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dZired 21st July 2017 16:56

A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
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The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 15.49 - 22.89 lakhs (ex-showroom, pan India).

This review has been jointly compiled with Samurai. Thanks to him for the expert observations & photography!
Attachment 1651882

Since the Skoda Octavia has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on the changes made to the 2017 Facelift. To read the full official review, click here.

dZired 21st July 2017 16:57

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So, what's new on the outside?

The Octavia has always been a smart-looking car. The third-gen model came with neutral looks that would please all and offend none. However, with the mid-life update for 2017, Skoda has tried to stir things up a bit and add some modernity to the Octavia's face. In order to do so, Skoda designers have adorned the car with quad headlights, which might remind some of the fourth-gen Mercedes E-Class (W212):
Attachment 1651878

Changes aren't that pronounced at the rear, as the Octavia continues to feature Skoda's characteristic crystalline boot lines around the number plate area. The small boot lid spoiler seen here is only available on the 1.8L TSI model, similar to what was the case on the pre-facelift Octavia:
Attachment 1651879

The biggest cosmetic change is at the front. The face is characterised by a quad-headlamp setup. Changes have also been made to the front bumper, bonnet and grille. The new headlight arrangement sure does polarise opinions, and most BHPians didn't like it (link to earlier discussion):
Attachment 1651859

The side profile is a straight lift from the pre-facelift model, with the only major change being the new set of 16-inch alloy wheels:
Attachment 1651860

Updates at the rear are minimalist and limited to a mildly tweaked bumper and new set of LED taillights:
Attachment 1651861

The new front grille is slightly taller and gets a large blacked out area in the centre, with seven vertical slats on either side. The black area just below the Skoda logo is basically a housing for the Radar system on international models. However, in India, this is just a cosmetic element as we don't get any Radar-based driver assistance systems. Chrome border on the outside provides added detailing:
Attachment 1651865

Each side of the grille is flanked by split-section headlamps with the two assemblies being separated from each other by the bumper's plastic. Higher variants get an adaptive headlight control system that switches the headlamps on automatically under low light conditions. It also adjusts geometry of the light beam based on the load, steering angle, rain and vehicle speed:
Attachment 1651866

LED Daytime Running Lights, located on the lower edge of all four headlight assemblies, are bright enough and easily visible even in harsh daylight. They double up as turn indicators:
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The facelift gets an all-new bonnet to accommodate the Octavia's updated face. Character lines present on the sides of the hood are more pronounced on the facelift:
Attachment 1651869

The front bumper houses a wider air dam with a chrome strip running in the middle. Foglamps are located at each end:
Attachment 1658240

Top-end models get LED foglamps with cornering function. The housings are now sleeker and wider than the ones of the pre-facelift Octavia:
Attachment 1651870

New set of 10-spoke rims. However, the new alloys don't really make a whole lot of difference to the car's stance. Also visible is the parking sensor used for the new park assist feature (more on that later):
Attachment 1652163

The tweaked all-LED taillight clusters continue to house Skoda's C motif element, though the tail-lamp housing is all-new:
Attachment 1651872

Notice any changes on the rear bumper? The only tweaks made are sleeker reflectors and a sharper line running along the width of the car:
Attachment 1658245

The 2017 facelift also gets a new shark fin antenna placed at the rear portion of the roof:
Attachment 1651880

A couple of parting shots. Owing to the tweaked front and rear bumpers, the new Octavia is longer by 11 mm:
Attachment 1652167

The rear track width has been increased by 20 mm on the 2.0 TDI & 1.4 TSI models, and 30 mm on the 1.8 TSI:
Attachment 1652168

dZired 21st July 2017 16:57

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So, what’s new on the inside?

