What is it?
Facelifts, of any sort, are rarely successful. Whether it's sagging skin or ageing car design that's being given a refresh, while rolling back the years is clearly the aim, look closer, and you’ll usually find that attempts to smooth things over have only made matters worse.
There may be a few exceptions out there (answers on a postcard please), but to these eyes at least, the new Skoda Octavia isn’t one of them. Its manufacturer says the new look gives the Octavia a greater impression of width, but we’re not convinced. From a distance, it just looks like the LED running lights are broken.
We really shouldn’t moan, though. The new schnoz might be the most noticeable change but it’s far from the most important. More pressing is that the Octavia's track width has been increased at the back to improve stability and more safety kit is available including blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and predictive pedestrian protection. Try saying that last one three times in a hurry.
Inside there’s a new centre console that houses one of two infotainment systems. Even Billy-basic S models get an 8.0in touchscreen that can be optioned with sat-nav (standard on SE Tech and SE L). Opt for posh Laurin & Klement trim and you get a 9.2in screen as standard.