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Old 11th September 2013, 22:25   #61
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardy View Post
General Observation:

Skoda seems to be standardizing its offerings across the models and geography and hence the variants are Active, Ambition and Elegance. This means that there is a little scope for an L&K variant in the future. The company is smartly not badging its car externally with the engine variant, so this is very little to differentiate between 2.0 TDi and 1.8TSi unless one notices the bootlip spoiler on 1.8 TSi.

To summarize as I did Skoda India on their twitter:

New Octavia is Elegant, Luxurious and Driver's Delight.
Thank you for the Review Ardy and SS-Traveller.

My dad too will be reading this and hopefully something of this review helps him decide for his next car.

I liked the car on whole but the rear end resembles too much to the Rapid and that is not a good sign for the Octavia IMO.

These guys are keeping it nice by less badging and not like Hyundai who have badges on all the four sides of the rear hatch and it looks cluttered.

Anurag.
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Old 11th September 2013, 22:44   #62
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Ardy and SS-Traveller,

Can you guys share some pics of the Ambition and Active variants, especially the interiors. None of the forums seem to have published any pics of the lower variants yet.

I am sure a lot of us will fall short on the Vitamin -M while plonking the money
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Old 11th September 2013, 23:51   #63
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

All of this thread seems to be a homely affair for me, as i was somehow i was also being the part of it, as i was returning from Shimla the day this fleet is heading towards the latter on Monday afternoon & have seen all the 'MH' nameplated Skoda cars alongwith following Superb & Yetis'.

Somehow i also wanted to be the part of it.
Are you listening, anyone !
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Old 12th September 2013, 06:07   #64
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhi_Automobile View Post
Ardy and SS-Traveller,

Can you guys share some pics of the Ambition and Active variants, especially the interiors. None of the forums seem to have published any pics of the lower variants yet.

I am sure a lot of us will fall short on the Vitamin -M while plonking the money
Abhi_Automobile: The Active variant were not part of the drive. A few were available just before the drive from the previous day's press meet, but we could not get a chance to click some pictures.

Between Ambition and Elegance, there is barely any visual difference barring the panoramic roof. Featurewise, Amibition misses on Panoramic Roof, Bi-Xenon headlamps, Adaptive Frontlight System (AFS), LED DRLs, Headlight Washers, TPM, Front Parking Sensors, Side & Curtain Airbags, Electrically adjusted driver seat, Cruise Control and a few minor details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post

I liked the car on whole but the rear end resembles too much to the Rapid and that is not a good sign for the Octavia IMO.

Anurag.
@Anurag: The rear end resemblance is limited to pictures. In flesh, it looks very different. Even I had the same opinion, but was surprised when I saw it in flesh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
Is the boot carpet reversible with the back side rubberised
@Mohan, I assume this question is more related to floor mats than carpet. The carpet is not reversible as it has support on the other side as visible in
SS-Traveller's picture of the spare wheel. The cars provided to us were without the floor mats, although a set of floor mats were kept in the boot in sealed cover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
did you get a chance to check the cruise control.
The cruise control is available on Elegance trim and we did use it on a long 4-lane stretch. Surprisingly, I could not find a means to reduce or increase the speed from the stock. Check the stock under the steering in the picture I posted earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
are all the versions beige and black or is there an all black option (including carpets)
All the colors are coming with beige interiors. A little dampener for people like me who like black interior to beige.

One exterior color that SS-Traveller missed in his earlier post is Metal Grey. That means, 7 colors in total with Metal Grey, Race Blue and Rio Red coming later.

Cheers,
Ardy
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Old 12th September 2013, 08:40   #65
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardy View Post
Loved the multi-spoke alloys on Ambition & Elegance. SS-Traveller's preference was the 5 spoke alloy on Active variant.
It's actually to Skoda that a different design of alloy wheels is being offered to distinguish the base (Active) variant from the Ambition and Elegance variants - the 5-spoke alloys are not exactly cheaper, I am sure, nor are they smaller. This is contrary to other OEMs' behaviour, where the base version sports steel wheels (and smaller tyres) while top end gets alloys.

Now judge for yourself which wheel you'd prefer - me, I like the 5-spokes!
Why?
Because they're easier to clean, Ardy! And I like to clean my cars with the least effort!

The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-alloys.jpg

However, in my personal opinion, the 2.0 diesel (and probably the 1.4 TSi) would definitely have a more comfortable ride with 15" wheels and higher profile tyres - compared to the stellar ride quality of the multilink rear suspension of the 1.8 TSi, the torsion beam suspension falls short.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 12th September 2013 at 08:45.
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Old 12th September 2013, 10:33   #66
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

Studying the evolution of the Skoda badge... now...
The "new" logo harkens back to skoda's origins. here is a 80's skoda favorit that i saw in turkey on a trip last month.
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Old 12th September 2013, 10:37   #67
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Gentlemen - Thank you very much sharing the review.

Octy's have a great practicality for daily life, i feel that about my Octy Mark 1 1.8T [Badged as VRS]too, given the massive boot size, can easily accommodate luggage and also carry passengers with reasonable comfort.

Now given the new TSI motor has a new tune, any comparisons between the old one and the new one, i understand this is going to be tough especially comparing the manual and DSG, but my question is more from the seat of the pants, do you feel the extra 17 odd horses ?

Best - ML

Last edited by Motoringlover : 12th September 2013 at 10:38. Reason: missed signature.
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Old 12th September 2013, 11:00   #68
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardy View Post
@Mohan, I assume this question is more related to floor mats than carpet. The carpet is not reversible as it has support on the other side as visible in
SS-Traveller's picture of the spare wheel. The cars provided to us were without the floor mats, although a set of floor mats were kept in the boot in sealed cover.
Yes, i meant the mats. Realised my mistake later on but couldn't edit it

I didn't see rear wipers on any of the models. In the European reviews i saw it in a few variants. did you notice it in any variant?

What about the much talked about ice scraper. didn't see it in the one picture with the fuel flap open.
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Old 12th September 2013, 11:09   #69
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

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Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
Yes, i meant the mats. Realised my mistake later on but couldn't edit it

I didn't see rear wipers on any of the models. In the European reviews i saw it in a few variants. did you notice it in any variant?

What about the much talked about ice scraper. didn't see it in the one picture with the fuel flap open.
None of the variants would have the rear wipers. Rear Wipers were features in Skoda India cars in the initial days, but I have not seen them in any since 2004, barring I think Yeti.

Even the Ice Scrapper was missing from the 1.8TSi at least. Did not observe on the 2.0 TDi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoringlover View Post
Gentlemen - Thank you very much sharing the review.

Octy's have a great practicality for daily life, i feel that about my Octy Mark 1 1.8T [Badged as VRS]too, given the massive boot size, can easily accommodate luggage and also carry passengers with reasonable comfort.

Now given the new TSI motor has a new tune, any comparisons between the old one and the new one, i understand this is going to be tough especially comparing the manual and DSG, but my question is more from the seat of the pants, do you feel the extra 17 odd horses ?

Best - ML
DM: Its indeed difficult to compare given the Manual and DSG gearboxes. From my personal experience with a DSG on Superb 1.8TSi against the New Octy 1.8TSi, found the latter to be quicker (attribute it to Power-Weight Ratio or additional 17BHP) and had substantial bottom-end & mid-range torque. A bump in 17 BHP is not substantial enough to give the car a visible difference in power.

