Skoda the brand has not had a presence in the Australian market since approximately 1983. Since that time much has changed for the brand globally. In 1991 Volkswagen AG bought 30% of the shares of the newly established joint-venture company. Later, Volkswagen AG increased its share to 70% and in 2000, bought the remaining shares to assume 100% ownership. Skoda has launched two new models onto the Australian market - the mid-sized Octavia sedan and hatch and the Roomster, a small crossover wagon.
The Octavia is Skoda's top selling and most popular vehicle. It combines a combination of comfort, reliability, quality, safety and German technology in an exclusively European package at an imminently accessible price point. Upgraded with new engines and equipment in 2006, the Skoda Octavia range is available in both sedan and wagon body styles. The five engines are complemented by four transmissions, and choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Octavia range begins with the Ambiente model, which is tuned for outstanding economy and performance with a 77kW 1.9-litre TDI turbocharged and intercooled diesel engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on Octavia Ambiente models, with a sophisticated Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) optional. DSG can be driven in either manual or automatic modes. Wagon versions of the Octavia (all models, including Ambiente) are available with a sophisticated AWD system as an option.
Standard equipment on the Octavia Ambiente models include: electronic stability program, remote central locking, climatic - automatic air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels with 195/65 tyres, power windows, MP3-compatible CD/tuner, 'Rolling code' electronic engine immobiliser, multi-function leather bound steering wheel and trip computer. The Octavia Elegance is available with the choice of three outstanding engines. A new 1.8-litre TFSI (turbo- charged and direct injected) four-cylinder petrol engine; a 2.0 FSI in-line four-cylinder petrol and a 2.0 TDI. The Octavia Elegance wagon is available with all three engine and transmission combinations above, as well as with all-wheel drive. AWD Elegance wagon variants receive a six-speed manual transmission. Sports-tuned suspension is available as an option on Octavia Elegance models.
In addition to the impressive equipment levels in the Ambiente range elegance models receive: 6-inch alloy wheels, six-CD/tuner with MP3 compatibility, low light sensing headlight activation, rain sensing windscreen wipers, auto-dimming rear vision mirror and climatronic air conditioning. The performance flagship of the Octavia range is the dynamically engaging Octavia RS. Available, like the rest of the Octavia range, in both wagon and sedan body styles, this is a satisfying and very European performance car you can live with every day. Spirited driving is assured, thanks to a powerful and refined 2.0 TFSI in-line four-cylinder petrol engine with computer controlled high pressure direct injection, turbocharging and intercooling. The Octavia RS is available with a six-speed manual transmission, and befitting its character it engages the road via 18-inch alloy wheels shod with low profile 225/40 tyres.
Feel and feedback are impressive, thanks to sports-tuned suspension and responsive rack and pinion steering with electro-mechanical assistance. Inside, the RS retains the Elegance's high equipment levels and interior refinements. The vehicle's sporty character is enhanced by the inclusion of body hugging heated front seats with sports trim, alarm system and sports instrument panel. All Octavia models are equipped with electronic stability control, an advanced ABS braking system with engine braking control and traction control. The Octavia pricing starts at $29,990 for the 1.9 TDI power Ambiente model, rising to $33,490 for the Octavia Elegance with 2.0-litre TDI engine. The RS model is priced at $39,490.
The Roomster is a funky wagon that has a large carrying capacity, thanks to straight walls that allow boxes to be stacked economically. It is priced from $26,990, with the top of the range priced at $29,990. The Skoda Roomster is the first Skoda car designed and built using the 'module' concept. The front end is based on the Skoda Fabia, while the rear axle is sourced from the Octavia. The rear platform is sourced from the Volkswagen Golf. It is powered by a choice of 1.9-litre turbo- charged diesel or 1.6-litre petrol engine. Standard equipment includes remote central locking, front and rear power windows, electrically adjustable heated rear vision mirrors, climatronic air conditioning system, eight-speaker radio/CD/MP3 in car entertainment system, cruise control, alloy wheels (6J x 15-inch, with 195/55 tyres), multi-function onboard trip computer and leather bound steering wheel.