The Octavia’s exterior design has been brought into line with Skoda’s latest non-SUV models, the Scala and updated Superb. The front end takes inspiration from the Scala, with the old car’s split headlight design ditched in favour of redesigned units with standard-fit LED tech (full-matrix LEDs optional). LED tail-lights also feature.

A lower roofline is claimed to give the hatchback a more coupé-like stance and aerodynamic efficiency is said to be greatly improved on both the hatch and estate.

At just under 4.69m long in both bodystyles, it’s 19mm longer than the outgoing hatch and 22mm longer than the old estate. It’s also 15mm wider than both. That means 30 litres more boot space for the estate and 10 more for the saloon – and even more generous passenger room. Both cars can be had with new paint finishes and optional Chrome or Dynamic trim detail packages.

The interior takes a more substantial step forward, not just in technology but also, Skoda claims, in perceived quality. A variety of soft-touch materials aims to lift the cabin’s appeal, as does multi-colour ambient lighting. Optional ‘Ergo’ seats are described as being “particularly back friendly”, with a massaging function and seat ventilation on top models for the first time.

The dashboard is dominated by a free-standing touchscreen display that measures 8.25in or 10.0in, depending on spec, and Skoda has introduced gesture control and an advanced voice-controlled digital assistant called Laura.

A redesigned 10.25in Virtual Cockpit is available on certain trims, as is a new head-up display. The model also includes a built-in eSIM for always-on connectivity. Like the Scala, the Octavia uses only the latest USB-C connections. Wireless charging is also offered. Three-zone climate control makes its debut, too, as does optional acoustic window glass. Further tech includes an enlarged suite of driver assistance features, such as an enhanced predictive cruise control and predictive pedestrian and cyclist protection.

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