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 model has changed significantly; not only to maximise its own potential but also to make space for another car in the firm’s line-up.
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 Passat. For 2017, the third generation 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 Superb, and updated infotainment systems. As for engines they broadly stayed the same as before with the vRS models getting a touch more power, while the emergence of the vRS 245 sees the Octavia go toe-to-toe with its sibling and rival the Volkswagen Golf GTI.