Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s loads of front cabin space in the Octavia; a very tall driver will certainly be able to get comfortable. Storage is better than most rivals, too. The door pockets are big enough to hold a one-litre bottle and the glovebox is a good, practical size. Behind the gearlever are two fixed cupholders; these will keep your coffee-to-go secure, and ingeniously, grip a drinks bottle so you can twist off the cap one-handed while driving. Another neat touch on SE L models is the umbrella that’s stowed under the passenger’s seat.
Skoda’s so-called ‘Simply clever’ package is a worthwhile and reasonably priced option, since it adds a removable phone holder that sits in one of the cupholders, and a lidded bin that fixes into a front door pocket. Even without it there’s still space for a mobile in the cubby at the base of the dash, which for charging is also by a USB socket. SE models and upwards also come with a central armrest, which doubles up as extra storage space.
The Octavia Estate has some of the best rear space of any family estate. Behind a tall driver with their seat pushed back, even a lofty rear-seat passenger will be able to lounge in relative comfort. There’s loads of head and elbow-room, too. Unfortunately, the middle-seat passenger has no choice but to place their feet either side of the car’s raised central tunnel. Still, the big footwells mean this isn’t too restrictive, and the Octavia is still the most comfortable car in the class for three passengers sat in the back.
A central armrest with two cupholders is standard on SE models and above. A map pocket on the back of each front seat is also standard, along with a deep cubby in each rear door capable of holding a one-litre drinks bottle.
Seat folding and flexibility
In terms of its flexibility, the Octavia Estate is pretty conventional. The 60/40 split seats on entry-level S models have to be released from the top of the backrests, which means opening both rear doors. SE trim and above get much more convenient levers either side of the tailgate opening that make life much easier. However, the seats don’t fold completely flat and leave an awkward step in the extended boot floor, that is unless you opt for the variable-height floor. This is standard on SE L and Laurent & Klement versions.
All but the entry-level cars have a height-adjustable passenger seat with lumbar adjustment. A fold-flat passenger seat is a well-priced option on the SE trim, and allows you to carry seriously long items if you need to.
The Octavia’s huge boot is a big selling point. It’s longer and taller than most comparably priced estates. And it’s a practical, squared-off shape, although there’s a drop from the low loading lip to the boot floor itself unless you add the variable-height boot floor (this is standard on SE L and Laurent & Klement trims).
A couple of bag hooks, some straps that are ideal for securing a bottle of washer fluid or oil, and a 12v socket come as standard. You can also add various practical storage devices including a double-sided boot floor, with one side rubberised so you can rinse it down easily, and a net to hold loose items in place.
You can also add a full-size steel or space-saver spare wheel. They sit beneath the boot floor, so don’t impinge into the luggage area.
A powered tailgate is an expensive option across the range.