By Breda Corrigan
The all-new fourth-generation of the ever-popular Skoda Octavia is bigger and, courtesy of a silhouette that is reminiscent of an elegant coupe, even more emotive and dynamic than ever before. With its perfect proportions and clean surfaces, the Octavia looks distinctively sporty, and the new design also enables excellent aerodynamics. In fact, with a drag coefficient of just 0.24Cd, the all-new Octavia is one of the most aerodynamic cars in its segment. Add in class-leading cabin and boot space, and it is easy to see why Irish drivers love everything the Octavia has to offer. With more than 7 million Octavia’s sold during its 3 previous generations, and having picked up more than 50 awards along the way, the Octavia is a hugely-important car for the Skoda brand.
Perfectly Balanced Proportions.
The Octavia has been a consistent sales success for the Skoda brand, so it is understandable that the Czech car manufacturer hasn’t tweaked the formula much with the new generation model. As is customary for the Octavia, the exterior design is graceful, handsome, crisp and thoroughly modern too, and buyers can fit their Octavia with up to 19” alloy wheels for added visual drama. The front apron incorporated into the front bumper, and the razor-sharp narrow headlights are a visual delight, and they provide the Octavia with a confident and purposeful look upon approach. The perfectly balanced proportions of the new Octavia conceal an even bigger luggage compartment than its predecessor, with the boot now accommodating from 600-litres with the rear seats in place to 1,555-litres with the rear seats folded down.
Spacious & Comfortable Cabin.
The modern cabin in the new Octavia features well-arranged displays that are easy to use, along with masses of space for the driver and front seat passenger, and unrivalled rear seat passenger space too. All of the important driver information and infotainment details are displayed on two 10” displays, and the minimalist lines and ambient lighting provide the finishing touches to the elegant on-board atmosphere.
Trim & Engine Options.
There are four trim grades available in the new Octavia: Ambition, Style, Sportline and RS.
The new Octavia engine line-up consists of petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI) and mild hybrid (mHEV) powerplants, ranging in power from 110hp to 245hp, with the 2.0TSI 245hp and 2.0TDI 200hp (both DSG Automatic) reserved exclusively for the RS trim grade. The entry-level Ambition trim provides buyers with a good level of standard specification, while the Style trim builds on the comprehensive equipment levels of the Ambition with a further emphasis on elegance, technology and sporty design. With sharp, sleek design details both inside and out, the special edition Sportline is distinctive from every angle. Packed with exclusive styling, the Sportline enables every journey to be undertaken in total comfort. The Octavia RS trim grade benefits from a sporty chassis and exterior design, and it uniquely combines a dynamic driving experience with smart practicality, and a host of RS-exclusive styling elements.
My test car was a new Octavia Sportline 1.5 TSI 150hp in stylish Moon White metallic paint with black/grey fabric upholstery and standard 18” ‘Comet’ alloy wheels. A six-speed manual transmission was fitted to my test car, but a DSG automatic transmission can also be specified. Key standard Sportline equipment includes a Sportline exterior styling pack (black window frames, black rear spoiler, sport suspension – lowered by 15mm, and rear Sunset privacy glass), power-folding door mirrors, anti-theft alarm, keyless entry/go, a virtual cockpit, heated front seats, wireless charging pad, a ‘Bolero’ sound system with a 10” touchscreen display, gesture control & touch slider, voice control, Matrix LED headlights with headlight washers, and a Drive Mode select feature, along with an LED interior pack that includes ambient lighting & footwell lights, and a ‘Welcome’ logo projection. An exclusive Sportline interior styling pack includes a leather-wrapped multi-function 3-spoke sport steering wheel (with Tiptronic for DSG transmission), front sport seats, a black dashboard with grey-stitched black covering, black air vents, Deco inserts in Piano Black, and aluminium sports pedals & door sills. The petrol engine in my test car produces 110hp and 250Nm of torque, providing the car with enough forward motion to sprint from 0-100km/h in just 8.5-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 229km (where permitted). With claimed fuel consumption as low as 5.6l/100km (50.4mpg) on a WLTP combined driving cycle, along with annual road tax of just €200, the Octavia 1.5TSI should prove to be a sound financial proposition for families and business users alike. The Octavia’s 1.5 TSI engine is impressively refined, and the slick six-speed manual transmission is a joy to use. The steering is pleasingly light and responds in a precise fashion to driver inputs, and there is a solid and dependable feel to the brake pedal. Skoda has made improvements in sound-deadening, resulting in less noise and vibration being felt through the cabin compared to the previous model.
Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.
The new Octavia is a very likeable, and genuinely appealing family car that offers class-leading levels of cabin & boot space, impressive levels of standard equipment, terrific practicality, and latest-generation infotainment & connectivity tech, along with a sleek & sporty exterior design. For buyers looking for even more practicality than the hatchback has to offer, a Combi (estate) body style is also available across all engine options and trim grades. The new Skoda Octavia is priced from €30,245 for the Ambition 1.0TSI model, with my test car specification priced from €40,700 (ex-delivery). A 3 Year manufacturer’s warranty comes as standard. The first two years have an unlimited mileage warranty, and the third year warranty has a limitation of 150,000km.