Car Launches

The 'Simply Clever' Skoda Octavia hits NZ

AA Motoring recently attended the launch of the new Skoda Octavia - the fourth-gen wagon which still embodies the company’s ethos of being ‘Simply Clever’.

Rodney Gillard, General Manager for Skoda New Zealand, opened the launch by explaining the difficulties COVID-19 produced last year, especially with demand exceeding supply for Skoda: “There were just seven cars left in stock last month, with some componentry affected – there’s a shortage of semiconductors and this has had a chain reaction and played havoc on the production of certain Skoda models.”

“It was at the last minute we knew we would have a car to show you. In fact, all 40 of the Octavias arriving in April/ May are already pre-sold,” explained Gillard.

Despite the current global issues, Skoda predicts sales of 2,200 units this year.

The history of Octavia

The Octavia name was first used back in 1959 and was resurrected in 1996 as both a sedan and a wagon. Today, 6.5 million models have been sold worldwide, making it Skoda’s bestselling model.


2021 Skoda Octavia Style

The Octavia has now matured and offers greater dimensions and a bolder, more appealing design. It’s also now more spacious and more connected than ever before, with improvements in technology like the new multi-level dashboard. The Octavia has also finally bid farewell to its conventional handbrake, which adds to the modern feel of this wagon.

The Octavia length has increased by 22mm and 15mm in width which, in turn, adds 30 litres to the boot capacity, increasing it to an impressive 640 litres. This alone makes it tough to beat in the mid-sized wagon segment when it comes to space and practicality.

Powerful Efficiency

There are two TSI petrol engines which will initially be available in New Zealand. Firstly, the powertrain used in the base model is the 1.4-litre 110kW TSI with an eight-speed auto transmission. The top-end RS model uses a 2.0-litre 180kW TSI power plant with a seven-speed DSG transmission.

The Octavia Scout 4x4 will run with a 2.0-litre, seven-speed DSG package when it’s released later this year.

As with the old model, the Octavia still boasts very impressive fuel efficiency and eco-friendly stats. Fuel consumption for the 110kW and 180kW models is from just 5.7L/100km and 6.6L/100km respectively. CO2 emissions have also reduced to just 131g/km and 151g/km for the two models.


2021 Skoda Octavia RS


The new Octavia features new design cues with a new compact and angular look about it. This creates a bolder look - the extended tornado lines running down the vehicle and its revised shallow roof rails culminate to emphasise a beautiful, elongated silhouette.

The new front apron and the razor-sharp, thinner headlights feature LED technology as standard for low beam, high beam and daytime running lights. The headlights also include the LED Matrix feature, which extinguishes light towards oncoming vehicles even in low beam. And it doesn’t stop there - the rear tail lights are also full LED and pay homage to bohemian crystal that helped inspire the new Skoda models.

With the new Octavia, there are some fantastic new colours to choose from: Crystal Black, Lava Blue and Titan Blue have all been added to the menu.


A heads-up display has been added to the new Octavia, as has shift-by-wire technology and back-friendly Ergo seats.

There’s also a sporty new two-spoke, multi-function steering wheel which comes with new control buttons and a scroll wheel with a travel assist button for added comfort and assistance with driving. While this might not make the Octavia completely autonomous, it’s perfect for busy stop/go traffic and is just one of the 14 different functions accessible without removing your hands from the steering wheel.


The interior of the 2021 Skoda Octavia RS

An outstanding 10-inch infotainment system is at the heart of the Octavia’s cabin, and it can be operated with gesture controls or voice activation via the Laura Skoda Digital Assistant.

The centre console is elegant and uncluttered thanks (in part) to the new electronic handbrake and shift by wire transmission lever. The console is also peppered with chrome details, which match the new door trims and handles, continuing the modern theme. New soft-touch materials enhance the interiors premium look and feel.

Safety first

A comprehensive range of safety systems are now available, such as Crew Protect Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist with Auto Light Assist, FRONT ASSIST with warning and braking reaction to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, along with up to 10 airbags depending on model variant.

There are also other new features include Area View, Side Assist and Adaptive Lane Assist and Emergency Assist. There is also a smart Hands-on Detect system, this feature checks whether the driver is touching the steering wheel consistently and maintaining control of the vehicle.

The Skoda Octavia received a 5-star ANCAP rating in 2019.

Our verdict

We were really impressed after our first look at the new Skoda Octavia. It’s spacious, stylish and better equipped than ever before. We predict that this new model will appeal to both corporate buyers who require extra space, and families who want a real driver’s car and won’t settle for an SUV with inferior ride and handling, especially at this sharp price and spec level.

At a glance


Skoda Octavia Style, Skoda Octavia RS


1.4-litre TSI (Style), 2.0-litre TSI (RS)


From $47,990 (Style), $57,990 (RS)

ANCAP safety rating

5 star


110kW/250Nm (Style), 180kW/370Nm (RS)


Eight-speed auto (Style), Seven-speed DSG (RS)

Fuel economy/CO2

5.7L/100km, 131g/km (Style), 6.6L/100km, 151g/km (RS)

Towing capacity

1,500kg (Braked), 670kg (Unbraked)


2WD (Front)

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

610 litres

Safety systems

  • Front Driver & Passenger airbags, driver knee airbag, front & rear side and curtain airbags
  • Crew protection assist – proactive crash protection front and rear
  • Driver alert system – fatigue detection system
  • Front Assist – vehicle, pedestrians and cyclists collision
  • Adaptive cruise control with follow to stop + speed limiter
  • Lane Assist with adaptive lane guidance + emergency assist
  • Side assist with exit warning
  • Front/rear parking sensors, reversing camera with adaptive guidance lines

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a new car:

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