What is it?
Skoda likes to bill the Skoda Octavia - its biggest selling model in the UK, and a range mainstay for the last two decades - as its backbone. Having received wholesale surgery in 2013, the brand settles for a much more modest manipulation of the latest version; a chiropractic tweak of the styling, interior, infotainment and equipment levels.
The mechanicals, then, are essentially the same, meaning you get the same generous 2686mm wheelbase, the same basic choice of hatchback or estate and a familiar engine line-up initially consisting of two petrol units (the 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre TSI) and two diesels (the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI).
There will be new Scout and vRS models too (with additional, spicier petrol and diesel variants), but they'll come a little later. For now, we’ll focus on the minutia of the cooking options, available in the now timeworn S, SE, SE Technology, SE L and Laurent & Klement trim levels, and costing from £17,055.
The good news for bargain hunters is the standard-to-all-models adoption of the latest infotainment system, the upgrade bringing with it not only a better class of touchscreen, but also a SmartLink software upgrade that makes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available at entry-level.
Most UK buyers will leapfrog that prospect, though, and plump for either the SE or SE Technology. The latter gets the desirable sat-nav and wi-fi hotspot capacity that marks it out as our range pick – although the range-topping Laurent & Klement is still distinguished by an uprated 9.2in display and Canton sound system.