Europe’s new anti-SUV is on its way.
The new Skoda Octavia wagon and sedan is set to land in local showrooms from late April with prices for the three-tier range starting at $30,390.
Built on the same platform as the new Volkswagen Golf – which is due later this year – the Octavia brings updated styling and tech.
Headlining the changes is the dumping of the dual-clutch automatic in favour of a conventional eight-speed automatic in the base Ambition and mid-tier Style versions. The range-topping sporty RS version keeps the seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
A 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine making 110kW and 250Nm powers the base Ambition and mid-tier Style grades. A feisty 2.0-litre turbopetrol unit making 180kW and 370Nm is found in the top-spec RS.
The Octavia Ambition is priced from $30,390 in sedan form and $31,690 as a wagon.
Looks have been boosted with LED head and tail lights, 18-inch alloy wheels and silver roof rails.
Infotainment is taken care of via a 10-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And all models come with the brand’s excellent digital dash.
Unfortunately safety gear is kept to a minimum with auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection the only big ticket item.
Buyers of the Ambition grade can’t even option items such as lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
Customers of the mid-tier Style versions, which cost $34,890 (sedan) and $36,190 (wagon), do have the option of adding those safety features via a $5800 Luxury Pack that also comes with heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery and five USB-C charging points.
The Style can also be optioned with a $3200 Tech Pack, which includes a head-up display a 12-speaker Canton stereo, digital radio and three-zone climate control.
Style variants gain extra standard gear including in-built satnav, folding side mirror and park assist.
Range-topping RS versions start at $47,790 in sedan guise and $49,090 as a wagon.
Besides the more performance-focused engine and transmission combination the RS also scores a range of sporty styling cues, including extensive black highlights and RS badging used inside and out.
There are leather trimmed RS sports seats, Alcantara trim used throughout the cabin, larger 19-inch alloy wheels with big red brake calipers.
The RS does come with lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring as standard, and it also gains two extra airbags taking its tally to 10.
Buyers can choose a $6500 Premium Pack that adds driving modes, head-up display, heated front and rear seats, a massage function on the driver’s seat and a 12-speaker Canton stereo among others.
All Skodas are covered by a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.