Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
If you're a company car driver or do a bit of towing, there are a couple of diesels, starting with the 114bhp 2.0 TDI 116, which offers decent performance, but the 148bhp 2.0 TDI 150 is the really impressive performer. Not only can it get the Octavia Estate from 0-62mph in a very respectable 8.8sec but, more importantly, it also pulls like a train from low revs. It certainly feels punchier than the 2.0-litre hybrid Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, which has more power.
Still, as good as the diesel is, our pick of the range is the excellent 148bhp 1.5 TSI 150 petrol. You need to rev it harder at times but when you do it's even brisker (0-62mph takes just 8.5sec) and it costs a whole lot less. Even the 108bhp 1.0 TSI 110 and mild hybrid 1.0 TSI e-Tec 110 feel peppy enough for extended motorway driving, but could feel a little strained carrying heavy loads regularly.
Suspension and ride comfort
The Octavia Estate’s ride is, on the whole, excellent. It’s noticeably softer than a lot of its rivals, including the Ford Focus Estate, and its wafty bent also makes it particularly adept 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 sleeping policemen.
So why doesn’t it get five stars, then? Well, while it’s great 90% of the time, it can get surprisingly thumpy over sharper potholes and then, just occasionally, the bounciness over a series of bigger undulations encountered at speed can be slightly alarming.