The Octavia has been given a five-star rating from independent safety body Euro NCAP, scoring particularly well for adult occupant protection.
There are seven airbags as standard: front, side, curtain and driver’s knee, and Skoda Octavia Estate safety credentials are also boosted by a roster of high-tech assistance systems.
These include Driver Fatigue Sensor, which monitors your inputs and sounds an alert if it thinks you’re nodding off; Lane Assistant, which uses a camera to track white lines on the road ahead and nudges the car back into lane if you stray off-course; Front Assistant, which effectively performs an emergency stop if it detects that you’re about to hit the car in front; and an Automatic Post-Collision Brake system, which puts the brakes on in the event of a crash to stop the car travelling further and going on to secondary impacts.
The latter is standard across all trim levels, while other systems are standard on Elegance models but optional on SE versions.
Skoda says the new Octavia Estate is the most practical Octavia yet. It has a wider boot opening than before, and a lower loading lip too to make packing heavy items easier.
Boot capacity is 610 litres, which Skoda says is the best in the car’s class. This increases to 1,740 litres when the 60:40-split rear seats are folded – which is the work of a moment.
Once the seats are down, the retractable parcel shelf forms a natural lip to prevent objects sliding forward against the front seats, or alternatively can be removed and stored under the boot floor.
The top Elegance trim level features a variable-height boot floor which can be slotted into two levels. This enables large items of different heights to be carried or smaller items to be stored out of site in the large storage cavity underneath.
Moulded plastic hooks to secure bags fold out of the side of boot, and a net system is available to stop items sliding around on the move. There’s a 12-volt socket in the boot, too.
There’s also more knee, head, shoulder and elbow room for passengers than its predecessor. Rear seat passengers won’t feel at all squashed, even if the front-seat occupants are exceptionally tall.
A folding front passenger seat is available, enabling objects as long as three metres to be carried. Both SE and Elegance trim versions also feature a load-through hatch in the middle of the rear seat backs.
Skoda Octavia Estate practicality, like the hatch version, has been thought through thoroughly enough to include an ice scraper attached to the back of the fuel filler cap for cold weather.