The Skoda Octavia makes a decent case for itself with adequate kit levels, a high degree of practicality, low running costs and a comfortable and refined interior.

Depreciation and other costs are par for the course. You don’t buy a large family car without a premium badge and expect it to hold its value for ever, but the significant proportion of Skoda owners who go in as private buyers means that residuals are better than some of the more fleet-focused, discount-territory alternatives.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Tick the box for the optional spare wheel. It could save you considerable grief.

You won't lose out much if you buy an S model but - if you are buying a new Octavia - it's probably best to opt for an SE L model.

Besides offering more kit and being easier to live with, it'll prove easier to sell on and potentially hold its value better.

All of the engines are frugal but, predictably, many buyers will make a beeline for diesel variants which will further help prop up the residual values of the models in question.

On paper, the SE L 1.6 TDI looks like a particularly good option with a sensible blend of kit and economy, if not the pace you might want. The lethargic acceleration, however, means you have to be a bit frisky with the throttle to make serious progress - and that has an impact on fuel economy.

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