New Skoda Octavia now available to order
Skoda has revealed a more powerful and sharper-looking Octavia complete with exterior styling tweaks, an updated interior, new driving aids and an improved infotainment system.
Ordering for the new Octavia range is now open, although you won’t be able to order vRS and Scout models until the end of Q1 2017.
This is a mid-life refresh for Skoda’s flagship family hatchback, and while there aren’t any dramatic changes to its mechanicals, the updated look and new tech will keep it competitive in a part of the market where the highest levels of tech is now expected as standard.
The model range has also expanded with the refresh, with new additions including the all-terrain Octavia Scout and vRS models, which – as with the higher-end variants – are increasingly appealing to leasee’s needs.
The Octavia remains the Czech brand's biggest seller, with over 400,000 units shifted in 2016, and thanks to these comprehensive upgrades the Octavia hatchback and the Octavia Estate are now starting the second half of their life cycle.
Perhaps the biggest change then is to the infotainment system. Perhaps the biggest change is to the infotainment system – Swing and Balero make up the entry-level offerings, while Amundsen gets navigation, and range-topping Columbus gets a larger, more sensitive 9.2in screen.
The refresh also brings with it a new generation of electronic assistance systems. These include Trailer Assist, the Predictive Pedestrian Protection function, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert.
The range of engines the Octavia will offer at launch consists of two TSI engines and three TDI engines, with power ranges from 115 PS to 184 PS.
Besides manual gearboxes, DSG transmissions with six speeds are available for almost all of the engines and Skoda will also offer all-wheel drive for the 2.0 TDI. Optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) is a highlight for the chassis, allowing the driver to regulate the character of the suspension by selecting the Comfort, Normal or Sport modes.
At the top end of the upgraded Octavia portfolio are the aforementioned vRS engine variants – the 2.0 TSI petrol and the 2.0 TDI diesel.
For the RS 2.0 TSI, the power output has been increased to 230 PS, with a top speed of 155 mph. The 184 PS 2.0 TDI wows with its efficiency – 62.8 mpg on the combined cycle (115 grams of CO2/km) and both vRS models are available with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed DSG transmission.
The sports chassis lowers the body by 15mm, with the rear track being 30 mm wider than before. The ESC stability system, Performance Mode Select and optional Performance Sound Generator complete the dynamic character of the vRS models.
Taxi drivers are huge fans of the Octavia, and they’ll be glad to know that the cavernous 590 litres of boot space of its predecessor remains. Opt for the estate car, you’ll get an extra 20 litres, plus a new electric powered tailgate option.
If you’re after something bigger, have you considered the all-new Kodiaq SUV?