2013 Škoda Octavia Ambition 1.4 TSI – Test Drive Review

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The 2013 Škoda Octavia is the third generation Octavia and it was first revealed in the last month of the year 2012 at the Škoda museum in Czech Republic. The Škoda Octavia is offered in both Front-Wheel-Drive and All-Wheel-Drive options in the European markets, but in India its offered only in Front-Wheel-Drive option. The Škoda Octavia was launched in India in the year 2001, which also marked the entry Volkswagen group in India. Since then, the Octavia has been an executive car in our country and the car has always impressed the Indian car enthusiasts with its great qualities like solid build, being fast and frugal. Now, this new third generation Octavia is based on a highly flexible modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform and has also grown in all directions by a little. This new 2013 Škoda Octavia Ambition 1.4 TSI is like a silent kid in a classroom which when teased will set u back surprised with what it can do with its overall performance.

Price of 2013 Škoda Octavia Ambition 1.4 TSI – Rs. 15.45 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom, Pune)

Exterior Design: The design of this new Octavia is completely refreshed and now the Octavia looks more promising. It’s a typical Škoda car and it now gets a new all-metallic black with chrome logo. It gets a new front grille with chrome outlines sitting between the new headlamps. The top variant Octavia gets the projector headlamps along with LED DRLs strips at the headlamp’s baseline. The bumper is redesigned with fog lamps integrated in it. The power lines on the bonnet and the overall edges at the front gives the car more of a Royal look. The design from front is also neat and the overall design of the car is aerodynamic. From the side the car looks bold as it gets a solid structure. The window pane gets a chrome outline at its baseline and those silver alloys all together ends up making the Octavia look more stylish and modern. As you will walk back you will notice the new C-shaped LED taillights like the Škoda Rapid and also like its predecessor Škoda Laura. Then between these taillights is the number plate and with those slant slats around it again reminds you of the Rapid. From behind the Octavia thus looks like a grown up Škoda Rapid. None the less, the Octavia being an executive class car has a proper stance and also never fails to impress you and others by its clean lines. It looks like a Royal home being moved on four wheels.

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Interior Design: Before we talk about the interiors, I would still like to mention that the windows of this car are also remote key operated. As you will long press the unlock button, all the four windows will roll down and as you will again long press the lock button, the windows will go up. This feature helps you for many different reasons and is added on this car for all those good reasons.

As you will step into the car, you will be amazed to see such lovely beige coloured interiors every time. The interior is refreshing and gives you a peace of mind while driving and travelling. The car is as simple inside as it is from outside. The black-beige coloured dashboard is neat and tidy. The AC vents, the touch screen infotainment system which takes its pride of sitting in the center console, the glove box and the instrument cluster are very properly arranged. The four spoke steering wheel feels good to hold and steer and the phone and volume control buttons on it are also very well arranged. They don’t at all bother you while steering. The front window pane is perfect in size to provide a perfect road view to the driver. The gear knob feels good to hold while shifting the gears. The quality of materials used inside is just outstanding. As this third generation Octavia is based on the new MQB platform, it has created more room for comfort and space in this car. The front and rear seats are very comfortable as they get good cushioning. The driver seat’s height can also be adjusted while the passenger’s cannot be arranged. There are plenty of storage spaces for the bottles or for your essential things like wallets and phones. The rear occupants will now be happier than ever before on their way as there is more legroom and headroom for them and also two rear AC vents which seats in the center below with a small storage compartment beneath it. The MQB platform has helped Škoda to create more comfort in this car. There is also a CD player inside the glove box which is a ‘Simply Clever’ move made by Škoda. They have upgraded this entry-level 1.4 TSI with all kinds of media interface for its occupants. The boot offers you a storage capacity of 590 liters and with the rear seats folded down, a total of 1580 liters of storage capacity is offered. The car on the inside is much more premium and refreshing than before.

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Engine & Performance: Under the Octavia’s hood sits the same motor which powers the Volkswagen Jetta TSI, but in Octavia the same engine is finely tuned to produce more performance figures. The 1.4L TSI engine in the Octavia is a turbocharged in-line 4 cylinder petrol engine. This engine is teamed with a manual 6-speed fully synchronized transmission which supplies power to the car’s front wheels. This 1395cc engine produces 140 PS of raw power between 4500-6000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 1500-3500 rpm. There is bit of turbo lag up till the 1800 rpm mark, but once you get past the 1800 rpm mark it will treat you with the best of its performance. Its mid-range performance is so good that is cruises with an ease and puts a smile on your face everytime. Driving it all the way till its 6500 redline rpm is not at all hesitating. It goes up till there with utter ease and all those 6 shifts with the dual-clutch gearbox also happen very smoothly. The claimed 0-100 km/h time by the company is 8.4 seconds while we did the same 0-100 km/h sprint in 8.5 seconds on a concrete patch (VBox tested) and its quite impressive. The car does a top speed of 190 km/h comfortably and the car is pretty stable even at such higher speeds. The ARAI certified mileage for this car is 16.8 km/l which is better than the Octavia 1.8 TSI. We managed to gain as much as 14-15 km/l from its 50 liters of petrol tank. When we drove it like the race car types, we still managed to get double digit fuel efficiency. On the performance side, Octavia ticks all the positive boxes with better engine, better output numbers and also with its better and slick gearbox.

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Driving Dynamics: As we had set on for the car’s shoot early in the morning, the car’s halogen headlamps had a good throw of light over the roads and the front fog lamps were very clever in covering each and every corner of the road. The car runs smoothly on every kind of tarmac and the suspensions help the car to stay balanced over the bad roads. The car was a bit dirty and as we don’t like to drive dirty, we took it to a river nearby via a complete offroad track and this Front-Wheel-Drive machine amazed us with its performance over there too. The car gets an underbody protective cover and a rough road package which helped a lot in keeping the underpinnings safe over there. Škoda has equipped the Octavia with McPherson struts with lower triangular links and torsion stabilizers at the front and Compound link crank axle at the rear. Such compound link suspension at the rear is good for stability at higher speeds. It corners perfectly at higher speeds, it stays in its lane and does not much understeer. The ABS with EBD, ASR and EDL keeps the car in control and so the handling of this executive sedan is within the limits and keeps you going in a perfect way. The electro mechanic power steering too offers a great feedback, driving the car through several tight turns and corners, was a real joy. The car feels very light and agile from behind the steering column. And what add up to your confidence at tight corners is the car’s hydraulic-diagonal circuit braking system. The car gets all-wheel-disc-brakes and the front disc brakes come with inner cooling system while the rear disc brakes are the normal ones. The 60-0 km/h braking test was done and the car came to standstill in only 1.5 seconds and from 100-0 km/h it took another 0.75 seconds with a g force of 0.96 g. This Škoda Octavia 1.4 TSI sets new standards in terms of driving dynamics as it’s a great car and also did what it’s not meant to do too by going offroad.

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Safety and After Sales Service: It scores 5 stars in the Euro NCAP crash test (top variant with 6 airbags) and in terms of safety, the Octavia gets dual airbags as standard, ABS, EBD, HBA (Hydraulic Braking System), ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation) with MSR (Motor Speed Regulation), Electronic Stability Control, MKB and Prefill. It also gets parktronic sensors at rear and also parktronic speakers at rear with parktronic display on central infotainment screen. For protection of underpinnings, underbody protective cover is also provided on the car. It also gets door-open indicator on the display meter in the instrument cluster and there is also fuel-supply cut-off during a crash and many more such safety features. The after sales service network of Škoda is not much in our country, but we hope they increase it to a certain amount of number for a good after sales service.

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Verdict/Conclusion: The new Škoda Octavia sets a new benchmark in the executive sedan’s segment (D segment). The Octavia has good handling, great performance, smooth ride quality and practicality along with ample of space and comfort. The Octavia with such good overall qualities stands above all in its segment. It sports an angular clean design that Škoda’s chief exterior designer, Karl Neuhold calls it as “Poetic” and “Clean”. This Škoda Octavia comes in two diesel engine options with different variants in it. Each car has its own character of performing, its for every petrol head, like for a complete car crazy person and like for a complete practical person. The third generation Škoda Octavia is all in one gorgeous package to be bought and driven and it surely is a beauty which doesn’t fails to make new friends.

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2013 Škoda Octavia Ambition 1.4 TSI Technical Data:
* Engine: 1395cc TSI
* Power: 140 PS @ 4500-6000 rpm
* Torque: 250 Nm @ 1500-3500 RPM (1.4 TSI)
* Transmission: 6-speed manual
* 0-100 km/h: 8.5 seconds (Acceleration Test – VBox Tested)
* 60-0 km/h: 1.50 seconds (Brake Test – VBox Tested)
* 100-0 km/h: 2.25 seconds (Brake Test – VBox Tested)
* Top Speed: 190 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 14-15 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: McPherson struts (Front), Compound Link (Rear)
* Tyres: 205/55 R16 Tubeless
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Disc (Rear), ABS
* Safety: Dual Airbags, ABS, EBD, ASR, MSR, HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistant), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), MKB (Multi Collision Braking), EDL (Electronic Differential Lock), exact door-open indicator , Parktronic sensors with display

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2013 Škoda Octavia Ambition 1.4 TSI Dimensions:
* Overall length: 4659 mm
* Overall Width: 1814 mm
* Overall Height: 1476 mm
* Wheelbase: 2688 mm
* Turning Diameter: 10.4 meters
* Ground clearance: 155 mm
* Boot Volume: 590 liters, 1580 liters (with rear seats folded)
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
* Kerb Weight: 1260 kgs

VBOX Equipments provided by – ZEN Microsytems

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