Skoda Octavia preview

Here's the preview to the 2020 Skoda Octavia.

What's this?
Skoda’s big-selling family car, the Octavia, renewed for a fourth generation after global sales of more than 6.5 million units for the first three iterations of the vehicle. The new Octavia is wider and longer than its predecessors and – as before – will come as a five-door hatchback or as a Combi estate. It will be based on an evolved version of the platform that underpinned its predecessor.

What will its rivals be?
Despite its increase in size, the Octavia is still a rival for all its in-group relations – such as the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and Audi A3 – as well as vehicles like the Ford Focus, Opel Astra, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Hyundai i30, Kia Ceed, Peugeot 308 and Renault Megane. However, the Skoda has always been one of the most practical machines in its class, as it feels more like a D-segment car, and with a 600-litre boot on the hatch and a 640-litre cargo bay on the Combi, it will continue to give the impression it’s more of a competitor for the Opel Insignia, Volkswagen Passat and more.

Any tech info?
Aside from the platform, the Octavia’s interior will feature a multi-level dashboard with a ten-inch, freestanding infotainment screen in the centre. Gesture Control, a digital assistant named Laura, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink will all be part of the tech bundle, while a head-up display and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster are also offered. For the driver, there’s a two-spoke multifunction steering wheel, while both wireless smartphone charging and a pair of USB-C charge ports will be incorporated in the front of the car.

What will the range be like?
A range of TSI, TDI and even plug-in hybrid (PHEV) engines will be offered. Only one diesel engine is confirmed, a 2.0-litre TDI with either 116-, 150- or 200hp, the latter of which will only come with all-wheel drive and a DSG gearbox, allowing for a 7.1-second 0-100km/h time. On the petrol front, the TSI engines can be had either with or without mild hybrid technology, which lowers their emissions and fuel consumption, without harming performance. Choose from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI with 110hp or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder developing 150hp. A 190hp 2.0-litre TSI comes as a non-hybrid only, and again with AWD and the DSG. Beyond these, two PHEVs will be part of the Octavia range, under the ‘iV’ badge. The ‘plain’ version uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine and a 75kW electric motor, for a combined output of 204hp. However, Skoda has also confirmed the RS performance version will be an iV PHEV, with 245hp.

High. The Skoda is one of the best things in its class already, but a smarter appearance and a push upmarket could make it the segment leader.

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