I became the owner of the previous, second generation Skoda Octavia exactly a year ago, in June 2012. The choice was, as they say, deliberate: in terms of price and quality, demand in the secondary market, and favorable Casco insurance. The Skoda Octavia version with an 1.8 engine and an “automatic” promised (and did not disappoint) a good overclocking dynamics. The decisive role was played by a spacious lounge with high-quality finish and a roomy trunk. In general, my Octavia was the first car that I did not want to change after a year of active trips to work and out of town. But I met with great interest the proposal to take part in the new generation Skoda Octavia test drive built on the completely new MQB platform.
During a test drive, which took place in the Volga region, my colleague, who is also the owner of the previous generation Skoda Octavia, drove the Octavia in the top version of the Elegance with a 1.8 TSI engine with 180 hp, in the DSG version and with 6-speed manual gearbox. The car was equipped with dual-zone climate control, a cruise, a multifunctional steering wheel with leather trim and a full range of airbags: now there are nine, including knee and rear side ones.
Skoda Octavia: the world outside …
In the design of the car, the old Octavia, of course, is guessed, but only guessed. The car became different - more angular, there was a strict waist line from front to rear headlights. The side windows look solid - now this is a single element, the hood has received a sculptural form, which was highly appreciated by cameramen. Exterior mirrors look more aggressive due to their irregular shape. Headlights along with fog lamps have ceased to be ordinary lighting equipment - now they are a symbol of good luck, because they resemble the four-leaf clover flower in their shape. The taillights have also been updated, but the characteristic C-shape has been preserved.
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The Skoda brand symbol - feathered arrow - has acquired a new stricter outline that blends perfectly with the fast Octavia design. The Skoda brand symbol - feathered arrow - has acquired a new stricter outline that blends perfectly with the Octavia design. The Skoda brand symbol - feathered boom has acquired a new, stricter outlines that blend perfectly with Octavia's swift design
Personally, I liked the new design - Octavia gives the impression of a very confident car. I believe that buyers should appreciate this combination of classics and modernity. It is worth noting that the car is especially impressive in the noble chocolate color Topaz.
… and the world from the inside
Compared to the second-generation Octavia, this Skoda has become unambiguously more spacious in: 8 mm more has been added above the head in front, 39 mm wide at the elbows in the front and 26 mm wide, compared to the second-generation Octavia, this Skoda has become uniquely spacious in: 8 mm above the head in front, 39 mm wide at the elbows in the front, 26 mm behind in comparison with the second generation Octavia, this Skoda has become unambiguously more spacious: 8 mm above the head in front, 39 mm wide at the elbows in front, back - 26 mm
The interior style of the Octavia has remained recognizable, but it has nevertheless changed, it reminds me personally of the previous generation BMW 3-Series. The Skoda Octavia interior has become noticeably more modern: more metal parts, the plastic of the front panel has remained soft, although it looks more voluminous, and the whole structure now looks solid. At the same time, the decoration of passenger doors has become tougher. The power window control buttons moved according to the classical pattern to the door handles, but are not located next to it, as was the case with the second-generation Octavia. The design of the climate control system has changed - it is more elegant and … miniature. Now the temperature in the cabin and outside is shown in two small windows the size of a centimeter per centimeter, and it became more difficult to disassemble the readings. But the screen of the new navigation system has increased, and the image has become brighter and clearer.
In the new generation, the car has features that were previously not even available for a fee - in particular, a car parker, the Start / Stop system. (Technical innovations of Octavia are described in more detail based on the results of the first test drive, which took place at the beginning of the year in the Czech Republic.) But there were also disadvantages compared to the second generation car. So, due to the fact that the wheel arches have become wider, the space in the legs of the front passenger has decreased. It is unfortunate that on the front panel there is no longer a drawer for trifles in which drivers held a phone and glasses. At the same time, the glove box itself slightly decreased, but - apparently, in order of compensation - received a convenient adjustment of the refrigerator.
If we talk about the pros, then, in my opinion, the seats have become clearly more comfortable due to the fact that the lateral support is now less voluminous and at the same time softer. I found a comfortable position in the novelty chair right away, while in my Octavia I had to tinker with adjusting the chair for myself. Door lock handles in lock mode now work with one movement, and not with two, as it was with the "second" Octavia. The rear passengers, according to my feelings, will now also be more comfortable and more spacious - there is more space in the legs, again the door handles took a more natural position.
The interior optics have changed somewhat - small round bulbs have appeared. The rear-view mirror remained the same, unlike the side mirrors, which became smaller - their size sacrificed to the design.
The music of the Canton audio system (option) sounded richer. A subwoofer is installed in the trunk, and the AUX and USB output is conveniently located under the climate control buttons. At the previous “Octavia”, it was inside the armrest, because of which the wire was pinched, and even had to tinker before using it.
There was a kind of "cup holder" for the phone There was a kind of "cup holder" for the phone There was a kind of "cup holder" for the phone
The glass blowing system works, as before, powerfully. In addition, a windshield heating system appeared.
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I really like that the Maksidot monitor, which duplicates the signals of the navigation system, has become color. By the way, controlling the navigation and the computer from the steering wheel is quite difficult, since all the functions are brought to one handle, and you have to seriously understand.
The trunk visually seems a little smaller than the previous version, but, as before, pleases with a volume of 568 liters (with the rear seats folded down - 1580) and the traditional Skoda set of pockets, compartments, shelves and drawers, as well as hooks and other mounts for baggage. The car is a typical liftback, and although the glass does not open, loading and unloading even bulky items is not particularly difficult. By the way, the system for fastening child seats has been updated - modern “anchors” have appeared. The seats fold effortlessly - Skoda has been and remains an ideal “cargo passenger”.
