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Skoda unveils the new Octavia

Why bother with a Passat again?...

After the now-standard weeks of small teaser images, Skoda has officially unveiled the 2013 Octavia. Designed to set new "standards in the compact segment," the model has an evolutionary design but one that adds real class and substance to the Golf rival.

Borrowing heavily from the VAG group styling book (mainly Audi), the new Octavia has sharply creased styling lines down the sides, a new ‘fin’ return in the rear side window and a bigger version of the new corporate face seen on the new Rapid. This includes a bold grille with the badge ‘indent’ and a wide lower intake featuring the fog lights. The headlight units are angular and feature bi-xenon tech as an option.

The rear is the most Audi-like, with a strong look of the previous A4, but it still looks very good. Overall the model is well proportioned and looks much classier than the previous generation. Overall, the model is 90 mm longer and 45 mm wider than its predecessor. It also rides on a wheelbase that has been stretched by 108 mm giving much more legroom.

The restrained styling carries over to the cabin as the Octavia has an attractive and functional interior which is for the first time a match, if not nicer than the VW equivalent. Notable highlights include a three-spoke steering wheel, updated touchscreen infotainment system and an optional panoramic glass roof. The Octavia also has a best-in-class boot capacity of 590 litres.

The entry-level engine is a 1.4 TSI with 120 bhp and 147 lb/ft. There is also a more powerful 1.4 with 138 bhp and 184 lb/ft. Initially, the range-topping petrol model will be the 1.8 TSI, with 177 bhp and 184 lb/ft. A few months after launch, the 2.0-litre turbo engine from the Golf GTI will be introduced in a hot new Octavia vRS, with 230 bhp. The vRS will surface next July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. As with the current Octavia, both petrol and diesel vRS models will be offered.

The diesels kick off with a 103bhp 1.6, and there’s a frugal 108 bhp Greenline version of the 1.6 that returns a claimed 83 mpg and emits 89 g/km of CO2. Two 2.0 TDIs are also on offer, with 147 bhp and 181 bhp. Six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes will be available, and it’s thought that the DSG has been redesigned to take higher torque outputs.

The new Octavia will go on sale next March. Prices are set to rise slightly compared with the current range, which starts at about £14,000.

Images courtesy of Skoda

 

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more