Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI Review
Car Tested: 2013 Skoda Octavia Ambition 1.4 TSI
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 17,52,950/-
Even with a smaller 1.4 TSI engine, the new Skoda Octavia is some serious fun.
Already nominated for the prestigious European Car Of The Year award 2014, the third generation Octavia has quickly made its way to India and is a very important model for Skoda. The Octavia nameplate itself dates back to a time when most of us weren’t even born. Offered with three engines, we have already reviewed the 2.0-litre TDI and 1.8-litre TSI powered Skoda Octavia earlier and now we take to the wheel of the entry level 1.4 TSI engined car. This is the same motor which does duty in the Jetta TSI but in the Octavia, Skoda has boosted output and that is sure to go well, isn’t it?
The exterior styling of the new Skoda Octavia might not strike you in pictures but when you see one on the road, you are bound to admire the clean lines. Over time, the Octavia’s design grows on you and this is a car which soldiers on with Skoda’s typical design traits while looking throughly modern. The rear is a bit too familiar to the old Octavia (aka Laura) but the attention to detail all around does make it stand apart when compared its predecessor. The lines reduce the visual length and the new Octavia might be very long (among the longest in its class) but it doesn’t appear so.
Skoda offers the Octavia 1.4 TSI in two trims – Active and Ambition but not in the top of the line Elegance. Equipment levels are decent as most of the bells and whistles are offered in the Elegance variant which is available with the 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TDI engines. The interiors are well laid out and the simplicity of the exterior continues on the inside too. The dashboard is clean and doesn’t look busy but all controls are in good reach and quality inside is truly outstanding. Comfort inside the cabin is excellent too with the seats having very good cushioning and offering good all round comfort. The rear seat offers generous amounts of legroom and the increase in wheelbase is immediately apparent. Even with the massive cabin space, the Octavia boasts of the biggest boot in its class which can shame some SUVs too!
The Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI uses a turbocharger and is a direct injection unit which thrusts out an impressive 140 PS of power between 4500-6000 RPM and 250 Nm of torque between 1500-3500 RPM. The higher output over the Jetta TSI is not the only advantage possessed by the Octavia. Using VW’s latest MQB platform, the Octavia is considerably lighter, a whole 143 kgs over the Jetta and that is bound to play a major difference in the performance of the car. Get past the turbo lag which is present up till 2000 RPM and you are in for a real treat. Mid-range performance is truly exciting and the Octavia surges ahead with gutso, all the way to its 6500 RPM redline. The 0-100 km/hr run takes 8.4 seconds while top speed is 215 km/hr.
The 1.4-litre TSI engine in the Octavia is itself quite silent and that’s thanks to the good insulation done on the car itself. It isn’t as quiet as the 1.8 TSI but the vocals are pleasing and keeps you pinned down on the throttle all the time. 100 km/hr comes up in second gear and the gearbox is a joy to use with its slick shifts. ARAI certified mileage is 16.8 km/l which is better than the 1.8 TSI’s 14.7 km/l but remember, if you drive this car enthusiastically, you will only manage single digit numbers.
In the interest of costs, Skoda has opted for a basic suspension at the rear, torsion beam instead of the multi-link found on the Jetta and Octavia 1.8 TSI. The torsion beam suspension isn’t bad as it offers better stability at high speed but the low speed ride suffers and the noise from the rear can get a bit annoying. However when it comes to handling, the Octavia is a hoot to drive, it corners with eagerness and understeer is well under control. On the limit, the ASR and ESC step in to keep you going in the right direction. The brakes offer good stopping power but you take a bit of time to get used to the pedal feel. The steering offers good feedback and this is a car you will simply fall in love with as soon as you show it a series of corners.
Skoda has got a fabulous car in the Octavia, one which offers exactly what a buyer of this segment wants – quality, space and a good ride quality. The 1.4 TSI is going to be the more popular engine among the petrol counterparts as it comes at a much cheaper price (almost Rs. 4 lakhs difference between the top end 1.4 TSI and 1.8 TSI). Although the 1.8 TSI is drastically more fun, the 1.4 TSI makes a strong case for itself and can still give the petrolhead reason to cheer. The Skoda Octavia is undoubtedly the new king of its segment and whichever engine it is paired to, it simply is the best car to buy in the D-segment today.
What’s Not So Cool
* No paddle shifts
* No Elegance trim
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