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Skoda Octavia's vehicle analysis

This third generation Octavia, sedan and wagon, distinguishes itself for both space and equipment, sharing with its counterpart Golf and Leon cutting-edge technology


Duilio Damiani

You read Skoda but it really is a Volkswagen. Value for money is the concept behind this intermediate model made in the Czech Republic, a mid-sized model that represents a concentration of rational contents, without compromising on comfort and design and - in its extreme variants – to a competitive and versatile attitude.

Now, the third generation Octavia shares with other mid-sized models of the Volkswagen group (of which Skoda is a part since 1991) the same platform of the Golf VII series, Audi A3 and Seat Leon, from which also some of the mechanical parts and the engine are taken. But what makes the Skoda project different is undoubtedly the interesting quality / price ratio, as well as a vast range of models able to please every customer, with low-powered versions or alternative models like the CNG powered G –Tech, while for the most exuberant drivers, the choice can range from the RS turbo diesel and petrol boasting 184 and 220 hp respectively ( with a top speed of almost 250 km / h), or great traction on rough terrain a feature of the Scout 4x4 crossover.


ALL THE SPACE YOU NEED                                                       

Make no mistake. The dull patina once associated with East European manufacturers is something of the past. The profound influence of Volkswagen is revealed in every detail, with above-standard features giving the car a feeling of opulence. But what is really striking, and Skoda marketing strategies clearly point to it, is the record comfort and space for its category, further enlarged thanks to a re-designed longer structure compared to the previous model. With a total length of 4.66 meters, a width of 1.81 and a height of 1.46 the new Octavia has shorter overhangs, including the station wagon, bigger fenders capable of housing 19” wheels giving the vehicle a modern and aggressive design well suited to the many dynamic elements present in this model. The longer wheelbase has allowed a substantial extension of the internal volumes, guaranteeing greater comfort and freedom of movement for its passengers, with an internal length of 1.78 meters (the best in the segment), and leg space for rear passengers without equal. All this without giving up space in the boot, with a total capacity of 590 liters for the hatchback and 610 for the station wagon, that can be increased to 1.580 and 1.740 liters respectively by reclining the rear seats. Reclining the front passenger seat, object up to 2.92 meters long can be loaded.

The vehicle’s original equipment has everything needed to guaranty safety and comfort, leaving the client to worry about the color and seat covers (leather included). The four levels of trims available, on both the hatchback and station wagon – Active, Ambition, Executive and Elegance- are completed by the eco-friendly Greenline and the sporty RS, and boast features worthy of any high-end model, that can be further completed with a vast choice of functional and aesthetic accessories, including a dozen aluminum wheels ranging from 16” to 19”. The interior design does not exclude any of the modern features, nowadays indispensible in any car, like a modern infotainment system with a GPS and an 8” display.  

All the know-how of the Volkswagen group is evident in the first class electronic equipment. Already from the entry-level, Octavia’s security equipment can boast up to nine air-bags for both driver and front and rear passengers, heads and knees included, alongside a flurry of electronic systems hidden behind some mysterious acronyms such as Abs, Esc, Ebv, Msr, Asr, Eds, Hba, Dsr, Aca, Esbs, Tsa and Mkb. Bewildering as it may look, besides the normal Anti-lock braking systems and Electronic Stability Control, behind some of these unusual acronyms we find some futuristic electronic systems designed to manage such things as safety distance, driver assistance systems, parking assistance etc.


FROM PLAIN TO EXUBERANT                                                           

Underneath we find a common modular platform that needs no introduction: the updated MQB platform (Modularer Querbaukasten or Modular Transverse Matrix), an authentic industrial weapon shared, until 2019, by all Audi, Skoda , Seat and Volkswagen mid-range models, will allow considerable savings in terms of production costs while adapting to very different productions. Extremely flexible and modular, on the Octavia, through specific calibrations and a longer wheelbase, it guarantees greater interior volumes, also providing greater comfort and driving stability. Alongside a front independent suspension system, Skoda provides a dual solution for the rear, such as a very compact and light torsion beam, that can be replaced by a multi-link rear suspension with an anti-roll bar only on specific versions of the Octavia, as the 4x4 Scout and those with power above 150 hp. The Skoda Octavia can count on a range of eight different engines, all four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Already in use on other cars of the Volkswagen group, these engines of proven efficiency can provide dynamic performance and particularly low fuel consumption, with surprising efficiency and versatility. The entry level is the small 1.2-liter TSI with 86 hp, not exactly exuberant or phenomenal, but sufficiently sized to be an appropriate entry level to the range. Boosted yet ecological, the same engine in the Green Tec version has 105 hp with a Start & Stop system for a further reduction in fuel consumption, managed by a DSG double-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission beside the traditional manual transmission. Next we find the 140hp 1.4 TSI and the brilliant 1.8 TSI with 180 hp, both available with manual or automatic transmission, the first suited also for a dual petrol / CNG drive, very economical and eco-friendly, with CO2 emissions of just 97 g / km. At the top of the petrol range, the 2.0 TSI version for the RS ensures sporty performances, thanks to its 220 horsepower, capable of pushing the Octavia from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.8 seconds, with a constant acceleration up to the top speed of 250 km/ h. This is the only version (together with the RS turbo diesel), to boast sports suspensions, a standard electronic XDS differential lock, and, on demand, 19-inch wheels equipped with 225/35 low profile tires. Also the choice related to diesel engines is rather wide, with four levels of power, the lowest being the 90hp 1.6 TDI, also offered in a 105hp version and a 110 hp Green Tec version (over 29 km / liter average distance) with a 6-speed manual transmission or automatic 7-speed DSG. At the top we find the 150hp 2.0 TDI, surpassed only by the 184hp sports version RS, also in this case with a choice between a 6-speed manual or mechanical transmission. These are the only versions offered as four-wheel drive crossover, managed by a Haldex differential, and suspensions raised by 31 mm. In this case, however, forget the stylish 19-inch alloy wheels: to give the Octavia Scout the ability to cope with uneven terrain, the only option is represented by the 17” Polar wheels equipped with 225/50 tires.

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