The all-new, fourth generation Skoda Octavia gets more space, better technology and plug-in hybrid versions.
The Octavia already had a reputation for being the roomiest car in its class, so it bodes well that this new version is even bigger.
At 4,689mm, the hatch is 19 mm and the estate 22 mm longer than the third-generation model, while both versions are 15mm wider.
The hatchback’s boot has increased by 10 litres, to 600 litres, while the estate’s boot jumps 30 litres to 640 litres.
The fourth generation Octavia will offer Skoda’s first plug-in hybrid. It’s powered by a 101bhp electric engine and a 1.4 litre petrol for a combined 201bhp, and can be driven for 34 miles on electric power alone.
The battery reduces boot space, however, with the hybrid hatchback having 450 litres and the estate 490.
Other engine options are a 1.0 litre, three cylinder petrol with 108bhp; a 148bhp 1.5 petrol; and a 1.8 litre, 187bhp petrol. There’s also a 2.0 litre diesel available with 114, 148 or 197bhp.
The most powerful diesel is offered with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG gearbox.
Externally, the Octavia has been brought into line with the Skoda Scala and Superb, getting a new grille and full LED headlights. A lower roofline contributes to a more coupe-like silhouette and also improves aerodynamics and therefore economy.
The interior has taken a leap forward in quality, with soft touch materials and ambient lighting. The dashboard has an 8.25in touchscreen (10in on higher spec models) and there is gesture control as well as a voice control assistant who goes by the name of Laura.
Optional extras include wireless charging, three-zone climate control and acoustic window glass.
The new Octavia goes on sale in the summer. Skoda hasn’t released prices yet but it’s safe to assume a modest rise of a few hundred pounds, meaning entry level cars should cost around £20,000 and top spec models will attract a £35,000 tag.