Skoda entered the Indian market 16 years back with the first
generation Skoda Octavia which actually sold in quite a lot of numbers and
it was later replaced by the second generation of the sedan, which was
brought down to India with the Laura nameplate, and then the automaker
re-launched the Octavia in 2013. What we have here is a mid-life
facelift of the third generation Octavia which doesn’t get many
changes but keeps the product fresh.
DESIGN AND STYLING
The 2017 Skoda Octavia gets a new front end. What is striking is the
new set of split headlamps which look exquisite. These headlamps are
full LED ones and also have LED daytime running lights embedded in
them at the bottom. The outer lamps are the low beam and the inner
ones are high beams. They are adaptive headlamps and they sense the
intensity of light and accordingly adjust their illumination spread.
The butterfly grille now gets a glossy finish and also a chrome
surround the front bumper is new and gets a chrome strip in the middle
the hood also gets new cuts which make it look more muscular.
From the side the 2017 Skoda Octavia is the same and there is not much
change, however, it gets a new design alloy wheels which look
The rear is also similar to the outgoing model but now gets LED tail
lamps which are C shaped and look real fantastic. Overall, the Skoda
Octavia now with a heavy chiseled looks is more aggressive,
attractive and premium than before.
The new Octavia’s cabin is clinical, clean and very German. The amount
of space available also hits you immediately when you step in. A
cream-beige and grey interior colour theme is pleasing to the eye and
also gives it an airy feel, though there is no dearth of light
Fit and finish quality and the material quality is perfectly matched
to the best in the segment and there is a general feeling of solidity
to the cabin, except the faux wood trim in the centre console, which
felt that too faux. The controls and knobs are all within easy reach
for the driver and there was enough electrical and manual
adjustability to the seats and steering for me to get the most
comfortable driving position.
Touch-screen infotainment system, nicely bolstered leather seats,
panoramic sunroof, chunky steering wheel and the auto-dimming rear
view mirrors were features that I liked and helped me during my test
drive in New Delhi. The thick centre tunnel going all the way to the
rear seat means that the passenger in the middle at the rear has to
sit astride and the Bluetooth pairing with my handset just didn’t work
with the infotainment system in the new Octavia.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The Skoda Octavia features a range of familiar VW Group engine and
transmission options. Four powerplants are offered: a 113bhp 1.0-litre
petrol, a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol, a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and a
range-topping 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel.
All deliver adequate performance and are capable of 0-62mph in less
than 10sec, although the larger-displacement units are more flexible
and better suited to motorway cruising and cross-country driving.
TSI petrol and 2.0-litre diesel models get a six-speed manual gearbox,
the 1.6-litre diesel a five-speed unit.
Dual-clutch automatic gearboxes are available as well; whether you
prefer the automatic or the alternative (and cheaper) manual option
will primarily be a matter of personal preference. The DSG gearbox
works very well in the Octavia, and goes about its job quietly and
What’s most notable about the Octavia’s engine range, however, is the
somewhat disappointing 1.6-litre diesel engine. Most buyers might
consider it the sweet spot in the line-up, thanks to its high economy,
low emissions and moderate punch.
While the 1.6-litre diesel is mechanically refined and perfectly
functional, it’s slow – more than a second slower from rest to 62mph
than Skoda’s claim for it and even further separated from the current
class standard. The first problem is a decidedly ordinary engine. In
the Skoda Octavia, the 1.6-litre turbodiesel seems quiet and flexible,
but it responds sluggishly at low speeds. And then once it’s pulling,
you can’t help but feel a little nonplussed by the maximum power and
torque it serves up.
If you’re set on a diesel option, it’s probably best to go for the
2.0-litre diesel. While it may be a little harsh at higher speeds,
it’ll return good economy and may prove even more frugal than the
harder-worked 1.6-litre unit. Don’t entirely discount the petrol
options though: they’re quiet, smooth and willing and, if you’re not
covering starship mileages each year,
Like before, the Octavia in the 1.8 TSi guise comes with a more
sophisticated, independent rear suspension as compared to the
non-independent setup on the other variants. In our brief drive we
weren’t able to figure out if the wider rear track has improved
handling but like before the Octavia felt planted and well balanced.
The electric steering felt direct and even when pushed hard, body roll
was well in check and it felt willing in quick directional changes
too. In terms of ride, the suspension does a good job of isolating the
cabin from the road surfaces. But you do have to take sharp edged
bumps with caution, as the suspension tends to thud through them
The feature list has been revised, and there are some interesting ones
on the safety and convenience front. The highlight though has to be
semi auto park assist. The system will identify a parking slot big
enough to accommodate the car – parallel or perpendicular and steer
the car into it at the press of a button. You merely need to use the
brake and throttle to park the car sitting in the driver’s seat, and
watch the car steer itself into the parking space. You can even get
the car out of a parking spot similarly in case you aren’t sure of
being able to steer the car out of a tight spot
The infotainment system continues to offer Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
and MirrorLink connectivity. The navigation system is pretty neat too
– maps are legible easily even on the go, unlike some of the
navigations systems on other cars. I’ve preferred using navigation on
my phone always, but the Octavia’s system is a breeze to use,
especially with the prompts through the multi-function display between
the clocks and prompted me to put my phone away and focus more on
driving the car.
For the chauffeur-driven lot, Skoda now has a smartphone app called
Skoda Media Command. It offers full control of the audio system and
also lets you punch in a new destination on the car’s navigation
system through your phone itself. Rear seat occupants also get two USB
slots with quick charging to recharge mobile devices, which is a
There’s new additions on the safety front, too, as the Octavia now
gets a fatigue alert system that works on various complex algorithms
that calculate the driver’s alertness via his steering work and tell
him if he needs to take a break. Like before, the Octavia also gets
Skoda’s multi-collision braking along with 8 airbags. For the
uninitiated, multi-collision braking basically ensures the car
decelerates quickly from whatever speed it is travelling at after a
primary impact, to avoid a second impact with another vehicle on the
road or otherwise.
Has Skoda done enough to keep the Octavia relevant in our ‘dynamic’
market of today? We certainly like to believe so as it was quite a
good product in its segment and now with these updates, both in terms
of design and features, the Octavia certainly seems to have inched
ahead in the game once again. However, what will work in favour of the
sedan is good pricing which, if GST does its work, will allow Skoda to
price the Octavia in the range of Rs 15 lakh to Rs 22 lakh, thus
making it excellent value for money.
Skoda Octavia Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 15,49,405/- (Octavia 1.4 Ambition TSI MT) to 22,89,573/- (Octavia 2.0 Style Plus TDI CR AT) .Skoda Octavia has 8 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Skoda Octavia comes in 4 colours, namely Quartz Grey Metallic,Brilliant Silver Metallic,Magic Black Metallic,Candy White UNI.