Skoda at the Paris motor show 2008

Published: 02 October 2008

Skoda launched its revised Octavia at the Paris motor show – and it’s clear to see they’ve injected some mini-Superb DNA. And that was about it for the Czech marque this year; 2008 is a bit of a slow period for Skoda, before the product onslaught begins in earnest next year.

Tell me more about the new Octavia

With its new nose and tail bringing it into line with the new Superb, the Skoda Octavia now has much needed visual presence. The Octavia’s new headlamps and grille give it a friendlier, smiling face, according to new head of design Josef Kaban, while the cabin has been lifted by borrowing heavily from the Superb.

It gets the Superb’s centre console and instrumentation, too – as well as a steering wheel that looks oddly like a (wait for it) smiling face. The refreshed Octavia arrives in January 2009, there’ll be little or no change to prices and the engine range will be bolstered by a new 1.4 TSI, while the 1.8 TSI gets the option of a seven-cog DSG box. Such is the trickle-down ethos that reins in Planet Volkswagen. The Octavia’s badging will also follow the Superbs with S, SE and Elegance.

What else is new on the Skoda stand?

Nothing else, but the stand itself was new. The gleaming acre of white and green iPod-style plastic even featured a profusion of real bamboo. Honestly.

CAR’s verdict: Skoda at the Paris motor show 2008

Unlikely to set your pants on fire to be honest, but the new Octavia – Skoda’s best seller with two million sales to date – is worth a look. It’s always offered great value and acres of space. Now it’s a little bit less boring to boot.

CAR’s Skoda stand score: 2/5


Click here for up to the minute Paris motor show 2008 live reports

Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars

Paris motor show 2008


By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars