GOOD FOR: Strong diesel engine, solid build quality
LOOK OUT FOR: Suspension wear, gearbox issues.
If you’re in the market for a dual-purpose sedan – one you can enjoy driving yourself on the weekends and be chauffeured around in during the week – the third-generation Skoda Octavia fits the bill perfectly. It has a robust build, a strong and punchy diesel engine, and ample space and comfort at the rear. The used car market has quite a few tempting examples under the Rs 10 lakh mark, which makes it excellent value for money. Launched in three trim levels – Active, Ambition and Elegance, followed by the higher-spec Style trim. In March of 2015, Skoda launched the ‘Zeal Edition’, which featured sporty looking all-black interiors. Six months later, in September 2015, came the Style Plus edition, which, in addition to the Style trim, got rear curtain airbags (taking the total number to eight) and keyless entry/go. In September 2016, Skoda launched another variant called the Ambition Plus, which got leather upholstery, height-adjustable driver seat, front parking sensors and ESC. If you’re scouting, make sure to search for models launched after 2014 and opt for the higher trims, as you get a lot more for your money. The asking price starts from Rs 9 lakh, but a decent example in good mechanical health should costs anywhere between Rs 10-11 lakh. If you manage to find the top-end Style or Style Plus trims, go ahead with the extra premium as they were priced substantially higher out of the showroom. There are a bunch of issues to get checked before you make the purchase. Skoda’s infamous reputation for poor aftersales and service, and expensive parts is, unfortunately, still a concern.
That said, they are generally reliable cars if maintained well and serviced timely, and spare parts, although expensive, are now in the ballpark of its competitors. But there are a few niggles like the flywheel wear in the manual as well as automatic transmissions. Telltale signs are vibrations in the clutch pedal or clutch slipping. This happens usually due to wear and tear, and extensive use of the clutch. In the DSG auto, the mechatronics system is known to fail if not maintained. Replacing the unit is an expensive affair and can costs upwards of Rs 50,000 at the dealership. Also check the car for signs of flood damage. If there is water or condensation in the headlights or even the fog lights, it could mean the car has been driven through flooded areas and it can throw up problems in the future. Lastly, have a look at the firewall tub. It usually gets clogged by leaves and debris and needs major cleaning.
HOW TO GET ONE IN YOUR GARAGE
Buyer beware …
While on a test drive, get a feel for the suspension. Try driving on a rough patch of road to check if the suspension is bottoming out. This is a result of the suspension mounts cracking under load. The suspension bushings get cuts after prolonged use and a rough patch of road can easily damage them. Replacing the bushes will cost Rs 2,500-3,000, and if the suspension itself is damaged, walk away from the deal.
The diesel engine came with a six-speed manual and DSG automatic transmissions. Both these have a dual-mass flywheel, which is known to fail prematurely. While you’re driving the car, check for vibrations during gear shifts and clutch slippage. These usually suggest a worn flywheel. Also, the mechatronics system in the DSG is prone to malfunction. If the car has been driven through flooded areas, it could result in a gearbox failure. Replacing that is a pricey affair.
Also worth knowing
539 examples of the Octavia launched between November 2015-April 2016 were recalled for faulty child lock levers. Make sure that the car in question has attended this recall.
How much to spend
Rs 10-11.5 lakh
With only a facelift on sale currently, these Octys still look fresh. Look for examples from 2014, preferably the top trims, as you get a lot more car for your money.
|Price when new||Rs 15.55-17.55 lakh|
|Engine ||1968cc, 4 cyls|
|0-100kph||8.84sec (MT), 9.35sec (AT)|
|Economy (City/Highway)||12.5/17.2kpl (MT), 12/17kpl (AT)|