Cheers,
Ardy
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Old 12th September 2013, 12:33   #70
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
Yes, i meant the mats. Realised my mistake later on but couldn't edit it
We didn't get to see the quality of the mats. They were in a sealed packet in the boot, and we didn't want to open it without permission!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
I didn't see rear wipers on any of the models. In the European reviews i saw it in a few variants. did you notice it in any variant?
Nope, no wipers. I wish there were, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
What about the much talked about ice scraper. didn't see it in the one picture with the fuel flap open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardy View Post
Even the Ice Scrapper was missing from the 1.8TSi at least. Did not observe on the 2.0 TDi.
Neither in the 1.8 TSi nor in the diesel. Given the weather conditions in most parts of the country, that would be a redundant addition IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoringlover View Post
...any comparisons between the old one and the new one, i understand this is going to be tough especially comparing the manual and DSG, but my question is more from the seat of the pants, do you feel the extra 17 odd horses ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardy View Post
Its indeed difficult to compare given the Manual and DSG gearboxes. From my personal experience with a DSG on Superb 1.8TSi against the New Octy 1.8TSi, found the latter to be quicker (attribute it to Power-Weight Ratio or additional 17BHP) and had substantial bottom-end & mid-range torque. A bump in 17 BHP is not substantial enough to give the car a visible difference in power.
Agree with Ardy here. However, my feeling is that the low end power/torque delivery of the new 1.8 TSi is better than the old vRS engine - in the higher rev band the vRS wins. Again, the close ratios of the DSG could well be contributing here.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 12th September 2013 at 12:34.
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Old 12th September 2013, 14:02   #71
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Thanks a ton for this report. It was a great read. It is evident that Skoda is taking some concrete steps to address issues of poor A.S.S. Wishing them luck. They have some really fantastic products and hoping for the day when Skoda makes it to the list of preferred and recommended cars.
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Old 12th September 2013, 19:58   #72
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Things that I miss in the new Octavia -

1. Proper big screen Columbus with inbuilt navigation ICE system
2. Reverse Camera is a necessity in today's day and age, though if the on-screen display is there along with front and rear sensor, as it is there in the Superb, then that should serve the purpose.
3. Why the rear 110/220V power socket was removed is beyond comprehension. It would have been a talking point of the car and a very practical addition.
4. The DRLs are not very striking
5. Somehow I feel the build quality has been dumbed down.

And I don't buy this talk of poor ASC any longer with Skoda. My experience in the past one year has been just the opposite. Agreed that if something out of the ordinary happens with the car then they are not so well trained but then the same condition exists in the best of them, even at the Toyota ASC which I deal with frequently. Some perceptions need to change because as they say bad habits and perceptions are difficult to shed off. And Skoda is caught in that vicious cycle.

Skodas are wonderful cars providing full bang for your buck (at least the Superb does) which can only be realised once you taste them (taking a hint from the new Honda Amaze ad... lolz). I wish them all success with this new model.

Last edited by dkaile : 12th September 2013 at 20:02.
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Old 12th September 2013, 20:29   #73
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

@ unofficial experts,
Was there any talk of a VRs? If so, sticker job or with engineering changes?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 12th September 2013, 20:45   #74
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Was there any talk of a VRs? If so, sticker job or with engineering changes?
Asked, but no specific answer received. Not likely in 2013, from what I could gather.
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Old 13th September 2013, 00:49   #75
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Thanks Doc saab, Ardy and Pratik (all 3 unofficial experts) for the reviews. Wonderful to get a sneak preview with the "man on the street" point of view instead of the turgid "official" ones.

I have owned a Skoda Laura since early 2007 till last week. I was so thrilled with the car and more than satisfied with the spares and service situation that my next car is a Skoda too! Just in case anyone is wondering how much experience I have with my Skoda, let it suffice to say that my Skoda took me from Central/South India where I live to the Easternmost state of India in India's far flung North-east once and twice to the Northernmost district in India. It has taken me all over South India from beaches to hill-stations. It has taken me to the western most state in India. It has taken me through the searing heat of the Thar desert in May to sub-zero temperatures of the high mountain passes of the Himalayas. It has taken me from Sea level to over 18,000 ft above. All without skipping a beat and in absolute comfort and security. It never once developed a creak or rattle and would purr along returning a great FE and one memorable occasion went a 1000km without refuelling. It was therefore no wonder that I was excited about the new Octy being launched, that too an Octy which was received with great critical acclaim for driving dynamics, handling and engine as well as driver and cabin comfort.

In fact, I was all set to go in for the car under review, the new Octy Diesel but, providence and Ardy here provided me with a Superb 3600cc NA petrol with AWD so I will not be buying the Octy for now.

About the so called perception about Skoda so prevalent on the internet, the market of the real world does not seem to share that perception, When I sold my old Skoda last week after 6 1/2 years I still got more than 45% of the initial price I paid which is fantastic value retention considering that most cars lose 50% of their value in about 3 to 4.5 years.

