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Skoda Octavia given new look, more tech

Facelifted mid-sized hatch and estate on sale in March.

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The facelifted version of the Skoda Octavia has been unveiled, with changes to the exterior look and more technology.

Engine changes also feature in the line-up, with the top performance models gaining power.

The facelift, that runs across both the hatch and estate versions of Skoda’s global best-seller, includes a revised front end adopting the wider and more angular grille most recently seen on the new Kodiaq SUV.

New headlamps with a crystal-like finish are included, as are wider air inlets with honeycomb grilles and a more muscular bumper. LED lamps with adaptive lighting are available as options.

The rear also gains bumper modifications while the LED tail lamps offer two variants including C-shaped light signatures.

Skoda Octavia 02

While the basic shell remains the same, the changes add 11mm to the length of the hatch, and 8mm to the estate. The rear track also expands, by 20 or 30mm depending on engine choice.

Across the mainstream Skoda Octavia range there are two TSI petrol engines and three TDI diesels, with power outputs ranging from 115 to 184hp. An 86hp petrol unit is joining the line-up but won’t apparently be offered to UK buyers.

Most major engine changes are to the most powerful units fitted to the vRS models. The 2-litre TSI petrol now produces 230hp, up by 10hp on the current model, while the TDI diesel puts out 184hp. It combines this with combined cycle fuel economy of 62.8mpg and 115g/km of CO2 emissions.

Most of the range gets a choice of manual or DSG transmissions while buyers of the cars with the 2-litre TDI can also specify all-wheel-drive.

Infotainment upgrades

Changes to the interior styling are subtle, to the equipment significant. New-generation infotainment systems start with an eight-inch touchscreen and range up to the Columbus navigation system with a 9.2-inch display, Wi-Fi hotspot and Phonebox smartphone charging.

Connectivity now includes a range of streamed services, among them Infotainment Online, the Care Connect assistance feature and remote services using the Skoda Connect smartphone app. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink smartphone integration are all supported.

Drive assistance systems available for the Octavia have mushroomed in choice, new systems including Trailer Assist, the Predictive Pedestrian Protection function, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert.

And the signature Skoda ‘Simply Clever’ features have also been expanded. Two USB ports in the rear, folding tray tables on the back of the front seats, bottle holders that make the opening of bottles easier and a removable LED torch in the Estate’s boot are all available.

Facelifted Octavia models are expected on UK roads from March – prices are still to be announced but are expected to be slightly higher than the current car that starts at £16,660.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.