The third generation of Skoda's popular Octavia will be launched here in March. It will be bigger, more spacious, and packaged in a new attractive and functional design. It is based on the same platform as the new Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon.
A Skoda Ireland spokesman told the Advertiser: "The new Octavia also features innovative safety and comfort systems, as well as low fuel consumption. It is also about meeting a Skoda-typical price-value ratio."
And in the words of Skoda's worldwide CEO Winfried Vahland: “The Octavia is the heart of the Skoda's brand. It embodies the good Skoda genes in the best sense of the word - lots of room, quality, precise workmanship, modern, mature technology, timeless design, high functionality and the best price-value ratio. Our customers’ expectations have grown. Our aim was to make this car even better for its third generation. This is reflected in the values of the new Octavia – it is a class of its own.”
I have not seen it in the metal or driven it yet, so hopefully it is really that good. The Octavia's overall package has proved popular with Irish motorists. It has always been seen as a Volkswagen beneath the skin and, while smaller than a Passat, it has been priced to attract buyers looking for a good and reliable family sized car. The fusion of an elegant saloon shape with the practical advantages of car with a large hatch also gave it a big advantage in this segment.
Skoda says the new generation confirms this uniqueness - a car with middle-class qualities at a compact-car price, and ideal for demanding customers expecting a modern Octavia with all its good values.
Because the Superb is such a big and spacious car and the new Rapid slotted in below the current Octavia, the new model has grown and is now much more spacious. Skoda says no other car in the compact segment offers more interior length, more knee room (73mm ) and more headroom at the back (980mm ). It also claims it has the best in class boot volume at 590 litres and with the seats down there are 1,580 litres of space.
Other interior dimensions have also increased significantly compared to the Octavia’s second generation: front head room: +8 mm, front elbow width: +39 mm, rear elbow width: +26 mm.
The new Octavia also looks good. In addition to being more substantial, it is more dynamic and elegant than the current model. This is partially down to the long wheelbase as well as to the shortened front overhang and a C pillar pulled far backwards. Skoda also claims it is more refined and assured on the road.
In developing the new Octavia, Skoda says an important goal was to make the car even safer, particularly with more active safety feature that help driver avoid accidents.
Skoda engineers claim to have achieved significant improvements in the Octavia’s consumption and emission figures thanks to newly developed petrol and diesel engines, a low drag coefficient and reduced vehicle weight.
The GreenLine version of the new Octavia (1.6 TDI ) achieves CO2 emissions of 89g/km and consumes 3.4 litres of diesel per 100km or 83.1mpg. In all, there is a choice of four petrol engines, all with cutting-edge TSI technology, and four modern TDI common-rail diesel engines. A natural-gas version planned for later.
Skoda promises that the new Octavia offers numerous new comfort functions, hitherto available only in higher-segment vehicles. In addition to making their debut in the new Octavia, some of these options are even becoming available for the first time in a Skoda.
The Czech carmaker told us it also offers new generation of radio and radio navigation systems. Touch displays with proximity sensors and swiping functionality will be available in higher-level systems.
I look forward to driving the new Octavia which, according to Skoda, is all good. But I would expect the much bigger and better car to cost more than the current model.