Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI

Posted on Fri ,28 Feb 2014 11:15 pm
Vaibhav Yedavi, Photos: Anuj Malandkar
Rating by CG: 
    
Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI

The Czech Rocket! ...and this hasn’t even been boosted with the vRS package yet...

 

Skoda says ‘The Legend is Back’ and we say it’s rejuvenated. It has re-introduced the ‘Octavia’ badge in India after a long time and we know the Octi fans out there were waiting eagerly for this one.

Skoda has always been synonymous with the Octavia in India and the badge has a higher recall than even the Skoda badge in India. The Octavia launched is the third generation model and is based on the new modular MQB platform of the mighty Volkswagen group. That makes it the first car in India based on the new platform, the second car will be the Audi A3 sedan expected to be launched later this year.

The new Octavia is available with a choice of three engines- a 1.4-litre TFSI petrol with 138 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque, a 1.8-litre TFSI petrol with 178 bhp and 250 Nm of torque and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 141 bhp of power and 320 Nm of torque.

We got our hands on the 1.8-litre TFSI petrol and driving it blew our minds!

Here are our thoughts about the car.

 

Exterior: DOES IT LOOK GOOD?

European cars have an understated look to them. They are never flamboyant and so are never styled with the fluidic or kinetic design languages. The Octavia is no different. The new car is longer than the old one and also gets an increased wheelbase. One of the reasons why Skoda hasn’t diverted from the design much is that people loved the old Octi and they wanted the same thing with a bit of future added to it.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI in motion

The new Octavia will look fresh even after a decade. It has the butterfly grille with vertical slats at the front. The monochrome Skoda logo is now shifted to the bonnet while the sides of the grille are adorned with projector bi-xenon headlamps (available only on the Elegance models) and a LED DRL (daytime running lamp) strip. The whole headlamp assembly setup is finished in smoked black which the youth might appreciate. The bumper houses fog lamps in a continuous band of black grille.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI projector headlamps

The side profile of the car is clean and there is only a single cut line above the side skirts which breaks the plain monotony. A new design feature visible on the side is the kink in the rear door behind the quarter glass, a feature you will see in all future Skoda products. The car now looks like a proper 3-box sedan from the side, but don’t let it fool you, it is still a notchback design like the previous cars.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI side

The rear of the car is dominated by huge tail-lamps which resemble a C-shape (a Skoda design feature). The boot gets a trapezoidal design just like in the Rapid sedan. The car does look like an overgrown Rapid from the rear. Not many people will like it. Skoda has only provided the Octavia badging at the rear, there is no mention of the engine or variant.

HINT: If the car has a boot lid spoiler, it’s a 1.8 TSI

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI bootlid spoiler

The roof on the 1.8 TSI Elegance model is black and has a large sunroof as part of the package. The car sits on 10-spoke, 16-inch wheels shod with 205/55 R16 rubber.

 

Interiors: IS IT PRETTY AND COMFORTABLE ON THE INSIDE?

Step inside and you will be greeted with an airy and bright cabin. Light cream leather is used for the upholstery while the two-tone dashboard is finished in light cream and black.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI dashboard

The 4-spoke steering wheel, center console and the upper part of the dashboard are all finished in black. The center console is dominated by a 5.8-inch touchscreen display which can be used to control nearly all features of the car. Below the touchscreen you will find the climate control knobs.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI rear bench

The driver’s side gets a 12-way electrically adjustable seat and electric lumbar adjuster with 3-memory settings. The passenger on the other hand has to do with manual adjustment. The rear seats are comfortable but lack adequate thigh support but they get their own AC controls. Because of the rear AC unit and a high tunnel in the middle, only two can seat in comfort.

The increased wheelbase means the rear passengers have plenty of room to stretch and enjoy the comfort the Octavia has to offer.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI boot space

There is so much space in the boot that you can even move house in it. Since it is a notchback design, there is 580-litres of boot space, and if you fold down the rear seats you get an amazing 1590-litres of boot space.

 

Engine: IS IT ROCKET FAST?

Yes it is! The 1.8 TFSI is powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged direct injection petrol engine which pumps out 178bhp @ 5100-6200 rpm and 250Nm @ 1250-5000 rpm. Power is transferred to the front wheel via a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. It will get you from 0-100 km/h in less than 8 seconds.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI engine

The car can be operated in three modes- Normal, Sports and Manual. Normal mode is what you should engage in the city. In this mode the car shifts smoothly and is in 6-gear at 60 km/h. All this to save fuel! The gearshifts are smooth and you won’t even notice it shifting. Torque is available over a wide rpm range so the car will pull out of any situation easily.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI DSG gearknob

WARNING: The Sports mode should only be engaged when you have a clear road ahead. Otherwise you may imprint your number plate on the boot of the vehicle ahead of you. It won’t be a nice situation.

The slightest input of the accelerator pedal in Sports mode will push you against the seat and the car will surge forward like a small rocket. The gearbox will shift only at the redline of 6200 rpm and there is a massive roar of the engine. The neck kicks back and it’s an addiction you can’t really ever get out of.

In Manual mode you have full control of the car and can pretend to be a rally driver by shifting the gear lever up or down for shifting gears. No, you don’t get paddle shifters on this rocket, you do it the old school way.

We averaged 10 kmpl on 91 octane fuel on a combined sports, normal and manual mode of operation.

 

Ride and Handling: IS IT COMFORTABLE AND HOW DOES IT DRIVE?

The car rides on 205/55 R16 rubber. The front suspension is a MacPherson setup while the rear is a Multi-Link unit (the 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI get a torsion beam). Ride quality is on the stiffer side, but you only complain about it at ultra-low speeds. On the highways it is in a different league.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI ride and handling

The suspension absorbs everything and the ride stays flat. The only annoying thing is that the suspension noise is filtered in the cabin. Steering is by means of an electric assist. It weighs nicely at high speeds but as all electronic units is lifeless and does not communicate the road conditions at all.

 

Safety Features: WHAT TOYS HAS IT GOT?

You need a dictionary to know all the toys you get with this car. There is your everyday ABS, EBD and TCS. Then you get adaptive headlamps which follow the direction of the steering wheel. Then there are the cornering fog lamps, rain sensing wipers and sunroof, automatic headlamps. You also get an electronic locking differential for when you take the car to the extreme.

On the safety front, the car gets 6-airbags, MKB (Multi Collision Braking) - a system which automatically keep the brakes applied in the event of an accident  so that the car doesn’t go and crash into something else again (the driver can override the system by providing input). Then there is ‘Prefill’, a system which feeds the brake lines with hydraulic fluid and brings the brake pads closer when it senses that you have taken off the foot from the accelerator pedal suddenly and prepares for an emergency braking.

 

Conclusion: SHOULD I BUY ONE?

At Rs.18 lakhs plus (ex-showroom, Mumbai) for the 1.8 TSI model, it sure is a bit pricey. But it is the perfect car to ferry your family on the weekdays and some weekends, and then you take it on an empty winding road to unleash those 178 horses when you feel bored. It still is the Legend and there is no one like it!

 

GALLERY: (If the below slideshow does not display on your device, please click here: Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI photo slideshow)