Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Should you buy one?

Yes – because the Skoda Octavia Estate is so fit for purpose and brilliant at what it does. This fourth generation is even stronger than its predecessors because of its bang up-to-date driver assistance and safety tech, plus its overall interior technology and fit and finish. A Volkswagen Golf is still more refined and quiet on the move, but the Octavia is substantially more practical and better value for money, despite prices having crept up in recent years. We think the two cars are now level pegging in terms of all-round ability. It’s the Skoda you choose for value and ease of use, while the Golf is marginally more technical inside and has an arguably more desirable image, although that’s surely less of an issue these days.

There’s also the vRS to consider, which represents great value for money in the performance car world, and is a real all-round hero. Particularly the diesel, which can be had with all-wheel drive and a two-tonne towing capacity. The Focus ST estate may be more fun down a country road, but the vRS TDI is a larger, grown-up alternative that’s easier to live with. When it comes to plug-in versions though we reckon you’re better off with the standard iV than the sportier vRS variant – the latter makes sense on paper but in reality the uprated plug-in powertrain feels unresponsive and a bit confused, even if the keen steering and chassis remain. Pick the lower-powered 204hp version and you get a low Benefit-in-Kind rate, which is good value for business use, although perhaps not so good as those willing and able to take the plunge into a full EV.

What we like

The Octavia Estate is easy to live with and hugely practical, with a boot that would be considered large in the class above. It’s also nice to drive and if you value ride comfort, it’s a very solid choice in that department.

What we don’t like

There’s little to fault it, although the infotainment set-up isn’t as slick to use as earlier Skoda systems, despite looking and feeling much more modern – the same for its annoying touch-sensitive controls. Finally, although it’s still good value compared with Volkswagen, it’s not a cheap option anymore, with rivals from Ford and Vauxhall now undercutting it.

Further reading