The new Skoda Octavia Estate 4x4 will be available in the UK from March 2005, the perfect answer to the ‘4x4 backlash’ as it offers all the advantages of a four-wheel drive system in a normal-sized estate car. ‘Normal’ by Skoda standards is still larger than average, as this new Skoda offers an exceptionally roomy interior and luggage compartment - not losing any capacity because of the 4x4 system. With the seats in place, carrying capacity of 580 litres is top in its class, rising to 1,620 litres with the rear seats folded.
With two engine choices, this is the first time that the Estate 4x4 will be available in a diesel engine. Those preferring more economical performance are likely to choose the flexible and economical 1.9 TDI PD 105bhp, priced at just £16,150, whilst the powerful new 2.0 FSI 150bhp is available at £16,745, yet more proof of Skoda’s great value.
The Octavia Estate 4x4 owes its off-road capability to the permanently available four-wheel drive with automatic torque distribution which is achieved (as with the last generation Skoda 4x4) through Skoda’s Haldex coupling. This results in better handling in bad weather and poor road conditions.
The Haldex coupling system offers several advantages over other typical four-wheel drive concepts as it has front-wheel drive characteristics under the majority of driving conditions. The system works by near-instant evaluation of road conditions, fed from sensors in the car through the CAN-Bus system to the rear differential. Full integration with traction and braking systems such as ABS, EDL & ESP means there is less stress in the drivetrain when parking or manoeuvring.
The 4x4 is a stand-alone trim level that offers a number of additional features to Octavia’s Ambiente trim, including Climatronic dual-zone air conditioning, leather steering wheel, gearknob and gaiter, ESP and front fog lamps.
Raised suspension and sump guard are standard too, as are the 15" alloy wheels. Both engine options have six-speed manual transmission.
The new Skoda Octavia Estate offers an extraordinary package - high build quality, excellent handling and performance, and fantastic space and comfort. The new Estate 4x4 delivers all this and more; satisfying off-road capability that doesn’t compromise the excellent value for money one expects from Skoda - yet another "extra bit of car".Published 2 February 2005