This is the brand’s biggest-selling model – Skoda has sold 3.7 million globally since 1996 – but more than that, its evolution is a three-generation account of Skoda’s triumphant rise from former Eastern Bloc hulk to Volkswagen Group darling.
Now, this new Skoda Octavia has changed significantly; not only to maximise its own potential but also to make space for another car in the firm’s line-up.
The Skoda Rapid is now the compact family hatchback of the range, leaving the Octavia with a bigger body and, inevitably, a higher price to prevent it from clashing with its sibling.
Both increases push the model into unfamiliar territory; it is now noticeably larger than a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus, but still slightly smaller than a Volkswagen Passat. For 2017, the third generation Skoda Octavia was given a facelift, albeit a slightly controversial one. Changes weren't merely cosmetic, although the most poignant ones were, which included a more streamlined bonnet, redesigned rear and tail lights, and the decision to split the headlight cluster into two sections.
Inside the Octavia got more clever touches including a new bottle holder, an integrated torch in the boot, similar to the latest Skoda Superb, and updated infotainment systems. As for engines they broadly stayed the same as before with the Skoda Octavia vRS models getting a touch more power, while the emergence of the Skoda Octavia vRS 245 sees the model go toe-to-toe with its sibling and rival the Volkswagen Golf GTI.