The Volkswagen owned Skoda stays true to its tagline “Simply Clever”. This brand has given a very few but iconic models like the Octavia. This car was launched in India in 2002, soon after, it became a huge success because of its powerful engine, durable performance and a great value for money. After seventeen years of its launch, the car has completely changed its avatar.
However, the charm of the Skoda Octavia is not really maintained because of the poor condition of the company’s after sales service and the cost involved. Skoda is currently targeting the mid-size SUV segment with the introduction of all new Kodiaq. It is simply clever, luxurious and capable. Volkswagen is targeting 3% Indian market share for the Skoda brand till 2030. Currently four models from this brand are on sale. And the company plans to bring in 6 more models within two years.
The rapid is the most affordable mid-size sedan in India. It is a direct competitor to the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Suzuki Ciaz, and the VW Vento. The price range of the rapid is from 8.0 lakhs to 12.69 lakhs INR. The company also has the monte carlo edition which is based on the top of the line trim. It offers cosmetic updates to the sedan and is available at a premium of 50,000 INR. The car is available in 14 variants and 6 colors. Active, Ambtion and Style are three basic trims on which all the 14 variants are based. There are two engines and 2 gear box options on offer.
The 1.6-liter petrol engine makes 103.56 bhp @ 5200-5250 RPM and the peak torque of 153 Nm comes at 3750-3800 RPM. While the diesel engine makes 108.4 bhp at 4000 RPM. Peak torque of 250 Nm comes at 1500-2500 RPM. The style variant gets 16-inch wheels while the rest gets 15-inch wheels. All the windows of the cars can be shut by just pressing the lock key for a while. The average fuel efficiency for petrol is around 15 kmpl whereas for the diesel it is 21 kmpl.
Step inside the car and you will feel that the design has started showing its age. The dashboard looks a bit more standard in comparison to other competitors. The space below the front arm rest is very low. There is also a storage space near the gear lever which can easily accommodate things like mobile phones or keys. The door pockets at front can very easily accommodate 1-liter bottles. The glove box is big and deep. Auto dimming inside rear-view mirrors are also present. Driver side sun wiser does not get a vanity mirror and a light.
Automatic headlights are absent, but automated rain sensing wipers are present. There is a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system available on the top model. The steering can be adjusted for both, reach and rake. The boot space available is of 460 liters. There is a space saver tire accommodated at the rear. There is a decent amount of leg room and head room on offer at the rear. There is no glass holder on the central arm rest at the rear. But the third passenger would find it a bit uncomfortable because of the transmission tunnel and the Rear A/C vents.
The engine is mated to manual and automatic gearbox. The Automatic version is fun to drive and the upshifts are around 4500 to 5000 RPM. Traction control, hill hold assist, and Electronic stability control are available on the higher trims. The gearshifts are smooth and quick. The brakes are good. However, rear disc brakes could have made things even better. The low-end punch is very good in the diesel; however, the motor is noisy. Handling of the rapid is extraordinarily good. The steering feels well weighted and confident at any speeds. Ride quality is an absolute breeze. It filters all the minor bumps and potholes in its way.
If you are in the market for a fun to drive diesel car, then this is an option you should consider. However, the rapid misses out on a lot of features as compared to the rival city and ciaz. Also, the second-row space is very less in this as compared to the rivals. This Skoda feels probably the most stable inside while driving through rough patches.
The very famous skoda Octavia is available from 15.49 lakhs to 26 lakhs INR. Its available in 11 variants and 4 colors. The all new LED head lamps coupled with the signature skoda grille looks fabulous. The lower damp has chrome lining which further adds to the premium feel. The sharper looking LED tail lamps suit the car well and when viewed from the side remind you of its family design. There are 3 engine options available which are 1.4liter petrol, 1.8liter petrol and a 2.0liter diesel.
The 1.4liter petrol engine makes 148 bhp at 4000-5000 RPM and 250 Nm at 1500-3500 RPM. This engine gives an average fuel economy of 16.7 kmpl. The 1.8-liter engine makes 178 bhp at 5100-6200 RPM and 250 Nm of torque at 1200-5000 RPM. The fuel efficiency for this motor is 15 kmpl. The 1968cc diesel engine produces 141 bhp of power at 3500-4000 RPM and 320 Nm of torque at 1750-3000 RPM. Fuel efficiency for this diesel engine is 21 kmpl. The diesel engine is very smooth to drive. Insulation levels inside the car could have been better. Acceleration of the Octavia is fantastic. The automatic gearbox responds very well to the throttle inputs.
Two tone dash-board inside the car feels premium and there is a lot of usage of soft touch plastics. The instrument cluster has been borrowed from the Superb. There is an option of ambient lighting with 10 color options. The 6-inch touchscreen looks very plush, is easy to use and is feature loaded. It hosts satellite navigation, android auto and apple car play. Park assist is one of the coolest features of the car. It automatically steers according to the sensor inputs. The boot space of the Octavia is the best in class and every corner of the boot is very usable.
In fact, you can also access the boot easily from the second row of seats. Rear seats are equipped with iso fix child seat mounts. The sun roof of the car is wide and gives an airy feel. The sedan is equipped with 8 airbags which makes it safer. The driver seat has electric adjust with memory function. Two zone climate control helps the passengers to be in ultimate comfort.
