The Skoda Octavia is one of the most successful nameplates for the automaker and the car has just entered its fourth generation (since the nameplate's resurrection in 1996) making its global debut at a special event in Prague, Czech Republic. The 2020 Skoda Octavia brings an evolutionary design language along with more tech, better cabin space and a larger footprint than the predecessor. It also gets a plug-in hybrid engine this time and several segment-first features that will help make the model at an attractive choice in the segment. The new generation Skoda Octavia has been unveiled just in time for the brand's 60th anniversary and marks a major step forward for the manufacturer. It also follows the same footsteps as the new Volkswagen Golf revealed last month.
Most prominently, the 2020 Skoda Octavia shares its design language with the new Superb and the car certainly feels more premium and executive-like, while the larger proportions are noticeable as well. The generation sedan measures 4689 mm in length making it 19 mm longer, while the width is 1829 mm, 15 mm wider than the outgoing model. The Combi estate model is 22 mm longer, in comparison. Both versions get a generous wheelbase of 2686 mm, same as the older model. The Octavia Combi also gets the largest boot in the segment at 640 litres, 30 litres more than the third generation version, while the sedan is larger by 10 litres at 600 litres.
In terms of design, the new generation Skoda Octavia gets a new curvature on the bonnet and the design language is razor-sharp. Visual changes include the new headlights that come with Matrix LED technology that is optional. The split headlamp set-up is gone for good though. The taillights, brake lights and fog lamps use LEDs as well. The butterfly grille also gets more prominence, even as it has been moved lower, compared to the current model. The new Octavia is noticeably longer and the liftback design at the rear continues to make a highly likeable model in the segment. Internationally, the model can be had with alloy wheels up to 19-inches. Interestingly, the drag coefficient has been reduced to 0.24 cd for the liftback and 0.26 cd for the wagon, in a bid to enhance fuel efficiency.
Inside, the 2020 Skoda Octavia gets a new two-spoke steering wheel with optional heating and new control button and knurled scroll wheels, offering access to over 14 functions. The dashboard design is also new with a clutter-free look and a larger free-standing central display taking prominence. The driver's display is digital too and a 10.25-inches unit, whereas the infotainment unit varies from 8.25 to 10-inches, depending on the variant. A touch bar just below the display offers quick access to a number of setting including audio volume and navigation map's zoom.
The cabin is covered in new soft-touch materials, while the new LED ambient lighting feature offers indirect illumination with 10 different colour options. The automatic version of the model also gets a small selector in place of the gearshift lever with the adoption of shift-by-wire tech that is shared with the new Volkswagen Golf. Other upgrades include a Canton sound system, five USB-C ports, and an optional head-up display feature, a first for a Skoda vehicle. In addition, users can also get new Ergo seats that offer better back support and an electric massage, apart from ventilation.
The 2020 Octavia also gets Trizone Climatronic, optional keyless vehicle entry system, electric parking brake, and acoustic side windows at the front that reduce road noise in the cabin. The increased length has also worked to improve space in the cabin. The new Octavia boasts of 78 mm knee room for rear passengers, 5 mm more than that on the predecessor.
Under the hood, the fourth generation Skoda Octavia mirrors its engine options with the new Golf. This includes the 1.0-litre TSI petrol developing 109 bhp and 200 Nm and comes with mild-hybrid tech. There's also the 1.5-litre TSI four-cylinder petrol that develops 148 bhp and 250 Nm and is also available in the electrified variant and will dawn the e-TEC badge. The big news is the new plug-in hybrid variant that is badged as the Octavia iV that uses a 1.4-litre turbo petrol motor coupled with an electric motor and has a combined output of 201 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque, and is paired with a 6-speed DCT gearbox. It also promises an electric-only range of 55 km with a 13 kWh battery pack. The quicker Octavia will be the 2.0-litre TSI with 188 bhp and 320 Nm and will be offered only with the DSG auto box. This version can sprint from 0-100 kmph in 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 232 kmph. Diesel duties will be handled by the 2.0-litre TDI that will be offered in different states of tune - 114 bhp, 148 bhp and 197 bhp. Transmission options will include the 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG.
The new generation Skoda Octavia will be followed up with the Scout and RS versions in 2020. That's also when we get the sedan version in India and will be a part of the four new launches planned during the year by the automaker.