The Octavia’s body proved to be very strong and provided stable protection for its occupants. Its restraint systems include single-stage tethered airbags for the driver and passenger, seat-mounted side airbags and front belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters. The Octavia shares its structure and underpinnings with the Mk5 Volkswagen Golf.
Unlike the Golf, a head-protecting curtain airbag is not standard on all models. It is, however, available as an option at extra cost.
The child protection offered by the car was good. Its performance in the pedestrian test just fell short of achieving three stars.
The car’s body suffered minimal deformation. The single-stage tethered airbags and belt pretensioners plus load limiters worked well with the stable structure, keeping loads on the driver’s chest and legs relatively low. However, the driver risked injuries from his knees hitting unforgiving structures located behind the fascia.
The footwell suffered little intrusion and control of the pedals in the crash was good.
A very impressive protection system includes seat-mounted thorax airbags. The car scored the maximum points available in this section of the test.
There is a manual switch for the passenger frontal airbag. Owners can also ask dealers to disconnect the airbag permanently. When the airbag is off, its status is shown on the instrument binnacle and on the centre console.
However, apart from a nonpermanent pictogram on the end of the fascia there was no warning against placing a child in a rearfacing restraint opposite an active airbag. Fair Bimbo Fix restraints (forward facing for the older child and rear facing for the younger child) used the ISOFIX anchorages.
The children were well protected although, in the frontal impact, chest loads were a touch high.
The bumper and leading edge of the bonnet gave some protection as did the bonnet top, particularly where a child’s head would most likely strike. Overall, a good effort.