Under the able stewardship of ŠKODA design chief Jozef Kabaň, the team started out with Volkswagen’s shared MQB platform and penned the lines afresh from hood to boot. The new Octavia is 90 mm longer and 45 mm wider than the second-generation Octavia. The wheelbase is now longer by 108 mm resulting in the increased space at the rear. As you would expect the front shares the new Skoda family look with the new logo, new position for the logo as well as the fantastic grille that we initially thought was too aggressive for a brand as elegant as Skoda. Skoda points out helpfully that the front overhang has been shortened, the C-pillar has been pulled more to the rear and add to these the increased wheelbase and you have a long, sleek and stunning silhouette. We still cannot fathom how much the designers at Skoda loosened their ties when they worked in the dynamic upswept line in the rear doors. They call it the ‘fin’ and it seems to add dynamism to the ensemble.
The rear looks just as fine with the trademark C shape rear lights. Interiors as with most Skodas, look good.
At launch the new Octavia powertrain options will include four TSI petrol engines including the top end 1.8 TSI with 177 bhp as well four diesel engines including the base 1.6 TDI that power the Greenline version of the Octavia and enables fuel efficiency figures of 3.4 litres of diesel per 100 km and emissions of 89 g/km. Skoda says a natural-gas version has been planned for later. Except for the entry-level petrol and diesel option, all engines now are available in a Green tec version with a start-stop system and recuperation.
Manual and automatic DSG transmissions are available, with all-wheel-drive versions in the near future. Enthusiasts fret not, a ŠKODA Octavia RS is also in the pipeline.
Safety & Comfort
The new Skoda Octavia will also feature, for the first time on a Skoda – Adaptive Cruise Assistant. It automatically maintains a pre-set distance to the car ahead. Intelligent Light Assistant takes care of switching the lamps from high beam and back automatically. Automatic Parking Assistant makes parking the Octavia in and out easier. As part of the ‘Traveller Assistant’ package Skoda is offering another one of the firsts – the ability to recognize traffic signs. Electric panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof gets a place on the roof. It’s essentially a transparent panorama roof enhancing comfort and wellbeing on board the Octavia. The new Octavia is also available with KESSY (Keyless-Entry-Start-and-Exit-System), the automatic door and ignition-lock system.
From May 2013, the Octavia will be offered with Front Assistant/emergency braking function. Lane Assistant helps keep the Octavia in its lane. The Octavia is also programmed to automatically actuate the brake in a multicollision accident. Driver Activity Assistant alerts you when you’re falling asleep at the wheel. An active front hatch works to reduce the injuries to pedestrians in case of collision. Nine airbags including knee airbags and rear side airbags are available for the first time in a ŠKODA Octavia.