Estate of the year 2021: Skoda Octavia Estate
Despite the growing popularity of SUVs, station wagons are still fantastic all-rounders. They offer incredible functionality alongside the talents of a normal sedan, such as affordable running costs, and the latest Skoda Octavia Estate is our top pick for the second year in a row.
The number you are looking for here is 640 liters; that’s the boot space offered in this incredibly handy machine. Use the levers at the rear to easily fold the rear seats flat, and that figure rises to 1,700 liters. This means that the Octavia Estate is one of the most practical cars, regardless of the price.
But the Skoda estate is also brilliant in all other areas which also make the Octavia Hatchback a winner. The new model has been updated with better technology, better interior and more efficient engines, and all of these strong traits are present in the field.
The plush interior materials and impressive displays give it a quality feel that belies its affordability, in addition to being quiet and smooth on the move. The suspension has been tuned to provide a comfortable ride rather than sporty handling (although the Octavia is still surprisingly precise to drive), and that makes perfect sense in this down-to-earth, all-sane car.
There’s a range of engines to choose from, including the excellent 1.5-liter TSI petrol unit, as well as surprisingly quiet diesel options. TDI engines are smoother than before and are a good choice for hauling loads over long distances, in addition to being punchy and great for towing. However, we would still choose the quiet and efficient gasoline models for versatile use.
Best of all, the Octavia is affordable. There are very few cars in the Estate’s price range that offer this much cargo space, let alone standard comfort and technology. The financing offers in particular are very attractive on the latest model.
Skoda Octavia Estate SE 1.5 TSI 150PS (£ 23,640)
With a no-frills load that is a station wagon’s top priority, it makes sense to keep it simple. That’s why it’s hard to overlook the entry-level SE trim paired with the smooth but torquey 1.5-liter TSI gasoline engine. It costs £ 330 per month for a three-year PCP contract with a 10% deposit, thanks to a £ 2,000 contribution from Skoda.
BMW 3 Series Touring
The BMW 3 Series Touring truly offers something for everyone. It’s both sporty and comfortable, with plenty of interior space and a tech-packed interior. There’s even a plug-in hybrid model that offers low running costs, especially for company car buyers, along with more conventional gasoline and diesel options.