More than five million Skoda Octavias have rolled off the production line since the compact first showed up on the scene in 1996. The Czech brand’s bestseller is now in its third generation and a new year brings a new comprehensive update across the model range, from the estate and hatchback variants to the top-end vRS models.
The refreshed Octavia’s radically new front end sports a wider radiator grille plus larger honeycomb-style air inlets housed within a redesigned bumper. LED tail lights come as standard and can be specified in two styles including a novel new crescent design.
The slightly increased length and width of the new Octavia hatch and estate models affords even more wriggle room on the inside. Already boasting one of the roomiest cabins in the large compact arena, the 2017 update expands luggage space to 610 litres on the estate version, which also comes with the option of an electric tailgate.
Unashamedly functional in design, the refreshed cabin does give drivers at least couple of new toys to play with. Optional lights that line the interior of the Octavia’s doors are adjustable to one of ten different colours and you’ll find a 9.2-inch infotainment display with on-board Wi-Fi hotspot on the top spec edition. Meanwhile, rear seat passengers now get a pair of USB ports for phone charging as well as folding tray tables on the back of the front seats.
Drive assist systems aboard the upgraded Octavia are numerous and varied in nature. Trailer Assist, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert are all new to the party with the existing Park Assist overhauled and improved for the 2017 model.
Power ranges from 114bhp to 181bhp depending on which of the two TSI petrol engines or three diesel units takes your fancy. The majority of these can be hooked up to a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox depending on your preference. Dynamic Chassis Control with Comfort, Normal or Sport modes is available across the whole Octavia range whereas only the range-topping 2.0 TDI gets all-wheel drive.
If you’re a driver who enjoys cracking the whip a little, the Octavia vRS might be more to your taste. Also available in 2.0 litre petrol and diesel guise, this range-topper ups the output to 227bhp and features a number of sporty tweaks. These include a lowered chassis, 19-inch vRS wheels, a black radiator at the front end and spoiler and larger exhaust pipes to the rear.
The updated 2017 Skoda Octavia will be rolled out to UK showrooms in the coming weeks. With no change of pricing announced, expect the refreshed model sell for just over £18,000 OTR.