Skoda Octavia Long-term Review: Fleet Introduction
Published On Jun 10, 2022 By CarDekho for Skoda Octavia
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The Octavia joins our long-term garage with a lot of expectations and a few concerns.
Would the Octavia fit in my garage? I prefer hardy machines that can be ordered to do my bidding without a care or a moment’s hesitation. Between flights, shoots, offices and classes the TLC that I shower on my own(ed) vehicles is of the rough and tumble variety; they aren’t pampered with car spas and polishes every week, instead they are driven and ridden everywhere unhesitatingly, albeit with good fuel and a driving style baked with mechanical sympathy.
However, the more expensive and more desirable the machine, the balance of power tilts in the machine’s favour. Your life starts to revolve around them and they take charge. Skoda’s Octavia is a very desirable machine and it’s also become a fairly pricey machine, in my books. The top-end Laurin & Klemet version that arrived at the CarDekho office nudges the Rs 35 lakh mark on-road. So, when it landed as my daily driver, aside from my prejudices, keeping the Octavia’s creamy Alcantara clad cabin in top nick was a genuine concern, as my weekend duties include ferrying a hyperactive kid to and from classes. However, as it turns out, I misread Octavia a bit and discovered that it has the power to change people.
Keeping it Classy
Very quickly, the Octavia effected a change in my life and I found myself making more excuses to drive, on weekdays and weekends. There is a sense of serenity in the Octavia that is a balm for those rushing from one destination to the next. The second the doors shut around you there is a sense of calm; the light colours for the upholstery and the simple design for the dashboard and the quality of materials could be thanked for that. The Octavia speaks in whispers with the quietness of the cabin perfectly complemented by the smooth engine. Furthermore, the 2-litre turbo-petrol with the DCT flows through traffic with a sense of regalness that made me sit back and enjoy the commutes too!
The Octavia has cajoled Jr to change his behaviour too. He takes care to remove his shoes (somehow they are always muddy), and even asks to be driven around in the sedan. On family outings, the Octavia has drawn comments from backseat occupants for the comfort and spaciousness on offer. Its cushy suspension is very clearly focused on comfort; so speed breakers and potholes are smoothed over magnanimously. The boot has the household head thrilled, even though she hasn't been able to exhaust its potential yet.
The Octavia is endearing enough that you are willing to look past some of its shortcomings. The stutter from the gearbox at low speeds is very rare, and hard to spot. The lack of ventilated seats, the bland interface for the digital driver’s display and the lack of a sunroof are observed and dismissed routinely. However, the two-step access to the ‘Classic’ air-con interface, the lack of a pin-sharp reversing camera, or the absence of a 360-degree camera feel genuinely annoying, every time.
So, the Octavia has been extremely welcoming and competent and this has encouraged me to treat it with a bit more care and kindness. However, the Octy will be put through some ‘regular’ use soon, and it would be great to see how it lives with my kind of normal day.
Fuel efficiency: 10.4kmpl (City)
Kilometres done till date: 6800km
Date Received: 25th Feb 2022