New Skoda Octavia: Europe’s favourite fleet car goes digital and hybrid
The importance of the Octavia for both Skoda and the fleet market should not be underestimated. Even in 2019, Skoda managed to head the B2B sales charts in many countries with the aging Octavia. Still, it was high time for the next generation to relieve the current model of its duties.
In spite of VW’s strategy to make Skoda a budget brand, the fourth-generation Octavia – which shares its underpinnings with the recently presented VW Golf VIII – climbs a step on the social ladder with its digital dashboard, refined design, technological features and state-of-the-art powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid one.
Just like the VW Golf VIII, the Skoda Octavia will come as a five-door hatchback and an estate car – which will both be immediately available. Compared to its predecessor, the Octavia IV is longer and wider, but also a lot more aerodynamic.
It remains a true cabin space champion – the boot of the hatchback now even manages 600 litres of cargo, which is 10 litres more than before. The estate model sees its cargo capacity increase by 30 litres to a class-leading 640 litres.
From diesel via CNG to plug-in hybrid
Below the bonnet you will find the same powertrains as the VW Golf VIII’s. The petrol range includes a 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI, which are assisted by a 48V electric system in the case of the DSG (automatic) versions (which indeed are mild hybrids). On the diesel side, the 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI feature an additional NOx treatment system to comply with the Euro 6d-Temp emission standard. The G-Tec model, which runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), is also carried over.
Absolutely new is the plug-in hybrid model, the powertrain of which is derived from the VW Golf GTE. Indeed, a 1.4 petrol unit is mated to a 13kWh battery for 55km of electric range (WLTP).
If you’re not entirely wooed, wait until you see the interior and the digital dashboard. Sitting in comfier seats – with optional cooling and massage function – you can now enjoy the latest in connectivity and infotainment on a variety of screens ranging from 8.25 to 10 inches.
Interestingly, Skoda introduces a virtual assistant called Laura into the Octavia’s cabin. You can ask her to change the audio track, navigate to the nearest petrol station, and so on. Thanks to a built-in eSIM, the Octavia has continuous access to the latest Skoda Connect mobile online services. These include eCall, remote vehicle access and infotainment apps such as Spotify.
Next to a fancy head-up display, the fourth-generation Octavia inaugurates several new assistance systems. The Collision Avoidance Assist supports the driver by actively increasing the steering moment in the event of an impending collision with a pedestrian, cyclist or another vehicle – ideally preventing the accident with a controlled evasive manoeuvre.
At junctions, Turn Assist can detect oncoming traffic at an early stage when turning left, warn the driver or even automatically stop the vehicle. The Exit Warning system lets the driver know if another vehicle or a cyclist is approaching from behind when opening the car door.
Prices, CO2 ratings and lead times have not been disclosed yet, but they will surely be communicated before the upcoming Brussels Motor Show in January, 2020, where the new Octavia will be on display and on order.