Review: 2017 Škoda Octavia

15 December 2017, Neil Parkhi


The Škoda Octavia is a small family car produced by the Czech manufacturer Škoda Auto since 1996. It shares its name with an earlier Škoda model produced between 1959 and 1971. The third generation Octavia was revealed on 11 December 2012, at the Škoda museum in Mladá Boleslav. The car began to appear in showrooms in key European markets in February 2013. The car, designed by Jozef Kabaň, recalls the VisionD concept car presented in 2011. The 3rd-generation Octavia is the first Škoda car to feature front radar and a multi-function camera. The radar sensor in the front bumper monitors the area in front of the vehicle and continually evaluates the distance, direction and speed of all nearby objects (not only traffic). This radar provides data for two assistants in the Octavia: Front Assistant (forward collision warning and emergency braking) and Adaptive Cruise Assistant (adaptive cruise control). A monochromatic fixed-focus multi-function camera is mounted on the windscreen in front of the rear mirror, and allows function of Lane Assistant (lane keeping system), Intelligent Light Assistant (automatic control of the high beams) and Traffic Sign Recognition (recognizes and shows traffic signs on displays of both on-board computer and satellite navigation). Added to this, there are assists, whose functionality is based on evaluating data provided by ESC or steering sensors: Crew Protect Assistant (pro-active passenger protection), and Driver Activity Assistant (fatigue detection). The Octavia features numerous so-called ‘Simply Clever‘ details, i.e., an ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap, a rubbish bin inside the door panel, and a double-sided (rubber/textile) floor mat in boot. A tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof is available as an option, which single-piece for the Octavia sedan-like hatchback and two-piece for the Octavia Combi.


There have been three generations of the modern-era Octavia model to date, delivered with 5-door liftback or 5-door estate styles only. Around five million units were sold in its two decades of presence on the market. Octavia is Škoda's most popular model, approximately 40% of all newly manufactured Škoda cars are Octavia. The first generation Octavia was released in November 1996 and was built at the modernized Škoda factory in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic. This generation was made available in hatchback or estate styles only. In the United Kingdom, sales began in 1998 and the mid-size car was an instant success with buyers who appreciated its solidity, refinement and value for money, though it could not quite match the success of established large family car favorites such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra. The car was widely used in the United Kingdom taxi trade, owing to the large number of private hire drivers who used the vehicle, due to its low price [and advantageous leasing agreements directed at the self-employed taxi driver], space and reliability. The first generation Octavia had a facelift in 2000, and was still manufactured and marketed in some markets, even after the second generation was introduced in 2004. In Germany, and other parts of West Europe, as well as Asia, the first generation model was marketed as the Octavia Tour, while the newer model is marketed as the Octavia. In some markets, the first generation Octavia was still known as Octavia, and the newer model was referred to as the new Octavia, Octavia5 (Greece) or Laura (India). In India, Octavia was launched in 2002 and was an instant hit with Indians for its frugal engines and solid build. It became a huge success in India, selling 44,900 units. The major improvements of the facelifted model are the independent rear suspension and improved interior, in terms of space, design and quality of materials. The second generation Octavia was introduced in March 2004, based on the Volkswagen Group A5 (PQ35) platform also used by other Volkswagen Group cars, such as the Audi A3 Mk2, Volkswagen Golf Mk5, Volkswagen Jetta Mk5, SEAT León Mk2, etc. Responsible for the design were Thomas Ingenlath and Peter Wouda. Along with a new internal combustion engine range, also shared with other models of the Volkswagen Group, body changes included more legroom for rear seat passengers (a weak point in the original model) and increased ground clearance at front and rear to reduce the risk of grounding on steep ramps or facing kerbs. In addition to the Czech factories in Mladá Boleslav and Vrchlabi, from 2008 the Octavia has also been produced at a factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, and in Shanghai, China, under the joint venture of Shanghai Volkswagen. In India, the second-generation Octavia was marketed as the Laura to distinguish it from the first generation. The car was marketed in a higher segment, and was sold alongside the previous generation Octavia. However the first generation ended production in India in 2010, and as of 2012 the Laura's price was reduced and was competing in its predecessor's segment.


Steering and Transmission
Steering Type Speed Proportional, Electro-Mechanical, Rack and Pinion Power Steering
Transmission Type 7 Speed Automatic
Wheels and Tires
Front Wheel Type 16 by 6.5 inch Minoris 5 twin spoke alloys
Rear Wheel Type 16 by 6.5 inch Minoris 5 twin spoke alloys
Front Tire Type 205/55R16
Rear Tire Type 205/55R16
Front Brake Type Disc
Rear Brake Type Disc
Front Suspension Type MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Type Multi-Element Axle Rear Suspension with One Longitudinal and Three Transverse Links
Suspension Features Torsion Stabilizer Bars, Coil Springs, Gas Pressurized Shock Absorbers
Length (in, mm) 183.4in, 4659mm
Width (in, mm) 71.4in, 1814mm
Height (in, mm) 58.1in, 1476mm
Wheelbase (in, mm) 105.8in, 2688mm
Weight (lb, kg) 3034lb, 1376kg
Engine Specifications
Engine Type 1.8 litre TSI 16 valve petrol inline 4 cylinder
Power (bhp, PS, kW) 148bhp, 150PS, 110kW @ 4500-6000RPM
Torque (lb-ft, Nm) 184lb-ft, 250Nm @ 1500-3000RPM
0-60 mph (0-97 kmph) 8 seconds
Top Speed (mph, kmph) 137 mph, 220 kmph
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Fuel Tank Size (gal, L) 13.2 gallons, 50L
Fuel Type (AKI, RON) 91 Octane/AKI Petrol (95 RON)
City Fuel Economy (mpg, kmpL) 26mpg, 11kmpL
City Fuel Economy (mpg, kmpL) 35mpg, 15kmpL
Cargo Specifications
Cargo Space (ft3, L) 20.8ft3, 590L
Max. Cargo Space (ft3, L) 20.8ft3, 590L