Updating the Skoda Octavia (a car you have heard of… maybe?) is an important project for Volkswagen, now the third biggest auto conglomerate in the world. When you hear “Skoda Octavia”, you must think Volkswagen Golf. Except now when you think Volkswagen Golf, you don’t. You actually think Volkswagen Rabbit.
Here at GoodCarBadCar.net, we call that car the Gabbit. Perhaps you see no similarities between the Gabbit and Skoda Octavia. Volkswagen and Skoda don’t want you to. Following the Skoda label at GoodCarBadCar reveals some lovely unique designs, but the Octavia flavour remains more traditional; not that the Gabbit is the most exciting vehicular design to ever pass before your eyes.
Indeed, for 2009 the updated Octavia with “bolder headlamps”, a more “robust radiator grille”, and a one-piece bumper doesn’t make this vital Skoda even as exciting to look at as the European Ford Focus and certainly doesn’t strike buyers as hip in the way Renault’s Megane manages. Turbocharged 1.4L and 1.8L four-cylinders will be available with a seven-speed direct-shift gearbox. Yes, underneath this car is impressive…. especially at Skoda prices.
And that’s why Skoda sells a lot of Octavias. They’re not just “good for the price” because, as a Gabbit, the architecture and technology is already good. No, the Octavia is good at a higher price, but downright desirable at prices that undercut its VW siblings and many other competitors.