Skoda first came to the Indian market with the Octavia and it is this car that had made Skoda into a premium brand in India and had established the name. Sporting a tough build, superb diesel engine and un-matched efficiency (diesel), the Octavia was immediately a success. That was many years ago. Skoda has come a long way in India since then and the newer generation was called as Laura so that the previous gen Octavia could be sold alongside. Now that the old Octavia had been confined to the history books, Skoda rightly has brought back the Octavia name in form of the new third generation model. Bigger, better and stunning to look at, the Octavia hopes to bring back the glory days.
In India Skoda is going all out and offering the Octavia in many variants. There are three engine options including a diesel engine and two turbo-petrol engines. The new Skoda Octavia competes with the Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, Renault Fluence and the others. Compared to these cars the new Octavia armed with new looks and quality interiors provides extremely stiff competition. The new Skoda Octavia is available in three variants namely Active, Ambition and Elegance.
Skoda has provided three engine options with the new Octavia. For enthusiasts nothing but the 1.8 TSI petrol will suffice. This engine has been the enthusiasts favourite in the Laura but now with 177 bhp this engine in the new Octavia feels really quick. While the lack of a manual gearbox may disappoint many there is no denying how smoothly the 7-speed DSG gearbox operates. Plus thanks to this engines versatility driving sensibly will get figures close to the official 14.7 kmpl. Now the 1.8 may be fast but the 1.4 TSI is no slouch either. With 138 bhp this engine while not as explosive as the 1.8 TSI, delivers the thrills plus the sweet 6-speed manual gearbox (no automatic gearbox with this engine) is a delight. You will have to rev it more but for real world conditions the 1.4 TSI offers enough performance plus its more efficient with near 17 kmpl. The one that will be the most popular will certainly be the diesel. Available with both a 6-speed auto and manual this engine makes 140 bhp and there is hardly any hint of turbo-lag. Refinement is good and overall the generous torque spread makes for a smooth drive. It is incredibly efficient and the manual version will around 14-15 kmpl in city with the automatic slightly lower. The new Skoda Octavia has independent MacPherson strut at the front and independent multi-link stabiliser bar at the rear. The ride is just superb and just swallows everything with ease giving the Volkswagen Jetta really close competition in this regard. The new Skoda Octavia also does very well with its handling qualities as it feels very sharp in the corners with a direct steering.
The new Skoda Octavia in flesh certainly looks a lot bigger than its predecessor. The design is now less fussy and is simple but classy. At the front the LED day time running lights and the grille with 19 slats plus the new logo will grab your attention. At the rear the styling is similar to the Rapid but it goes along with the conservative yet classy styling of the new Skoda Octavia. Build quality is just fantastic. The total length of the vehicle is 4659 mm which is 90 mm more than the previous version. In total there are seven colour options.
The interiors have the same philosophy as the exteriors, which is all about classy European styling. The design is not as futuristic as the Hyundai Elantra but wins you over with its sheer quality. The chrome bits and various materials used are all top class stuff. Closing of the doors to the opening of the glove-box- all will reveal a significant step-up in quality over the previous version. The new Octavia is also more spacious and feels airy inside. There is more headroom, knee room and overall interior length has increased making it an ideal car to being chauffeur driven in. The new Skoda Octavia is very well equipped and even the base version has decent equipment. The new Octavia gets features like Panoramic sun-roof, audio system with TFT colour touch-screen display, dual zone climatronic air-con, adjustable rear ac vents, 12-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, tyre pressure monitor, parking sensors and well we can go on and on. In safety the new Octavia gets six air-bags, ESC along with ABS.
The new Skoda Octavia is an impressive car that will no doubt set new standards in its class. Skoda has gone back to doing what it does best and the new Octavia is absolutely faultless. It looks great and the quality is brilliant plus its now well equipped too. Enthusiasts will love the petrol engines and the diesel is efficient as well. Skoda it seems has thought of everything and with the new Octavia the gap between the Superb has also closed down. Yes, it is that good.