Enthusiasts have a couple of really good choices in the D-segment sedan with the BMW 330i and Skoda Octavia RS.
Ever since the price gap between petrol and diesel reduced, sales of petrol cars have surged. Not letting the opportunity slip by, manufacturers launched a slew of models, including some that are aimed at auto enthusiasts.
Czech carmaker Skoda was quick to acknowledge the situation and it brought in the Octavia RS in 2017. However, the demand for this car turned out to be more than expected and the Octavia RS was lapped up by buyers in no time. In fact, the craze for this car has been so high that Skoda re-launched the performance sedan at the 2020 Auto Expo.
Originally, with around 230 HP from the 2.0-litre TSI petrol motor, the car which was priced under Rs. 25 lakhs was most recently followed by a RS 245 model (limited to 200 units) that has 15 HP more, but also costs Rs. 10 lakhs more due to it being sold as a CBU unit. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The car hits the 100 km/hr mark just a tenth over 6.5 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/hr.
BMW, on the other hand, launched the 330i in India in 2019, with a price tag of Rs. 48.50 lakhs (ex-showroom). The car is powered by a four-pot 2.0-litre engine and punches out 258 HP. The fact that it is rear-wheel driven (the opposite is true with the Skoda) further adds to its sporty appeal. The brand has announced a Sport trim priced at 41.70 lakhs (ex-showroom), making it the entry-level 3-series at present.
The BMW comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which should translate into better efficiency. Further, it has a longer wheelbase and a larger fuel tank as well. It can also be commissioned with laser lights.
The Skoda Octavia goes one up on the Bimmer with boot space however. While the 3-series offers 480-litres of cargo area, the Czech car offers a mammoth 590-litres of boot space. The Bimmer also has the Skoda licked in terms of performance. It is all but eight tenths quicker than the latter, but the top speeds for both the cars remain the same.
Where the cars differ most is in the price. The BMW, even in its entry-level Sport trim, is dearer by over Rs. 5 lakhs than the Skoda and while the former loses out on kit to the more heavily loaded M-Sport variant, the Octavia RS comes in a single variant with enough goodies.
The one thing that works against Octavia however, is the limited number of units. The BMW on the other hand, is a series production model. If exclusivity is all that one looks for, the Octavia will do the job. If the allocations are over however, there is the BMW to choose.