Last Call: Did Škoda Blow Da' Ocatvia? Edition

Here’s the 2017 Škoda Octavia sedan showing off its new nose. The Octavia is the Czechoslovakian company’s mainstream entrant and as such needs to be aesthetically  engaging without being polarizing. I’m thinking that the car’s new nose somewhat misses the mark. What do you think?
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Image: Škoda

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19 responses to “Last Call: Did Škoda Blow Da' Ocatvia? Edition”

  1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    Is this Czech for Ehrmagerd?

  2. kogashiwa Avatar

    Somehow reminds me of a Mercury Milan.

  3. Mister Sterling Avatar
    Mister Sterling

    It’s Czech now. Don’t reveal your age with “Czechoslovakian .” 🙂

  4. bv911 Avatar

    Kinda looks like a Passat crossed with “I don’t care what you do, it’s just can’t look the same”!

    1. Manic_King Avatar

      This is actually Jetta in a different frock. At least last Superb was clearly Passat with the different body, all the buttons were roughly in the same places and worked similarly, even if the dash was completely different.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Not exactly, the Jetta is based off the Mk6 Golf whereas this is off the Mk7. The wheelbase is about an inch longer than the Jetta and it is 1.5″ wider.
        This facelift is less plain, but I dare say they will lose more sales than they gain. The old nose surely offended nobody.

    2. Harry Callahan Avatar
      Harry Callahan

      Indeed. No attempts were made to obscure the very obviously Jetta body.

  5. Alff Avatar

    More “meh” than “yuck”. Given the competition, that’s probably a win.

  6. Desmo Avatar

    I admit that the new Skodas look somehow ugly.
    But americans do not understand that Skoda stands for european victory over the japanese. American auto industry has since long bowed down to Toyota. Not so the europeans. When Skoda came back in 1990, they virtually wiped off Toyota from the european market. In Germany alone, Skoda has brought down all asian brands close to zero. Let them have ugly noses.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Spot on, mate! Piëch said in the early 90s that Škoda was to take Volvo’s customers: The people who want sophisticated enough, somewhat conservative forever-machines. Everybody laughed.
      Not so anymore. Volvo has moved on to a new clientele, Toyota and Subaru struggle to distinguish themselves (witness the Czech focus on AWD), and Škoda is strong.
      Historically, it’s a bit annoying that the revival of the Czech auto industry is German owned and run, with the company that got their game going by stealing a Czech design.

      1. Eric Rucker Avatar

        I’m curious whether the aftermath of Dieselgate might change this, with things like Toyota’s hybrid strategy meaning that they can respond to anti-diesel moves more quickly than other automakers that don’t have strong hybrid strategies.
        And, AFAIK, Skoda doesn’t have any hybridization/electrification going on, although Volkswagen obviously does. (However, VW’s hybrid products haven’t been particularly successful in markets that are far more receptive to hybrids…)

        1. crank_case Avatar

          Eric – see my post above

        2. Sjalabais Avatar

          Honestly, Dieselgate is something two groups care about: Carmakers and legislators. Unless the latter decide to slam punitive taxes and levers on the heating oil fraction, I think the death of the diesel in Europe will be incredibly slow – exactly because local automakers have a lot of R&D stuck in it. They also have the clout to grab legislators by the…right hand, as thet have shown time and time again.
          I have an engineering colleague who just bought a new CX-5 diesel, knowing everything about its downsides, including diesel free days when Bergen and Oslo are too polluted. His is the “don’t eat as hot as you cook it”-attitude, and I see that in a lot of people.
          Škoda has sort of been the “tried” Volkswagen. From what I can see, VW and Audi do the beta-testing for the tech that eventually reaches Škoda. With their down-to-earth-clientele, good prices, and robust tech as cornerstones, I’d say they’re just not feeling the rush for alternative power sources. Guessing though. 🙂

