Skoda has brought the Octavia back in an all-new avatar, reintroducing their halo product in the market. Surely it’s grown in size, appeal and premium-ness, but the prices have been shot up significantly. Launched at Rs 25.99 lakh for the Style variant and Rs 28.99 lakh for the Laurin and Klement (both prices ex-showroom, India), it seems like Skoda’s asking for a lot of money, for a not so much car. But is that true?
While the sticker prices does seem high, Skoda has amped the interior aesthetics quite a bit, both in terms of quality and tech. The three-layered dashboard is very distinctive and neat, something that we’ve not seen on a Skoda yet. Materials are high quality and they blanket behind a 10-inch infotainment system that’s hooked on to crisp sounding 600 W Canton system. Passengers will certainly appreciate the comfortable seats, and the drivers will love the addition of the second-gen virtual cockpit. It feels extremely well-built, a calibre that’s expensive to execute.
But that doesn’t fully mask the Octavia’s blemishes. Lack of ventilated seats and an electric sunroof would be well-noticed by the kind of customers it appeals to, and so does the not-so-generous knee room for the rear bench. Absence of a diesel engine doesn’t help it’s case either. So as good as a car that is; you’d want to own one, but you’d rather not.
If not the Octavia, what else?
The Hyundai Elantra? The only other executive sedan for the audience – it’s practical, it comes with a diesel engine and it’s backed with Hyundai’s extensive dealer network which does make ownership a lot less worry some. Sure it isn’t as cash-rich as the Superb when it comes to the feel of things, but then it’s a lot less on the asking price.
The Skoda Superb perhaps. It’s got the good bits in common with the Octavia, but for a bit more cost you get a larger, better-kitted car. Alright, the modern Skoda treatment on the Octavia does make the Superb look a generation old, but the good bits like the engine, impeccable fit-finish and great driving dynamics are still in common, making the Superb a very strong contender.
Yet how can an SUV not make to your buying list. If you’re out for an Octavia, you’d have noticed the Jeep Compass a lot out there. It’s got that rich-appeal, iconic styling and hails from a premium brand. The interiors are very well finished, and the tech on offer is generous. The added ‘SUV’ benefits are a bucketload, making the Jeep Compass very appealing.
Here’s a look at their specs
|Length (mm)||Width (mm)||Height (mm)||Wheelbase (mm)|
|Skoda Octavia||Rs 25.99 – Rs 28.99||2.0-L/N.A||187bhp/320Nm||4689||1829||1469||2680|
|Skoda Superb||Rs 32.02- Rs 35.02||2.0-L/N.A||187bhp/320Nm||4869||1864||1469||2841|
|Jeep Compass||Rs 17.19 – Rs 28.48||1.4-L/2.0-L||160bhp/250Nm(P)
|Hyundai Elantra||Rs 15.90 – Rs 21.13||2.0-L/1.5-L||150bhp/192Nm(P)
So internet, what would you pick of these?