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Review: Skoda Octavia

Review: Skoda Octavia expand View Photos

We hoped and prayed that it would happen someday. A car that has built so many dreams is back and Skoda is very right to call it a legend. The Octavia was everyman's dream car when it first came on the scene. The German efficiency, performance and build quality was out to impress everyone and with the new Octavia, Skoda has left no stone unturned.

The new Octavia is not only much bigger than the Laura, but also comes with more powerful engines. The Skoda Octavia is offered with a 177bhp (17bhp more than before) 1.8-litre TSI turbo-petrol and the ubiquitous 2.0-litre turbo-diesel. The clean-cut looks appeal to a lot of people and the bold, clean strokes help give it a stance that is difficult to fault.

The new 'butterfly' grille, chiselled headlamps and square jaw are really good looking too and, to add to it, are the standard LED-based daytime running lights. The new Octi is longer and wider than the outgoing Laura, but crucially, the wheelbase is a massive 110mm longer which means, more leg room.

Interestingly, the diesel and petrol have different suspension. The petrol comes with an all-independent, multi-link setup borrowed from the European vRS, while the diesel gets a more cost-effective, non-independent torsion-beam axle at the rear.

Inside it's all you can expect out of a German car; plush seats, faux-wood on the doorpads, high-quality splashes of chrome, piano black surfaces and soft-touch materials everywhere point to an exceptionally well-built cabin.

The India-spec model, however, has the full-size touchscreen like its Euro spec cousin. But the rest of the inventory is mind blowing. There's a massive sunroof, a powered driver's seat with seat memory, Bluetooth, a six-CD changer, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, remote locking and a media input port.

The diesel Octavia gets the same 1,968cc four-cylinder engine that's carried over from the Laura but there are some tweaks made to improve torque. Mated to a six-speed, twin-clutch automatic gearbox the Octi is ever eager to hop and skip its way around. With 141bhp up for grabs, the Octavia is surely a sprinter and from what Skoda tells us, economic too.

The new Skoda Octavia's MQB chassis is significantly stiffer than the Laura's old-generation A5 platform and this has allowed Skoda to get away with a softer suspension setup. All-in-all it's quite a looker, not to mention crazy fun to drive. Pricing for the Octavia starts at around 13 lakhs and for those fans who know what love-thy-Octi means that truly isn't a lot.

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