- Find out which engine and trim makes the most sense for you
- Top of the range vRS offers impressive power with low CO2 emissions
- New SE Business trim includes lots of vital kit
Now in its third generation, the Skoda Octavia is one of the biggest success stories for the Czech manufacturer. It continues to impress with its practical solutions, value-for-money standard kit and high comfort levels making it an excellent all-round performer in the company car market.
Picking the right car from the model range can be a pretty daunting task though, with so many engine options and trim levels to choose from.
To help, we’ve trailed through the range to help you make the right decision as to which makes most sense as a company car, including any optional extras that may be worth a look.
Estate vs Hatchback
Although most of us will think an estate car is the more practical choice here there is actually only 20 litres of extra boot space in it.
Dimensions of the two cars like the overall length, wheelbase and width are identical. The car's height is the only difference, with the estate offering marginally more headroom.
There isn’t a great deal of difference in price either with around £800 added to the price tag for the estate.
Depending on the engine you pick, CO2 emissions are also pretty similar if not the same - so really it comes down to your own personal preference. We think the estate version is better-looking than the bulkier hatchback so would choose that.
Despite the £2,000 premium if you pick diesel over petrol, lower CO2 emissions actually mean the difference in tax is minimal and thanks to the diesel engine's better fuel economy verses the petrol, you stand to save more at the pumps.
There are four diesel choices: a 1.6TDI engine which has low emissions and offers 103bhp, a 2.0 TDI engine offering either 148bhp or 182bhp and an ultra-frugal 1.6TDI GreenLine III option.
If you're after more power then the high-performance 2.0TDI engine isn’t as out of reach as you may think. With an impressive 119g/km of CO2 emissions despite the 182bhp at your disposal, this impressive engine is only available in the top-spec vRS trim. For that reason your allowance may not spread that far.
Although the DSG gearbox is very impressive, emissions and fuel economy suffer as a result, and there is also roughly a £1,400 premium for the auto so we would stick with the manual.
To keep tax costs as low as possible, the impressive GreenLine III engine would be our choice with 85g/km of CO2 and an official fuel economy figure of 88mpg. You won’t find yourself too cheated when it comes to power either with 108bhp on offer - more than the other 1.6TDI option available.
Skoda has recently introduced a new trim level specifically designed for company car drivers which includes plenty of standard kit which is ideal for business users. The SE Business trim standard specification includes touchscreen sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual zone air-con, eight speakers, black roof rails and cruise control.
If you can afford the vRS, standard kit over the SE Business includes 18-inch alloy wheels, reversing sensors, climate control, lane departure warning, a vRS body styling kit and sports seats.
As both cars come pretty well equipped you may find little need to check out the options list when it comes to speccing up your next Octavia. That said there are plenty of options if you want to further treat yourself.
If you’re opting for the vRS then a sat-nav may come in handy and is priced at £550; or you can upgrade to the excellent Columbus system for £1,350.
A heated windscreen is nice to have during the colder months of the year and is priced at £200. There is also adaptive cruise control - which measures the distance from the car in front and will slow the car down automatically if you get too close - at £180. One of our favourite features, heated front seats, will bump the price up another £200.
Other useful features that may be worth a look include the variable boot floor priced at £150, tow bar preparation (which is always useful to have) at £170 and high beam assistant at £300 which automatically puts the lights at full beam when no other cars are around.
If your allowance allows then we would opt for the Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0TDI vRS which has a P11D value of £24,330. On top of that we would add the lower-priced optional sat-nav, heated seats and tow bar preparation giving you a final price of £25,220. For a 20 percent tax payer, this works out at £79.86 per month.
If you opt for the Octavia Estate 1.6 TDI Greenline II Business SE the P11D is £20,900. Add to that heated seats and tow bar preparation and the price bumps up to £21,270. This means for a 20 percent tax payer monthly costs will be £49.63.
With that in mind, unless you crave the better handling and sportier nature of the vRS (and it's really very good in that respect), we'd suggest you choose a Business SE car with a few options instead to save you about £360 per year.
To read our full comprehensive review on the Skoda Octavia Estate click here.