SKODA OCTAVIA 2020: NEW GENERATION PREMIUM LUXURY SEDAN

After beguiling the Indian customers with its scintillating performance following its launch in 2017, the Czech carmaker has marked to display the fourth generation Skoda Octavia at the 2020 Auto Expo in India and its launch subsequently. After innumerable guesstimates, scuttlebutt and recent images leak, Skoda has finally pulled the wraps off the new generation Octavia that comes with a new model and a wide range of powertrain options.

Design

The 2020 Skoda Octavia comes with a fascinating chic makeover and a sharp design. The front profile gets a redesigned front end, a new bumper and all-LED headlamps that merge into a wider front grille. The side profile might remind you of the Superb owing to its shoulder line similarities. The multi-spoke alloys add to the razor-sharp styling. The rear profile gets a heavily revised tailgate with a pair of sleek LED tail lamps. The boot proudly displays the new ‘Skoda’ lettering instead of the company’s logo.

Exteriors

The new Octavia gets bigger dimensions and is even more spacious on the inside based on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform. At 4,689mm in length, the new Octavia is 19 mm longer and 15 mm wider than the outgoing version. The boot space is huge having 600-litre of capacity.The notchback styling bearing resemblance to its elder sibling though will remain the standout feature at the rear.

Interiors

The interior looks fresh and novel with the cabin more luxurious and comes with ergo seats, plusher materials and more equipment. The ‘Ergo’ seats are described as being ‘particularly back-friendly’, with a massaging function and seat ventilation on top models for the first time. The dashboard gets a layered design integrating a huge floating8.25 inch to 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system (depending on the spec) and makes use of premium, soft-touch materials. To further free up space and enhance the minimalist look, the gear lever in the centre console has been replaced with a rocker switch arrangement for shifting gears on DSG automatic variants. The dashboard, front doors and footwell can also be illuminated with ambient lighting, which can be configured in 10 different colours.

Engine & Transmission

The all-new 2020 Skoda Octavia is available in three petrol options – a 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder engine that produces 110bhp of power, a 1.5-litre TSI four-cylinder engine (mated to a six-speed transmission) that produces 150bhp of power and three different 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines that produce 115bhp, 150bhp, and 200bhp of power. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is available as a mild-hybrid as well but comes with an automatic gearbox.

The India-spec model is expected to come with a 1.5-litre TSI and 2.0-litre TDI EVO powertrains, both in its 150PS guise. Transmission options are likely to be a 6-speed manual and 6-speed DSG.A spicier RS is also likely to follow. The Skoda Octavia price is to be expected in the Rs 20-30 lakh bracket.

Features

Skodas are known to score in their tech department and the 2020 Octavia has further upped the ante with its tech loaded interiors of an all-digital virtual cockpit. Skoda has introduced gesture control and an advanced voice-controlled digital assistant dubbed’Laura’. It displays multiple car-related info along with full-screen maps and comes with wireless charging, e-SIM connected tech, 3-zone climate control, USB-C connections, predictive cruise control, predictive pedestrian and cyclist protection, etc.With a fully digital instrument console and revised air vents that will now be placed below theinfotainment unit, the new Octavia is also expected to get an electronic parking brake as a major additional feature,though how many of the features make it to the India car remains to be seen.

Speaking to Autocar India, Zac Hollis, Director of Sales, Service and Marketing at Skoda Auto India, confirmed the Octavia RS will return to our market next year, but only as a full import and in limited quantities.

The year 2020 anticipate seeing the new Octavia go head-to-head with the Honda Civic and the Hyundai Elantra in the executive sedan segment. If you are the Skoda fan boy, then the Octavia with its irresistible styling and plethora of digital options is the right choice- Go for it!

– Supraja Krishnaswamy

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