What's the news?
Skoda has just introduced a new version of the hugely popular Octavia to Ireland, called the Soleil. Normally we'd say it's a bit ironic to introduce a model to Ireland that's named after the sun, but in fact this new Octavia is named for Skoda's association with the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil circus.
With more than 18,000 Octavias sold in Ireland in the past five years, the roomy Skoda has been an enormous success for the brand, and even though Skoda now has its new Scala hatchback to sell as well, the Soleil version of the Octavia is designed to make it even better value for money.
In fact, that brings the price tag of this well-equipped Octavia, when fitted with Skoda's 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine, rather dangerously close to that of the Scala, which could cause some issues down on the dealership floor...
What do you get for the €24,700 Skoda's asking for the cheapest Octavia Soleil? Well, you get the same choice of engines as the rest of the range - 1.0 TSI, 1.5 TSI, 1.6 TDI diesel or 2.0 TDI diesel, with power outputs ranging from 115hp to 150hp. You also get the same practicality, with the massive 590-litre boot of the hatchback Octavia (or even more if you pick the handsome estate model, and you really should do).
You also get the eight-inch 'Bolero' touchscreen infotainment system, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you get LED headlights with adaptive high-beam lighting and washer jets, half-leather heated seats, tinted glass and Skoda's Care Connect internet connectivity package, which adds a built-in SIM card to the infotainment system. Oh, and there are also 16-inch Velorum alloy wheels.
Commenting on the Octavia Soleil, Raymond Leddy, Head of Marketing & Product, Skoda Ireland, said: "The Octavia Soleil is now available to test drive at your local Skoda dealer with vehicles available for 192 July delivery. To celebrate the launch of the Octavia Soleil, Skoda dealers will be providing 0% finance on all Soleil models up to the end of July. The Soleil is a limited edition Octavia with limited stock, so early discussions with your local Skoda dealer is recommended"