The best estate cars around with drivers just loving to get behind the wheel are generally regarded as expensive and far beyond the budget of the average motorist, so for a bargain buy with quality to boot try the Skoda Octavia.

It's a real deal option as a former WhatCar? family car of the year. Prices start at just under £18,000, so you get a lot for your money.

This is a big car for the family, looks good both inside and out and is extremely reliable. The majority of owners just love it.

I also think most people have got the point now about Skoda cars. From what was once a range of inferior numbers which was taken over by Volkswagen they have become a brilliant line now with a variety of models which are among the best. The Octavia Estate is a classic example.

It is both stylish and versatile, is excellent around town or on the motorway and has enough space to pack for a family of six on a two week holiday!

When you fold down the rear seats you have 1,740 litres of space to play making it probably the most roomy estate on the market. You can easily fit in an adult’s bike without having to remove the front wheel.

With cars like this there is a huge amount of storage space scattered through the car, again ideal for a family. The front seats are the most comfortable of any equivalent marques.

There is a variety of engines with the Octavia, from the 1.2 litre petrol engine to the two litre diesel, which can give you as much as 80 miles to the gallon on a short slow cruise.

Probably the most efficient model is the 1.6 diesel and if you want to have one with a bit of serious poke, Skoda provide the sporty vRS model and this one can play along with the Audi equivalent.

You can specify an automatic gearbox and some of the models have 4x4 should you require it.

The range gives you 90g/km to 147g/km depending on your model. All good stuff.

Even the cheapest spec still gives you alloy wheels, electric front windows, air-conditioning, a digital radio and a Bluetooth hands-free phone connection.

Go to the SE version and you have electric rear windows, rear parking sensors and a system that warns if the driver is showing signs of fatigue. The insurance group starts at 14E.

The SE Business model has just the diesel engines, but adds cruise control and satellite-navigation and the top of the range Elegance adds leather upholstery.

The Octavia is fitted with a stability control system and there are seven airbags, including two that run the length of the car at window level and one beneath the dashboard to protect the driver’s knees.

If you are not convinced about Skoda then you must go and have a look at their range and remember they were fourth out of 27 in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey.

That is an accolade worth having and with Skoda you also get a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty.