Bought my last ICE car; a Skoda Octavia 2.0 TSI: Initial impressions

When it comes to power, the Octavia leaves no room for disappointment. Simply press the pedal down, and the car effortlessly accelerates, making overtaking maneuvers a breeze.

BHPian LONG_TOURER recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Life was going smoothly, and there were no plans to buy a car. We are basically a two-car garage family, and I primarily used a 2013 Hyundai Elantra SX AT(P). The Elantra had always served me well, but after crossing the 100,000-kilometer mark, it started to become a financial burden in terms of maintenance. Surprisingly, some of the spare parts for the Elantra were even more expensive than those for equivalent German cars like the Skoda Octavia or Volkswagen Jetta. With a heavy heart, I decided to part ways with the Elantra and find a suitable replacement. I sold it when it reached 125,000 kilometers on the odometer.

I considered various options for the new car, but there was one car that stood out among the rest: the Skoda Octavia. There were several reasons why I was drawn to this car:

  • The Octavia became a cult car when it was first released back in 2001. It introduced the concept of being "built like a tank" in the Indian car scene, and many enthusiasts, especially those in their 30s to 40s, have always dreamed of owning one. Even today, you can find well-maintained MK1 Octavias that are cherished by car enthusiasts. It's a car that could potentially be displayed in a museum once ICE vehicles become obsolete.
  • The 2.0 TSI engine and DSG gearbox combination is a match made in heaven. It's a well-known fact that this pairing offers exceptional performance, and there are very few cars under 60 lakhs that can match the Octavia's power. The EA888 Evo 3 motor delivers 190 bhp and 320 Nm of torque, while the DQ 381 7-speed DSG transmission ensures smooth and exhilarating drives, especially after a long day at work.
  • Unlike SUVs or crossovers, sedans/saloons like the Octavia provide a superior blend of looks, finesse, and handling. The joy of taking corners with a smile on your face is something that only a sedan can deliver. Considering We already had a 2020 Tucson in our garage, adding another crossover seemed excessive.
  • There were rumours that the Octavia would be discontinued due to strict emission norms and its low sales figures. As a result, this felt like a final opportunity to own one.

With these factors in mind, I embarked on the car-buying journey. Initially, I considered buying a used Octavia vRS variant, as it is a sought-after car that tends to appreciate in value over time. However, the prices in the used car market were astonishingly high, with 2018 and later models being sold for over 30 lakhs, even though their launch price in 2017 was 25 lakhs. Paying such a hefty amount for a used Skoda, which would no longer be under warranty, didn't make sense to me. Therefore, I decided to explore the new car route.

Fortunately, a close friend helped me connect with a dealer who had a 2022 December make white L&K variant available, which was exactly what I wanted. With the help of my friend's acquaintance, I managed to secure a hefty discount on the purchase. The only catch was that the dealer was located in Himachal Pradesh, and I had to drive the new vehicle all the way to Assam. I scheduled the purchase date to coincide with the Team-BHP Assam meetup making it a convemient time to bring it home.

Octy in Agra-Lucknow expressway. First of many Highway drives to come:

The mileage which i got in the entire Himachal to Lucknow trip:

Tucson welcomes the new member of the family:

Since the purchase, I have covered around 9,000 kilometers with the Octavia, allowing me to experience its pros and cons.


  • Exceptionally capable engine and gearbox combination, delivering impressive performance.
  • Surprisingly practical ground clearance, despite the numbers on paper suggesting otherwise.
  • Spacious cabin, comfortably accommodating four passengers.
  • Impeccable German-like build quality evident in every aspect of the vehicle.
  • Excellent headlamps, especially in the L&K variant, providing enhanced visibility during nighttime highway drives.


  • Lack of a sunroof, which may be a downside for those seeking an open-air driving experience.
  • Occasional cost-cutting measures noticed in certain areas, which will be discussed further.
  • Ergonomic issues with the control stalks designed for a left-hand drive vehicle, potentially causing discomfort for some drivers.
  • Firm ride quality at low speeds, despite maintaining the recommended tire pressure of 33 PSI as suggested by BHPians.

Driving Experience:

When starting the car, the initial cold start idle sits at around 1.2k RPM. As the engine heats up, it takes about a minute for the RPM to settle below 900. I noticed that the engine tends to be slightly louder compared to other large naturally aspirated petrol engines, and there is a slight vibration felt in the steering wheel. However, these characteristics are not deal-breakers and can be easily adapted to. Bhpian ChiranjitP rightly points out that TSI engines are generally not as silent as other engines.

To engage the drive mode, simply shift the gear shifter to 'D' and disengage the electric parking brake (EPB). It's worth noting that if you start pressing the accelerator pedal with the EPB engaged, the EPB automatically disengages without the need for manual intervention.

One convenient feature is the auto-hold function. With this function enabled, when you switch off the ignition, the gear shifter automatically shifts to 'P' and the EPB engages automatically. This is a clever shift-by-wire function that our Tucson's gear selector does not offer.

In terms of drivability, the car exhibits two distinct characters. If driven sedately, the engine keeps the revs under 1.5k RPM, and the gear shifts occur below 1.6k RPM. However, when you floor the pedal, the car truly comes alive, pushing you back into the seat, especially in S mode.

While the car performs admirably on highways, it tends to struggle in start-stop city traffic when driven below 30 km/h. The gearbox, specifically the DQ381 unit, can become confused in such situations. The Octavia prefers a more spirited driving style, and you can observe this in the real-time mileage, which may drop to around 5 km/l in slow city traffic conditions.

During gear shifts, it's worth noting that the gearbox is not as silent as a torque converter gearbox. I often hear a very mild "click" sound coming from the engine bay during gear shifts.

Thanks to the presence of four disc brakes, the braking performance of the car is sharp and inspires confidence, especially at higher speeds. However, the frequent use of sharp braking may lead to faster wear of the brake pads in the octavia.

Ride Quality:

The fourth-generation Octavia features an improved independent suspension setup for all four wheels, unlike its predecessor, which had a torsion beam at the rear (except for the 1.8 TSI variant, which had independent rear suspension).

While the Mk 4 Octavia has a relatively softer suspension setup compared to the Mk 3, it still offers a composed and comfortable ride. It has significantly improved over the Mk 3 Octavia and provides a more pleasant experience in regular usage due to comparatively less firmer ride. Unlike the Elantra, the Octavia doesn't float around and maintains its composure even when going over rumble strips at high speeds.

The car's handling is a delight, especially when taking sharp corners. Thanks to the limited slip differential and advanced traction control, understeer is well controlled, resulting in a confident driving experience.

However, at slower speeds, the ride can still feel slightly firmer, and driving over a series of medium-sized speed breakers can cause some cabin movement. Despite maintaining the recommended tire pressure of 33 PSI for all four tires (against the recommended 39 PSI), the firmness is still noticeable.

In terms of ground clearance, the Octavia measures 137mm when unladen and 107mm under a laden condition. Surprisingly, even with these measurements, the car does not scrape its underbelly on large speed breakers, unlike the Elantra (which had a ground clearance of 154mm).


The steering wheel in the Octavia is not only pleasant to hold, but it also boasts top-notch quality. However, it's worth noting that the two-spoke design may not appeal to everyone's aesthetic preferences. Aside from the cruise control buttons, it also features controls for customizing the MID (Multi-Information Display) and managing the audio system.

The electrically assisted steering, which is common in cars within this price range, is well calibrated for both city and highway driving scenarios. In city driving, the steering feels extremely light, requiring just a single finger to maneuver. With a turning radius of 5.2 meters, the Octavia can easily navigate through the tightest of gaps. Despite its longer and wider dimensions compared to the Elantra, I find it much easier to park the Octavia in tight spots, possibly due to the improved reverse camera and the presence of 360° parking sensors. Although, I do wish it had a 360° camera as well.

On the highway, the steering weight increases with speed, instilling a sense of confidence when changing lanes and taking fast corners in sharp curves. The Octavia's handling capability will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face as you navigate through corners. The presence of steering-mounted paddle shifters enhances the overall driving experience. Whether you prefer a relaxed drive or want to unleash the full potential of the engine, the steering-mounted paddle shifters give you the flexibility to tailor your driving style to your preferences.

Engine performance:

As mentioned earlier, the Octavia is equipped with a powerful 2.0 TSi Evo 3 engine that generates an impressive output of 190bhp and 320Nm of torque. This potent engine is paired with a lightning-fast 7-speed DQ 381 DSG gearbox, ensuring seamless and swift gear shifts. When it comes to power, the Octavia leaves no room for disappointment. Simply press the pedal down, and the car effortlessly accelerates, making overtaking maneuvers a breeze. It's worth noting that the engine produces a sporty note, though it's worth mentioning that the redline limit at 6,000 rpm may feel slightly conservative,(probably due to strict emission norms ??) and the engine doesn't let you fully experience the sporty sound beyond that point.

When driven with a more relaxed and moderate approach, this engine showcases an impressive fuel efficiency as well. I have personally observed the MID (Multi-Information Display) indicating a mileage of 21kmpl for a 100-kilometer journey while maintaining a steady speed of 80kmph with cruise control engaged. However, it's worth mentioning that this engine's inherent nature and performance capabilities may tempt you to tap into its full potential, resulting in enthusiastic revving and a more spirited driving experience. As a result, driving sedately and solely focusing on fuel efficiency can be a challenging task, as the engine urges you to unleash its true power and enjoy the thrilling performance it offers.

Trust me, you can get such mileage with this motor:

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