Skoda Octavia


Debut: 2013
Maker: Skoda
Predecessor: Octavia (2004)


 Published on 31 Mar 2013
All rights reserved. 


Czech Republic has never been known for car making. Even though we know Skoda has a long history of building cars – well before communist party taking over the country, it is still hard to imagine a Czech car would enter the global top 10 sales chart. I am not kidding. Skoda tells us that its new Octavia will be one of the top 10 best selling cars in the world. Can you believe?

Yes, it is probably right. Study the latest sales figures offered by Volkswagen group, I am amazed by the achievement Skoda has made in the past decade. Its sales doubled from 450,000 units in 2003 to 940,000 units last year. Now its core model Octavia sells over 400,000 units a year, more than many heavy hitters like BMW 3-Series, Opel Astra, Renault Megane and Clio. The Octavia is especially benefited from the sales boom in China because its conservative style, high practicality and great value for money suit Chinese buyers very much. If it can sustain the rapid growth, in a couple of years' time it might just break into the global top 10.


The new Octavia continues to appear conservative. Although it tries to make itself smarter with LED daytime running lights and add a bit more character with a kick at the rear doors, its exterior design is still rather dull. This is easily understandable because Skoda is assigned with the conservative end of the market to avoid overlapping with sister brands VW, Seat and Audi. Anyway, I believe the conservative look will continue to please Chinese customers, which is the most important to its sales goal.

As before, it is a 3-box-looking hatchback as it wants to please both the taste of East and West. What makes the new car different is its size. With the arrival of Rapid, the Octavia can grow from a pure C-segment vehicle to approach the territory of D-segment. This is the largest application of Volkswagen group's MQB platform. Its wheelbase has grown by more than 100 mm to 2686 mm, while overall length grows accordingly to 4.7 meters. As a result, it offers enough cabin and luggage space to match D-segment saloons like Volkswagen Passat (if not exactly the even larger Ford Mondeo). However, thanks to the lower cost basis of Skoda, it is still priced at C-segment level. More car for the same money, many people will love it.


As expected, the MQB brings lightweight engineering and a host of fuel-saving technology, so the new Octavia is lighter and more efficient. It is even lighter than sister Golf, despite of the extra metal. However, fans of Golf don't need to be worried. The Skoda is neither as refined nor as agile to drive. It lacks the extensive NVH insulation of Volkswagen, so it doesn't ride as smoothly and as quietly as Golf. Even though it employs the same diesel motors, their noise and vibration are not as well insulated and damped. It might be just as refined as most other cars in the class, but there is a noticeable difference from the class-leading Volkswagen. Likewise, the handling is not as agile because on the one hand it is longer and on the other hand nearly all models are served with torsion-beam rear suspension. Theoretically, you can get a multi-link Octavia by opting engines of more than 150 hp, but in reality only the top 1.8 TSI (180 hp) fits that definition – unlike the case of Golf where even 122 hp 1.4 TSI gets multi-link setup. Overall its handling is typical Volkswagen, i.e. safe and predictable but not especially interesting. The electrical power steering does the job well with consistent and light weighting, if not a lot of feel.

Volkswagen group's powertrains are highly competitive. Among them we prefer the 1.4 TSI 140 hp with cylinder cut-off technology, which provides respectable performance – 0-60 mph in just under 8 seconds – and low fuel consumption. The 1.8 TSI is stronger but also thirstier and more expensive. It would be better to buy a Golf with smaller engine instead. 105 hp 1.6 TDI and 150 hp 2.0 TDI are expected to be big sellers in Europe. Both the 6-speed manual and 6 or 7-speed DSG gearbox are good ones.



However, the highlight of Octavia is space instead. Given the longer wheelbase, it offers class-leading space for front and rear passengers. Six-footers no longer have their knees brushed against the front seatbacks. The cabin is also wider, wide enough to seat 3 adults at the back if the middle one does not mind the existence of central tunnel. Up front, the driver is served with a high-quality dashboard whose conservative look mirrors Volkswagen Passat of the past. With the exception of glovebox lid, the whole dash is made of soft-touch plastics, so it feels a touch more expensive than the latest offerings from Korea and Japan, if lacking the final polish of Golf and A3. Ergonomics is faultless, as the front seats are supportive, the instrument reading is clear and the touch-screen infotainment system is easy to use. At the back, the large hatchback opens to an enormous 590-liter boot, while the opening is wide and deep for easy loading. No one else can trump the Octavia for practicality.