The overall dashboard layout is similar to that of the pre-facelift Octavia, with a dual-tone black and beige treatment:
Attachment 1653870

The steering wheel is an all-new leather wrapped unit. It feels good to hold and there is ample space to rest your thumb on the available contours. Piano black treatment looks and feels premium:
Attachment 1653871

Similar layout of the steering mounted audio controls. Buttons on the left control the media and voice functions, while those on the right are used for fiddling with the MID and accessing the telephonic functions:
Attachment 1657649

The instrument cluster gets new speedometer + tachometer pods and needles. The MID screen is now coloured, as opposed to the monochrome display of the pre-facelift model:
Attachment 1657650

The coloured Multi-Information Display shows information like date and time, average speed, travelling time, average fuel consumption, driving range with available fuel, configurable speed warning alert, telephonic information, outside temperature, gear selector position, music track info and navigation directions:
Attachment 1653874

The facelifted Octavia also gets a 'driver fatigue' alert system. It studies data regarding steering inputs by the driver and compares it with the overall driving behaviour of the trip as well as pre-set driving characteristics of a drowsy driver. If it reads driver fatigue, a warning is displayed on the MID screen, advising the driver to take some rest:
Attachment 1654124

The other big change on the inside is an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The size of the display is visually enhanced by the touch-sensitive buttons on both sides. Also visible is the automatic climate control console that now gets piano black glass detailing:
Attachment 1657657

The glass display of the infotainment screen and piano black treatment around the centre console are a fingerprint magnet. This is what it looked like with mild usage:
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The capacitive touchscreen is fluid to use and doesn't suffer from any lag-related issues. Brightness and contrast of the display have been aptly tuned to offer enough visibility in varied lighting conditions. Sound quality from the ICE is fantastic:
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While the display itself is bright enough to be visible in broad daylight, the glass is extremely reflective and can negatively affect visibility under direct light. The system also streams the output of the rear camera, although the guidelines aren't dynamic:
Attachment 1657664

Similar to the pre-facelift model's infotainment system, the new unit displays vital vehicle stats like distance covered, time taken, average speed and average fuel consumption, over different trips and after the last refuelling:
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Inbuilt Amundsen navigation system. Interface is fairly easy to use:
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Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink integration:
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There are two SD card slots inside the glovebox. The additional slot is for a navigation storage drive. The same was introduced in the pre-facelift model in October 2016, when Skoda added navigation to the Style Plus variant (related thread):
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No need of any proprietary cables to connect your USB drive or iPod anymore! The Octavia facelift gets dedicated USB and AUX ports, instead of the Media IN port of the pre-facelift model (reference image):
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The Octavia facelift gets LED ambient lighting with 10 colour options - Cool White, Fire Orange, Cinnamon, RS Red, Pink, Purple, Dusk Blue, Azure, Skoda Green and Acid Green. The ambient lighting package includes LED light strips on the doorpads and footwell lighting:
Attachment 1657740

A big shoutout to BHPian Starfire for sharing this information. The faux wood inserts on the door panels have been replaced with brushed aluminium. Ambient light strips are provided on the Style Plus variant:
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The front doors continue to house 1-litre bottle holders. The 2017 Octavia also gets a removable waste basket that can be placed in the pocket of any of the four doors. It will come in handy to keep the interiors clean:
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Not much has changed on the rear seat, except for a new layout and placement of cup holders in the centre armrest (reference image of their location on the pre-facelift model). On such an expensive car, I'd expect a high quality lid covering the cup-holders:
Attachment 1657744

The rear A/C vents have been carried forward unchanged, but...
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...rear seat occupants now get 2 USB ports for charging their cell phones:
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The rear footwells get LED illumination too:
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New infotainment system can be controlled remotely with the Skoda Media Command App (Play Store link). As a result, rear seat passengers can access navigation on the infotainment system and control the music being played using the BossConnect feature of this app:
Attachment 1654206

dZired 21st July 2017 16:58

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Auto Park Assist - Hands-free parking

The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift comes with an auto park assist feature that basically enables the driver to park the car without providing any steering inputs. Using this new feature, the driver just needs to modulate the brake inputs, shift the gears between forward + reverse and the car will provide all required steering inputs to park itself into position. The system can also be used to take the car out of a parking spot.

Hardware used for this park assist feature includes 12 parking sensors - four at the front, four at the rear and one on each wheel arch. These sensors read the surroundings of the car and feed it to a control system that judges if there is a parking space available. It also decides whether the space requires a parallel or perpendicular parking manoeuvre.

In order to activate the Park Assist feature, the driver needs to stop the car near a parking spot, press the park assist button and switch on the turn indicator to point towards the direction of the parking space. The car will then sense the available parking space and provide the necessary steering and throttle inputs. Do note that the system detects the spot only while going in forward direction (and not in reverse) - so in case you miss the spot, you'll have to reverse back and try again. It must be noted that all braking actions need to be provided by the driver, even when the car is in the park assist mode.

