The new Skoda Octavia went on sale last week with with prices starting from €18,995 for the 1.2 TSi petrol Active.
The entry level diesel version is the 1.6 TDi Active with a price of €22,195.
However, it is the next trim level up, the 1.6 TDi Ambition that is expected to be the biggest seller at €24,545, all prices being ex-works. That car slots in to Band A, so annual road tax is €180.
Overall, existing Octavia customers will notice a price increase over the last model. This is more than €1,000, but the Ambition spec level now has alloy wheels and climate control added and it is a bigger car. It also has more safety kit as standard and the 1.6 TDi combined with other efficiencies delivers up to 21 per cent better fuel economy. That works out at about €320 saving over 100,000km. Skoda claims the 1.6 TDI version consumes as low as 3.8 litres for every 100km travelled (or up to 74mpg ).
The new Octavia is offered with three different specification variants, the aforementioned Active, the Ambition and the higher level Elegance. Both manual (five and six speed ) and automatic (six and seven speed ) transmission options are available with five engine alternatives, including the latest low emission TSI petrol engines as well as common rail diesel engines with stop-start technology that helps deliver that excellent fuel economy.
The Octavia certainly impressed me on a a short test run last week. It offers a comfortable interior and best in class cabin and luggage capacity. Inside, you will find an interior that is modern and pleasing to the eye. Some new things to notice include a nice new centre console, a new steering wheel, aluminum inlays, and extra large door pockets
The new Octavia claims five-star NCAP safety, low fuel consumption and options of a range of touch screen audio and navigation systems.
Originally launched in Ireland in 1998, the Octavia has become a firm favourite with Irish motorists with more than 40,600 Octavias sold to the end of 2012. The last generation has been with us since 2004 with a facelift or two in between. The Octavia accounts for up to 60 per cent of Skoda's Irish sales and claims to have the best residual values in the class.
As Skoda enters its 20th anniversary in Ireland, the third generation of the Octavia will see the Volkswagen-owned Czech carmaker challenge not only direct competitors in the medium family segment but, thanks to its added proportions, it will challenge many vehicles in the bigger family car class.
The new Octavia is longer and wider than the outgoing model. The wheelbase has grown by 108mm enabling the Octavia break the mould for spaciousness in its model segment with interior length, more knee room and more headroom at the back, as well as best in class boot volume of 590 litres.
Skoda believes there will be limited availability of the new Octavia because of big demand throughout Europe and beyond. It has 740 diesel and 150 petrol cars available, and Skoda Ireland expect that will not satisfy demand here.
In May we will see the arrival of the Octavia Combi (estate ); June sees the launch of the four-wheel-drive combi version; while both the RS hatchback and combi models, as well as the 89g/100km Greenline version, will be available before the year end.
Other Skoda arrivals include the Superb facelift in June, the Rapid Spaceback/hatchback in November, around the same time as the Yeti facelift also arrives.
Commenting to the Advertiser at the new Octavia launch, Ray Leddy, head of marketing at Skoda Ireland said: “We have increased specification levels for all versions of the new Octavia. Additional airbags, electronic stability control for increased safety, and stop-start technology for reduced emissions and improved fuel economy are now standard features across the range. Stylish alloy wheels are now offered on all models with the exception of the entry Active model. The new Octavia is wider and has grown in length by 9cm, allowing for increased cabin space and luggage capacity despite shedding up to 100kg in weight compared to its predecessor. Less weight equates to better fuel economy.”
The new Octavia will be offered with finance terms from €239 per month inclusive of servicing from Skoda Finance. That is for the entry level 1.2 TSi Active version by a PCP finance solution and it includes three years’ servicing. It also has a guaranteed built-in future value of €27,598 after three years.
I really like the new Octavia and, while it comes with a move upwards in price, it is certainly a move upwards in class and size. It is well with checking out.