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Geneva show: Skoda turns Octavia into space ship

Big boy: Skoda’s new Octavia wagon can hold up to 1740 litres of cargo.

Longer, wider and roomier Octavia wagon set to be unleashed by Skoda

20 Feb 2013

SKODA will go gunning for family and corporate load luggers alike with its longer, wider and vastly more spacious third-generation Octavia wagon that will debut at the Geneva motor show next month ahead of its Australian showroom roll out alongside the all-new liftback version in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Czech-made front-drive mid-sized wagon – which is 90mm longer and 45mm wider than the current model – can gobble a class record 610 litres of luggage with the rear seat up and 1740 litres with the seat folded flat.

As well, the front passenger seat can be folded to accommodate long loads, making the Octavia one of the most flexible mid-size wagons around.

Even passengers get more room, with 73mm of knee room for back seat passengers – the most in its segment, Skoda says.

Now a true mid-sizer, the Octavia’s wheelbase has been stretched 110mm, liberating the extra space.

Roof racks and a retractable cargo cover can be stored under the luggage compartment floor when not in use, rather than have them rattle around the back of the vehicle or – worse – left behind in the garage.

There’s even a coat rack and a remote fold-down function for the rear-seat backrest.

In the UK, the Octavia will be sold with a choice of four engines – two petrol and two diesel – with the most thrifty diesel achieving a stunning 3.4 litres per 100km – superior to the benchmark Toyota Prius’s 3.9L/100km.

However, that version is unlikely to come to Australia, with Skoda focusing on more powerful options here.

There is better news on the 4x4 Scout that will also appear at Geneva, with Skoda Australia confirming it will be sold here at some point after the two-wheel-drive wagon.

Skoda says the fresh engine line-up will be up to 17 per cent more efficient than the current line-up.

The current second generation Octavia wagon is sold in Australia with the same choice of six four-cylinder engines as the sedan, ranging from the Volkswagen Group’s 1.4-litre 90TSI to the potent 2.0-litre RS147 TSI.

VW Group Australia general manager communications Karl Gehling told GoAuto that it was too early to confirm powertrains and pricing for the new Octavia, which he confirmed would arrive in both four-door liftback and five-door wagon versions at the same time in the fourth quarter.

Standard equipment in Europe will include autonomous braking, driver fatigue detection, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam.

Current pricing for the wagon ranges from $26,990 (plus on-road costs) to $41,990.

Last year, Octavia was Skoda’s second best seller in Australia behind the Yeti, finding 914 new owners here.

However, that was down 41.5 per cent on the previous year when it was by far Skoda’s most popular model.

Skoda’s other big debut in Australia this year will be the Rapid small car, arriving about mid year.

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