The Octavia has been a favourite in the Indian market right since the first-generation model in India. The fastback-like rear has been accepted without any issues by Indian customers. The Octavia has been unique in its own way and add to it the solid build quality, its premium interior and the fact that Skodas have been looking great over the last few years.
Elegant and sharp
The Skoda Octavia is probably the only new car in its segment, and that’s a huge advantage for Skoda Cars in India. The other place it is bound to score is in the design department. The new Skoda Octavia features a new grille, looking more low-set, flanked by stylish-looking LED headlamps with their L-shaped DRL lights and it all fits in nicely with the front fascia. There are nice, sharp lines on the bodywork that give this car the appeal its badge deserves. It doesn’t look aggressive, but rather elegant. The size remains more-or-less the same but that coupe-like roofline gives one the impression it is longer. The overall stance appealed to us. And the wheels have some detailing too. The new Octavia has been raised because of our bad roads, and this somewhat ruins a part of its appeal.
The cabin of the Skoda Octavia is new too; the cabin is modern and the quality has gotten even better. Everything around, including the dashboard, doorpads, seats and central console, feels built to last for ages. The doors close with a massive thump, typical of all Skoda Cars. The cabin gets a three-dimensional look to it and thus adds to the already upmarket feel inside the car. You will find brushed metal and chrome inserts that uplift the cabin; there’s Alcantara above the dashboard and the door pockets get felt-lined while the two-spoke steering wheel looks lovey with its floating effect. Even the metallic knurled controllers feel good. It gets a short gear selector and the new Skoda Octavia gets shift-by-wire tech. It comes loaded with features too, like a 10-inch touchscreen, a fatigue alert system, climate control and park assist. We like the volume control panel beneath the touchscreen; you have to swipe left or right to increase and decrease the volume, but we wish it worked in a smoother manner. The front seats are wrapped in leather-Alcantara; these are not only huge but offer great comfort, support and are electrically adjustable as well. There’s also a memory function and lumbar support adjustment. The seats provide good back support as well. Rear-seat comfort is great, making it perfect for those who’d like to be driven around. There’s ample room at the back and the seats are nicely contoured; room for a third occupant is available too. A sunroof is missing, and this means no additional light from the roof, except the windows.
The new Octavia is powered by a 2.0-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine, producing 187bhp and 320Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the front wheels. A smaller turbo petrol engine might make it to India at a later stage, but diesels have been ruled out for good. The engine is smooth and very quiet when idling. The engine responds well to throttle inputs and the car pulls strongly after 2000rpm. After 4000rpm, power is delivered in a stronger manner and the motor feels enthusiastic all the way to its redline. And the twin-clutch transmission is quick in swapping cogs; it also responds well to the shift from the paddles. A sudden change in throttle inputs can result in a mild delay and you get launch control. Floor the throttle and the car pulls effortlessly. Also, the new-gen Octavia weighs more than the previous car. The ride quality is pliant as it tackles bumps with ease. Only the sharp ones come through the cabin. Stability is rock-solid; nothing unsettles this car at high speeds.