The Skoda Octavia has received its first update since it was originally launched in 2013. You can read our first-drive review of the new Octavia here or keep reading below for a more concise version of the standout points of the new Octavia.
1. The Octavia gains more identity
For 2017, the Octavia gains a sharper face with a rather unique four-headlamp setup. The design looks unusual in images but works quite well in the flesh. The bonnet and bumpers have also been revised to go along with the new design. The top two trims get full LED adaptive headlamps with LED daytime running lamps and an auto high-beam feature. The fog lamps have also been upgraded to LED units and they double as cornering lights. The side and rear profile remain familiar with minor revisions to the alloy wheel design and detailing within the tail lamp. The overall effect gives the handsome, but rather safe design of the previous Octavia added presence and it will certainly stand out more than its predecessor.
2. The cabin feels more premium
The dashboard design is now dominated by a new 8.0-inch touchscreen display that replaces the 6.0-inch unit in the outgoing car. The display appears even bigger thanks to the inclusion of touch buttons that replace the physical units in the old car. Resolution and touch response are excellent and there is support for MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The top Style Plus trim also offers an app that allows control of infotainment system from a smartphone. The centre console is now finished in a glossy black trim that contrasts nicely with the soft-feel beige treatment on the dashboard. The steering wheel is new, similar to the one in the new Superb and the instrument cluster gets newly designed dials.
3. It offers the same driving experience
The facelift car runs on the same chassis and powertrain options continue unchanged. Buyers have a choice of a 2.0-litre diesel producing 143hp and 320Nm and can be had with a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed DSG. Petrol buyers can choose between the 1.4 TSI and 1.8 TSI petrol. The smaller engine produces 150hp/250Nm and comes with a six-speed manual only. The more powerful 1.8TSI sends its 180hp/250Nm to the front wheels solely via a 7-speed DSG. Suspension settings remain the same with a MacPherson strut setup in the front and a torsion beam-type rear on the diesel and 1.4 TSI models. The 1.8 TSI benefits from a multi-link independent rear suspension setup that offers better control and lower noise levels. All three cars offer great highway stability, involving handling and good ride comfort, but the 1.8 TSI remains the driver’s pick.
4. It gains more features
The Octavia comes with additional features like an auto parking assist similar to the feature found on the Volkswagen Passat and the newer Volvos. This system allows the car to handle the steering, leaving only braking duty to the driver. The Octavia also comes with an electric parking brake and features Hill Hold to make things easier for the driver when setting off from an incline. Style Plus buyers will also enjoy ambient lighting with 10 different colour options. Rear passengers now have access to two USB charging ports below their air-con vents. Earlier features like the panoramic sunroof and cooled glovebox continue as does a fat standard safety feature list that includes ABS, ESP, ASR, brake assist and more. The base model gets four airbags while the top model gets eight.
5. It could get more affordable
The new Octavia will go on sale within a month’s time, by which time the new GST regulations should be in practice. GST rates are not fully clear and they could vary slightly from state to state but as things currently stand, luxury cars may see their prices drop by a bit. In the case of the Octavia, there is a chance that prices could drop by up to Rs 1 lakh, or more. Considering that, the Octavia could start around Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base 1.4TSI Ambition with the top 20.TDI Style Plus priced at Rs 22-23 lakh. At these prices, the Skoda Octavia will remain the premium option in its segment, but this update has made the car more appealing.