Malcolm Flynn road tests and reviews the updated MY17 Skoda Octavia, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch. 

Have you ever experienced that birthday moment where you open all your presents, hoping to find a new mountain bike or similar, before realising the best you’ve mustered is a new case for that violin your darling parents insist you learn to play?

The launch of new cars often bring similar disappointment, where we expect the new model to bring certain advancements that justify the hype behind it, before realising the base model has reverted to plastic hubcaps instead of the previous version’s alloys, for example. 

Skoda’s latest update to the Octavia does just the opposite, by bringing pretty much every current wishlist item as standard fitment to the entry model, as part of a range revision we weren’t expecting in the first place. 

You may not have had the chance to use CarPlay, Android Auto, AEB or active cruise control before, but each will change the way you view driving.

Following on from the running changes that saw the 103TSI become the 110TSI in mid-2015, this MY17 update sees the specs for the entry Ambition and Ambition Plus trim levels combined into one higher spec, extra value added across the line, and the top-spec Scout 4x4 Premium 135TDI dropped to leave just 110TDI and 132TSI versions of the off-road wagon. 

This repositioning of the Octavia follows a similar approach to the recently renewed Honda Civic and last year’s refresh of the Ford Focus, where value has been added to the base grade to help build the brand, rather than chasing outright sales with a $19,990 stripper model.