Fourth-generation sedan evolves right into a Very good for drivers- Expertise Information, Novi Reporter
Tushar BurmanJun 09, 2021 13:00:08 IST
As I walked to the swoopy new Skoda Octavia check automobile, the younger PR rep gave me a value vary: Rs 25-30 lakh. “Half-a-segment up” is how the positioning was described, within the hope that I might body my expectations and impressions accordingly. A superbly cheap method to mould the narrative and – after our temporary first drive – I gained’t argue with this suggestion. The 2021 Skoda Octavia is the fourth era of the midsize sedan in India, because it was launched again in 2001. For this iteration, it grows bigger in each dimension, although you’d be hard-pressed to note the change in dimension whereas driving it. It’s definitely a departure from the Skodas of the previous, by way of design.
Whichever angle you have a look at it from, the brand new Octavia is considerably totally different from its predecessors. Gone are the boxy shapes you needed to develop to love. The 2021 mannequin is sharp, swoopy and considerably curvy, too. The bonnet arches downwards on the entrance, identical to some new Audis, whereas the rear with its sharp lip jogs my memory of some Volvos. Glancing at an older mannequin parked close by, it was clear that the brand new Octavia has grown in dimension. It retains the eminently sensible notchback design, nonetheless. The 17-inch wheels on the top-spec Laurin & Klement variant have a pointy two-tone design and are shod with tyres of beneficiant profile. This undoubtedly impacted the trip high quality we skilled.
Design is definitely subjective, and whereas I feel it is a constructive change, it does seem that Skoda is maybe enjoying with some concepts. The general impression is sporty and cohesive, as an all-new design must be. One nit-pick is the sensible, tall trip peak does no favours to the facet profile of the automobile, however I’ll reside with it, given the brand new Octavia by no means as soon as scraped its underbelly over our imperfect roads.
Inside is a step up
Contained in the automobile is the place the added premium appears to make sense. The brand new Octavia seems and feels well-built and luxe on the within. The main target is on conserving it minimal, and Skoda has achieved this with out making it look naked. I feel that is an evolving aesthetic that may solely get higher with time. The 2-tone black and beige inside makes use of high quality supplies. The highest of the sprint is a mushy, rubber layer, whereas the center has precise fawn suede and white stitching, contrasting with small quantities of high-gloss piano black trim. I rail in opposition to piano black after I see it in low cost vehicles, however when used correctly like it’s within the Octavia, it seems as wealthy as meant. The underside bits are beige plastic, however there’s sufficient occurring to not make you’re feeling such as you’re surrounded by slabs of it.
Even the door panels have 4 totally different textures, and never simply patterns of trim. This may increasingly appear a bit extreme, nevertheless it works within the Octavia’s case. The truth is, the inside felt a notch above what I’ve skilled in some entry-level European luxurious sedans.
For the driving force and passenger, lodging is beneficiant and cozy. There’s loads of room within the footwell, and the centre console has a reasonably uncluttered really feel to it. Skoda has gone with a shift-by-wire transmission for the brand new Octavia, which suggests the normal shift knob is changed by a small paddle that permits you to change between Reverse, Impartial and Drive. Park is chosen by urgent a devoted button, and there’s an automated, digital parking brake. There are additionally paddle shifters behind the steering wheel for the impatient ones.
Rear seating is simply as beneficiant. After adjusting the entrance passenger seat for my 5’9” body, I used to be capable of sit behind it with loads of knee room. I’m not very tall when seated, however headroom felt a bit bit quick; maybe I’ve been driving SUVs for too lengthy. There’s sufficient house contained in the Octavia for a correct bench with some semblance of thigh help, and three abreast might be accommodated with out a lot discomfort. For 2, the rear seat is fairly spacious, with a big folding centre arm relaxation that homes two retractable cup holders. There’s even a provision to entry the boot from the rear seat, which provides to the brand new Octavia’s practicality, and also will turn out to be useful when that you must carry rectangular objects like skis. I notably favored the adjustable headrests on the rear seats, which might be set low sufficient to help the bottom of your cranium. I can think about comfy, upright naps using within the again seat of the Octavia.
A lot of tools hiding in plain sight
It takes a minute to actually absorb all the brand new Octavia offers. It’s straightforward to overlook the little issues, because of the minimal aesthetic. For example, we didn’t discover the customisable ambient lighting throughout the day. Or the 12-volt socket within the boot. And even the ‘digital pedal’ to open the hatch, the place you wave your foot beneath the rear bumper. There are little touches that might simply have made it to an overpriced choices checklist, however are commonplace on the L&Ok variant – the cargo internet system, as an illustration, and little plastic tabs that may be Velcro-d in place to stop free baggage from shifting about.
