Skoda Octavia Review
Car Tested: 2013 Skoda Octavia
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 16.64 – 23.86 lakhs
The new Skoda Octavia is here to rewrite the rules of the game and how!
Skoda ventured into India with the Octavia way back in 2001. At a time, where there was no ‘D-segment’ present in our country, the Skoda Octavia carved out a niche for itself with its bold styling, tank like built quality and superior driving dynamics. With the Octavia, Skoda came to be known as a premium manufacturer in India. The car was so well received, it actually had a cult following. In 2005, the second generation Octavia was christened as the ‘Laura’ in India as Skoda had placed it above the first generation Octavia and was selling both until the first generation Octavia’s production came to an end in 2010.
The Laura was a worthy successor to the Octavia and now Skoda is all set to bring back the ‘Octavia’ nameplate in its portfolio. In its third generation now, the new Skoda Octavia not only comes back with its original name but also is touted to be the best Octavia yet. It is the first car by Skoda Auto to be based on the Volkswagen Group’s reputed MQB platform. The MQB platform is a very versatile platform and is based on the company’s strategy for shared modular construction of its transverse, front-engine and front-wheel drive automobiles. With a fully modular chassis, this platform leads to a more efficient development towards identical modules and can be implemented into most cars manufactured by the Volkswagen group. Amongst others, the Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3 are based on the same platform. With emphasis on weight reduction, cars based on this platform are lighter and hence better in fuel economy, offering lower emissions.
Motor Quest: The Octavia nameplate dates back to 1959 and was resurrected in 1996 after the discontinuation of the car in 1971. The modern Octavia has been offered with 4×4 since the first gen model.
Exteriors – The new Octavia is the first car in India to be based on Skoda’s latest design philosophy. Sharp lines are characteristics of this new design. However, the Octavia has retained its original DNA as far as the design is concerned. There is no mistaking this car as a Skoda and it comes across as an evolution of the Laura.
The front profile is highlighted by Skoda’s family grille with vertical fins. Sharp creases gently merge from the A-pillar towards the front grille. The hood also gets a F1 styled nose which dips over the front grille, looking quite classy. The chrome surrounds around the grille look rich too. Sitting right on the tip is the new Skoda logo which is now three dimensional, adding to the feel good factor. The headlight assembly also incorporates a sharp line running vertically in the centre thereby highlighting the design. The four headlight layout works very well and gives out sufficient lateral throw. The top end versions of the Skoda Octavia get projector lamps with day time running lights. The front bumper also houses the meshwork air dam with large fog lamps, which are very efficient at night. Turn with steering lights are integrated in the same assembly and are only available on the top of the line trims.
The side profile of the new Skoda Octavia flaunts the 10-spoke alloy wheels which are available in the Ambition and Elegance trims. The Active trim gets a different set of alloys. The new design language continues in the form of the sharp shoulder line which runs along the side to connect the tail lamp assembly to the headlights. Another sharp line runs along the lower border of the doors. Side indicators are integrated with the external rear view mirrors. The roofline gradually slopes and joins the boot. The roof is now marginally higher at the rear benefiting the rear headroom.
A keen eye will be able to notice that the new Skoda Octavia has grown over its predecessor. It is 90 mm longer and 45 mm wider than the Laura. The overall length is now 4.66 meters, which is one of the highest in the segment. Wheelbase too has increased by 108 mm and this has translated into more interior room. Skoda has moved the rear axle behind for this which also helps in improving the handling characteristics.
The rear profile resembles that of the Skoda Rapid, however in greater detail. The C-shaped tail lamp assembly and the prism cuts on the boot carry forward the family trend and all new models from Skoda will imbibe the same design language. Sharp lines are a key feature of the new design language and are seen in defining the rear bumper which also houses reflectors. Sitting hidden away on the black cladding under the bumper are the parking sensors which add to the convenience factor. The new font displays Skoda and Octavia on either ends of the boot. There is no variant branding on the exteriors, that means, you can’t really tell from the outside which version is in front of you. However, a careful eye will be able to tell between the 1.8 TSI and the 1.4 TSI. The 1.8 TSI gets a spoiler integrated on the boot while the 1.4 TSI has a 5-spoke alloy wheel design.
Head over to the next page to read about the Skoda Octavia’s interiors.