The Octavia nameplate was resurrected by Skoda in September 2014 to take on the increasing competition in the D-segment sedan category. It impressed our reviewers at that time with its larger cabin, luxurious features and relatively powerful but efficient engines. It an exciting design inside-out, smooth gearshifts (in the variants with the manual transmission), had slightly vague steering and a premium price tag.
Tough competition in the segment, especially from cars like the Toyota Corolla Altis and the Hyundai Elantra did not help either. This is not taking into account the extreme popularity of SUVs/crossovers like the Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Hexa.
Skoda is all set to launch the Octavia facelift in the market tomorrow and hopes to change its fortunes in the segment.
Recommended Read: Check out our first drive review of the 2017 Octavia Facelift
On the outside, the Skoda Octavia now gets an all-new face. If the pre-facelift car was restrained in its looks, this one is all nuts. The all-LED split headlamps and gloss black grille make it look like an alien. The rest of the car looks very similar to the outgoing model.
Inside, the changes include a bigger 8-inch all-glass touchscreen infotainment system (as compared to the earlier 6.5-inch unit) and new A/C vent design. New equipment includes a new semi-automatic parking system, ambient lighting with changeable colours and a new Skoda Media Command app-based system to control the infotainment unit for non-driving passengers.
Recommended Read: 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift variants explained
On the safety front, the new Octavia gets driver fatigue detection and alerts, multi-collision-mitigation braking (vehicle brakes automatically after the first impact to reduce chances of secondary impacts) and eight airbags.
Mechanically, the Skoda Octavia now gets a wider rear track for better body control. The rear suspension has been tuned for more comfort. While the 1.4-litre petrol, 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel motor have not received any updates, the efficiency of each of the motors has increased, thanks to improved aerodynamics of the car.
Skoda is expected to launch the Octavia facelift in the Rs 15-22 lakh, ex-showroom price bracket. For peace of mind, Skoda owners can choose to get a four-year service package that is priced at Rs 40,000. Stay tuned to ZigWheels for the prices of the new Octavia.
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