Interiors – The Octavia greets you with a warm and luxurious cabin which wouldn’t look out of place in an Audi. The top of the line L&K variant gives you better-looking leather seats which are comfortable and supportive. The dash is plain but it is quite well built. The cabin oozes quality. From the way the doors shut to the way the buttons click, everything has that typical European sturdiness. This variant also gets the Virtual Instrument Cluster and it is brilliant. The graphics are crisp with easy to use menus and submenus. The equipment list is quite long in the Octavia. Standard equipment on the L&K includes a navigation system, 12-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, premium Canton audio system, panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, hands-free park assist, driver fatigue monitoring system amongst others. We love the responsive infotainment screen and the myriad of stuff that you can control from it.
The equipment level in the Octavia heightens the car’s premium image. Most of the features can be found only in luxury cars. Couple that with the high-quality interior, the Octavia feels twice as expensive. The front seat space is decent and the seats score high on support. The backseats are super comfortable too but the intruding AC vents limit the leg space of the middle passenger. But it is hard to fault the overall backseat experience and the chauffeur driven clientele will be happy.
The Octavia’s outstanding build-quality and long feature-list makes it feel superior
Skodas are known for their clever details and there are many in the Octavia. You get hooks in the very large boot where you can hang your bags, a waste bin, numerous storage compartments and a very nifty ticket holder. Small details like these go a long way in making the interior a special place to be.
Step inside the Civic and the first thing you notice is the lower seating position. You sink in more than settle in. The low profile along with the driver-centric dash, rakish windscreen and high console assures you that this is designed keeping the enthusiast in mind. The design of the dashboard is not as radical as the old Civic but neither is it as plain as the one in the Octavia. The aircon vents merge into the speedometer and that creates an illusion of it being a driver-focused dashboard. The wood finish looks premium. The design is clean and minimalistic and everything is ergonomically laid out. The quality lacks the last degree of quality of the Octavia but there are plenty of soft-touch plastics and the switchgear is of acceptable durability.
The instrument cluster is part-digital but looks a tad basic in front of Skoda’s virtual display. Yet, the digits are well laid out and easy to read on the move. The infotainment screen is lazy to respond and is nowhere as close as the Skoda’s when it comes to clarity and polish. Equipment levels are not as generous as in the Skoda but you still get a lot. 8-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, Honda’s Lane Watch system (a rear-facing camera in the left wing mirror shows you if it’s clear to move once you turn on the left indicator), voice recognition, keyless entry and go, auto headlamps and wipers are all the part of the equipment on the range-topping ZX variant. However, it misses out on cooled seats, front parking sensors, park assist and a few other features which some cars in the segment offer.
Civic’s interior is more driver-focused and sporty as compared to the Octavia
The front seats are spacious and supportive. The rear seats are less appealing. The low profile does not make ingress and egress easy, particularly for the elderly and the sense of space is not in abundance. The sloping roofline intrudes the headroom and the legroom is not exceptional. Space is best suited for two rather than three. The back seats don’t feel as airy thanks to smaller windows. You will be comfortable for the most part but the Civic is not an ideal chauffeur driven car like the Octavia.
Both the cars are closely contested in the interior department. The Civic is definitely the sportier of the two but the Octavia’s interior comes across as better rounded with a premium feel, lots of space and long equipment list.