17: Skoda Octavia – Still going strong as a new version prepares to land

Top cars for 2020: replacement is on the way but outgoing version still feels fresh


It’s rather hard to believe that the Octavia is nearing the end of life of the current model. It still manages to feel fresh, and even somehow a little surprising. It’s been a huge seller in Ireland for the past couple of years (out-selling even the mighty VW Golf recently) so perhaps surprising is the wrong word, but it’s one of those cars that always manages to feel better-built, drive a little more sweetly, and be a little more spacious and practical than you expect it to.

That’s as true whether you’re talking about a basic 1.0-litre turbo petrol model (actually, that’s possibly the best model in the entire Octavia range) or a top-spec 245hp RS hot hatch (not as sharp to drive as a Golf GTI, but far more family-friendly, especially the estate one).

Scout semi-4x4 is actually one of the most sensible cars you can buy if you regularly need to cross rough terrain, and the Combi estate, with its massive boot, is just about the idea family car. It is getting on a bit, though, which you can see in its interior design and layout, but it’s going to go out on top.

Best model: Octavia 1.0 TSI Style for €26,050

Price range: €24,200 to €43,595. Finance from €239 per month.

Co2 emissions: 113 to 185g/km

Sum up: Replaced soon but still going strong.