Twin Test: Big Boot Hatchbacks

  • We pit popular Ford Mondeo and Skoda Octavia against each other
  • Driving, running costs and practicality all considered
  • Find out which comes out on top

If you need a big boot but don’t want a boxy estate, good news, there is another way. Hatches can come with an enormous load space, but are often overlooked in favour of their ‘bigger’ estate versions. However, these hatchbacks pack practicality and can turn on the style.

Ford Mondeo Hatchback (07-14) vs Skoda Octavia Hatchback (04-12)

Driving

The Mondeo corners well, with excellent steering, little bodyroll, and plenty of grip. We’ve picked out the 2.0-litre TDCi diesel, which is a great all-rounder particularly for high mileage drivers. It has decent poke, impressive fuel economy, plus a refined and relaxed character on the motorway.

The Octavia handles well despite a soft and comfortable suspension set-up, soaking up uneven surfaces well. Our favourite engine is the 1.8 TSI with

160bhp. It’s free-revving nature makes it stand out, offering smooth power and plenty of mid-range punch that is ideal for overtaking slower traffic.

Practicality

The Mondeo’s enormous boot (see below) has more than enough room for the average family, and the hatchback lid opens wide enough for you to be able to use all of it. You can cram in three or four large suitcases thanks to the wide opening and the seats can be folded down for even more room.

The Skoda offers superb space and practicality for the money, with an easy to access boot, a large tailgate and a massive load area of 560 litres. There’s plenty of storage all round, the driver and passenger get two large door bins, two central cupholders and a cubby on the top of the dash.

Costs

The efficient diesel engine in this model means low tax of £30 a year and a claimed economy of 62mpg. Driven sensibly, you should achieve close to this. The Mondeo is reliable and cheap to maintain and repair, should you need to. A special fuel filler means you can’t accidentally fill it with petrol, too.

Although the Octavia is more expensive to run than the diesel Mondeo, it is still reasonable, promising 40mpg. Tax is higher but still not outrageous thanks to relatively low emissions. This model can be picked up at bargain prices too so if you do fewer miles it could even work out cheaper overall.

The Stats

 

Ford Mondeo

Skoda Octavia

Engines 

2.0-litre TDCi diesel

1.8 TSi petrol

Power 

140bhp

160bhp

0-60mph

9.2 seconds

7.8 seconds

Economy

62mpg

40mpg

Fuel Capacity

70 litres

55 litres

Road tax

£30

£180

Insurance group

20

21

Boot space

540 litres

560 litres

CO2 emissions

119g/km

163g/km

Price:

£8,195 - £15,895

£2,302 - £12,775

The Winner – Skoda Octavia Hatch

Although cheaper to run overall, the diesel Mondeo is newer and tends to hold on to its value when sold second hand. If you do a lot of miles then this could be a good proposition, with a huge boot and good handling, but we suspect the extra cost of the Mondeo will take a long time to pay for itself.

The Octavia wins due to its larger overall boot. It may only be 20 litres bigger but that could be the difference between stowing something away or asking a passenger to carry it on their lap. The running costs of the petrol engine should be balanced out by the cheaper asking price, too.