• Feb 12th 2009 at 5:33PM
  • 19

Click on the images above to view the old and new Skoda Octavia in high resolution

Skoda's mainstay model has hit the half-century mark, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. The original 1959 Skoda Octavia was so named because it was the eighth model produced by the Czech automaker, at the time a state-owned enterprise until the Volkswagen Group came in and acquired the company in 1989. Developing a new Octavia was the first order of business for the German engineers who marched on the Czechoslovakia, which debuted in concept form in 1992 just before the communist state fell. The upheaval would mean the new Octavia wouldn't hit the market until four years later, and Volkswagen has overseen a succession of facelifts and updates since. More details can be found in the press release after the jump, and you can click on the images above to see the original and most recent Octavia in high resolution. PRESS RELEASE


The Škoda Octavia is celebrating its 50th birthday this year after the first production of the best-seller took place in 1959. The Octavia replaced the Škoda 440, also known as 'Spartak'.

The company magazine 'Ventil' explained the meaning of the name in their January 6, 1959 issue.

"Our new vehicle has a new name too – the Škoda Octavia, as it is the eighth model produced by our nationalised industry."

The Octavia was the first model to be developed internally in 1989 after Škoda became part of VW Group. The first concept car was made in 1992. The vehicle was launched in 1996; its Octavia estate version was introduced two years later, followed by the Octavia 4x4.

In 2000 a new, modernised Octavia was introduced that is still manufactured in Mlada Boleslav today - the Octavia Tour. In February 2004 the company launched the second-generation Škoda Octavia, which was then facelifted in 2008.

Škoda, the Czech Republic's biggest car manufacturer has sold over 2 million Škoda Octavias worldwide and currently offers a vast range of trims, including the sporty Škoda Octavia RS and the Octavia Scout.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Congratulations are in order, Skoda!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I knew a girl named Octavia. She was the shizzle.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I stopped liking Skoda when they stopped hanging their engines out the back. When will someone make a rear engined family car again? Even if it's just for idiots like me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I rented a Fabia in Europe and was very impressed with the overall quality of the car. Joining VW payed off.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I rented an Octavia in Ireland last summer. It was a very nice car with a dual personality. All of the sophistication of a good VW but basic and durable materials and very few amenitites. The 79 HP engine loved to rev but had little effect on acelleration. I took great joy in ticking the passenger side mirror on the passing Irish weeds just to make my passenger jump and reving the bejeebers out of that little engine. Good times and as enjoyable as a business trip can be.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorta Looks like a Hyundai
      • 6 Years Ago
      Octavia is just a lower cost Golf, which means it's overpriced for a Skoda. Or Golf is even more overpriced Octavia. Actually, in Slovakia or Czech Republic you can buy a MUCH better car for the money - I'm talking about fully loaded models. Security is abysmal (stealing an Octavia is a question of seconds), driveability ridiculous, even vRS version is a joke not a sports car. Service charges for spare parts are ridiculously high, in fact, you can service a Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra and Kias cheaper than Octavias - at the dealers in Czech republic.

      Yes, Octavia is reasonably reliable and economical, but it's on par with Kia Ceed. Sure it's more reliable than a Renault or a Citroen but that's like saying that 4 is more than 3.

      I was born in Czeckoslovakia, in the Slovak part, so Skoda used to be my home brand, but my family never owned a Skoda. It just wasn't good enough. And it's still not good enough. Value for money? No, thanks, I drive a Mazda in whatever country I live in. And on Skoda's home turf, I'm charged less at the dealers'.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Octavia is built on GOLF platform. A5 (PQ35) can be used for pretty much anything, as it's modular, but Golf and Octavia are siblings.

        About security... Octavias and Fabias are the most stolen cars in Czech republic - not just by absolute numbers. VW security is a joke.

        Here's Germany's statistics

        Here's a "how to" steal an Octavia without a key - without details
        • 6 Years Ago
        "A u vás zase bijete černochy!" ;)

        That hasn't happened in couple decades....

        Rasismus je sranda kdyz tomu nikdo nerozumi ...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Security is not abysmal. All Skodas are equipped with the same security systems as VW and Audis. I've never heard of a case of one being stolen without the keys.
        The octavia is brilliant value for money. A fully equiped model cost the same as a basic BMW or Mercedes. Yet it has much more interior space. It is not based on the golf, its based on the passat. I'd buy this over any other car anyday of the week.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "A u vás zase bijete černochy!" ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've had a Skoda Octavia here in China for just over a year now. It beats any Honda or Nissan I've ever owned on reliability and fit and finish, drives like it was born on the Autobahn and has perfect interior and exterior design. It's a shame VW has decided not to bring this car to the US or Canada.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In Israel, it seems most taxis are Skoda Octavias (as well as the Fabias). They seem very well built and excellent interior (mostly VW switch-gear). The Superb sedan looks very nice. They are just as good as the VW models they are based on but at a cheaper cost. A no-brainer for many.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Skoda Octavia.....come again??

      neva heard of it
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well there are some people who've never heard of a Crown Victoria, you big silly.
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