New Skoda Octavia coming this year

Skoda Laura replacement will be called the Octavia. We take a detailed look at whether it has what it takes to shake up the established order.

Skoda created nothing short of a sensation when it launched the Octavia in India back in 2000. The Mark I Octavia came to India at a time when the only real luxury car present was a Mercedes E-class, and its combination of size, build quality, price and incredible fuel economy meant customers made a beeline for it. And Skoda hasn’t looked back since.

Today, 12 years down the road, the company has five distinct model lines on sale here, and though not all of them are resounding successes, the Rapid, Superb and to some extent the Laura have sold in sufficiently large numbers. Look closely at the success these cars have enjoyed and an interesting trend emerges. Both give you an incredible amount of space and size for the money and Skoda now, logically, wants to apply this simple but very effective formula for success to the new Octavia.
 
 
Built on VW’s new MQB variable platform that allows for almost infinite variations in length, wheelbase and width, the new Octavia is 90mm longer and 45mm wider than the Laura. The wheelbase now stands at 2686mm, and that is just shy of the one used for the VW Passat.
 
 
As a result, the new Octavia is likely to set the benchmark for interior space. Climb into the car and the feeling of spaciousness is what appeals to you first. And this is especially true of the rear seat, which feels almost as spacious as that of a Mercedes E-class. The seat back is perfectly angled, support for your lower and upper back is really good, and legroom is huge. The seat squab is a bit short, which may detract from thigh support to some extent though. Skoda has, however, softened the seat cushioning considerably; the seats are much more comfortable and not extra hard as on the Laura.
 
The fit and finish on the inside has also been stepped up. Seams are almost invisible, the quality of plastics is improved for the most part, and the neat and simple design of the dash is quite appealing.
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 204 | Autocar India: August 2016

An exclusive drive of the spanking-new Hyundai Elantra, drives of the Audi Q2, the Ford Mustang, the Volvo S90 and a lot more inside!
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