Octavia gets some visual pizzazz

by Michael Moroney

Skoda has given its most popular car, the Octavia a subtle facelift, while adding more technology to the specifications, as Michael Moroney found out during his recent test drive. The Octavia’s spaciousness remains its unique point and now with added style and improved performance.

Skoda’s Octavia is the brand’s best-selling car in Ireland, accounting for almost 45% of all Skoda sales in the country.
The reason is clear, a combination of value, space and now newly added style.
The space factor is most pronounced in the Skoda Octavia Combi, the estate car version that’s now available across 14 model options from the entry level 1.2- litre turbo-petrol car, to the most expensive 2.0-litre turbo-petrol version that’s claimed to be a true rocket machine.
Within the middle of the Octavia range is a host of popular and best-selling diesel powered cars.
For my recent test drive, I’ve had the 150bhp version powered by 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, on the road. This model is smack in the middle of the range and with the added DSG automatic type gearbox, my driving comfort was assured.

Skoda Octavia spec box

The Skoda Octavia Combi range has been well recognised for its space. The new Octavia for 2017 gives some added style features to give a new sharpness to the overall car design. While that car has more technology than ever before, there is just no compromise on the space. Relative to the competition, the Octavia has more load space in the boot and comfort for the passengers, both front and back.

The extra technology features for the 2017 Octavia include alloy wheels and a larger touch screen infotainment system. The Skoda SmartLink+ system allows Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity while LED rear lights, air conditioning, and automatic post-collision braking system are now included in the range.

The test car was the Style version, one step from the intro level Ambition model and that brought a nine-inch touch screen system that included sat-nav and larger 17in alloy wheels. The price lift is €1,400 from the base model, while all other features of the car’s performance are very similar.

This new Octavia comes with improved connectivity through what is called the Skoda Connect system. This is comprised of two categories. The infotainment Online services provide additional information such as weather reports and parking space availability, along with real-time navigation details. Care Connect system provides remote access as well as driver assistance through a renewable SIM card connection.

Out on the road and the 150bhp turbo-diesel engine is a strong performer with great acceleration. This engine has a high torque rating and this ensures good acceleration of 8.5 seconds in a 0 to 100km/hr race, despite its relatively large size.

The six-speed DSG gearbox is a real comfort to use even if it appeared a little sluggish from a cold start. The engine power delivers impressive response from the system, especially on the open road and during stop/start city driving.

The car comes with an improved economy rating of 22km/litre (4.5/100km or 63mpg). Real life driving brings different results and over an average of an 1150km test drive I found the rating to be about 25% high, which is still a reasonable figure for a car of its size and spaciousness.
Entry prices for the Skoda Octavia Combi start from €23,895 for first level 1.6-litre turbo-diesel powered car, while the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel versions start from €28,650. This is a big car and sees the benefit of the bigger and more powerful engine in achieving good longer run performance with a full estate car load.

As part of the Volkswagen Group diesel upgrade scheme, this Octavia now can offer even more value, depending on the age of your existing car.

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