Skoda Octavia Performance & First Drive

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Skoda Octavia Overview

Back in early 2000s when the executive sedan segment was still nurturing, Octavia was shaking the auto segment for Skoda at the global level. Skoda resurrected Octavia in the year 2013 after discontinuing the Laura, its alter-ego in the year 2010. Almost six years down the line and this third generation model has proved to be the bread and butter of the Czech automaker in the country. The car has been performing exceptionally well in its segment despite stern competition from the similarly priced SUVs and crossovers. The latest version with host of updates is an attempt to boost its credibility among the league. The new Skoda Octavia offers sharp styling, updated cabin comfort with no changes to the mechanicals. Check for car loan interest rate.

Skoda Octavia Exteriors

The new Octavia’s design has classic Skoda lines all over. There are the understated, sharp-edged styling cues of a Volkswagen group company car too. But it is still unmistakably a Skoda. Though the Laura (previous-generation Octavia) still looks quite fresh, the new Octavia’s design is clearly indicative of progress in design.

This is the third generation Octavia and it is built on the same versatile MQB platform of the VW group. Other cars built on this platform include the Audi A3 and the VW Golf. The overall design language of the new Octavia is one where its trademark rectangular elements haven’t been dumped, but it still manages to offer more merging lines and now a slightly more rounded look.

The previous generation Superb and the first-generation Octavia had a lot of resemblances when looked at from the rear. Similarly, the new Octavia now has a lot of resemblances, but with the smaller Skoda Rapid. The C-shaped configuration for the tail-lamps and the diagonal fold lines on the face of the boot lid (above the number plate) make it look very much like the Rapid when viewed from a distance. Get a bit closer and the larger dimensions will give it away as the new Octavia.

There is none of that over-familiar DNA evident from the lines at the front. The new Octavia looks fresh and quite robust. The headlamps are the simplest and yet the most attractive part of the front. I was test driving the top-end Elegance diesel variant and these featured the Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights.

The bonnet grille shaped like a butterfly is now a little narrower, but the airdam is larger. The bonnet ridge lines that end nose-like with the Skoda logo at the top of the grille are a classic Skoda design cue. The gradually raked roofline, the sharp shoulder line and the flared wheel arches are all classic VW design elements. Only, unlike most other models, in the Octavia the rear of the roof culminates in a notchback style boot-lid. This means that the rear glass opens upwards since it is part of the boot lid and in the new Octavia the lid feels heavier than in the previous generation.

The new Octavia is longer, wider and has a bigger wheelbase than the Laura and certainly more than the previous Octavia. In fact, with a wheelbase of 2,688mm, the new Octavia is 55mm bigger than the VW Jetta. It is also wider and much of that increase in dimensions show up in the more spacious cabin. However, the one feature that doesn’t do any justice to its increased proportions is the rather small 16-inch wheels that have been shod with 205/ 55 tyres.

Skoda Octavia Interiors

The cabin is one of the reasons why this is the best-selling Skoda in India. The interiors of the third-generation Octavia launched in 2013 paved the way for the current models of Skodas including the flagship Superb sedan. The dashboard’s layout is clutter-free and the carmaker has adopted a minimalistic approach while designing the cabin. This is a good thing as the quality is future proof until and unless the 4th generation model arrives. And what the Czech automaker has done with this updated version is to fill some missing gaps. The car continues to sport the same dual-tone theme but the use of lighter colour gives it a slightly different shade and same goes for the upholstery.

Further, the carmaker has used glossy black accents surrounding the climate control unit as well as the gear lever. The door trims brushed with aluminium looks more appealing than the earlier faux wood. So, these little modifications add up a lot to uplift the ambiance inside. As with other cars in the VW family, this one has also been bestowed with latest techs and goodies. The new Octavia gets latest touchscreen infotainment with a capacitive touch buttons. The infotainment comes bundled with Skoda’s SmartLink that gives access to Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and also support navigation along with other usuals such as USB, Bluetooth and Aux-In. The touch response is excellent just like we are scrolling through our smartphones. It even comes with pinch to zoom functionality for the maps.

Coming to the interior space, as the car is based on VWs new MQB platform just like Superb and Kodiaq, the objective was clear i.e. to maximize space inside and at the same time minimizing the weight of the vehicle. And this has really turned the game for Octavia beating the immediate rivals Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla when it comes to providing roomier cabin. The rear space is more than adequate with comfortable seats. The headroom and legroom is ample however, the under thigh support could have been better.

From the driver’s perspective, the addition of 12-way adjustable driver’s seat with memory function can make easy to hop on to the perfect position instantly. The memory not only stores three different driving positions but also holds information on adjustment settings for external side view mirror. Back to the rear, where the ac vents pampers you throughout the journey, the USB charging ports help you juice up your devices at critical moments. The car comes with large boot space of 590L and with the rear seat folded; it can reveal humongous 1580L of space for storing ample luggage. The car comes with 60:40 rear split as well.

The new Octavia has also been bestowed with premium features (L&K edition) giving you freedom of enjoying greater space with electrically adjustable panoramic sunroof. The leather upholstery and climatronic dual-zone air conditioning further enhancing in-car experience. The car also gets new gadgetry in the form of hands-free parking which allows you to park the car in a parallel or perpendicular space. All you have to do is to take control of braking and acceleration and all the remaining stuff will be handled automatically.

