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2017 Skoda Octavia confirmed for July

Skoda has unveiled a facelifted version of its mid-size Octavia sedan and wagon range at an event in Vienna, Austria overnight.

Official photos of the new car were released in October 2016, and its radically restyled front fascia immediately divided opinion. 

Skoda Australia has confirmed the new Octavia is scheduled to arrive here in July, and according to the company's general manager corporate communications, Paul Pottinger, it will retain standard features included when the model was refreshed in June last year, such as rear parking sensors, auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and reversing camera.

Mr Pottinger explained Australian Skodas are unique in the high standard of specification they carry relative to other markets, and that customers regularly option their cars with extras, one regular being a five-year factory warranty, which the brand has recently make standard.

Current specification on the base-level Ambition manual sedan ($22,990 plus on-road costs) includes rear air-conditioning vents, eight-speaker audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels.

The softroader Scout wagon and mid-spec Style are expected to receive a replacement for their bi-xenon headlights in the form of high-tech, full LED, adaptive lights to match the all-LED-light back end.

The range-topping RS will use the same 169kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine seen in the limited-run RS230 that went on sale in November 2016, representing a 7kW power increase over the existing model. Torque remains steady at 350Nm, and RS variants will also receive LED foglights.

Drivetrains for non-RS petrol variants will remain unchanged, with Skoda retaining the 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo-petrol used on most models and the 110kW/320Nm 2.0-litre diesel seen on Style variants.

The top-tier system provides a WiFi hotspot and SIM card module allowing access to high-speed Internet connectivity and various in-car online services.

The RS is also available with a punchy 135kW/380Nm diesel, while the Scout is offered as a 110kW/340Nm 2.0-litre diesel manual or 132kW/280Nm 2.0-litre petrol auto.

The upgraded Octavia will arrive with a number of driver assistance technologies including lane keeping, parking assistance and predictive pedestrian protection.

Drivers will be able to adjust suspension firmness via adaptive dampers, featuring Comfort, Normal and Dynamic modes, while the rear track has been increased by 20mm (+30mm for RS variants) for greater cornering stability.

A cabin refresh is spearheaded by a trio of upgraded multimedia systems with touchscreens up to 9.2-inch in size, with the top-tier system providing a WiFi hotspot and SIM card module allowing access to high-speed Internet connectivity and various in-car online services including a system that alerts emergency services if an airbag is deployed.

Other available features include two USB charging ports in the rear, colour-selectable ambient lighting, heated steering wheel, fold-down rear tray tables, plus a removable torch and powered tailgate for wagon variants.

Skoda managed 4760 sales in 2016, beating its previous record by 10 units – however sales of the Octavia were down 7.3 per cent compared to 2015.

The Superb had a bumper sales year – up 177 per cent to 733 units – and Mr Pottinger expects the all-new Kodiaq SUV, also due here in July, will help fuel the Czech brand's local growth.

Is the Skoda Octavia's facelift a change for the better or worse? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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