New Skoda Octavia review | Business Line

12 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on New Skoda Octavia review | Business Line

New Skoda Octavia review

The Octavia is back. Will it off its past and rise up again?

One of the talked about marketing studies in the Indian automotive of the last decade was that of the Octavia. How did this premium manage to rake up the kind of it did without any advertising or with minimal promotion for a brand was completely new to India.

Unfortunately, the of #8216;Word of Mouth#8217; not only led to the climbing up the sales chart, in was then considered the luxury segment, but was also evident in the way the brand slid down its pedestal later due to the poor of after-sales service. Many of the Octavia owners who were by the appalling service quality and amongst a big bunch of Skoda#8217;s will, however, still by the car#8217;s reliability and quality.

Of during the last few years, has been on the road to amend the that its erring dealers A lot of effort has gone into the slide in trust amongst It is not really there yet in terms of restored full confidence, but its are clearly again warming up to the

And this is good news, Skoda has now brought the new Octavia.

The when introduced here as an model, was essentially the new Octavia The Laura will continue to be in parallel (for now) and with the Yeti and the new 2013 Skoda will now have models in the Rs 14 lakh to Rs 19 lakh range.


The new Octavia#8217;s has classic Skoda lines all There are the understated, sharp-edged cues of a Volkswagen group car too. But it is still unmistakably a

Though the Laura (previous-generation still looks quite the new Octavia#8217;s design is clearly of progress in design.

This is the generation Octavia and it is built on the versatile MQB platform of the VW group. cars built on this include the Audi A3 and the VW Golf. The design language of the new Octavia is one its trademark rectangular elements been dumped, but it still to offer more merging and now a slightly more rounded

The previous generation Superb and the Octavia had a lot of resemblances when at from the rear. Similarly, the new now has a lot of resemblances, but with the smaller Rapid. The C-shaped configuration for the and the diagonal fold lines on the of the boot lid (above the number make it look very like the Rapid when from a distance.

Get a bit closer and the larger dimensions give it away as the new Octavia.

is none of that over-familiar DNA from the lines at the front. The new looks fresh and quite The headlamps are the simplest and yet the most part of the front.

I was test the top-end Elegance diesel and these featured the Bi-Xenon with LED daytime running

The bonnet grille shaped a butterfly is now a little narrower, but the is larger. The bonnet ridge that end nose-like with the logo at the top of the grille are a classic design cue. The gradually roofline, the sharp shoulder and the flared wheel arches are all VW design elements. Only, most other models, in the the rear of the roof culminates in a style boot-lid.

This that the rear glass upwards since it is part of the lid and in the new Octavia the lid feels heavier in the previous generation.

The new Octavia is wider and has a bigger wheelbase the Laura and certainly more the previous Octavia. In fact, a wheelbase of 2,688mm, the new Octavia is bigger than the VW Jetta. It is wider and much of that in dimensions show up in the more cabin.

However, the one feature that do any justice to its increased proportions is the small 16-inch wheels have been shod 205/ 55 tyres.


The new cabin is clinical, clean and German. The amount of space also hits you immediately you step in. A cream-beige and grey colour theme is pleasing to the eye and gives it an airy feel, there is no dearth of light in.

Fit and finish quality and the material is perfectly matched to the best in the and there is a general feeling of to the cabin, except the faux trim in the centre console, felt that too faux. The and knobs are all within easy for the driver and there was enough and manual adjustability to the seats and for me to get the most comfortable driving

Touch-screen infotainment system, bolstered leather seats, sunroof, chunky steering and the auto-dimming rear view were features that I and helped me during my test in New Delhi. The thick centre going all the way to the rear seat that the passenger in the middle at the has to sit astride and the Bluetooth pairing my handset just didn#8217;t with the infotainment system in the new


The new Octavia is offered three engines #8211; two mills and one diesel. The test I had for a few days was the 2.0 TDI (there was no badging to it from the others).

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

Also, the diesel unit is mated to the 6-speed DSG (dual sequential) transmission as in the Jetta. The powertrain is the winner, with refinement being a benchmark. Skoda seems to have used new material to keep noise really low in the cabin.

With the new Octavia being 100 kgs lighter (thanks in part to the MQB the power available seems to gotten a distinct boost. The car feel a bit lighter too.

The manages to leverage the engine#8217;s though the bit of delay in the turbocharger in can be felt. As you can see from the picture the idles at 1,000 rpm. The is felt more in fully mode due to the short time lag in the DSG detecting driver demand.

In mode, the gearbox is much responsive and can be quite addictive to in.

The new Octavia is offered with the 1.8 TSI petrol (1,798cc) engine the Laura is offered with. power gets a 10 per cent in the new Octavia, compared to the Laura, and the petrol engine also to get a wider torque range. The 1.8 TSI is with a 7-speed DSG gearbox.

these engines now manage to higher mileage than in the

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

The new Octavia#8217;s ride quality is reminiscent of the Laura#8217;s, not surprising the set up is the same. The general expectation can be a mix between firm and accommodating.

The feel and feedback makes it of the VW group association.


A key for the original Octavia#8217;s success was its While it might be too early to about the India-spec Octavia, the new Octavia has received points for its build quality and reliability.

The Active variant packs in a few features as standard equipment, but up to the mid and top trim variants and the features in the new Octavia really shoots up. lighting assistant, cornering headlamp washers, rain-sensing stability control, multi-collision six-airbags, electronic differential tyre-pressure monitors etc. the new Octavia really feature

Priced in the range of Rs 14 lakh to Rs lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the new will be a headache for the competition in price segment and even for VW group cars including the Passat, Laura and the Superb.

(This article was on November 5, 2013)

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