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The new Skoda Octavia is here in India! Skoda has finally brought the 2021 Octavia to India and we got behind the wheel to find out what it is all about. The first-generation Skoda Octavia was launched in India back in 2002. The car was loved by people and the company saw a rise in sales due to the newly launched sedan.
After that, the company introduced the performance version of Octavia - the vRS, in 2004. That car was so loved by the enthusiasts, that the MK1 Octavia vRS is still considered to be a gem. The second-generation of the Octavia was called the Laura in the Indian market. Thanks to the great sales numbers of the Laura in India, Skoda introduced the vRS version of it.
Skoda then launched the third-generation Octavia in India. The third generation carried a completely new design. Now, Skoda has brought the much-awaited fourth-generation octavia to the Indian market.
We got our hands on the car for a day and drove it around the city. Firstly, we must say that the 2021 Octavia looks absolutely fantastic and does not share anything with the outgoing model. It is a completely new sedan and is loaded with features. Read on to know more about the new Skoda Octavia.
Exterior & Design
At first glance, the new Octavia looks sharp and sporty from every angle. The headlights now are sleek units that feature Skoda Crystal Lighting. The DRLs now give the car a sportier stance. You get an LED projector setup for both high and low beams. Skoda has also provided LED fog lights that are extremely bright.
There will be two variants of the new Octavia - Style and L&K. We drove the top of the line L&K variant which gets lots of chrome at the front. The car also gets a sporty bumper with vents on either side that channels air for better aerodynamics. However, the hood gets similar lines and creases to almost every Skoda sedan to date.
The International model of the Octavia gets the 360-degree parking camera feature. Sadly, due to cost-cutting, that feature is not available in the Indian market for the new Octavia. When viewed from the side profile, the first thing that will catch one's attention are the beautiful Aero Black 17-inch multi-spoke dual-tone alloy wheels.
These wheels are only available with the L&K variant. The overall design of the alloy is just fantastic and definitely gives the car a sporty stance. Since this is the L&K variant, you get the Laurin & Klement badging on either side of the fenders.
The Octavia gets a ground clearance of around 140mm, which might not sound like a lot. In the real-world though it isn't easy to bottom out. We did not bottom out anywhere throughout the drive in the city. There are chrome accents around the window trim and some subtle body lines that run from the headlight to the taillight.
At the rear, the new Octavia gets a sleek LED tail light unit. You also get some amount of chrome at the back. The car doesn't feature the Skoda Logo at the rear, but gets the name ‘SKODA' written in bold across the boot, as that is the company's latest design language.
The car also gets a rear parking camera with adaptive guidelines being displayed on the screen, and an Auto park assist to make parking in tight spaces easier.
Interior & Features
Step inside the cabin and you will be able to see that the company has used a lot of leather and Alcantara all over. The dashboard is finished in dual-tone colour and Alcantara along with soft-touch materials have been used. Also, there is a lot of chrome inside the cabin such as on the AC vents' surrounds, door handles. etc.
Taking the centre stage on the dashboard is a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features wireless smartphone connectivity through AndroidAuto and Apple CarPlay. The infotainment system also provides a lot of information about the vehicle.
The volume controls for the infotainment system are rather fancy. It is no longer a button or a knob, but is a haptic touch bar placed just below the screen. You can move your fingers to the left or right to decrease or increase the volume respectively. The L&K version gets a Canton surround sound system that is absolutely mesmerising.
However, the most interesting thing about the cabin is the steering wheel. The new Skoda Octavia gets a two-spoke steering wheel. The steering wheel looks and feels premium. The steering-mounted buttons are finished in chrome. The driver can be focused on the road, as navigating the various functions using these buttons is easy.
The new fourth-generation Skoda Octavia features a fully-digital instrument cluster, which the company likes to call the virtual cockpit. This is a 10.25-inch screen that also gives out a lot of information about the vehicle. The display layout can be changed with the help of a button on the steering wheel.
All the seats are wrapped in leather. The front two seats get the 12-way electrical adjustments, but only the driver's side gets the memory function. The front two seats are very comfortable and have good side bolstering that holds the passengers in place.
The rear seats are extremely comfortable and have good under-thigh support. On long drives, one will not get tired quite easily as the seats provide good back support. You also get rear AC vents in the centre and they do their job quite brilliantly by keeping the cabin cool. Below the rear AC vents are two Type-C charging sockets. The sets have double pockets to place your phone in.
Skoda cars have always excelled when it comes to boot space capacity. The new Octavia has around 600-litres of boot space. Need more? You have a 60:40 split option in the rear seat. So according to your luggage you are hauling, you can fold down either side to make more room in the boot.
Engine & Performance
The 2021 Skoda Octavia only comes with a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine. Both variants of the sedan will be offered with the same motor. The turbo-petrol unit produces 187.4bhp @ 4,180 - 6,000rpm and 320Nm @ 1,500 - 3,990rpm. All the power and torque is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG gearbox.
This time around, the company has used shift-by-wire technology. So what exactly does that do? Earlier, when you would engage a gear (front or reverse) on the DSG gearbox, there were a series of linkages and wires that helped shift the gear from one to another. Now, with the shift-by-wire technology, when you engage a gear, all of the work done to engage the gear is done by sensors in tandem with a computer.
We honestly could not tell if this new technology has made a difference in the way the car shifts gears, because DSGs were always pretty quick in the first place. Speaking about the power delivery, the new Octavia's engine feels so refined. The way the power is put out is very linear. It will not throw you back in your seat when you floor it, but it is fast.
The car does not have any drive modes, instead, it has the D and the S modes on the gearbox. The driver can always take control of the shifts with the help of paddle shifters. The DSG shift-by-wire is controlled by a shift lever with a minimalistic design integrated into the centre console.
Ride & Handling
The ride quality on the new Skoda Octavia is well-balanced. The suspension setup is neither on the soft, nor on the hard side. The company seems to have wanted buyers to enjoy the best of both worlds. The dampers soak up all the undulations on the road and the ride is quieter too.
The NVH and insulation levels on the Octavia are brilliant and noise from the outside is just cut off. However, at higher revs, some amount of noise starts creeping in, but that's just fine because it doesn't get bothersome at all.
As far as safety is concerned, the new Skoda Octavia comes with eight airbags including front and rear side airbags, front driver and passenger airbags, curtain airbags, etc. Other features include ABS, EBD, Park Assist, Ibuzz Fatigue Alert, Multi-Collision brake and many more.
When it comes to the colour options, the Style variant will be available in three colours - Candy White, Lava Blue, and Magic Black. The L&K variant on the other hand will be available in five colour options - Brilliant Silver, Maple Brown, Candy White, Lava Blue, and Magic Black. The car we drove was decked in the Magic Black shade.
The Octavia nameplate has been around in the Indian market for quite some time now. Everything about the 2021 Skoda Octavia is new, whether it be on the outside or inside and the sedan shares nothing with the previous generation model.
One thing that might be a drawback for some of the customers is the 2021 Skoda Octavia does not come with a sunroof. Not even the top-of-the-line L&K variant gets a sunroof. However, the cabin is still spacious and the car drive handles and performs really well.
So, if you are planning to buy a sedan that costs between Rs 25 lakh to 30 lakh (ex-showroom), the new Skoda Octavia is worth every penny. Official prices for the sedan will be revealed on 10 June, 2021.