Skoda's best seller is getting ambient lighting and even more Simply Clever features.
The facelifted Octavia is the talk of the town nowadays mainly because of its highly controversial split headlight design, but there’s more to the car than just a new face. Skoda has made an assortment of changes inside the cabin where there’s now ambient lighting as standard for the Style and L&K trims. It’s installed in the door’s decorative strip and is available in ten selectable colors to create a cozy atmosphere inside the spacious cabin.
The lesser Ambition version now has a new black and brown combo and an all-black instrument, while the other trims have also been subjected to a few minor changes. Skoda went to the trouble of reshaping the bottle holders in the center console so that they can now interlock with the bottom of PET bottles in order to allow the driver and front passenger open them with only one hand. Simply Clever, isn’t it? Another new feature is the optional folding table affixed to the backrests of the front seats. In addition, the trunk of the more practical Octavia Combi now hosts a removable LED flashlight borrowed from the larger Superb Combi.
A heated steering wheel is also making its debut on the Octavia, as is the option of a customizable key that saves the driver’s options, such as seat position, infotainment settings, climate control, assistance systems, driving profile selection, and even the exterior and interior lighting.
But perhaps the most important change is the upgrade given to all of the infotainment systems. The Bolero’s 6.5-inch touchscreen has grown to 8 inches, while the top-spec Columbus has increased as well from the previous 8-inch display to a larger 9.2-inch screen. These two together with the mid-range Amundsen now come with a sleeker glass design and without physical controls on the side of the screen as these have been replaced by touch-sensitive buttons. Even the base Swing version has plenty of features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirrorLink, and SmartGate allowing the owner to access the car’s data straight from a smartphone.
To avoid the hassle of having to use charging wires for smartphones and tablets, the Octavia facelift will be optionally available with a wireless charging functionality, while on the connectivity front there’s an LTE module and Wi-Fi hotspot.
Skoda will begin taking orders for the Octavia in the Active, Ambition, Style, and L&K trims before the year’s end, with deliveries slated to start early 2017. A few months later, the rugged Scout and the sporty RS will complete the family, and we hear a punchier RS is on the agenda.