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Skoda refreshes and revises its volume-selling Octavia in Australia

24 Mar 2009

THE first stage of Skoda's 2009 fightback starts with the facelifted Octavia, which arrives in Australia with a less polarising new look and a simplified model range now comprising just three engines and the same two body styles: a traditional five-door wagon and a five-door hatchback that Skoda Australia no longer calls a sedan but a 'liftback'. Biggest news is the new entry-level 1.6-litre ex-Golf petrol four, which lowers the 2009 Octavia's starting price to $26,990 in five-door manual form. The flagship 2.0 TDI turbo-diesel carries over and is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission (in this case VW's twin-clutch DSG), but the renamed 1.8 TSI turbo-petrol teamed with VW's latest seven-speed DSG auto is the pick of the Octavia Series II bunch. RS sports and Scout crossover versions of the upgraded Octavia won't be available until July at the earliest.
Model release date: 1 March 2009 to 1 October 2013

Previous model

Octavia sedan/wagon range

Released: October 2007
Ended: March 2009
Family Tree: Octavia

SKODA arrived Down Under for the first time since the mid-1970s in October 2007 with the MkIII Octavia that went on sale in 2004 in Europe, where the first 1996-circa Octavia produced under Volkswagen control (and only the second since the 1959 original) is still being produced in Czechoslovakia. Aimed directly at the most popular Japanese mid-sizers, Australia’s first Octavia range comprised five-door hatch/liftback (Skoda Oz called it a sedan) and wagon bodystyles, priced from $29,990 and powered by five different Volkswagen four-cylinder engines in either petrol or diesel configurations, with two versions coming in all-wheel as well as front-wheel drive – for staggering total of 16 variants. On top, base Ambiente, luxury Elegance and sports RS (known as the vRS elsewhere) specification levels were offered. Engines included VW’s long-lived 77kW/250Nm 1.9-litre TDI turbo-diesel, a 118kW/250Nm 1.8-litre TFSI turbocharged, direct-injected petrol four, VW’s evergreen 103kW/320Nm 2.0-litre TDI diesel and the 2.0-litre turbocharged TFSI petrol unit made famous in the Golf GTI.

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