Moreover, there is ambient lighting feature which can be used to light up the cabin in 10 different colour options. The top of the line Laurin & Klement edition also gets piano black décor and beige upholstery along with Canton Surround Sound system as well as BossConnect through ŠKODA Media Command App through which the rear passengers can control the infotainment system using their smartphones. Other comfort features in the car include headlamp washer, LED boarding spots, automatic retractable ORVM on lock, push engine start/stop button, multi-functional steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise control.

The top of the range Laurin & Klement edition also gets virtual cockpit which can be seen in many Audi cars. The digital instrument cluster shows the on-board computer in beautiful graphical interface informing vital statistics about the vehicle on the go. You can view the navigation in the digital cluster itself. There is a lot to offer when it comes to storage and utilities. There is a large glove compartment located in the dashboard and when used with air conditioner, it can cool your stuff as well. Then there are compartments at the front doors to hold 1L bottle as well as space for removable waste basket. The rear passengers also get seat armrest with two drink holders. Overall, the carmaker has done its best to enhance in-car comfort and keep it competitive among its league.Check for Skoda Octavia in Origo2000

Skoda Octavia Transmission

The new Octavia is offered with three engines – two petrol mills and one diesel. The test mule I had for a few days was the 2.0 TDI (there was no badging to distinguish it from the others).

This is the same tried and tested diesel engine that VW uses in quite a few other models too, including the Jetta and the Laura. This 1,968cc turbocharged diesel engine produces just a shade more power than in the Jetta and the Laura at 143 PS available from 4,000 rpm. In the new Octavia, the engine’s torque range has also increased to 1,750-3,000 rpm, though peak torque generated remains the same at 320 Nm (compared to the Jetta).

Also, the 2-litre diesel unit is mated to the same 6-speed DSG (dual sequential) automatic transmission as in the Jetta. The powertrain is quite the winner, with refinement levels being a benchmark. Skoda also seems to have used new insulation material to keep noise levels really low in the cabin. With the new Octavia being almost 100 kgs lighter (thanks in part to the MQB platform), the power available seems to have gotten a distinct boost. The car does feel a bit lighter too.

The powertrain manages to leverage the engine’s prowess, though the bit of delay in the turbocharger kicking in can be felt. As you can see from the picture the engine idles at 1,000 rpm. The delay is felt more in fully automatic mode due to the short time lag in the DSG gearbox detecting driver demand. In triptronic mode, the gearbox is much more responsive and can be quite addictive to drive in.

The new Octavia is offered with the same 1.8 TSI petrol (1,798cc) engine that the Laura is offered with. Peak power gets a 10 per cent boost in the new Octavia, compared to the Laura, and the turbocharged petrol engine also manages to get a wider torque range. The 1.8 TSI is paired with a 7-speed DSG gearbox. Both these engines now manage to offer higher mileage than in the Laura.

The 2013 Octavia is also offered with a 1.4 TSI petrol engine. This is smaller (1,395cc) displacement engine offers a peak power of 140 PS and peak torque of 250Nm. This engine also offers a higher rated mileage of 16.8 kmpl.

Skoda Octavia Driving

In terms of space and comfort, though the MQB platform does make a considerable difference, it has equally positive impact on the overall performance. Thanks to the reduced weight, a difference of 60-105kgs in weight between the Jetta and Octavia. And this difference is crystal clear when you push the accelerator and let the vehicle do rest of the job. The rear suspension in the updated model (except the 1.4L model) has been slightly tweaked in order to improve ride and handling.

Where the 1.8L version gets 30mm wider rear track with multi-link rear suspension, the 2.0L model gets an increase of 20mm featuring torsion beam system. In fact, the Octavia is the only car in its segment to get independent rear suspension with the 1.8L model. This is for betterment of the road manners since it has more power than that of base petrol and the diesel models. Coming to the ride and handling, the Octavia is renowned for offering best comfort package since the introduction of the first generation model.

And now in its third generation, it has stepped up the game thanks to the underpinning of MQB platform. The car feels confident on most surfaces with minimal body roll as the suspension isn’t stiff unlike of a sportscar. It offers high level of grip and composure while downing road imperfections. The steering is light at city speeds while weighing up decently as and when the car gathers speed. It also give adequate feedback, however slightly more connection with the car could have been better

Skoda Octavia Safety

The car features all-round disc brakes which translate into strong stopping capability. The braking system is not only sharp but predictable and confidence inspiring. And with other braking aids such as anti-locking braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, Brake Assist, multi-collision braking and anti-slip regulation, you have full command of the road.

Other advanced features in the car include motor speed regulation, traction control system, electronic differential lock and tyre pressure monitoring system. The top variants also include features such as dual-tone warning horn, acoustic warning signal for overrun speed, iBuzz fatigue alert, two ISOFIX child-seat preparations on outer rear seats, anti-theft alarm, front and rear parking sensors and handsfree parking and rear view camera.

Skoda Octavia Cost in Hyderabad

Skoda Octavia On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 19,13,499 to 31,70,241 for variants Octavia 1.4 Ambition TSI MT and Octavia 2.0 L K TDI CR AT respectively. Skoda Octavia is available in 8 variants and 4 colours. Below are details of Skoda Octavia variants price in Hyderabad. Check for Octavia price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Skoda Octavia Final Thought

The 3rd generation Skoda Octavia is a good package and once Skoda introduce it in India they seriously will have to promote their new car so that it attract the attention of the choosy Indian buyers. It has everything that a sedan needs starting from the great looking exterior to the plush interiors and also both the engine options and plenty of safety features. The only thing that Skoda needs to focus on is its after sales service which generally does not have a good reputation.

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