If you're anything like most, you'll probably be shocked at the prices of new cars. This is a time when Vauxhall can charge you up to £26,000 for a Corsa and still keep a straight face and as such, the fact that you can buy a Skoda Octavia Estate for a starting figure beginning at not much more than £20,000 seems extremely reasonable. Positively generous in fact. Okay, so that'll mean the entry level engine and trim, but even that includes quite a lot these days. For the time being, the core trim level is 'SE Technology' and pricing sits primarily in the £23,500-£25,000 bracket. Plus there are also 'SE First Edition' and 'SE L First Edition' launch variants. Whichever trim level you opt for, as usual, there's a premium of around £1,000 if you want this estate rather than the five-door hatch.
As usual with a Skoda, all variants get as standard a range of practical 'Simply Clever' features. In this case, that means a helpful AdBlue nozzle for diesel variants and familiar touches like an ice scraper secreted in the fuel cap and a ticket clip on the driver's side A-pillar. If you've more to spend, a 'Sleep package' can be added that'll give you more comfortable rear seat head rests, stowed blankets and sun blinds. Other extras include massaging front seats, a head-up display and Matrix LED headlights that adapt to the road and other vehicles.
As you'd expect, camera-driven safety kit provision has taken a step forward. The brand's 'Collision Avoidance Assistance' autonomous braking system is, as expected, standard right across the range, along with lane departure warning featuring steering assistance and predictive cruise control, which works alongside an updated traffic sign recognition set-up. If you specify your car correctly, you'll find that the cruise control set-up can combine with Skoda's 'Lane Keep Assist' and 'Traffic Jam Assist' systems to provide for a degree of semi-autonomous driving.