ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS THE FOURTH GENERATION SKODA OCTAVIA
The Octavia has been the backbone for Skoda and this year will see the arrival of the fourth generation model. Due to the global shutdown though, it’s difficult to provide a clear date. In common with the practical estate, the new Octavia hatchback is larger and packed with more technology than ever.
The modern Octavia has been a part of the Skoda line-up since 1996 and it shares its name with an earlier car produced between 1959 and 1971. The first Skoda to carry the Octavia name was a two door powered by a 1.1 litre engine with a modest output of 40PS and a top speed of 110kph. Production was at the main plant at Mlada Boleslav, a facility which I have visited and there in the Skoda Museum I discovered examples of Skoda products down the years and there I cast my eyes on a Skoda single seater, rather like an F3 car.
The modern Octavia has not only found favour with the private and business driver, but is commonly used as a taxi and it continues to be the choice of a number of police forces throughout Europe. Worth noting, more than five million have been produced making it the most popular model for the company. In addition to being more spacious, safer, and better connected, the all-new model is longer and wider than its predecessor, has an even larger boot and showcases the latest evolution of the company’s design language. The new interior combines class-leading practicality with outstanding functionality and high-quality materials and innovative connectivity features and new assistance systems further highlight the brand’s commitment to delivering the best possible value for money to customers.
The new model is longer and wider, a length of 4,689mm, the new hatchback is 19mm longer and 15mm wider than its predecessor, while its boot volume has been increased by 10 litres to a very useful 600 litres. The new front apron and the razor-sharp, narrower new headlights feature LED technology for low beam with high beam and daytime running lights as standard. The tail lights, brake lights and fog lights make use of LED technology as well. Alloy wheel choice is up to 19 inches which delivers a powerful appearance while Crystal Black, Petrol Blue and Titan Blue have been newly added to the model range of paint finishes. The newly designed interior offers a new two-spoke steering wheel, which can be heated as an option and it comes with new control buttons and knurled scroll wheels, allowing you to operate a total of 14 different functions without removing your hands. The redesigned modular dashboard has been arranged in different levels featuring a large, free-standing central display. The centre is uncluttered and adorned with chrome details, as are the new door trims and handles. The employment of new and soft-touch materials lend the interior a premium look while the new LED ambient lighting indirectly illuminates the front doors, dashboard and footwells. You can choose up to 30 RGB colours and can assign a different colour to the dashboard and front doors than to the footwell. In addition, they can select from coordinated lighting scenarios. The hatchback range mirrors that of the estate and among the many highlights fitted to all models are third-generation MIB infotainment systems, Virtual Cockpit digital display, LED headlights and Wireless Smartlink for Apple CarPlay. The all-new interior features a host of premium design features including a new two-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, shift-by-wire DSG selector and rear parking sensors with manoeuvre assist.