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Safety and tech boost for facelifted Skoda Octavia

Skoda welcomes expanded infotainment and safety services for incoming Octavia

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Skoda logo16 Dec 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

WHEN it launches in mid-2017, Skoda’s facelifted Octavia mid-sizer will arrive equipped with new connected online services and higher levels of safety technology.

The Octavia’s new connectivity services, dubbed Skoda Connect, encompasses information, entertainment and car care systems and will require an active internet connection to operate.

New features for the infotainment system include real-time traffic updates, fuel price guides, parking availability, up-to-date weather information, latest news, Google Earth and Street View functionality.

Owners will also be able to plan their trips, including routes, destinations and points of interest, from Skoda’s Connect portal, which transfers all information from a home computer or device to the Octavia’s satellite navigation system.

The new system is also able to automatically call emergency services in the event of an accident, whether minor or severe, or if the vehicle suffers a breakdown.

Users will also be able to download a Skoda Connect application to monitor the Octavia’s status from their smartphone, with information including vehicle lighting, whether doors are opened or closed, vehicle location, a notification if the vehicle is moved, and a Honk & Flash feature which activates the hazard lights and horn to make it easier to find in a car park.

Skoda has also made the new Octavia safer with updated driver assistance systems which include radar-guided blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and predictive pedestrian protection, a system which functions at speeds between 10 and 60km/h and “triggers an emergency brake if a pedestrian dangerously steps out into oncoming traffic”, according to the Czech brand.

Overseas, Skoda offers an optional trailer assist system, in which the driver specifies the angle at which they wish to reverse the trailer and “when the driver then slow accelerates, the system makes appropriate steering suggestions”.

However, a similar system featured on the Audi Q7 did not clear tow hitch Australian Design Rules, making this feature unlikely to arrive here with the updated Octavia.

In addition to the updated connectivity services, the new Octavia also includes a front-end redesign with full-LED headlights to keep the third-generation model fresh against its rivals.

Octavia sales have slowed this year, with Skoda selling 1756 units to the end of November, a 9.9 per cent decrease over the same period last year.

Skoda’s Octavia trails the Toyota Camry (21,635), Mazda6 (4003), Subaru Liberty (3291), Volkswagen Passat (2907) and Ford Modeo (2839) in the medium-sized passenger car under $60,000 segment.

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