Luxury sedan segment gets a boost with the new Octavia

Luxury sedan segment gets a boost with the new Octavia

By SHAMS NAQVI | | 15 July, 2017
Skoda, Luxury sedan, Octavia, VW group, Interiors, electric steering, fatigue detection
With this facelift, the idea of course is keep the product fresh and a lot of changes have been made both on the outside as well as inside to achieve that.
It’s been a good 4 years since Czech car maker Skoda launched the new third generation of the Octavia in India. 4 years later and may be a little late comes the facelift of the luxury sedan.
It’s been a good 4 years since Czech car maker Skoda launched the new third generation of the Octavia in India. 4 years later and may be a little late comes the facelift of the luxury sedan. It’s one of those cars from the brand which have done well both globally and in India. In fact, in all Skoda has sold more than 5 million of these cars ever since it came into existence. With this facelift, the idea of course is keep the product fresh and a lot of changes have been made both on the outside as well as inside to achieve that. The MQB platform has been in news recently as a lot of cars from the VW group are based on it and so is this Octavia.

Looks

For a facelift the 2017 Octavia sees its fair share of changes. The most prominent are the split headlamps that are adaptive in nature. So the illumination is decided based on the requirement. In the process the oncoming traffic is never blinded by harsh lights. The grille gets a glossy finish and both the bumper and bonnet are redesigned. The rear too sees a redesigned bumper and the car gets LED tail lamps which are similar to the ones seen on the superb. It’s a nice unit with clearly laid out functions for different bulbs. Barring different looking alloys, the profile largely remains the same but overall the design certainly looks more appealing than before.

Interiors

There’s a new 8 inch touch screen system inside the updated Octavia that is compatible with Apple car play, Android auto as well as mirror link. Apart from being utilitarian its quality of touch and response is a notch above the rest. The interiors are equipped with an ambient lighting system, available in ten colour tones.  The driver’s seat can be adjusted electronically and the lamps inside can be set for intensity. The sunroof controls also come with a knob that lets you decide how much of it do you want to be open or closed. The AC vents are new and so is the garnishing on the doors. However it is only the first row gets a 2-zone climate control and the second row has to just make do with AC vents. But space is available in plenty on both rows. The Octavia has a spacious boot as well. At 580 liters it can put even bigger cars to shame. Of course the second row can be folded to create a lot more space.

The interiors are equipped with an ambient lighting system, available in ten colour tones.

Engine

The Updated Octavia comes in 1 diesel and 2 petrol engine options. While the 1.4 liter turbo motor churns out 147 bhp, the bigger Petrol is the most powerful of the lot at 177 bhp. The Diesel is the least powerful at 140 bhp.  This engine that we sampled is smooth and refined and the 320 Nm of torque aids the car well in most power bands. The 6-speed DSG also aids in smoother shifts. The Sport mode takes a little bit more time to up shift thereby guaranteeing a more fun drive. Skoda is claiming a mileage of more than 19 kmpl on this diesel engine. Depending on what variant you’re picking up there are options of manual or DSG gearboxes.

The rear too sees a redesigned bumper and the car gets LED tail lamps which are similar to the ones seen on the superb. It’s a nice unit with clearly laid out functions for different bulbs. Barring different looking alloys, the profile largely remains the same but overall the design certainly looks more appealing than before. 

Ride & Handling

You don’t expect mechanical changes on facelifts but an increase in rear track on the updated Octavia has resulted in even better handling than before. The car handles beautifully and taking corners is a breeze. Ride quality also has gone up due to the increased track. The suspension behaves well and the Octavia promises a great ride on both the rows. The passengers are insulated well from most bumps and potholes. The electric steering also performs and gives enough feedback.

Verdict

The new Octavia is the kind of car that can give the much needed push to the luxury sedan segment which has suffered due to the sudden arrival of affordable SUVs. It has some cool features like hands free parking where you have to use the accelerator and the brake but the rest, the car does on its own. This is due to sensors placed all around the car.

Some more safety features worth mentioning on this facelift are multi collision brake assist and fatigue detection. Constant efforts are being made by the brand to gain more customer confidence including a four year warranty and an optional maintenance package worth 40,000 rupees.

This pretty much takes care of your service for four years.                 

Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars

 

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