Skoda has revealed the first details on its third-generation Octavia which will go on the sale in time for the March plate change.
The new model sees Skoda up the quality for the Octavia to take the fight to the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, sitting above the Rapid in the model line-up.
Skoda says the new Octavia offers “middle-class qualities at a compact-car price”. It is based on the same MQB platform as the new Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon.
The new model comes with a choice of four petrol and four diesel engines. The eco-minded Greenline model gets a 109bhp 1.6-litre TDI engine that emits 89g/km of CO2 and can manage 83mpg.
Transmission choices are either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch DSG auto, and a four-wheel drive model will join the front-drivers in due course.
Various assist and safety systems make their Skoda debut in the new Octavia, like adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam lights, traffic sign recognition and adaptive driving modes.
A tilting panoramic sunroof will be an option, as will keyless entry and start. Automatic lane guidance, emergency city braking and up to nine airbags bring the Octavia's safety credentials up to date, too. There will also be the trademark Skoda ice-scraper incorporated into the fuel filler flap.
Sales start in March 2013, with prices expected to rise in accordance with the car's class shift upmarket.
Prices are expected to be just under £14,000 for an entry-level model, with a vRS flagship likely to be closer to £22,000.