'The heart of the brand' as Skoda likes to call it gets additional driver assistance systems and other clever tech.
Having introduced the mid-cycle refresh for the Octavia a couple of months ago, Skoda is now ready to provide additional details about the extra technology that comes along with the questionable facelift. No longer can the Octavia be considered as the poor man’s Golf as it’s almost on par with its fancier sibling from Wolfsburg, albeit it doesn’t have the optional all-digital instrument cluster.
What it does have is a plethora of new driver assistance systems, including predictive pedestrian protection while driving in the city at speeds from 10 to 60 kph (6 to 37 mph). It will automatically engage the emergency brake once a “pedestrian dangerously steps out into oncoming traffic.” As you would imagine, it doesn’t come as standard equipment as you will have to fork out the extra money for the optional Front Assist package that also bundles the aforementioned emergency braking function.
The Octavia facelift also welcomes Blind Spot Detect to aid the driver while changing lines thanks to the two radar sensors keeping an eye out for traffic behind the car. If an imminent collision is detected, a warning sign will be automatically illuminated in the glass of the side mirrors.
Other goodies on the menu include an optional trailer assist system controllable via the rotary switch for the exterior mirrors. The drivers can specify the angle at which they want to reverse the trailer and will receive the suitable steering suggestions. To make your life even easier behind the wheel, Skoda also offers Rear Traffic Alert to help you while parallel parking and also when you are about to leave a parking space.
The 2017 Octavia also supports a system called Maneuver Assist, which will automatically activate the brakes if it detects there’s an obstacle behind the car while reversing.
Skoda mentions the upgraded infotainment systems now have support for additional online services, such as real-time traffic info, fuel prices, news, weather, and details about available parking options. The top-of-the-range Columbus with its 9.2-inch display also get support for Google Earth and Street View, while the online map update service will download the latest maps.
Last but not least, the facelifted Octavia features what Skoda calls “Care Connect services,” with the most important one being the emergency call (“eCall”) immediately activated once a restraint system is triggered after an accident.
The revised model is already on sale in select European markets, such as at home in Czech Republic and in Slovakia where the online configurations are up and running. From 2017, Skoda will assemble its compact model at a new factory in Algeria alongside the Caddy, Golf facelift, and next-gen SEAT Ibiza.