The new Skoda Octavia is loaded with the latest European technology.

Not only can it boast the latest European technology, but the new Skoda Octavia stands out for practical, low-tech features that families will love.

It has a massive boot in both the hatchback-sedan and wagon versions. The boot mat has carpet on one side and rubber on the other, for when you want to load dirty or wet goods. There are bag hooks, tie-down hooks, a simple piece of Velcro-backed plastic that can be attached to the carpet to secure luggage and a small, lidded garbage container that fits in the door pocket. If these surprise-and-delight features impress, then so does the price, which opens at $21,690.

The range comprises 103 kiloWatt and 132 kW petrol engines and a 110 kW diesel, Ambition, Ambition Plus and Elegance specification grades and manual or 7-speed DSG transmissions, depending on model. The wagon option adds $1350.

This third-generation Octavia is not only Volkswagen Golf-size, but also uses virtually all the current chassis and mechanical features of its hugely-successful sibling, breaking a pattern that usually saw Skodas a generation behind. It’s virtually a Golf under the skin, but with many differences in design and equipment.

For value and excellent performance, it’s hard to ignore the base 103TSI, perhaps with one of the option packs available to top up the equipment list.

The Octavia is a must-see for shoppers in the $20,000-$25,000 market.