About the ASS of Skoda: I have been to more Skoda ASCs than people would imagine. Not because any of them were bad but because my Skoda has been throughout the country from the Southern most bits of mainland India to India's Northernmost village, from the far flung North Eastern 7 sisters to the Western borders. To recount some of the ASCs that I have been to - I have visited the ASCs in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Aurangabad, Guwahati, Amritsar, Surat, Udaipur & Jammu and I have found all of them excellent. Yes, there was a problem with one or two dealers particularly the old one (now terminated) in Bombay and perhaps Poona and some in NCR.

There are a few things of the car under review that came to my mind as I read the reports of the three who test drove it and comments that I thought I would share with you:

The trim levels (at least in the UK) are S, SE and Elegance (L&K only on the Superb). The Indian "Elegance" seems to be more like the SE trim level in the UK. Even with the Octy II (Laura) the L&K I had was more akin to the Elegance in the UK and was not the L&K in UK. Seems to be a local decision.

The multi-link rear is provided on the top end Diesel abroad but in India Skoda has decided to go with the torsion beam. In addition to cost-saving to Skoda there might just be another reason. The multi-link suspension has a lot of rubber parts (bushes, mountings etc.) which tend to wear out and require replacement. I remember changing the stabiliser bar bushes on my Octy II at least twice. The torsion beam does not have any such parts which require replacement so maintenance cost for the owner comes down too. Is this indicative of Skoda's heightened sensitivity to Indian customers obsession with low maintenance costs? On the other hand, IIRC only the vRS and the Elegance (Diesel) in UK came with the multi-link not the SE & S, so just maybe they carried over that spec as in any case the Indian Elegance seems to be the SE.

The TPM (tyre pressure monitor) of Skoda works fine and is quite sensitive. So the "puncture" reported by the test drivers might have been a nail/screw in the tyre which started a slow leak. On my Laura, I often got that warning without any visual signs of a puncture and only a closer examination of the tyre revealed the embedded foreign material.

Regarding the brouhaha on the reversing camera: I prefer the sensors, I have driven cars with cameras in addition to my own that had the sensor system. My Laura L&K had parking sensors front and back (as does my Superb) and the inputs these systems give to the drivers via the display on the dash + the AUDIO beeps is way superior to anything that a camera can give. One does not even have to look at the screen but can keep eyes on the 3 RVMs and listen to the beeps to reverse into or move out of a tight space.

Some features that impressed me in the EU version was the driver alert feature (driver fatigue detector) which seems to be absent in the Indian versions, the lane assist and some other knick-knacks that I would have loved to have.

I spoke to the Skoda technicians here and they confirm that the new Octy in India comes with the new Diesel engines, this means that they have been de-tuned via the maps in the ECU from their Euro specs. (The petrol 1.8 however is the same as does service on the Superb etc). I am fascinated with these new Diesel engines as they seem to develop much more power and torque than similar engines the same size and for the first time each of the cams controls one intake and one exhaust valve per chamber, because the valves are laid out diagonally instead of the traditional side by side pattern which I presume helps the engine breathe better.

I am absolutely disgusted that the passenger seat does not have height adjustment.

If what Ardy says is true that one cannot adjust the cruise control speed via the stalks, then it is a major shortcoming.

I was absolutely disappointed with the electro-mech power steering. Somehow the electronics do not give the level of feedback that the hydraulic ones offer. No amount of correction and 'weight' for speed can replace that 'feel'.

About the tyre size - my Laura came with 205/55 R16 and the profile's 112.75mm sidewall was adequate. I later moved to 225/50 profile tyres and their lower 112.5mm did not hamper comfort or handling nor get punctured. The 225/55 size tyres with their 123.75mm sidewalls however did impact handling without any gains in comfort or puncture protection. So the tyre section (205 or 225) or the profile (50% or 55% of the section) were not as important as the compounds used and the construction of the tyre. IMHO the there is nothing wrong with the stock tyre sizes but as Ardy pointed out, better compounds will help traction, braking and cornering.
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