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Skoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing Success

I got my driver's license almost 15 years ago, about a month sooner than my dad did. At the time, I didn't even want to think about station wagons and so we went out and bought an almost-hot hatch instead. Fast forward to 2021, I needed a daily, more efficient way of moving around. After driving an Audi RS 4 Avant look-a-like company car for over 200,000 km, I opted to buy a newer Škoda Octavia Station Wagon.
Skoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing Success 11 photos
Photo: Skoda
Skoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing SuccessSkoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing Success
Some people tend to think that a Station Wagon only comes in handy if you're married and have got two children to take care of. There's also the misconception that such a vehicle won't be fun to drive or exciting to look at.

But as with all things in life, it's all a matter of perspective. A station wagon is excellent if you plan on moving or going for an extended vacation. It also comes in handy if you're going to buy spare parts for your sports car, furniture, household appliances, or enough beer to keep a frat party entertained for the whole night.

In June, we did an Autoevolution RV Month special. While you can't label a Station Wagon as an RV, you can certainly fold the rear seats and set up a comfortable sleeping area for two. And car manufacturers have also addressed the sportiness issue.

There are plenty of fast station wagons out there for you to choose from. So, if don't want to spend over $100,000 on a used Cadillac CTS-V or an Audi RS 6, there are still some options left, depending on where you live.

Skoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing Success
Photo: Skoda
But we'll get to the Škoda Octavia vRS in a moment. The Octavia name was first used by the manufacturer more than six decades ago, and it was the eighth vehicle built by the nationalized company.

It was in production between 1959 to 1971, and customers could choose between a 2-door saloon and a 3-door estate. But the name would make a return in 1996, with the launch of the modern mid-size car we all know. It would take the company an additional year to reveal the estate concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Dirk van Braeckel led the design team for the new station wagon, as he previously did for the hatchback. And it took an additional six months from that first unveiling until the production version was introduced at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show.

It was just slightly longer (0.23 inches/ 6 mm), taller (1.02 inches / 26 mm), and heavier (33 lbs / 15 kg) than the hatchback, but it still managed to become the most practical Škoda passenger car ever. Even though it provided a boot capacity of 19.35 cubic feet (548 liters) and 53.39 cubic feet (1,512 liters) with the rear seats folded, Skoda wasn't going to stop there.

Skoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing Success
Photo: Skoda
The Octavia was an instant hit for the Czech car manufacturer, and these vehicles paved the way for the company's current bestseller. Right now, the boot capacity is up to 22.6 cubic feet (640 liters) and 60 cubic feet (1,700 liters) with the rear seats folded.

Škoda introduced the second generation of the Octavia in 2004 and followed up with a facelift in 2009 before coming up with the third generation in December 2012. The fourth generation came along in 2019, and the company is now celebrating the 25th anniversary of the iconic Octavia Estate.

With each new generation, the car has become refined and technologically advanced. And customers always could choose the setup that best fitted their needs.

While most people will praise the 1.9 TDI and 2.0 TDI engines, others will go straight for a potent, gas-fueled, turbocharged setup. The Skoda Octavia vRS Estate is a testament that this body style can deliver excitement, both from a visual and a driving perspective.

Skoda Celebrates 25 Years Since the Launch of the Octavia Estate, It's an Ongoing Success
Photo: Skoda
And if you're not satisfied with the initial performance figures, there's always room for upgrades. Back in August of 2011, a modified Octavia vRS hit 227 mph (365.43 kph) at Bonneville Speedway. That helped it secure the record for the fastest car in the world with an engine that was smaller in displacement than two liters.

According to an official press release by the Czech manufacturer, over 166,000 Octavia Estate Models have been sold in the UK alone. And they account for 45% of all Octavia models in the past two and half decades. All in all, we're curious to see how this vehicle will adapt to future emission regulations. Will Škoda make it into an EV or build a whole new car from scratch?
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About the author: Dragos Chitulescu
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The things Dragos enjoys the most in life are, in no particular order: cars, motorcycles, diecast cars, and drifting. He's seen (and driven) many vehicles since he started his writing career back in 2009, but his garage currently houses a 1991 Mazda RX-7 FC3S Turbo II and a 1999 Suzuki SV650-S.
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