Skoda tells us its Octavia 4X4 range is now more affordable thanks to the addition of a hatchback version, which starts at €27,995.
Until now the Octavia 4X4 was only offered as a Combi (estate ) version, but with the overwhelming majority of Octavia sales coming from the hatchback, a 4X4 version of this will be more relevant for the Irish market, and it reduces the entry-point to the Octavia 4X4 range by €1,100.
“The all-wheel drive market is extremely weather dependent in Ireland,” says Skoda’s head of marketing Raymond Leddy. “During the cold snap in 2012 we saw Skoda 4X4 sales increase fivefold for all-wheel drive vehicles. This was a direct consequence of the severity of the winter of 2011. With recent milder winters we have seen demand for 4X4 vehicles decrease and we delivered 100 4X4 vehicles to Irish customers in 2014.”
Although perceptions are that all-wheel drive vehicles are for snow and ice, they also provide superior handing on normal road conditions and perform exceptionally well in mud and rough terrain. In addition the Skoda 4X4 can accommodate increased towing payloads while delivering increased safety.
Skoda’s all-wheel-drive vehicles feature a cutting-edge Haldex clutch. The Haldex clutch is an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch. With permanent all-wheel drive, it enables proportional distribution of drive between front and rear axles.
The all-wheel-drive system is smart, precise and fast. Driving conditions are constantly assessed and a control unit calculates the ideal driving torque for the rear axle. Traction loss is therefore virtually eliminated. When coasting or at low load, drive is via the front axle. This saves fuel and helps maintain low emission values.