Nevertheless, in the eyes of keen drivers the Octavia is more a workhorse than a good companion. It looks and drives too ordinary to inspire interest. Driving this car you are guaranteed to be invisible. Vice versa, the car becomes invisible to you in the process of driving. Its lack of character cannot stir your emotion, so you will forget about it quickly and start thinking something else.
Verdict:
 Published on 20 Jul 2012 All rights reserved. 
Octavia RS


The Octavia RS is not only the "poor man's GTI" but also the "family man's GTI". On the one hand, it shares much of the underpinnings of the latest Volkswagen Golf GTI, such as the 220 hp 2.0 TSI engine (or the 184 hp 2.0 TDI engine of Golf GTD), the manual or DSG gearbox, the MQB platform with lightweight construction and multi-link rear axle, the variable-ratio "Progressive Steering" and XDS+ torque-vectoring brakes. On the other hand, it is a roomier, cheaper and more practical package than its semi-premium Volkswagen sibling. Think about it: you can use it to take your kids to school every morning, then have your own fun time storming through B-roads, entering Autobahn and push it towards its 154 mph top speed. On the way home, you can drive to supermarket and pack a whole week's food and stuffs in its huge, 590-liter boot. This is one car for all purpose!

However, being a performance model, is it as fun to drive as the GTI? Of course not. Its bulkier body is one reason. Its more civilized tuning of suspension and steering is another. The outcome is that it is less sharp to turn into corner, suppress its body roll and understeer less good. The XDS+ can use soft braking at the inside wheels to correct understeer, but the effect isn't as subtle as a mechanical limited slip differential, let alone the computer-controlled one on Golf GTI Performance. Driving at 8/10 effort, the car is obedient, accurate and comfortable. Beyond that, you will find it unwieldier than the GTI and Seat Leon FR. The omission of adaptive dampers mean it is hopeless to match its smaller, nimbler siblings.

The dull appearance doesn't help to attract enthusiastic drivers either. In the hot hatch world, I can't think of any cars looking more boring. The bottom line is, if you are a poor family man and you prefer your car to be stealth, the Skoda Octavia RS will be a perfect car for you.

Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Octavia 1.4TSI
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4659 / 1814 / 1461 mm
2686 mm
Inline-4
1395 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI, cylinder deactivation
140 hp
184 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/55VR16
1180 kg
133 mph (c)
7.9 (c)
-
Octavia 2.0TDI
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4659 / 1814 / 1461 mm
2686 mm
Inline-4, diesel
1968 cc
DOHC 16 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
150 hp
236 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
225/45VR17
1255 kg
135 mph (c)
8.0 (c)
-
Octavia 1.8TSI DSG
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4659 / 1814 / 1461 mm
2686 mm
Inline-4
1798 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
180 hp
184 lbft
7-speed twin-clutch
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
225/45VR17
1260 kg
143 mph (c)
7.0 (c)
-




Performance tested by: -





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Octavia RS 2.0TSI
2013 (2017)
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4685 / 1814 / 1449 mm
2680 mm
Inline-4
1984 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
220 hp (245 hp)
258 lbft (273 lbft)
6-spd (7-spd) twin-clutch
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
225/45VR17 (235/35R19)
1350 kg (1390 kg)
154mph (c) (155mph (limited))
6.4* (6.3 (c))
15.4*
Octavia RS 2.0TDI
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4659 / 1814 / 1461 mm
2686 mm
Inline-4, diesel
1968 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
VTG turbo
CDI
184 hp / 3500-4000 rpm
280 lbft / 1750-3000 rpm
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
225/45VR17
1395 kg
144 mph (c)
7.6 (c)
-



























Performance tested by: *AMS




AutoZine Rating

General models


RS



    Copyright© 1997-2017 by Mark Wan @ AutoZine