While the system does look promising in theory and we have already seen similar implementations on other cars in India (like the Ford Endeavour), the Octavia facelift's hands-free parking system is nowhere as accurate or dependable as it should be. We tested the feature over two different models (a petrol and a diesel) and across two different locations. However, the hands-free park assist system continuously popped up one or the other error. It often got confused on whether the available space requires a parallel parking action or a perpendicular parking manoeuvre, while sometimes the car just failed to recognise an empty parking spot!!

Skoda officials present at the event did mention that there was a way to manually switch the car from perpendicular to parallel parking mode. However, despite repeated attempts, they couldn't demonstrate the same.

Honestly, it's just too complicated, has too many rules and is too much work. The system is complex... which is ironical as its aim is to simplify parking.

The Park Assist feature requires you to stop the car parallelly before the available parking space and hit this Park Assist button (left most), located ahead of the gear lever:
Attachment 1658585

By default, the car will search for parking spots on the left-hand side. Using turn indicators, we can choose the other side as well. The car clearly reads that there is a wide enough space available for a parallel parking manoeuvre. However, the Park Assist feature is stuck in the perpendicular parking mode, displayed on the right side of the MID:
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This is what the MID will look like if the parking space available really requires a perpendicular manoeuvre. Notice the horizontally stacked boxes (on the left) as compared to the vertical ones in the image above:
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Here is a combination of the various MID screens when using the Park Assist system. During un-parking, the system will first ask the car to be driven back and front to gauge the distance between the front and rear obstacles. It is possible the vehicle parked behind you has moved and now, another one is in its place. The top row shows the screens while doing an un-parking manoeuvre. Do note the brake symbol that prompts the driver to brake and change direction. The vertical green bar at the right side is the total distance to go - when the entire bar is white, there is no more space left for the car and a green bar signifies that there is more space available before an obstruction. The takeover steering message comes up when it detects that the manoeuvre is complete or some obstruction comes in-between and causes the Park Assist to stop unexpectedly. Note the last two images in the bottom row. They show the perpendicular parking modes:
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Another issue with the Park Assist system is its inaccuracy. Around 3 out of 10 times, the car just failed to recognise an empty parking spot. This can become frustrating :Frustrati. However, it isn't as big an issue as is the car's tendency to incorrectly read the presence of a parking spot, when there isn't one. This incident happened just once during our test, but it ended pretty badly. A senior Skoda official was at the wheel and he activated the park assist feature after stopping the car a bit too ahead of where he should have ideally stopped it. The car incorrectly read the parking space to be slightly ahead than the real location and thus...reversed into a car that was parked ahead of the available parking spot :Shockked: - a red Skoda Rapid. Here's a video of the incident:

The collision can be termed as a human error as it is the job of the driver to apply the brakes. That said, steering duties are handled by the Park Assist system and the above video shows that the car clearly turned by a huge margin, even though there was no space for it! It went straight into the poor Rapid. This is a clear reminder of the fact that these autonomous technologies are still in their initial phases and we should avoid blindly trusting the car's intelligence.

Here's a video of the Park Assist system in function. Once the system correctly reads the spot, the car has no issues in parking itself into place:

A parallel parking video from the inside:

A perpendicular parking manoeuvre. Note that due to the limited space, we had to manage in a small area. The other cars are parked perpendicular. Also note how to change the parking from parallel to perpendicular modes when required:

This is what it looks like from the inside during an un-parking manoeuvre:

Disclaimer: Skoda invited Team-BHP for the Octavia test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

GTO 21st July 2017 17:21

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!

Drove the Octavia Facelift. Loved high-revving the 1.8 TSI with that fast-shifting DSG. Quite an all-rounded car when you consider the space, boot size, interior quality & ride + handling package. Jetta being discontinued makes the Octavia's case all the more compelling. Three downsides = DSG reliability, Skoda's after sales & torsion-beam rear suspension of the 2.0 diesel.

That blunder of a product demo reminds me of these:

kpower11 21st July 2017 18:25

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
Weird looking headlights and rather small alloys aside, this is indeed one of the most complete cars around. Offers levels of equipment and performance (TSI especially) enough to easily put cars from a segment above to shame. That Park Assist is a gimmick though. Skoda might as well have deleted it for the Indian market at least because few will be willing to risk damaging their shiny new executive sedan just to try some cool but erratic feature.

