The Octavia was Škoda UK’s best-selling car in 2014, its 21,320 total registrations accounting for three in every 10 cars sold from the Czech brand’s six-car range. The estate version of the Octavia actually outperformed the hatchback derivative, taking a 52.5% split of the volume.
Octavia is a model with clear appeal to retail buyers. Now in its third generation, it has a loyal following, and Škoda is incentivising it with a £500 deposit contribution on an interest-free PCP with monthly payments.
However, the fleet sector is a particular target of the Octavia, and accounted for two thirds of its 2014 registrations. It recently won the annual Tow Car of the Year Award, and has trophies for Best Estate Car from Fleet News, Fleet World, Diesel Car and CarBuyer, and a Best Family Car award from What Car?
The estate’s combination of a 1,740-litre boot, low CO2 emissions (from 90g/km) and competitive P11D values (from £16,230) are appealing to company car operators and well specified derivatives such as the SE Business and Elegance cars have sufficient equipment to satisfy the driver.
The reputation of the Škoda dealer network for customer service is another attraction for both fleet and private buyers. The brand topped the automotive table in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index Summary produced by the Institute of Customer Service, and ranked 18th out of the 197 organisations scored.
Value-for-money, spacious and efficient, the Octavia Estate benefits from low running costs and strong customer support from the manufacturer and its retail network. It adds up to a compelling estate car for both business and personal use, which is why AM will run one for a six-month test period, during which we will examine the opportunities it presents to the dealer network and the threat Škoda poses to rivals.
The car that has joined AM’s test fleet is a 2.0-litre TDI 150PS version in the range-topping Elegance trim and with a DSG automatic transmission. Its £24,580 list price puts it in direct competition with top-spec versions of rivals such as the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and Ford Focus Estate, so buyers may expect a discount, to sway their choice.
What’s been said about the Škoda Octavia
The Octavia Estate’s rear legroom rivals that of a BMW 5-series or Mercedes E-class. The boot trumps even the Audi A6 Avant and VW Passat Estate for capacity.
A cavernous boot and roomy cabin make the Octavia Estate practical, while efficient engines help keep running costs low. You get a lot of equipment and a classy cabin, and the handling is composed. But it could be more refined and the ride is a bit unsettled around town.