What's the news?
The new facelifted Skoda Octavia for 2017 is due to arrive in Ireland in March, with prices starting from €20,350 including delivery charges. Most of the changes to the updated Octavia focus around the front of the car where a new grille and headlight design give the car a very different look. The styling is more in line with that of the new Skoda Kodiaq, the company's new SUV.
Inside, there is a new infotainment system on range-topping Style models. This impressive looking 9.2-inch Columbus Navigation and infotainment installation is similar to that used in the 2017 Volkswagen Golf. It incorporates full smartphone connectivity including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which is also available in conjunction with a smaller screen from Ambition trim line) and can be equipped with a 4G LTE sim card to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot within the car. Additionally, Skoda Connect is available, which can deliver a host of connected services such as enhanced real-time route planning, real time parking information and local fuel prices, along with a customisable newsfeed, weather reports and other online services.
As per previous models, buyers will have a choice of three trim grades: Active, Ambition and Style. Depending on engine and transmission choice, there will be a price walk of between €800 and €2,500 between them. To upgrade to the Combi (estate) body style will cost an additional €1,000 over the hatchback prices.
Skoda has a wide selection of engines available in the new Octavia starting with an 86hp 1.2-litre TSI petrol unit. A smaller, but more powerful 115hp turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine, which we drove in the outgoing Octavia, is also offered, and this will be available with a choice of manual or DSG automatic transmissions.
Three diesel engines will be offered starting with a 90hp 1.6-litre TDI. This is only available with a manual gearbox and will be offered in all three trim grades. A more powerful 150hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel is available in Ambition and Style models and has CO2 emissions of 113g/km, placing it in motor tax Band A3 (€190 per annum). The automatic DSG transmission for this engine carries a €2,200 price premium. An all-wheel drive version of the 150hp model with a manual transmission is also offered, priced from €31,150 including delivery.
The new Skoda Octavia is available with the latest versions of some clever driver assistance systems, such as Trailer Assist, Predictive Pedestrian Protection, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert. An Emergency Call (e-Call) function automatically calls the local emergency services once an airbag has been activated to improve response time.
Since its introduction to the Irish market in 1996, Skoda has sold almost 55,000 Octavias in Ireland, while globally more than five million have been produced. Cathal Kealey, PR Manager at Skoda Ireland, commented: "The Octavia has always been the heart and soul of Skoda in Ireland. It embodies all the brand's strengths such as interior space, practicality, design quality, simply clever features and above all, value for money, and the new Octavia is no different. Feedback to date has been extremely positive, and customers are excited for the fresh styling and enhanced features of the new Octavia."
Prices for the sportier Octavia RS and more rugged Octavia Scout are expected to be announced shortly.