Škoda Octavia facelift in the driving report
The compact from the Czech Republic, which has been in production since 1996 in its second phase, has been in its third generation since 2012. More than five million units sold show the important place the Octavia has in the product range of the car manufacturer from Mladá Boleslav. Shortly before it moves into the next generation, the Octavia is not just getting its regular facelift. Future Škoda customers should familiarize themselves with small cosmetic changes, but primarily an extensive switch to the digital world. The Czechs are thus following the current trend: digitization of the cockpit and the integration of driver assistance systems that are otherwise only known from the luxury class. Another step towards automated driving. The range that Škoda Germany is now making available in its dealerships includes four petrol, four diesel engines and one natural gas operation in the engine compartment. The Octavia 3.2 Sedan is available from 17.450 euros and the Combi version from 18.150 euros.
Slightly elongated octavia
As at the beginning of its 2012 cycle, the car has a decidedly strong position on the road. In addition, the designers from our neighboring country donated two more headlights and air inlets with a honeycomb structure to their compact. The rearranged outer headlights are responsible for the low beam. The inner ones, tapering towards the radiator grille, for the high beam. The look of the wide-looking rear section is supported by a new bumper and LED lights. The result of the only minor changes are the changed external dimensions. As a result, the sedan grew in length by 11 mm and the Combi by 8 mm to 4.67 meters each.
Digitization with a large interior
Both body variants - sedan and station wagon - were ready for testing a few days ago at the gates of Porto (Portugal). When boarding, we encounter high quality material in addition to solid workmanship. The dashboard is tidy and offers all the important information for the driver. The infotainment system, which is already part of the newer generation, can also be operated intuitively by inexperienced Skoda drivers. Depending on the equipment (between 6,5 and 9,2 inches), the display, which appears in a glass design, sits extremely prominently in the center of the console. The Skoda Media Command apps can be controlled via the integrated WLAN connection using a tablet or smartphone. The Octavia still retains the generous feeling of space in its third generation update. Passengers enjoy seating comfort with ample legroom in both the front and rear seats. Even traveling with ample luggage would be guaranteed in the limousine. This underlines the trunk volume of the four-door model with 590 liters with full seating. If the rear seats are folded down, the volume increases to a decent 1.580 liters. If you are out and about with the Combi, a trunk volume of 610 - 1.740 liters is available. Bulk shopping in the compact class made easy.
Škoda offers both body types in a structured manner, each with four TSI petrol engines, four TDI diesel and one 1,4 liter TSI G-TEC for natural gas operation. The well-known petrol units 1.2 TSI (63 kW / 86 PS), 1.4 TSI (110 kW / 150 PS) and 1.8 TSI (132 kW / 180 PS) include the entry-level highlight presented last year, the 1.0 TSI (85 kW / 115 PS). The new turbocharged three-cylinder can be combined with both a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Both drives are Škoda in-house productions from the Czech Republic. The 1.8 liter motorization can also be ordered with an all-wheel drive (combined with a six-stage dual clutch transmission). In the diesel sector, Škoda focuses on continuity and delivers the Octavia without changing the engine range. The 1.6 TDI (66 kW / 90 PS and 85 kW / 115 PS) and 2.0 TDI (110 kW / 150 PS and 135 kW / 186 PS) can be equipped with a five-speed and six-speed manual transmission as well as a six-speed - And seven-stage dual clutch transmission can be equipped. Four-wheel drive is also available for the 2.0 liter unit.
On our test drives between Porto and Ílhavo, about 100 kilometers away, we only drove the most-ordered 1.4 liter TSI petrol engine, which confirmed its already good performance with its good and confident suit with a quiet sound. Thanks to its direct, responsive steering, the Combi guided us very agile through urban traffic. He mastered both the bad road conditions and rapid load changes and gives a safe feeling. The presented lowest consumption values of combined 5,0 liters (corresponding to 116 grams of CO2 emissions) are unfortunately not to be checked on the day of the event. When it comes to equipment, Škoda's managers design both sedans and estate cars alike: The four lavishly equipped equipment lines are: "Active", "Ambition", "Style" and "L&K". If the sedan starts with the “Active” at a price of 17.450 euros, the combi chassis is available from 18.150 euros. Due to a moderate surcharge policy, the sedan with the “L&K” equipment ends at a price of 36.160 euros and the Combi at 36.860 euros.
Modern driver assistance systems
Škoda approaches the topic of driver assistance systems with two different sales strategies. All systems can be ordered both in equipment packages and individually. These include systems such as the adaptive distance assistant (a distinction is made between the system in the control range of up to 160 km / h or 210 km / h), lane change assistant, lane departure warning, trailer maneuvering assistant, parking sensors front and rear and a parking assistant. The Octavia is generally delivered as standard with “Green tec”, an automatic start-stop system including brake energy recovery, LED daytime running lights and the Škoda Care Connect. The "Care Connect" includes an SOS emergency call function (automatic activation in the event of an accident with airbag deployment), mobility service (connection option to help in the event of a breakdown), information service (connection option to the hotline for questions about vehicle functions), free remote vehicle access for 1 year with access to vehicle data and -functions via smartphone (e.g. parking position, switch on hazard warning lights, current tank filling status.
At the end... With the Octavia, Škoda offers an impressively good alternative in the highly competitive C-segment. The Czech compact triumphs not only with efficiency and driving pleasure. The price / performance ratio of the Octavia (sedan and station wagon) will make it easy for customers to make a positive purchase decision.
The Škoda Octavia takes off digitally and prepares for the next “driving level”. Solid as a rock, it offers driving fun with plenty of interior space and flexibility. As an alternative, not only an indispensable part of the parent company.
Text: Stefan Beckmann, Photo: Stefan Beckmann and manufacturer