The considerate touches proceed throughout the cabin. The map lights are touch-sensitive and might be adjusted for brightness. There’s a USB-C port close to the rear view mirror, in case you need to connect a touch cam there. There are two extra for the rear passengers. Simply in time for the monsoons, there’s an umbrella within the driver’s facet door, identical to on some luxurious vehicles. There’s a neat little additional pocket behind the entrance seats, excellent for conserving smartphones. This lets you hold your black mirror at hand with out having to fish into that conventional, massive pocket. Rolling solar blinds can be found on the rear. They’re operated by hand, however nonetheless considerate. There’s even a puddle lamp that tasks the Skoda emblem – one other luxurious car-like contact.
One function that’s totally absent is the sunroof, which isn’t obtainable with both variant. I by no means use it, so I didn’t miss it. I did miss particular person rear AC controls, nonetheless; you simply get vents with the Octavia.
A phrase about tech
I actually like know-how to remain out of my manner after I’m in a automobile, and I’m comfortable to search out that Skoda has struck a really good stability right here. There’s a big, 10-inch touchscreen entrance and centre, which is responsive and high-resolution. Photos and textual content are each sharp and readable, regardless of the shiny end of the display screen. I hesitated seeing the 2 USB-C ports up entrance, since I solely had an everyday USB-A cable for my iPhone. Fortunately, the Octavia helps wi-fi Apple CarPlay. A couple of faucets later, my telephone menu was obtainable on display screen, full with high-resolution maps, Siri and commonplace apps. It labored flawlessly within the time I spent with the automobile, all the time reconnecting to the automobile after I returned with the telephone.
In the event you’ve used wi-fi chargers in vehicles previously, you understand what a boon they are often. Coupled with wi-fi smartphone connectivity, they get rid of the necessity for fiddly cables in your storage areas. However they’re not all made equal. Wi-fi chargers might be annoying to make use of if you happen to don’t align your telephone completely on the charging pad. Some producers make them so small that you just completely should place your telephone in the fitting spot. Skoda has, fortunately, supplied a roomy wi-fi charging pad that labored nicely each time we used it.
Talking of tech getting out of my manner, I nearly missed the complete TFT ‘digital cockpit’ color show that replaces the normal dials within the devices binnacle. It’s shiny, sharp and permits for customisation of the data displayed. You possibly can management it from the very handy scroll wheels on every spoke of the steering wheel, which – fortunately – is as minimal as the remainder of the controls within the automobile. The Octavia strikes the fitting stability of sensible tactility and related tech, at the least to me. There’s a companion smartphone app obtainable as nicely, however we didn’t attempt that out.
On the go: potent, subtle
The 2021 Octavia is acquainted in all the fitting methods, whereas taking steps ahead in refinement. For India, we solely get a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine at launch, which makes 190 hp and 320Nm of torque. It is a comparable state of tune as many different functions of this unit throughout the Volkswagen Group (together with its greater sibling, the Skoda Very good). Nevertheless, within the Octavia, it appears even quieter and extra refined. It’s nearly audible so that you’ve got suggestions, however is in any other case inconspicuous. It’s mated to a seven-speed DSG automated with paddle shifters. This isn’t my favorite gearbox, however the engine makes it work. The automobile will get as much as triple-digit speeds in a short time and effortlessly, with no drama. That begins at 120kph, the place a loud chime warns you to decelerate, as per regulation. There aren’t any drive modes, other than the ‘Sport’ mode on the transmission. The 2021 Skoda Octavia’s gas effectivity determine is an ARAI-rated 15.81 kpl.
For a automobile that has grown in each dimension, the 2021 Octavia feels about as massive as a Honda Metropolis to drive. It’s straightforward to position, park and manoeuvre, and you actually need to examine the brochure to get a way of its dimension. Kerb weight is 1,459 kilos, nevertheless it feels mild on its wheels. Really feel on the throttle pedal may be very mild, whereas the brakes chew nicely and with confidence. The suspension is subtle, with much less of that rumble I so dislike in VW Group vehicles. Coupled with 137 mm of floor clearance, trip high quality was clean and mature, however with sufficient really feel to maintain a driver entertained at tempo. Even when pushed spiritedly, rear passengers within the Octavia stay comfy with out being thrown about. I’m comfortable to report that the Octavia didn’t scrape over even essentially the most conspicuous of velocity breakers.
A Very good possibility
We count on 2021 Skoda Octavia costs to be within the vary of Rs 25 to 30 lakh. On the higher restrict, that’s simply two lakh shy of the bigger Very good Sportline, which makes use of the identical design language and engine. It’s nearly as if Skoda needed to supply a scaled-down Very good for many who don’t want as a lot quantity and revel in driving themselves. It definitely has the tools checklist to justify that impression to an extent.
The brand new Octavia is a sensible, satisfying sedan for the driving force and passenger. That’s, if you’re nonetheless a sedan purchaser. The automobile seems to don’t have any direct rivals in its anticipated value vary, with every thing else sporting an analogous price ticket being a big SUV. It gives the look of a well-equipped, luxurious European sedan, and for some patrons, easing down right into a Rs 30 lakh automobile will nonetheless beat climbing into one.
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