The Skoda Octavia iV Estate on the road

Skoda Octavia iV Estate (2022) Review

Ian Lamming feels nothing but relief as his plug-in electric Skoda Octavia also comes with an economical petrol engine.

WHAT a relief. After weeks of driving fully electric vehicles this particular Skoda comes with an engine.

It’s a shame really as full EVs are brilliant to drive. But living with them on a day to day basis is stressful as you become obsessed with the range – or, more accurately, lack of it.

With the Octavia iV I know that I can travel hundreds of miles without thinking about fuelling and when I do need juice it comes in the form of a hydrocarbon that is sold on virtually every corner in the country. It only takes minutes to fill up as well, not hours to recharge, and you can get away with doing this once a week, not plugging in sometimes twice a day.

The iV does pay more than a nod to new technology as it is in fact a plug-in hybrid. So sitting under the skin alongside the turbo-charged petrol-powered 1.4 litre petrol engine is an 85kW electric motor.

On its own the leccy will power the car for up to 41 miles (you can even employ the car’s noise generator so pedestrians can hear you coming) but it also works with the fossil fuel burner to lengthen overall miles per gallon and reduce nasty gases coming out of the exhaust.

There is a combined figure in the bumph that claims 256mpg, yeah right, but the true figure is going to be somewhere between 45 and 65 depending on how you drive.

The great thing is that you can plug in the iV overnight and get a full charge. If you are only commuting in town it is happy to stay on EV there and back and that has to be good for urban pollution levels as emissions are a fine and splendid zero.

I don’t have that luxury, it’s a mix of motorways, A and B roads for me where at least it sips on the petrol and switches to EV whenever it can. If I can’t be bothered to plug it in, that’s no real problem either. Well, I won’t then as I have another full EV next week and fancy a break.

This Octavia iV is the estate version and a mighty fine workhorse it is too. The lines are clean and crisp, the front end sharp and sporty and the overall look smart and appealing.

The estate load bay is large, flexible and boasts two levels, passengers are spoilt for space too and that comes with plenty of creature comforts including heated seats, heated steering wheel, a comprehensive touchscreen infotainment centre and hi-tech virtual dash. It all works really well and despite being tech-heavy is surprisingly intuitive and easy to use.

Octavia is an excellent ride too. The motors provide a wealth of power – 204PS to be precise – and that is enough for the estate to hit 62mph in just 7.9 seconds. This poke is creamy smooth and instant as it passes through a simply superb six-speed DSG automatic gearbox that is second to none with its slick quick-shifting changes.

Once you have turned off the irritating lane assist, it steers and handles well too making the Octavia a real pleasure to drive.

I think the future of motoring will involve some form of electric power and I love the way it delivers performance. But I can’t helping feeling that only city cars should be full EVs and the rest of us will rely on a combination of hybrid technology and liquid combustion engines. If I’m right then the iV Octavia has a bright future for a good while to come.