Skoda Octavia facelift revealed
Skoda has given its Octavia hatchback and estate more equipment and new safety features - both models will arrive in dealerships early next year...
The Octavia is one of our favourite family cars, winning the title of Family Car of the Year for 2016 at the most recent What Car? Awards. It competes against tough competition in the form of the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra - although in truth it's closer to a VW Passat or Ford Mondeo in size.
Skoda has given the Octavia a new front grille similar to that on the Kodiaq large SUV, as well as new LED lights at the front and rear and a more streamlined bonnet. These updates haven't changed the overall size of the Octavia or its interior space, which is good, because the Octavia already offers the best rear seat space and boot in this class.
Another key change is the option of three new infotainment systems inside the Octavia. Dubbed, Bolero, Amundsen and Columbus, the systems all feature glass touchscreens, which are designed to respond to light touches. The largest screen, the Columbus, measures 9.2in and features a wi-fi hotspot.
The Octavia's suite of driver assistance systems has also been updated. It now includes a trailer assistant to help with reversing when the car is towing, a parking assistant, blind spot detection and rear traffic assistance. The Octavia's automatic emergency braking system can now detect pedestrians, too.
The options list has expanded to include a heated steering wheel, a Dynamic Chassis Control system, which allows drivers to choose between different driving modes, and a removable torch in the boot of the Octavia estate.
Engine options are largely unchanged from the current car, meaning our pick of the range is still the mid-range 1.6-litre diesel, which is very economical but also has plenty of pulling power. A six- speed manual gearbox is standard, but drivers can also choose a six or seven-speed automatic.
Skoda hasn't revealed prices for the updated Octavia, but a small increase over the current car - which costs from £16,600 in hatch form and from £17,880 as an estate - is expected. The Octavia is already priced keenly compared with its key rivals, so a small increase will still keep the car competitive.
See more of the current Skoda Octavia in our video review below.