8
Skoda reprises its most popular nameplate with added tech and premium appeal

Simple, rational, value-packed appeal has, to date, driven the sale of more than six million examples of the Skoda Octavia since the modern iteration of the car was introduced in 1996.

Even after the swelling of the Czech company’s model range with city cars, crossovers and a seven-seat SUV in recent years, this practical, sensible family liftback, together with the related estate version, remains the keystone around which its maker’s growth has been built over the past 25 years. It has, at times, accounted for as much as a third of all the cars made at Skoda’s Mladá Boleslav factory all on its own.

Diamond lattice motif in the tail-lights is a carry-over design feature from the smaller Scala and translates stylishly to the Octavia. All rear bulbs are LEDs, too.

The arrival of the fourth generation of the Octavia, which we’re testing this week in estate form, is therefore big news in both Prague and wider Volkswagen Group circles. And for a car that has consistently had a flavour of functionality-first understatement done so studiously that, at times, it has smacked strongly of blandness, there is now a slight change of tack.

In line with Skoda’s strategy of making smarter, bolder, more upmarket and more desirable cars and, in doing so, gradually shifting the perception of its brand into pseudo-premium territory, the model anchored at the very centre of its business is moving that way, too, in ways we’ll lay out in more detail very shortly.

The Octavia Estate line-up at a glance

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Explore the Skoda range

Back to top

Only a small handful of conventional petrol and diesel engines are available for the Octavia Estate from launch. In the coming months, this line-up will be expanded, while mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids (including the new vRS) will also be made available.

SE First Edition currently represents the entry-level offering and is followed by SE Technology, SE L and the range-topping SE L First Edition. It’s worth noting that prices for the Octavia hatch are roughly £1000 cheaper, give or take.

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Skoda range