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Skoda Octavia
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: N/A
Expert Rating
: 8/10
Warranty
: 4 Yrs / Unlimited kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
15.71 Lakhs-24.63 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Stylish Demeanour
  • Good Performance
  • Long Equipment List
  • Quality Cabin
     

Weak Areas

  • Pricey proposition 
  • Noisy diesel motor 
  • Cramped rear
  • Poor dynamics 
Skoda Octavia
 

Skoda Octavia Road Test Review

Skoda has given the Octavia a detailed cosmetic facelift and also brought a new feature called Park Pilot. The mechanicals remain unchanged and the car still comes with two petrol and one diesel engine mated to manual and automatic gearboxes. 


On the Roads with New Skoda Octavia

The Skoda Octavia first graced the Indian markets in 2002 and ever since then, it has seen a steady fan following among car enthusiasts here. The third generation vehicle of Octavia arrived in 2013 and thus, now in 2017, it got a facelifts that brings some interesting features to watch. There have been improved changes both in the exteriors as well as the interiors of the vehicle but the engines remain unchanged. Skoda Octavia still comes with three options in terms of powertrains: 

1.4 TSI Petrol engine - It delivers a power of 138 bhp at 4500 rpm - 6000 rpm and has 250 Nm of torque between 1500 rpm - 3500 rpm. It is mated to 6 speed manual gearbox.  When driven under normal conditions, this engine is capable of fuel efficiency up to 16.7 km / litre.
           Skoda Octavia

1.8 TSI Petrol engine - This impressive engine delivers 178 bhp at 5100 rpm – 6200 rpm and has 250 Nm of torque between 1250 rpm – 5000 rpm.  It comes mated with an automatic 7 speed DSG transmission and delivers a fuel efficiency of around 15.1 km / litre. 

2.0 TDI Diesel engine – The diesel engine offered by Skoda generates 141 bhp at 4000 rpm and 320 nm of torque at 1750 rpm – 3000 rpm. It offers two choices for gearbox: a 6 speed manual transmission manual as also an automatic transmission and 6 speed automatic DSG. The manual transmission has fuel efficiency of 21 km/litre which is slightly higher than that of the automatic at 19 km/litre. 
How has the facelift changed the sedan? 

The External Impression 

The third generation model of Octavia had arrived with neutral styling that could not offend anyone. But there are some radical changes on this facelift version. Most noticeable change is at the front where Skoda has added a new set of front lights called Quadra LED headlights, since they are split into four compartments. LED DRLs are located on the lower edging of all 4 headlight assemblies and their brightness makes them visible even in harsh daylight. They also double up as blinkers. The higher trims have adaptive headlamp control system that switches them on automatically under dim light conditions. It even adjusts the angling of the light beam as per the load, steering angle, vehicle speed and rain.
             Skoda Octavia 6 Airbags
The front grille is now tad taller than before and has a blacked out portion in the middle above which the Skoda logo sits. This is actually the point for radar systems in international models but in India it simply exists for cosmetic reasons as we do not have radar based driver assistance systems yet. For further garnish there is chrome detailing around the grille. 

With more prominent crease lines on its bonnet the facelift avatar of Octavia gets a more muscular look than its predecessor. Down below there is a new chrome belt on the bumper too with trapezoidal fog lamps on each end. These are sleeker than the units on the older model and top end trims have LED lights with cornering function.
            Skoda Octavia Turn-indicators.
New lines have also been added to the front fender. There is a design update for the 16 inch alloy wheels with 10 spoke pattern. Octavia stands on 205/55 R16 tyres. The facelift model does not bring any other prominent update for the sides. 

At the back you will see a thoroughly revised design for the all LED tail lamps albeit they continue to house Skoda’s C motif feature. The rear bumper also gets a revised look thanks to slimmer reflectors and sharper line spanning the width of the car. On the whole the exterior tweaks have made Octavia more likeable in terms of design and styling. 

The boot of this design has a capacity of 590 litres that compares favourably with VW Jetta’s 510 litres and Hyundai Elantra’s 485 litres 


The Cabin Feel 

Let’s now get inside the car cabin and see what has become better here. 

The dashboard has black & beige treatment with a layout largely like that of pre-facelift version. The new leather-covered steering wheel is good to hold and has contours to place thumbs on. It has a piano black treatment that complements the cabin colour theme well. Buttons on left are for media and voice functions and those on the right control the MID and the telephonic features.
             Skoda Octavia Chrome Package
On the instrument console you will find a new speedometer and tachometer dials. As compared to the monochrome MID in the previous model the one for
new Octavia is coloured. It displays info on date and time, average speed, travelling time, average fuel consumption and distance to empty. It also comes with configurable speed warning alert, tells you the external temperature, the gear that car is being driven in and has navigation directions. 

There’s a ‘driver fatigue’ alert system in this cabin. It keeps a check on the steering inputs by the driver and compares it with general driving behaviour during the journey as also the pre-set driving characteristics of a tired driver. If it detects drowsiness, a warning gets displayed on the screen suggesting the driver to take a break. 
                Skoda Octavia Wood design decor
One of the most interesting makeover parts that the
Skoda Octavia can now boast of is the Park Pilot. This is a system which when activated, will provide steering inputs to manoeuvre the car in and out of parking by itself. The brakes and shifting of gears between forward and reverse however are still to be handled by the driver. 

There are 12 parking sensors incorporated in the hardware used for this Park Pilot, 4 being in front, 4 at rear and 1 each on the wheel arches. They check the area around the car and feed the information into the control system that decides if there is sufficient parking space available.

