Skoda's best-selling model gets a new face for its mid-cycle refresh, along with more safety kit borrowed from the Superb.
Following months of speculations about a split headlight design, the facelifted Octavia has arrived to confirm the rumors. The new look certainly makes the car stand out from the current crop of affordable compact models, but we are not so sure the Mercedes E-Class W212-like dual headlight setup is going to be appreciated by all people. Along with the new headlights comes full LED technology to replace the previous bi-xenon + LED daytime running lights of the pre-facelift Octavia.
Not much else has changed on the outside, although the front bumper looks a tad different and hosts redesigned fog lights. The side profile has been virtually carried over, while at the back we are able to notice refreshed graphics for the LED taillights. New alloy wheel designs in sizes from 16 to 18 inches round off the exterior tweaks.
Stepping inside the roomy cabin, the top-spec Columbus infotainment system is now rocking a larger 9.2-inch touchscreen display as seen in the Kodiaq. Gone are the physical controls flanking the screen as these have been replaced by capacitive-touch buttons to provide the center console a sleeker appearance. All four infotainment systems now come with capacitive displays with a glass design to make the Octavia feel more modern on the inside. The attached video is also the option of ambient lighting, much like in the recently facelifted Seat Leon sister model.
Speaking of staying up to date, Skoda is introducing a wider array of assistance systems taken from the flagship Superb. At an additional cost, buyers will be able to opt for predictive pedestrian protection working together with the Front Assist system, while the parking assistant has been upgraded. Other novelties brought by the Octavia facelift include Rear Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection, as well as a trailer assistant that will come in handy when towing a vehicle.
Also sourced from the Superb is the removable torch inside the Octavia Combi’s trunk, as part of a broader “Simply Clever” collection of handy features now also including a customizable key to allow multiple users save their own car settings. An optional heated steering wheel is making its debut on Skoda’s most popular car, as are the foldable tables mounted on the back of the front seats.
Underneath the hood, customers will get to pick from five gasoline and four diesel engines ranging in displacement from 1.0 to 2.0 and varying in output from 84 horsepower (63 kilowatts) to 184 hp (135 kW). Almost all engines can be had with a six- or seven-speed DSG, while the beefier 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TDI can be linked to an all-wheel drive system for extra grip. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which made its debut earlier this year, will soldier on with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes.
There aren’t any details concerning the vRS models, but that’s because the sporty editions are bound to arrive later in 2017. Word on the street says there’s going to be a more powerful vRS 245 model, which as the name suggests will dial the 2.0 TSI to 245 horsepower.
Meanwhile, the lesser versions will go on sale before the end of the year, with deliveries scheduled to begin early 2017.