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by Tim Beissmann

The first images and details of the new Skoda Octavia wagon have been released ahead of its unveiling at next month’s 2013 Geneva motor show.

The load-lugging version of the Czech brand’s third-generation Octavia medium car will join its liftback counterpart in Australian showrooms in the second half the year, when it is set to offer a keenly priced alternative to the likes of the Mazda 6, Ford Mondeo, Hyundai i40 and Opel Insignia.

At 4660mm long, 1815mm wide and riding on a 2690mm wheelbase, the new Skoda Octavia wagon is 90mm longer and 45mm wider than the model it replaces, and is around 110mm longer between the wheels.

Skoda says the Octavia wagon’s expanded dimensions and improved interior packaging give it class-leading rear-seat legroom and boot space. The rear cargo area now swallows 610 litres of gear with all five seats in place – up 30 litres over the outgoing model – and grows to 1740 litres with the rear seats folded forward – up 120 litres. The wagon’s boot is also 20 litres larger than that of the new Octavia liftback.

Like the liftback, a double-sided floor mat, net restraint system, and multiple bag hooks and bottle holders are standard, while exclusive features to the wagon include remote folding rear-seat backrests, retractable variable boot floor, luggage compartment cover, a coat rack, and a folding front passenger seat to make transporting long objects easier.

The Skoda Octavia wagon follows the design lead of the liftback, adopting the brand’s sharper corporate face and incorporating new C-shaped LED tail-lights and triangular tailgate elements. The wagon boasts an expansive glasshouse that promises good all-round visibility as well as roof rails for added versatility.

Four petrol and four diesel engines – all direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinders – will be available depending on the market, boasting efficiency improvements of up to 17 per cent.

The petrol units range in size and output from a 63kW/160Nm 1.2-litre to a 132kW/250Nm 1.8-litre, while the diesels range from a 77kW/250Nm 1.6-litre to the range-topping 110kW/320Nm 2.0-litre. The most fuel efficient petrol model consumes 4.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle while an 81kW mid-spec diesel sets a new benchmark at 3.4L/100km.

A range of driver assist safety features will be available in the new Octavia wagon, including emergency city braking, multi collision brake, lane assist, adaptive cruise control, fatigue detection, while up to nine airbags can also be fitted throughout the cabin.

The Skoda Octavia wagon will make its international debut in Geneva on March 5.




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