruise control.

There’s a small price jump to SE L, but it's still not exorbitant in the grand scheme of things and it allows you to have our preferred 1.5 TSI 150 petrol engine. It also brings larger 17in alloys, privacy glass, ambient lighting, keyless entry, a heated front windscreen and adaptive cruise control.

Sportline is a sportier version SE L available only with the 1.5 TSI 150 engine. It comes with 18in alloy wheels, a small black rear spoiler, sports front seats and aluminium pedals.

Skoda Octavia Estate infotainment touchscreen

Reliability

The Octavia Estate wasn’t included in the 2023 What Car Reliability Survey but the hatchback Skoda Octavia didn’t perform all that well in the family car class, sitting right near the bottom of the table with 29 cars polled.

Skoda as a brand fared better, claiming 16th place out of the 32 car makers ranked. In fact, that places it above most of its competitors, including Ford, Seat, Peugeot and Vauxhall. Toyota did very well though, claiming second place. 

If things do go wrong, you’ve got a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty that can be extended to five years and 100,000 miles for a fee. That’s pretty standard across the class and doesn’t have a patch on Toyota’s 10-year warranty (if you service your car at an official dealer).

Safety and security

The Octavia Estate was awarded the maximum five stars for safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2022.

The Focus Estate and Corolla Touring Sports both scored better for protecting adult occupants and children in the back, but those rivals were tested in 2019, under a less stringent regime, making the results impossible to directly compare.

All versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance, traffic-sign recognition and an e-Call system that notifies the emergency services if you’re involved in an accident. You can add blind-spot monitoring to SE L trim as part of the Assisted Drive Package Plus.

Costs overview 

Strengths Well priced; lots of standard equipment

Weaknesses Reliability could be better; currently no PHEV option for company car drivers


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FAQs

  • While the Octavia is a big car, the Skoda Superb Estate is its bigger sibling. That includes more space for people in the front and rear, as well as a slightly larger boot – up from 640 litres to 690 litres.

  • Our favourite trim for the Octavia Estate is SE L because it keeps the cost reasonable but also gives you loads of standard equipment. The 1.5-litre TSI 150 petrol engine provides a great balance of performance and economy.

  • No – the Octavia Estate will cost you less as a cash purchase than the Skoda Superb Estate. You can check the latest prices using our New Skoda Deals page.

At a glance
New car deals
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Target Price from £26,180
Save up to £1,977
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Nearly new deals
From £16,948
RRP price range £27,755 - £37,800
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)4
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, diesel
MPG range across all versions 50.5 - 64.7
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,539 / £2,101
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £3,078 / £4,203
Available colours