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By Jonathan Crouch
Added 13th December, 2019
, updated 20th March, 2020
ŠKODA's fourth generation Octavia sharpens up its act. Jonathan Crouch reports
All the things that made the original Yeti so appealing remained with this revised post-2013-era model. It's spacious, safe, drives well, has a cool but understated image and is affordable to run. This improved version added a little equipment, tidied its interior and looked smarter but otherwise stuck to a tried and tested recipe. In truth, not a lot needed changing. As before, what was served up by the Yeti was a class act in a market full of try-hard rivals.
Whichever form of Yeti motoring you prefer - standard or 'Outdoor' - you'll get yourself a car that strikes an appealing chord between practicality, quality and fashion. It's a car that transcends lifestyle snobbery. A family car that doesn't shout 'family'. And a Crossover you could be genuinely pleased to own.
The Octavia name - based on the latin for 'eight' - is an almost inseparable part of ŠKODA's history, dating all the way back to 1959 when it arrived to designate the eighth design produced by the Czech brand following World War II. In modern era guise, Octavias have sold prolifically, enough, if placed end-to-end, to fill three lanes of the complete M25. Many of those sales of course, date back to a time when this was a slightly smaller and certainly much less sophisticated car. But in 2017, buyers were offered this very different kind of Octavia - one able to deliver an almost Golf-like air of quality. The technology on offer certainly matches that of a Golf though, perhaps inevitably, from new an awful lot of it was either optional or only found right near the top of the range.
Ultimately, this is one of those instances where much changed, but much also remained the same. Many will continue to choose an Octavia for exactly the same reasons that people have always bought into this model line: solid build, sensible pricing and, most significant of all, more interior space than any other Focus or Golf-segment rival can offer. To that practical perspective, this improved third generation design added a welcome bit of polish. By 2017, it was no longer the cheapest choice you could make in this class but arguably, it remained one of the very cleverest. The same holds true for the used car buyer.
ŠKODA's Scala claims to bring something a little different to the family hatchback class. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
ŠKODA embarks on an electric future with this clever Enyak iV. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
ŠKODA's fourth generation Octavia Estate continues to go large. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
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