New Skoda Octavia boasts Audi-rivalling looks
An Irish favourite, the fourth generation has more space and a lot more tech
Skoda has revealed its fourth generation Octavia. With sales of 6.5 million the Octavia is Skoda’s bestseller and Ireland’s fifth best-selling passenger car.
While the rumour mill says parent Volkswagen wants Skoda to back off its patch and concentrate on taking on budget rivals like Dacia, the latest Octavia looks sharp enough to tackle even a few of VW group’s Audi models. Longer and wider than the current Octavia, cabin and boot space (600 litres) grow to copperfasten the Octavia as the biggest “compact” car on the market.
The revised cabin features a new multi-level dash layout and a multifunction steering wheel with new control buttons and scroll wheels, allowing control of 14 different functions. The decluttered dash layout also features nice soft touch materials.
You can see an Audi design influence on the Octavia, while a head-up display - showing information in the driver’s eyeline - is available for the first time, as is tri-zone climate control.
Four infotainment systems are available with screens measuring from 8.25 to 10 inches. Some can be operated using gesture control or by voice via Škoda’s digital assistant, Laura.
Back-friendly seats with optional massaging function, that can also be ventilated, will no doubt be appreciated by Octavia’s loyal following of taxi drivers. New LED head and tail lights sharpen the exterior.
New shift by wire technology sees the DSG’s gear lever replaced by a small rocker switch. The Octavia’s engine range covers from 110hp up to 204hp.
A 1.4-litre plug in hybrid Octavia will be available for the first time developing 204hp. It’s electric motor uses a 13kWh rechargeable battery and has a maximum electric only range of 55km (WLTP).
Meanwhile, the petrol engines variants (1.0L/1.5L) get 48-volt mild hybrid systems. Skoda says its diesel engines emit up to 80 per cent less nitrogen oxide thanks to a new ‘twin dosing’ exhaust gas treatment.
Enthusiastic drivers will like the optional dynamic chassis control that now has slider controls within the different driving modes, allowing changes to individual suspension, damping and steering parameters.
The Octavia is due in Ireland next July. Since Octavia’s 1996 relaunch under VW stewardship, the hatchback has dominated sales, with the Combi estate making up just 15 per cent of sales. Manual is preferred to automatic (18 per cent) with petrol the preferred fuel currently, at 63 per cent of sales. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.