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Amundsen now come with a sleeker glass design and without physical controls on the side of the screen as these have been replaced by touch-sensitive buttons.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.
Gallery: Skoda Octavia facelift
ŠKODA OCTAVIA: New equipment range for superior comfort
New seat upholstery, optional ambient lighting with ten selectable colours, newly designed instrument panel and operating controls
› New 'Simply Clever' features such as folding tables and LED lamps
› Comfort options: heated steering wheel, customizable keys
› Connectivity and new infotainment systems with up to 9.2-inch displays
ŠKODA is expanding the equipment range of their bestseller for even greater comfort. The comprehensive upgrade brings new design elements and improved operating solutions to the interior. The infotainment systems, which come from a new generation of devices, have screen sizes of up to 9.2 inches.
The interior of the upgraded ŠKODA OCTAVIA is characterized by an exceptionally generous amount of space and simple elegance. Its horizontally oriented design emphasizes the spaciousness of the width; the lines, surfaces and volumes are geometrically clear. On the dashboard, the round instruments are large and easy to read and their new graphics give them an even finer appearance.
ŠKODA presents several innovations in terms of the materials and colours for the interior: The Ambition equipment line features a new black/brown reference combination; the instrument panel is entirely in black. The other equipment lines are enhanced with the inclusion of new reference patterns.
In addition, the inlays have been revised. For the equipment lines Style and Laurin & Klement, ŠKODA completes the decorative strips in the doors with ambient lighting as standard. Narrow light guides create subtle lighting that can be regulated in ten colours.
In the compact class, the upgraded ŠKODA OCTAVIA continues to set the benchmark for interior space. Both the hatch and combi versions have 73 millimetres of knee room in the rear – a mid-class value. The hatch and combi models have boot volumes of 590 litres (1580 litres with rear seats folded) and 610/1740 litres respectively. If the backrest of the passenger seat (option for Ambition and Style) is folded down, objects of up to 2.92 meters in length fit into the vehicle.
For the combi, ŠKODA can supply an electric boot door on request. In addition, there are numerous ‘Simply Clever’ solutions for the luggage compartment, including the variable loading floor (from Ambition up, excluding G-TEC), the multi-function shelf and the luggage net partition. Four bag hooks come as series standard.
The interior of the ŠKODA OCTAVIA also features numerous ‘Simply Clever’ solutions and new details have been added to the upgraded model. The bottle holders in the centre tunnel console are shaped so that they interlock with the bottom of PET bottles – which allows them to be opened with one hand. In the boot of the combi there is a removable LED flashlight, which is held in place by a magnet on the body. The front seat backrests can be fitted with folding tables.
There are also two major innovations in the comfort package: the heated steering wheel rim and three customizable keys. As soon as one driver unlocks the vehicle, their personal settings are initiated. These cover a wide range of operating areas, including driving profile selection, assistance systems, indoor and outdoor lighting, Climatronic, infotainment systems and electrically adjustable seats.
The infotainment program includes the sound systems Swing (series standard) and Bolero, as well as the navigation systems Amundsen and Columbus. All four systems belong to the latest generation of devices with impressively fast operation and easy operation. Typically ŠKODA, their basic functions can be adjusted using physical buttons and controls. The touch displays react to a light touch of the finger rather than pressure. For the Bolero, Amundsen and Columbus systems, the display features a new high-quality glass design.
The Swing sound system provides extensive connectivity, including to the SmartLink+ platform. This is compatible with the standards MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This enables many smartphone apps to be displayed and used through the car’s infotainment system. In addition, the optional SmartGate feature allows you to retrieve vehicle data from your smartphone and to use it intelligently with specific apps. The Bolero sound system (series standard in the Laurin & Klement equipment line) has a high-resolution 8.0-inch touch-screen in glass design with proximity sensors: When a finger approaches, the operating mode is activated, which allows swiping, scrolling and character input.
The Amundsen navigation system can be used to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving passengers free access to the Internet to surf, stream and access email with their smartphones and tablets. The top navigation system Columbus features integrated Wi-Fi hotspot and a 9.2-inch, 1,280×640-pixel monitor. On request, an LTE module provides the ŠKODA OCTAVIA with high-speed Internet access with download speeds of up to 150 Mbit per second.
Additional components round off the hardware range: Phonebox (from the Ambition line up) that charges your smartphone wirelessly and connects it to the roof antenna. The CANTON sound system (also from Ambition up) integrates eight speakers, including centre speaker on the dashboard and subwoofer in the boot. Table holders, another option, can be attached to the front seats. 230 volt and USB ports can be fitted in the rear if required.