The Octavia shares the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3. The front wheels are suspended by the Golf’s famous MacPherson strut that is aided by a stout lower wishbone for improved front wheel location. Because the platform is shared, the rear suspension too comes from the Golf. The space-saving transverse link dead axle with trailing arms was designed to minimise intrusion into the luggage area and Skoda’s designers have made full use of this.
Obvious and necessary suspension alterations have been carried out by Skoda after substantial testing in India. Though the design of the suspension components remains unchanged, it’s been extensively recalibrated.
Unlike the petrol variant which comes with discs all round and ABS brakes, the diesel has no anti-lock option and gets drums at the rear. Now you know why the diesel costs the same as the petrol!
The stocky and chunky styling gives the Octavia a robust look, just what Skoda wants. The current model has been mildly face-lifted this year with subtle upgrades to the headlights and chin section. The Octavia comes with attractive plastic wheel caps but a smart set of alloys (not standard) would have given it more street presence.
The Octavia’s wheelbase is pretty short in relation to its overall dimensions. This negatively impacts passenger space but the large overhang means there is loads of room for luggage. In fact more so than virtually any car around. Lift the tailgate and there’s an amazing 528 litres under the parcel tray, the luggage-carrying capacity can be upped to an estate- crushing 1300-plus litres of space — once the split rear seats have been folded.
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Issue: 176 | April 2014
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