Performance – The Skoda Octavia comes with a multitude of engine and gearbox options, in fact, there is a powerplant option for almost every kind of buyer. In contrast, Honda just offers 2 powertrain options in the Civic. Starting with the petrol, it’s only available with a CVT box which although does a good job on part throttle and city driving, just robs away the soul of the engine when you drive enthusiastically. In fact, the base 1.4-litre motor in the Octavia has the Civic beaten for all the engines in the Octavia use forced induction for class-leading output numbers. However, the base 1.4 TSI doesn’t get an automatic so the obvious comparison with the Civic petrol is with the 1.8-litre TSI (which isn’t available with a manual) which not only is 3.5 seconds faster to the ton but also faster when it comes to in-gear acceleration.
The Octavia has better petrol and diesel engines which are offered with both manual and automatic transmissions
Numbers don’t lie as the Octavia TSI AT has an advantage of 40 HP and 76 Nm, that along with a drastically better dual-clutch gearbox means the Civic doesn’t even have a chance, even in the fuel efficiency department where the Skoda betters it by a couple of kms per litre. Where the Civic feels slightly better is at low revs as the turbo takes some time to spool in the Octy but once it does, the Octavia is in an entirely different orbit altogether, having an exciting top-end which the Civic completely lacks all thanks to the rubber band effect of the CVT. Honda should have offered either the 2.0-litre petrol engine with 158 HP which gets a manual gearbox or the 1.5-litre Turbo VTEC that pumps out 174 HP and 220 Nm.
When we talk diesels too, the Honda Civic doesn’t stand a chance as the Skoda Octavia’s 2.0-litre TDI motor is not only more refined than the Civic’s 1.6-litre oil burner, the Czech vehicle also produces more power and torque although the advantage isn’t as significant like in the case of the petrols. The Octavia is lighter too, in spite of the bigger engine and is faster to the ton by 1.5 seconds. Both cars have a smooth shifting gearbox with a light clutch but we like the transmission better on the Civic which also happens to be the more frugal car here by 3 km/l. The Octavia also comes with the state of the art 6-speed DSG box on the diesel which offers smooth and fast shifts. There are paddles on offer too which the Civic petrol does get but a diesel automatic is sorely missed and should have been offered as the CR-V uses the same diesel mill and gets a diesel auto.