The Skoda Octavia has become an ‘everyman’ car in the same way as the VW Golf or even the Beetle before it. And, now as it moves into a fourth generation, it is set to nail down those credentials.
I don’t know of many cars whose arrival has created such anticipation as the new Octavia and this week we got to see just what all the excitement is all about.
As is usual for a new car, its makers herald it as taking a ‘"giant leap in terms of progress". It is, as you might expect more spacious, safer, more connected and more emotive than ever, but more than that, what the company describes as the ‘heart and engine’ of the Skoda brand is longer and wider than its predecessor has an even larger boot and is even more emotive thanks to the new design language.
Sixty years after production of the model started in 1959, Skoda is now unveiling the best model yet since its re-launch in 1996. The fourth-generation car will continue to be the brand’s as well as its top volume model.
With more than 6.5 million units produced thus far, it is the bestselling Skoda ever and the company says the reasons for this are obvious: it features a modern design and modern technology, it is efficient, practical and high-quality; it offers exceptional amounts of space and superior value for money.
At a length of 4,689 mm, the hatchback is 19 mm and the Combi (estate) is 22 mm longer than the third-generation model. Its width has increased by 15 mm. The Combi’s boot capacity, which is the largest in the segment, has increased by 30 litres to 640 litres. The hatchback has a capacity of 600 litres which is 10 litres more than the previous generation.
The new front apron and the razor-sharp, narrower, new headlights are visual focus points and feature LED technology for low beam, high beam and daytime running lights as standard. The taillights, brake lights and fog lights make use of LED technology as well.
The newly designed, shallow roof rails emphasise the elongated silhouette of the Combi, while the hatchback looks almost like a coupé. Alloy wheels measuring up to 19 inches lend all the model variants a powerful appearance.
In a newly designed interior, the car now offers a new two-spoke steering wheel, which can be heated as an option and — if ordered as a multifunction variant — comes with new control buttons and knurled scroll wheels, allowing drivers to operate a total of 14 different functions without removing their hands.
The dashboard, which has also been redesigned, is modular and has been arranged in different levels, featuring a large, free-standing central display. The centre console is elegant, uncluttered and adorned with chrome details — as are the new door trims and handles.
Skoda says the Octavia will be available in Ireland from June 8 next and while Irish specifications have yet to be finalised, however, the company reckons it will discontinue the entry Active version and offer Ambition and Style specifications from launch.
When it comes to engines, the 1.5 TSI, 150 bhp petrol will be offered initially with the 1.0 TSI versions arriving later.
Diesel-wise a 2.0 TDI, 150 bhp with 7-speed DSG transmission will be offered while the familiar 1.6 TDI, 115 bhp diesel engine is expected to make way for a 2.0 TDI variant with the same power output. Prices have yet to be confirmed but are estimated to start at just under €29,000 for the hatchback 2.0 TDI 115bhp Ambition version.
We will inform you of prices when they are announced.