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Tried and trusted Octavia gets a facelift for 2017

What, when, where?

Skoda launched their updated Octavia in Porto this week and we went along to see what’s new with one of Ireland’s all time favourite cars.

What have they done to it?

Quite a bit actually. The exterior has been given a substantial revamp. A redesigned front grille now incorporates a new set of crystalline headlights that give the set up a distinctive ‘split’ effect. It’s sure to divide opinion somewhat, but alongside the new wider, honeycomb air intake, it’s now a lot more interesting to look at, and really quite striking in the metal.

Round the back, full C-shaped LED tail lights are now standard from the mid-spec Ambition model upwards.

More tech, more spec

That top-selling Ambition model will also benefit from a reversing camera and electrically folding mirrors as standard, as well as the top of the range Smartlink+
phone integration system. This includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and makes for a familiar and user-friendly touchscreen experience. It looks even more impressive on the 9.2 inch Columbus navigation and infotainment system on the top-spec Style model, which now comes with a SIM card slot which will allow you to create a portable WiFi hotspot in the car.

That in turn will allow you to access SKODA Connect Online services which can give you up to the minute information on things such as traffic and petrol prices in your location. An upgraded version will allow you to access the vehicle remotely via an app to keep track of your parking position and driving data when you’re away from the car. 

Safety first

There’s a new range of safety features available including blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert and predictive pedestrian protection.

Under the skin

The body has grown by 11mm adding a little extra legroom and the boot continues to be one of the largest in the class at 590 litres. Inside the cabin has also been given a bit of a makeover with some new materials and upholstery, and the higher spec models even get ambient lighting.

The engine line-up remains unchanged since the introduction of the impressively powerful 1.0 turbo last year which should be popular option when paired with this new model.

(Still) Spacious. (Still) Affordable. (Still) Reliable.

These are the words most often used to describe the Skoda Octavia, and they are obviously traits we value quite a lot here. In fact we’ve bought more than 55,000 of them since it first arrived in 1998, with more than five million of them sold worldwide. It seems Skoda also want to add ‘stylish’ to that list and we reckon this fresh new look does just that.

Pricing will start at €19,750 ( the Combi at €20,750) and like the much-awaited Kodiaq it lands here in showrooms at the end of March. We’ll have a full video review and test drive when it does.