Buying used: Ford Focus Estate vs Skoda Octavia Estate

Buying used: Ford Focus Estate vs Skoda Octavia Estate
Buying used: Ford Focus Estate vs Skoda Octavia Estate

 

Looking for the perfect medium-sized wagon? Here are two different approaches to consider

Family estates are standing up surprisingly well to the onslaught of trendy SUVs and crossovers, and the mid-size market is a particularly strong area. The Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia are both ideal examples, as they are well established strong-sellers for good reason. So, which one makes the best second-hand buy?

Ford Focus Estate 1.6 TDCi 115 Zetec

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★★★★☆
Engine: 1.6-litre diesel
List price when new: £19,595
Price today: £6500
Power: 114bhp
Torque: 199lb ft
0-60mph: 12.2sec
Top speed: 114mph
Fuel economy: 67.3mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions: 109g/km

We picked two 2011 examples: a Focus Estate 1.6 TDCi 115 Zetec and an Octavia Estate 1.6 TDI CR Greenline II. Each cost just under £20k when new, and they now fetch £6500. Each has its own strengths, too, with the Ford majoring on style and driving fun, while the Octavia boasts great space and practicality. Should you make your buying decision purely on that sentence, though?

The Skoda’s stronger, livelier engine gives a brisker unladen feel and seems less stressed when loaded up. Regardless, it can’t beat the Ford, whose alert steering, sharp handling and composed ride give it the edge over the Octavia’s sometimes fidgety feel and lesser control through bends. The Focus is more refined as well, with better-suppressed road, engine and wind noise.

Skoda Octavia Estate 1.6 TDI CR Greenline II

91e363bbeae45b94cdf8eab7355a3d581538dcac

★★★★☆
Engine: 1.6-litre diesel
List price when new: £19,205
Price today: £6500
Power: 104bhp
Torque: 184lb ft
0-60mph: 11.8sec
Top speed: 121mph
Fuel economy: 67.3mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions: 109g/km

Of course, an estate’s calling card is its space and practicality, and here the Skoda is the outright winner thanks to its huge load bay. Conversely, the Ford surprisingly features less space than some hatch equivalents, which doesn’t do it any favours. At least the Focus’s interior design and materials are better – even if its dash isn’t as clear as the Octavia’s. The blue oval has cooler styling and a classier feel to go along with that more exciting drive, too. Comparative running costs just about swing in the Ford’s favour as well, thanks to its cheaper maintenance figures.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for practicality above all else, the Octavia is the car for you. It’s a good family model, smart throughout and loaded with excellent features. Want something you can really enjoy owning, rather than merely live with, however? The Focus’s sheer driving enjoyment will win you over.

 

 

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