If you are an automobile enthusiast in India you would know what a special car the Skoda Octavia RS is and even today its regarded as one of the 'must-haves' if you claim to have petrol running in your veins. When Skoda replaced it with the Laura 1.8 TSI enthusiasts again got a midsize luxury sedan with a superb engine and a slick manual gearbox.
Now with the burden of these two great Skoda cars over its shoulders would the new Octavia 1.8 TSI deliver? In a nutshell yes and then some. Let me explain. While on the outside the new Octavia has grown and is more luxurious it's got even more power with 177 bhp.
Combine that with 250Nm of torque and a smooth 7-speed DSG gearbox and you have got a car that shames cars costing a lot more- forget about its main rivals, in terms of performance. This is a gem of a motor providing smooth acceleration and within no time you see big speeds on your speedo. For the record the Octavia 1.8 TSI does 0-100 kmph in 8.2 seconds.
The new Octavia is a smooth operator and it's the sort of car that does big speeds with ease and minimal fuss. In regular D mode it's relatively tame but Sport and manual really unlocks the car. You love the snarl from the engine and performance is strong.
We would also say that the new Octavia feels rock solid at high speeds- trust us we hit double ton with ease. When it comes to ride and handling the new Octavia hits the sweet spot with a soft ride and sharp handling. Yes I would have liked it to be a lot stiffer but I guess the upcoming vRS would fulfill this slot. Still it handles corners well and it's much more fun than any other car in its class.
Now let's get to the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde part of the Octavia. You will get 9-10 kmpl and even more in the highway which again highlights the usefulness of turbo-charging. Even more so if you are chauffeured you will like the space and comfy rear seat and the superb quality all around. In Elegance spec you get everything and then some.
The Octavia 1.8 TSI Elegance has features like 16 inch alloys, rear decklid spoiler (only for the 1.8 TSI), Bi-Xenon headlamps with LEDs, tyre pressure monitoring system, front parking sensors and speaker, side and curtain airbags, Panoramic electric sunroof etc over the midspec Ambition variant.
At around Rs 18.25 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI is just fantastic value for money as it does, well, everything. The new Octavia builds on the strengths of the Laura and adds features and more luxury but the performance of this car is what really sets it apart. In other words nothing can touch the Octavia 1.8 TSI and it's our pick of the range.
Also Read Skoda Octavia Diesel Road Test
Photography- Rajeev Bhendwal