New 2017 Octavia Now Available

After the first images of Skoda's facelifted Octavia were revealed late last year, the full details of the model’s 2017 changes have been announced. On sale in February, the model made its first public debut at an event in Vienna in January.

The latest Skoda family look pioneered by the Skoda Kodiaq has clearly been implemented on the Octavia’s new exterior. The car has revised ‘split’ headlights and a neater lower bumper section with crisp horizontal lines designed to emphasise the car’s width.

The UK engine line-up will extend to a pair of petrol units and two diesels. The petrols are that 1.0-litre turbo with 114bhp and a 1.4-litre turbo producing 148bhp, while the diesels are a 1.6 and a 2.0 offering the same respective power figures. The Scout and vRS editions of the car get their own more powerful motors (however, both models are not due until next year).

The interior itself brings a major overhaul to the Octavia’s infotainment system - again influenced by the technology that’s being introduced on the Kodiaq. All of the systems offered - Swing and Balero, and the navigation-equipped Amundsen and Columbus - get capacitive touchscreens.

The range-topping Columbus’s display is now 9.2 inches, the largest screen ever seen in an Octavia; it offers a wireless hotspot and can be ordered with a SIM card module to share high-speed broadband across the car’s occupants. Later in 2017, the car is also expected to get the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital instrument panel that we’ve seen on the VW Passat and various Audis.

Features added to the Octavia line-up - and likely to be spread across the range as a mix of standard-fit and optional items - include a customised key that can store multiple driver preferences, a heated steering wheel, folding tables in the backs of the front seats and, in the estate, a removable torch in the boot. Ambient lighting is also added on top trims, while new cupholders are moulded to the shape of bottles allowing them to be opened with one hand.

There are also new assistance systems, including a trailer assistant that will take over the steering when the car is reversing slowly while towing, and upgrades to the Octavia’s parking systems so they can now warn of oncoming traffic when reversing out of a space.

The Octavia’s load bay - another of the car’s key selling points - remains pretty much unchanged. The hatchback offers 590 litres of space with the rear seats in place, although this can be extended to 1,580 litres by folding them down. The estate’s default capacity is 610 litres, rising to 1,740 litres; this car can also now have an electric powered tailgate as an option.

The new Octavia will be available to order in UK dealers from 1 February 2017, with deliveries starting a month later. Prices are expected to stay broadly in line with the existing car’s, so an entry-level edition of the hatchback is likely to cost from around £17,000.