Everything right from the dashboard finish to the ride and handling is absolutely spot on. However, the only weak link that skoda has is of the after sales service and cost of spare parts. This makes the car less desirable to the Indian customer.
Kodiaq is a mid-size luxury offering from Skoda. Even after being so huge in dimensions, it does not feel that much when you look at it. The price range of this vehicle is between 35.37 lakhs to 36.79 lakhs. Its available only in a 2-liter diesel engine. The 1968-cc motor makes 148 bhp at 3500-4000 rpm and 340 Nm of torque at 1750-3000 rpm. The company claims an average fuel economy of 16.25 kmpl. The top speed of this SUV is 200 kmph. The design looks very sporty because of the cuts and creases. The tail lamps are sharp. Headlights are all LED units. They also have the cornering function. It sits on 18-inch alloy wheels. Seating position is high, you get a good view of the outside world and it handles just like a small car.
There are 5 drive modes on offer and in everyone it alters the power on offer. In regular mode, the upshifts come at below 4500 RPM, in sports mode it up shifts at 4500 rpm and in manual mode it upshifts at 5000 rpm. The power delivery is very linear. Mid-range of this vehicle is very strong. The gearbox offers smooth and quick shifts. The suspensions of the car are really good and it absorbs almost everything. Ride quality is supreme. The highway performance however, could have been better.
The audio quality inside the kodiaq is just fabulous, thanks to the 12-speaker canton sound system. Moreover, the front passengers voice can be channeled very clearly to the rear passengers with the help of Bluetooth, and speakers. Instrument cluster has a lot of information on offer which can be controlled by the buttons on the steering wheel. This one also has the park assist feature like the skoda Octavia. There are two glove boxes, one out of that is cooled.
There is a place to store mobile phones, wallets etc near the gear leaver. Door pockets are decently huge. There is a panoramic sunroof which seems huge. Steering gets manual adjustment for both, reach and rake. There is a usage of soft plastics around the dashboard. There are a lot of other clever bits in this car like the smart dustbin and the storage cavity below the front arm rest. There are sunblinds for the rear.
The knee room, under thigh support and the head room are brilliant on the second row of seats. There is a 3-zone climate control inside the car. The rear central arm rest has cupholders. There are a lot of lights everywhere in the cabin. There are 9 airbags inside the cabin. The light at the boot is detachable. There is a rubber lining which pops out as soon as you open the doors. This is to provide protection to he car in case of damages. There is a special place made to keep the parcel shelf when you don’t need it. The third row of seats is not practically usable for adults and its best for the kids.
Kodiaq is a wonderful SUV, may it be your daily commute, or those long drives, it would always impress you with what it has. Moreover, this is much less in price or far great in value as compared to Mercedes and BMW’s. The cabin space is massive, and the car is big and luxurious. But, you don’t really feel the dimensions and weight of this vehicle from behind the wheels.
This is a premium sedan within a price tag of 23.99 lakhs t 33.50 lakhs INR. It is available in 8 variants and 4 colors. The car is available in both, manual as well as automatic transmission. Its powered by a 1.8-liter Petrol and 2.0-liter diesel engines. The 1.8-liter petrol engine makes 177.46 bhp of power at 4000 to 6200 RPM and 320 NM of torque at 1450-3900 RPM. While the 2.0-liter diesel engine makes. 174.5 bhp at 3600-4000 RPM and 350 Nm of torque at 1500-3500 RPM. The fuel economy for the diesel engine is 18 kmpl and that for the petrol is 14 kmpl.
The detailing on the Superb is sharp and the cuts and creases make it feel even better. There are a lot of parts on the interior which come from the Octavia like the steering wheel and the instrument cluster. It is a bit tough to take it round the corners because of its length. High speed stability of this vehicle is wonderful which makes it a great highway cruiser. Even with a diesel engine, the performance is at par with a petrol motor.
The 6.5-inch touchscreen appears a bit small on the Superb. There is 4 color ambient lighting system. There is a big cubby hole below the front central arm rest which is cooled. There is a 3-zone climate control inside this sedan. The panoramic sun roof is a bit compact in comparison to the cabin dimensions. Door pockets can easily fit in 1-liter bottles.
There are a lot of pockets to accommodate your cell phones, keys, wallets, water bottles, etc. Left side of the steering houses the cruise control switches. The front seats can be moved ahead using electric switches. There is a small pocket with a 12-volt charging socket at the rear. Under thigh support from the seats is very good. Even a person with more than 6 feet in height will not find any shortage of leg room or head room. There is a huge transmission tunnel in the middle which will make it tough ti accommodate three passengers at the back in ultimate luxury. The 625-liter boot space is huge enough to accommodate anything, moreover there are a lot of luggage nets available.
This is the most powerful diesel Skoda in India. The refinement of this car is very high. It has a very good mid-range. The Automatic gear box is very smooth and quick. Ride quality of this skoda is just mind blowing. The body roll however is experienced inside. The steering is very accurate. High speed stability of the car is good. It offers a very good braking performance. The engine feels very enthusiastic at any given point. It red lines at 5000 RPM. The petrol engine is refined at lower speeds and there is no shortage of power in any situation. This car feels best while cruising.
This was all that you needed to know about Skoda cars in India. The brand offers unbeatable cars, but all of that effort is let down by the after sales service. The maintenance cost of the skoda is very high, also the network is not very well developed. Other than that, there is nothing to complain about. In fact, each car offers something more than its rivals of even higher price range.
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