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I’ll note right away that my colleague, and not only we, felt some difference in cars with DSG and “mechanics”. I'll start with a 7-speed DSG. It works perfectly: the speed set is smooth, smooth, the acceleration is good, it is gaining as much as it should when overtaking. However, the suspension in the version with the DSG seemed softer and fatter compared to the second-generation Octavia.
Meanwhile, the front suspension design remains the same - the classic McPherson with lower levers. The rear suspension has two options: with small engines, a similar “Fabia” continuous beam with built-in torsion bar is used, for engines 1.8 and 2.0 - a multi-link independent analogous with “Octavia” A5 with stabilizers. Colleagues and journalists unanimously noted that for versions with a small engine capacity, the suspension became significantly stiffer.
It is important that the special training for Russia has become more serious: in addition to installing springs, the settings for the shock absorbers have also changed. At the same time, many participants in the test drive note that the DSG box was even more interesting than the mechanical one - it better provides active acceleration. Although there are no complaints about the MCP - it switches perfectly, the moves are moderate, the clutch is clear. But DSG, surprisingly, proved to be more nimble.
In addition, my colleague and I had the impression that the steering wheel in the version with the manual gearbox is sharper and more informative than the version with the DSG, but, as Alexei Peshkov, the head of the Skoda technical center explained, the impression is purely subjective: the steering wheel for all Skoda Octavia modifications is the same, with electric power and servo.
Alexey Peshkov said that in the steering system, a force sensor was added to the steering angle sensor, which, if necessary, is adjusted by electronics. Due to this, sometimes there is a feeling of slight play, especially with small turns: you seem to turn the steering wheel, but there is no answer. As Alexey explained, the sensor is needed to compensate for the force if you are driving on rough roads or in crosswinds and you have to apply some force to prevent the vehicle from being pulled to the side and maintain the trajectory of movement. At some point, when you feel that you are struggling with something, the computer begins to help you.
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Engine and engine compartment
Raising the hood, you immediately see that the layout of the engine compartment has changed. The units are denser and more compact, making it clear that the 1.8 TSI engine is not the same as before. The car is built on the new Volkswagen Group platform - MQB, as well as the VW Golf VII and Audi A3. It is characteristic for the platform that the engine, gearbox and pedal assembly have strictly defined dimensions and are located at a strictly defined distance from each other. For this reason, the pedal assembly of the "third" Skoda Octavia is different from the previous model - the pedals are located above. This is not to say that it is inconvenient, but otherwise. Incidentally, the former Octavia was one of the rare models in which the gas pedal "grew" from the floor, and now it is mounted, like most cars.
In addition, the location of the strap that supports the hood has changed. Previously, it was placed on the hood on the inside and was rigidly fixed in the groove, it was not easy to remove it. Now she moved to the front cross strut of the engine compartment. Fasteners have become much more convenient, and removing the bar is much easier. If from the “second” Octavia the bar sometimes had to be literally cracked with a rattle, then here I did not notice this problem.
To please the new platform, it was necessary to change the layout of the engine: the turbine and manifold moved back, and the motor itself was biased towards the passenger compartment. The result of a major upgrade to the 1.8 TSI engine was a different injection system. The engine has the same mechanics, two shafts and a phase regulator, while the power system has become combined. In addition to TSI injectors - direct injection, the MPI scheme is applied. Additional low pressure nozzles are located in the intake manifold. Due to this combination, it is possible to achieve Euro 5 and above. The turbine is one, it works from the pressure of the exhaust gases, and a constant torque in a wide range from 1500 to 4500 rpm is achieved, in particular, due to the regulation of the phases and a change in the ignition timing.
According to the MQB standard, the turbine and catalyst on all power units of the new Octavia are located in the rear of the engine. In small engines - with a volume of 1.2 and 1.4 liters - the exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder block. This allows you to thermally unload the turbine - the exhaust gases that spin the impeller, come to it not so hot, and in addition, the engine warms up faster.
Aleksey Peshkov emphasizes that Skoda engineers are constantly improving the mechatronic unit software of the 7-speed DSG, catch and correct errors. Since March 2011, the clutch design has changed. He recalled that Volkswagen, in connection with complaints from car owners about the operation of a robotic transmission, decided to expand the manufacturer’s support to 5 years and 150 thousand km. In other words, if, after the warranty period, the car owner has problems with the 7-speed DSG, he can come to an authorized dealer, and after in-depth diagnostics, if necessary, they will change the mechatronics or clutch.
Skoda Octavia: this or that?
Returning to Moscow and sitting down in my usual Octavia, I found that her doors are thicker and the pockets in the doors are more spacious - a one and a half liter bottle is easily placed here, and in the new model it is only a liter, and then with difficulty. The "tweeters" of the audio system are located near the door handles, and this is inconvenient - it costs nothing to block the sound with your elbow. In the new Octavia, they moved to the bar. The sound thus got better.
Well and yes, the interior in my "old woman" is much simpler, from a headlamp to a climate control system. Although the fact that the “climate” block is larger and the keys are larger is, in my opinion, more convenient. And the passenger legroom is larger in front. The plastic in the door trim is again softer.
Do I want to change my “second” Octavia? Perhaps yes. In the new generation, it has become, of course, more beautiful, more spacious (although not without reservations), without losing at the same time in the spaciousness of the trunk, and more economical. And most importantly, the DSG box did not disappoint.
Analyzing the price list, I note that my car with a 1.8 TSI engine and automatic transmission a year ago cost me 836, 900 rubles. Now for a similar version you will have to pay 879, 900 rubles. However, for the money I will get more “horses” under the hood (an increase in power - 20 hp) and a new modern design. But on the floor pedal, which distinguished the “Octavia” of the second generation, I, perhaps, will miss …