I’ve been a good boy this year (stop sniggering at the back), so when I asked Santa for an Octavia estate for Christmas, I was granted my wish (slightly early). The Fairy Godmother ñ Clare in the Skoda press office ñ noted in my original report that Iíd wanted an estate rather than a hatchback, even if I probably wouldnít use the extra space. With two months left to run on the long-term loan, we reckoned it would be a good idea to see if the estate really did offer any extra usability over the hatchback, so the switch was made.
I was really impressed with the hatch, and I expected the estate to be at least as good, but my fairy godmother really spoiled me, as weíve also jumped up a trim level to the range-topping Laurin & Klement. The mechanicals are the same, which means a 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI engine with a six-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels. While the previous SE L edition was hardly short of kit, the L&K adds bigger wheels (18-inch instead of 17s), cornering front lights, heated front seats with electric adjustment for the driverís side, LED cabin lighting, park assist, lane keep assist, an upgraded navigation system, plus door mirrors that are auto-dimming, electrically adjustable, heated, fold electrically, and also incorporate puddle lights. Note to self: donít break them. A high spot for me, though, is the fact that this car has adaptive cruise control ñ one of my favourite pieces of kit on any car. While the SE L hatch that we ran is listed at £23,365, the L&K equivalent is a hefty £27,745, while the estate body adds another £1,200 to this.
On the basis that you can never have too much of a good thing, our car also features blind spot assist (£385), a panoramic roof (£1,150), metallic paint (£380) and a space saver spare wheel (£100), which brings us up to a grand total of £30,960. While thatís a fair chunk of money, the amount of kit included in the price is impressive, so I was really looking forward to clocking up some miles.
Unfortunately, as the pictures make clear, things didnít get off to a good start. The Octavia was delivered on a Wednesday and on the Thursday morning, having added less than 10 miles to the 500 or so already on the odometer, the car went into limp-home mode and the brakes were distinctly dicky. The car was recovered to Skodaís head office in the afternoon and on the Friday came the verdict: a rodent had chewed through some wiring and a brake hose on the Wednesday night, while the car was parked up. Suitably fixed, the car was returned a week later, which brings us up to date, and hopefully my next report will be rather less dramatic…
Date arrived 29th November 2017
Fuel economy 64.2mpg (combined) 52.4mpg (on test)
Our new long-termer has the same LED lights as its predecessor, so they’re spectacularly good, but these also have a cornering function.
Although the Octavia comes with parking sensors, a reversing camera would be even better. It’s a £375 optional extra.