Skoda will have a busy year as the company has multiple launches scheduled for India. The first model that will hit dealerships is the limited-numbered Octavia Onyx Edition. This will be a mere cosmetic update to keep the sales going. However, the bigger update on the Octavia comes in the form of a facelift that is expected to arrive in India in mid-2017.
India-bound Skoda facelift
The facelifted Skoda Octavia was unveiled globally last year showcasing the new face of the sedan. Earlier this month, the Czech carmaker started production of the updated sedan at its Mladá Boleslav manufacturing facility. The company has sold over 5 million units of the Octavia in two decades and is one of the best-selling offerings. The Octavia is presently manufactured in China, India, Russia, Ukraine, Algeria and Kazakhstan.
The 2017 Skoda Octavia gets split-styled headlights, with the top-end variants getting full LEDs. While design remains to be a subjective matter, the quirky front face of the Octavia facelift has received mix reactions. It also gets a wider radiator grille. The front bumper too has been tweaked with revised lines and repositioned fog lamp housing. The silhouette remains identical to the previous model while the rear gets an updated profile with new LED lights. The multiple crease lines on the Octavia facelift give a familiar Skoda look that will also be seen on the Kodiaq SUV.
Skoda Octavia facelift gets a updated cabin
The cabin of the Skoda Octavia facelift carries the same layout but will get updates in the form of a revised instrument cluster. Most importantly, it gets an option between 6.5- and 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system depending on the variant. In the international-spec Octavia facelift, Skoda offers Columbus navigation system with 64GB flash memory and optional LTE module for a high-speed Internet connection. We hope the same if not given a miss when the Octavia facelift arrives in India. The safety features in the 2017 Octavia include blind spot warning and emergency brake with pedestrian detection, both of which use radar sensors. Considering the present status of radar-based safety features in India, Skoda will not carry the same in the Indian model.
Globally, Skoda offers a CNG, four TSI petrol and four TDI diesel engines on the Octavia facelift with power outputs ranging from 86PS to 184PS. While we believe Skoda India will retain the 1.4-litre, 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines on the Octavia facelift to price the sedan competitively.
The Skoda Octavia facelift will be manufactured at the company's Aurangabad plant. It will compete with the new-gen Hyundai Elantra (Rs 13.74-20.30 lakh) and the Chevrolet Cruze (Rs 13.71-15.83 lakh). We expect the Skoda Octavia facelift to be priced Rs 50,000-60,000 more than the existing offering.