Although it sounds like a good system in theory, there is a possibility of errors in Park Pilot– for instance it can get confused on whether the available space is good enough for parallel parking or you will need to park perpendicular. Moreover, with the steering action working automatically but you having to provide the gear and brake inputs, things can get confusing. Purists will prefer to use the manual parking method instead of switching on the Park Pilot. Also, the car does have its reverse parking camera which makes fitting it into narrow spots much easier.
             Skoda Octavia Parktronic
The
Octavia facelift’s cabin is comfortable and roomy as before. A panoramic sunroof has been added which renders the car a luxurious appeal. The two tone beige and black interiors also give a posh touch inside the car. And now there is ambient light offered in ten colours. Even the brightness of the footwell lamps and door lamps can now be increased or decreased.

Front seats are comfy and upper end trims have height adjustment feature for the passenger too. The front doors have sections for 1 litre bottles and this new version of the sedan also gets a removable waste bin can be put in the pockets of any door.

There are not many changes on the rear seat but the centre armrest has better placed cup holders. The rear AC vent is the same as the in previous model. Additionally though the occupants get 2 USB ports below the vent. Rear footwell also has LED illumination.

Another rather fascinating change to this lovely vehicle is the very impressive infotainment unit which has a 9 inch touchscreen and a very easy to use interface that can be connected to your smart phone.  Moreover, Skoda has also introduced an app of its own which is called “Boss Connect”. Once it has been downloaded and installed on your smart phone, the infotainment unit can be controlled from the rear seat itself.


Engine, Transmission and Performance 

For this performance review we tested the Octavia with 2.0 litre TDI diesel engine mated to 6 speed DSG automatic transmission. This is the variant that gets more buyers than its siblings.

This unit belongs to the EA288 family of diesel engines that are used for cars with MQB platform but it is more advanced in terms of its modular make. For better NVH level it also has balancer shafts with low friction bearings.
            Skoda Octavia TDI diesel engine
Internationally this diesel motor has power of 148 bhp but the Euro 4 version available in Octavia for India has 141 bhp on tap with 320 Nm of torque. On starting the car we found the diesel sound well controlled in the cabin. Although the NVH factor is good, you will know that there is a diesel under the bonnet. The take off on slotting into the D mode is good and even better than the petrol model. We found the automatic diesel Octavia quite practical for driving around the city as there is ample torque available at low rpms. Going over inclines and closing gas in traffic is easy.  On revving hard above 3000 rpm the diesel noise becomes more evident. The DSG can shift up early for better fuel economy and it reaches overdrive on speed as low as 60 km/hour.

The gear shifts by the auto ‘box are also slick. Because of the extra torque over the 1.8 litre petrol engine the downshifts are not very frequent with the diesel unit. It is also rev friendly and can reach the redline of 5000 rpm. The torque on offer gives a proper push-back in the seat feel.
             Skoda Octavia TSI petrol engine
On the open roads the diesel engine and automatic gearbox combination works even better. You can reach the triple digit seed easily. Octavia does the 0-100 km/hour in 9.35 seconds.

While the 6 speed DSG is effortless to use, the shifts are slower in comparison to the 7 speed auto gearbox of petrol version. The downshifts from high speed can get delayed and so overtaking attempts will take some planning.


Ride and Handling 

For their suspension, the 1.4 TSI and 2.0 TDI have torsion beam at rear while the 1.8 TSI has a better multi-link suspension. Skoda has used this approach for cost cutting but it could have used a similar set up in all three models considering that the Octavia is a premium segment product.

Ride quality is pliant and the suspension can flatten out the bumps easily. At highway speed this car feels solid like a typical European. There are no bounces over uneven tarmac. It’s just that the torsion beam setup is stiff and so the sharper ruts can filter through the cabin. Also, the suspension is not very quiet and you can hear it work over road undulations with some drumming noise.

             Skoda Octavia Remote locking key
Skoda Octavia has wonderful straight-line stability. And the difference between the suspension (for 1.8 TSI against other two models) can be felt while taking it around corners. The ones with torsion beam feel somewhat skittish towards rear on patchy roads. You may also get a feeling that rear isn’t well connected to the front.

The TSI 1.8 on the other hand does not have such problems. With its multi-link set up it has an edge over its siblings in terms of both ride and handling. It can deal with the poorest of roads and does not feel unsettled. You can confidently do the cornering and the surefooted nature of the model is demonstrated. Because of the softer set up the body roll is marginal. This suspension is also quieter than the torsion beam set up.

This sedan has 155 mm of ground clearance which is less than Laura’s by 9 mm. But with stiff suspension and good under-body protection we did not scrape the underbelly of this car on bad patches.

Skoda calls Octavia’s electric steering unit ‘electro mechanical’. It is light enough for easy turning at slow and parking speeds. And it weighs up well with increase in speed. While the EPS is not as heavy as a hydraulic steering on open roads, it is better than many other EPS units. But the feedback despite being direct is not very admirable. 

The braking power is inspiring thanks to all-round disc brakes. Brake bite is sharp.


Pricing 

The diesel Skoda trims are priced between Rs 16.90 lakh and 22.89 lakh. For the petrol variants the price starts at Rs 15.49 lakh and 20.90 lakh. (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi)

Verdict 

With a wide choice of engines and both manual & automatic gearbox options, the Octavia offers enough alternatives in its price range. Its smooth DSG upshifts nicely and makes for effortless commuting in the city. Highway performance is also admirable.

The facelift has enhanced the cosmetic appeal of the car and the new looks will attract more buyers. This car also has a 5 star NCAP rating – the safety comprises six airbags, ABS + EBD, ESP and EDL. If you are looking for a comfortable executive sedan, it is a good pick. 

Comfort: 3.5/5
Refinement: 3/5
Safety: 4/5
Ride: 4/5
Handling: 3.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5

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