Volkswagen's Czech brand Škoda had a big show here in Geneva, even if most North American car buyers would never know it. Škoda brought its newly introduced Octavia model to the show this year, in both sedan and wagon ("combi") formulations.

The Škoda business model in Europe is roughly analogous to that of Kia in North America; offer brand-neutral buyers a lot of content for a value price. To that end, the 2013 Octavia brings a lot of VW group technology to the table: emergency brake assist, lane keep assist and fatigue detection in terms of safety, and navigation, a touch screen and premium sound for those seeking luxury.

Four TDI diesel engines are available for customers to choose from, while a 1.8-liter, 177-horsepower TSI gasoline engine sits at the top of the petrol range.

And, while Škoda actually announced the Octavia sedan a few weeks ago (Geneva was just its formal coming out party), the brand also brought a heretofore unseen wagon version, the Octavia Combi, to Switzerland, too. We think that the sedan and the wagon are pretty understated and handsome, truth be told, but the higher, more capacious Combi looks a bit neater to our eyes. (That is, when our eyes stray from the girl-next-door models surrounding the Octavia sedan.)

Please continue on for both Škoda'a official press release, and a video of the 2013 Octavia. Naturally you'll find scads of images of both Octavia variants in our attached galleries, as well.

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ŠKODA at the International Motor Show in Geneva

› New Octavia Combi continues the ŠKODA model offensive
› ŠKODA Octavia is in a class of its own – the qualities of a mid-sized car at a compact car price
› The 'heart of the brand' sets standards in the compact segment
› Market launch of the ŠKODA Octavia Combi at the end of May 2013
› ŠKODA will also be presenting the ŠKODA Octavia Combi 4×4 in Geneva
› Motor show premiere of the new ŠKODA Octavia limousine
› Octavia limousine has already been successfully launched in several markets
› 2012: sales record with 939,200 ŠKODA deliveries to customers (+6.8%)
› ŠKODA in a 2,000 m2 stand in hall 2

Geneva/Mladá Boleslav, March 2013 – ŠKODA boldly continues model offensive in 2013. The new ŠKODA Octavia Combi will be celebrating its world premiere in early March at the International Motor Show in Geneva. The company will also be introducing its all-wheel drive version of the ŠKODA Octavia Combi 4×4. It will also be the first time the new ŠKODA Octavia limousine is exhibited at a motor show. The ŠKODA Octavia is by far the brand's best-selling model. ŠKODA intends to continue to develop its international position with its third generation of limousines and estates. ŠKODA delivered 939,200 vehicles to its customers in 2012, which is a new sales record (growth of 6.8 per cent compared to 2011).

"The Octavia is ŠKODA's best-selling model – the heart of the brand," says ŠKODA CEO Winfried Vahland. "Just a few weeks after the world premiere of the new ŠKODA Octavia limousine, we will be launching the new ŠKODA Octavia Combi and ŠKODA Octavia Combi 4×4 in Geneva. The third generation of this ŠKODA bestseller sets standards regarding its space offering, quality, design, technology, and price-value ratio. Like the Octavia limousine, the Combi is an enormous leap forward and is now, more than ever, a car with middle-class qualities at a compact car price. With the new ŠKODA Octavia and our broad and modern range of cars, we have a good basis to strengthen our brand position in difficult markets as well, " states Vahland.

The Combi is extremely important for the success of the ŠKODA Octavia and therefore the brand as a whole. The sale of over 1.3 million units and almost 3.8 million units worldwide can be attributed to the ŠKODA Octavia today. The ŠKODA Octavia Combi has become a bestseller since its market launch in 1998, especially in Europe. 23.7 per cent of all European sales of the ŠKODA brand in 2012 were attributed to the ŠKODA Octavia Combi, and 25.2 per cent in Western Europe. In Germany, Europe's largest ŠKODA market and the second largest market after China worldwide, the share of Octavia Combi sales were more than 92 per cent in 2012. The ŠKODA Octavia Combi was the bestselling import car in Germany last year, with 42,200 car registrations. In Switzerland, the ŠKODA Octavia Combi was the top selling car within the Combi range with 9,446 delivered vehicles.

ŠKODA Octavia Combi sets standards in the compact estate segment

Whether front-wheel drive or a 4×4, the new ŠKODA Octavia Combi as well as the limousine stands for all of the brand's best qualities: timeless and elegant design, ample space for passengers and cargo, quality, precise design, lots of 'Simply Clever' details, innovative technology and an outstanding price-value ratio. "The new ŠKODA Octavia Combi is a great addition to the compact estate segment," states Werner Eichhorn, ŠKODA board member for sales and marketing. "The car perfectly combines high levels of functionality with dynamic elegance, making it the perfect answer to the increasing customer demands in this vehicle class that is growing so fast worldwide and especially in Europe," states Eichhorn.

The new ŠKODA Octavia Combi is not only considerably larger than its predecessor, it also sets new benchmarks in terms of room. Compared to the existing Octavia Combi, boot volume has grown by five litres, or twenty more than in the limousine. With the rear seats folded down, loading volume in the Combi increases to an impressive 1,740 litres (hitherto 1,655 litres). Many 'Simply Clever' details also play a role here; for example, there is a double floor in the cargo area that, for the first time ever, is variably adjustable. The design is dynamic and timelessly elegant. The car has a refined appearance with clear lines, precision and perfect proportions. In addition, the new ŠKODA Octavia Combi features the latest technology. With regard to safety, there are numerous electronic assistance systems as well as numerous electronic comfort, infotainment and navigation systems. The newly developed engines are up to 17 per cent more fuel-efficient than those of the previous generation. The range of engines available for the Octavia Combi comprises four petrol and four diesel engines, including a fuel efficient GreenLine version with CO2 emissions of only 87 g/km. Three different engines are available for the Octavia Combi 4×4, which features an all-wheel drive with a fifth generation Haldex clutch.

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