    2. crank_case Avatar

      As a European in a country without a native manufacturer (Ireland) really where Skoda is indeed quite popular. I’d have a different take on it. It’s not all down to Skodas own brilliance and partly due to heavy EU interference.
      VAG always had a big market share here, but I think things really took a turning point in 2008 when europe wide, taxation, affecting both vehicle purchase price and annual “motor tax” moved to using a similar structure of very narrow CO2 bands. The only difference between countries being how punitive these bands were. eg. In Ireland, the bottom rate is about €100 a year, while the top rate of 225g/km is over €2000 and it doesn’t slide up incrementally, but takes huge jumps at certain points in the scale.
      Now combine this with three other things, European emissions standards up til about Euro 6 gave diesel a “free pass” on NOx compared to gasoline, the notoriously easy to trick lab based emissions testing process, and heavy duty on fuel allows diesel to be actually cheaper than gasoline and and it favours diesel engines and to a lesser extent small turbo petrols. Technology the european manufacturers, and especially VAG had heavily invested in, where by contrast the Japanese had traditionally mostly invested in high revving naturally aspirated gasoline engines or hybrids, which on paper compared poorly, but in the real world were actually pretty decent, while better on NOx. It was pure greenwash, paying lip service to climate change, but really playing into the vested interests of European manufacturers.
      Lots of buyers, used to small capacity petrol engines, liked the effortless mid range torque of diesel too,
      Post dieselgate however, things are different. The tide had already been turning, and diesels will need to be more expensive to meet the newest emissions standards. Small turbo petrols have been shown to actually have very poor real world economy versus lab results (they are often under heavy load and extra fuel often needs to be added to combat predetonation from high temps)/ Toyota have been gaining some ground back on the hybrid thing, especially with the likes of the CH-R, and VW is scrambling to do a u turn on electrification. Mazda also have been gaining back a lot of ground with a range of attractive cars that are fun to drive and attractive, but get their efficiency from small, clever refinements like light weight and “right sized” efficient engines rather than trying to game the system. There’s also the new Suzuki Ignis, which is high on my list for my next car, it out pandas the fiat panda. It’s a city car that looks like a shrunken SUV, and is genuinely cheap compared to its rivals, starts at €12000, but even the top of the range model with 4WD, semi automatic gearbox (i.e not CVT or slushbox) and a ridiculous amount of equipment is not much over €17000 (which is cheap when you can spend on €20k on a fiesta and still not have an ST). It’s high on my list for the next daily driver. You can even add a light hybrid system. Subaru are totally lost of course, but the CO2 system severly punished the WRX halo model so its not sold here, and gets minimal sales in other euro markets, it’s also too big and seems to be more aimed at US preferences, it’s a far cry from the compact road going rally cars of the McRae era that were the king of small twisty and often poorly surfaced and wet Irish back roads. Nissan are of course tied up with Renault and Dacia and built in the UK, which has worked out very well for them with the Quashqai (pronounced Cash Cow I believe), though brexit should be interesting.
      Meanwhile, the Koreans have caught everyone napping and are rapidly gaining sales, with a lot of commitment to the European market, setting up near the Ring for testing and kudos, but also not far from Russelheim to poach opel and other car industry employees. The Hyundai Tucson is Irelands best selling car. – that’s another area VAG has been caught napping, small crossovers. Love em or hate em, they sell and VW has been slow on this, though the Skoda Yeti was actually excellent, but just didn’t capture huge sales versus the Quasqai and now the Tucson.
      On a more personal note – my motoring life has been intertwined with Skodas. I learned to drive in my mothers Felicia, which despite being made under VW was still a Skoda design, being a reskinned favorite. A car that I would describe as agricultural but charmingly honest. I also wrote it off one torrentially rainy night aquaplaning it at 60mph, I suspect by the time I hit the concrete post at the side of the road which I literally wrapped the front end around, I was still going anywhere from 30-50mph, hard enough to push the engine up, twist both front wheels through 90 degrees so they were 180 degrees to each other. I survived – completely uninjured. The local police picked me up and brought me home, didn’t even breathalyze me or take details. (I had been out to see some bands but I’d not been drinking, I was young and stupid but not that stupid).
      That car was replaced by a Fabia which my mother managed to write off parking…no..I have no idea how she managed it either. At least I sent her previous car out with a bang rather than a whimper. Despite this being a full VW platform model (shared with the Polo), it was actually less reliable and developed some odd electrical glitches. It was more refined though.
      Later still, when I had the misfortune of having an MX5 rear ended, it’s replacement MX5 stolen and a “temporary car” fiat cinquecento have its engine let go after a long trip in which I probably hooned it too much when I knew the tappets and EGR were already dodgy, a friend dug me out of the hole of the lowest point in my motoring life gave me a laoner Felicia estate, which was the most epically sheddy car I have ever owned and even managed to sell it for actual money. Only €100 but I’m surprised someone actually wanted it. It was still a better ownership experience than the Opel Astra that followed..

  7. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan

    The nose is fine. Inoffensive, derivitive, forgetable. This is not an enthusiast’s car, therefore a passionate, emotional response to the design was not a goal…such passion is often polarizing.

  8. Manic_King Avatar

    Remember those crazy soviet ice fishing cars with huge wheels made out of tractor’s inner tubes?
    Here is lighter contraption for sale for 220 euros, it’s based on kick-sled, has engine from 1948? soviet chainsaw and is meant to be used as a transport to and from ice fishing holes on a frozen lake, has plastic box made out of 2 meat crates for fish and eqipment. Hold-mah-vodka type of creation.
    More photos:

  9. CraigSu Avatar

    Paint the grille pink and your Lyft mustache is built-in.
    Seriously, though, I don’t find the front any more offensive than the Jetta it’s based on.

  10. Kelf Avatar

    The Ocatvia? Is that the Skoda-Jaguar joint venture we’ve been hearing about?

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