• All-new Octavia set to arrive next year
• A wide range of efficient engines
• Headline figures of 83mpg and 89 g/km of CO2

The all-new Skoda Octavia hatch has been unveiled. Bigger, lighter, cleaner and more efficient than ever before, it will occupy the space in the market above the Rapid, which was unveiled earlier in the year.

Styling-wise, the consistently conservative Skoda hasn’t made any giant leaps of faith with the new car, opting instead for an enlarged Rapid silhouette. The front of the car looks similar to the smaller car as well, with the Octavia sporting the new Skoda design language. In profile, the new Octavia has echoes of its Volkswagen Group stable-mate, the Audi A4, and a distinctive shoulder line runs the length of the car, from headlamps to rear light clusters, leading the eye to a sculpted rear which incorporates angular surfaces and a noticeable ‘C’ motif in the rear lights.

Inside, Skoda is aiming to improve the perceived quality with improved equipment levels and space. The new Octavia benefits from Adaptive Cruise Assistance, a multimedia infotainment system with touchscreen functionality, Intelligent Light Assistance (which dips the headlights automatically) as well as Automatic Parking Assistance. A first for any Skoda is the availability of a panoramic sunroof, in addition to KESSY (Keyless Entry Start and exit System).

The interior also gets a multitude of cubby holes, storage bins and foldable anchoring points in the boot. As well as these features, the Octavia is fitted with an ice scraper inside the fuel filler cap, a rubbish bin in the door panel and hooks and holders throughout the inside of the car.

In terms of safety, the Octavia benefits from up to nine airbags (with knee and rear side airbags available) as well as Lane Assistant, Front Assistant (an emergency braking function) and automatic brake actuation if a collision takes place. The new car can also be equipped with Driver Activity Assistance, which measures the driver’s fatigue levels.

Skoda says that the car is up to 102kg lighter than the previous model, despite its increased size and equipment levels, thanks to the use of high-strength steel in its construction.

Under the bonnet, the Octavia gets a choice of four diesels and four petrol engines, with the most efficient being the 1.6-litre GreenLine diesel. This puts out 109bhp whilst managing 83mpg and 89 g/km of CO2. The most powerful engine at launch will be a 177bhp 1.8-litre turbo and supercharged unit, while a sporty, more powerful vRS model is in the pipeline. Both manual and dual-clutch DSG gearboxes are available and initially, all models will be front-wheel drive. However, Skoda says that four-wheel drive is in the offing.

We are expecting that the Octavia will go on sale in March next year, with pricing to be announced approximately four weeks before launch.

By James Richardson

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