Vasuki 21st July 2017 18:41

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking

Originally Posted by GTO (Post 4238087)

That blunder of a product demo reminds me of these:

Below link says, the volvo incident occurred as the said car did not have pedestrian detection functionality.

Links :

vishy76 21st July 2017 18:58

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
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A very balanced report. Rating it 5 stars.

The Octavia's face has started to grow on me very gradually. I think that's the speciality of modern VW designs. I used to loath the Passat and even the Tiguan, but have started to develop a liking towards them.

Missed opportunity for not providing a multi-link suspension on the 2.0 TDI variants atleast. You do expect them to correct things like these especially considering that VW updates it's cars way too often these days.

BTW, the alloys on all VAG cars look too similar.

These are the ones on my Jetta:
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And these are what the Octavia comes with:
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Even the Passat and Tiguan have very similar looking alloys. VW should do more to distinguish these IMHO.

r0nit7 21st July 2017 19:51

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further. We request you to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

AMG Power 21st July 2017 20:42

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
Was hoping to see a mention of the revised handling characteristics after the softening of the suspension and the widening of the track.

More in terms of whether it actually has any impact at all.

Arjun Reddy 21st July 2017 20:45

Well done and nice attention to detail. Rated 5 *.
Didn't much care for the new split headlamp design. Haven't seen the new Octavia in flesh. Hope it grows on us.

I have always thought the central touchscreen unit is placed low i.e. below the driver's line of sight in all the Skoda and VW cars. Wonder why this isn't being corrected ? Isn't this a safety issue ?

Wish they also improve their alloy designs. It would make the car that much more desirable.

The parking video, ouch..Haven't yet used this feature in my C250. Just don't trust it.

Udit 21st July 2017 21:12

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
I just saw an ad of new Octavia this morning. And, I was doing some google research about hands-free parking system. I couldn't find something as detailed as dZired has explained in this thread.clap:

Although, the system is not exactly hands-free, nor it is very dependable. But, it will definitely make the parking of such a long and premium sedan easy.


Originally Posted by dZired (Post 4238075)
The car incorrectly read the parking space to be slightly ahead than the real location and thus...reversed into a car that was parked ahead of the available parking spot :Shockked: - a red Skoda Rapid. Here's a

Thank God! There were all Germans around. Had it been a 'kitna deti hai' red car, hands-free parking system would have made a deeper impression of its inaccuracy.stupid:

blackwasp 21st July 2017 21:17

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
Only the 1.8 TSI is the one for me. Skoda should have offered the multilink rear suspension on the other variants as well and given a manual option for the 1.8. Didn't feel much different despite the changes in track and the minor change in suspension.

The split headlamps do look different, but in person they are nicer than the photos.

kpower11 21st July 2017 23:05

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
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Originally Posted by vishy76 (Post 4238135)
.....BTW, the alloys on all VAG cars look too similar.

These are the ones on my Jetta:
Attachment 1659392

And these are what the Octavia comes with:
Attachment 1659393

Even the Passat and Tiguan have very similar looking alloys. VW should do more to distinguish these IMHO.

These alloys on the Polo GT TSI and Skoda Rapid as well.

Starfire 22nd July 2017 01:14

Re: A close look: The 2017 Skoda Octavia Facelift with hands-free parking
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A great package for the money it asks for. However personally I feel the car especially the petrol thanks to its independent suspension was already a great handler. Instead of increasing the rear track width which barely makes any difference on our roads, they could have just added better rubber to the car and that would have been GOLD!

Secondly, the Auto parking feature is more of a gimmick considering our tight parking spots and the occasional stone or open gutter here and there. Technology is surely gonna rob the next generation the skill of reverse parallel parking sadly IMO.

I just love the 1.8 TSI but those sincerely waiting to upgrade simply for its power should wait just a bit longer as the VRS launch is around the corner! Who knows, Skoda might just have learnt from the past Laura VRS owner complains and might just bring the actual 2.0 TSI 245 horses motor this time rather than plonking the same 1.8 TSI motor in different clothing.

Lastly, there's another change in the facelift model thats forgotten to be mentioned above and that is replacement of the faux wood inserts in the door panels with brushed aluminium. Not really significant by itself but goes great in combination with the ambient lighting.
Picture for difference attatched below.

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