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Skoda Octavia gives a little bit more to win five-star safety rating

Skoda Octavia gives a little bit more to win five-star safety rating
Tristan Honeywill

The Skoda Octavia, based on the same VW Group platform as the Golf, has gone the extra mile on safety, refusing to compromise even on pedestrian protection and offering a good selection of advanced driver assistance technologies as options. Often refered to as VW’s budget brand, the latest Euro NCAP results indicate that Skoda is refusing to cut corners on safety to reduce costs.

Cars cost huge sums to develop and buyers are more price conscious than ever before. For challenger brands such as Skoda, the pressure to save money on things which buyers don’t value highly must be enormous. That’s why the clever pop-up bonnet on the Octavia that protects pedestrians in the event of a collision is so telling.

Skoda Octavia airbags and pop-up bonnet

Skoda submitted this as well as a standard hood to Euro NCAP for testing and although both were good enough to earn the new Octavia five stars, the pop-up version offered much better protection to pedestrians. As a result, Skoda has decided to make the pop-up bonnet standard on the car across Europe. With prices for the car already announced, the additional cost that Skoda must absorb shows the Czech brand’s ambition to establish itself as a trusted mainstream choice.

In other areas of crash safety, the Octavia provides the same good level of protection as other five-star cars of this size. For children, the situation is similarly positive. It’s easy to fit the safest and most popular child seats into the car and they perform well together.

The choice of driver assistance systems for the car is also broad, with the Octavia receiving four Advanced awards from Euro NCAP for optional onboard technologies. All models come with Multi Collision Brake, which applies and holds on the brakes if the airbag fires, helping to avoid and dangerous knock-on collisions.

The Front Assistant system, standard on Elegance models, uses radar to monitor the road ahead and alerts the driver to any apparently unseen hazards.  At speeds of 3-18mph, the car stops automatically if the driver doesn’t react to an obstacle. On SE and Elegance models, a Lane Assistant system is available as an option. It uses a camera to spot if you are drifting out of lane on motorways.

Crew Protect Assistant is available as an option on all models. When the system detects when an emergency manoeuvre in progress, it prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint systems in advance of a possible collision. Reversible electrical pre-tensioners remove slack from the front seatbelts and windows close to prevent foreign objects entering in the event of a side impact.

Skoda has recognised that in a buyer’s market attention to detail like this is needed to make the Octavia attractive to families. Knowing that it also offers more space than the Golf for less money could be decisive for many.

Buyer’s guide

  • Full pricing details for options are yet to be announced
  • There are three trim levels: S (£15,900+), SE (£17,190) and Elegance (£20,240)
  • Standard features on the SE include a driver fatigue detection system
  • Standard features on the Elegance include the fatigue detector, intelligent headlights and a camera system that warns and helps prevent crashes at town driving speeds
  • Adaptive Cruise Assistant, available as an option, helps you automatically keep a safe distance from the car ahead on motorways
  • Also consider the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Volvo V40


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