Displaying items by tag: Skoda
- It's an Enyaq, so it'll be easy to live with
- Roomy, inviting interior
- Long-range from biggest battery pack
- Likely to cost more than standard Enyaq
- infotainment less intuitive than rivals
- Above average road noise
The four-door Skoda hatchback was always known as the sensible option of these cars over its many generations, so does this new latest version of Octavia carry on that trend after a big injection of 2021 tech?
The hatch is 19mm longer and 15mm wider than before, and the already cavernous boot has increased in volume by 10 litres to 600 litres for the hatch variant – absolutely massive for something running in the same class size as the VW Golf. LED lights are standard, front and rear.
The biggest change, though, is inside. It’s even tidier and airier in here than before and there are new, posher (and genuinely lovely) materials adorning the dashboard, doors (including slick new doorhandles) and an attractively retro two-spoke steering wheel. All models to have been introduced so far have cruise control, digital instruments, dual-zone air-con and wireless Apple CarPlay as standard.
As we’ve mentioned, the Octavia also now uses tech from the Mk8 Golf, meaning all-new software for the free-standing infotainment system. This system upgrade (if you can call it that, which we’ll get to soon) has minimised the number of buttons. New tech options to be made available include LED matrix headlights and a head-up display, along with ‘Ergo’ front seats with massage function.
Let’s get out on the road, please
Don’t come here for driving thrills (the hot vRS version will sort you out there), instead just get comfortable and cruise, as it's all just very pleasant. Not blow-your-mind amazing, but far from rubbish either; the manual has a sweet shift to it and is accompanied by a light clutch. The brakes have plenty of feel and the steering weight is well-judged; light n’ easy in town and relaxed with some additional weighting on the motorway.
What excels is the ride; our test car rode on 18s – the highest size you can spec on a regular Octavia – and, even so, the suspension delivers impressive balance. It’s a little roly-poly in the corners, but bigger lumps are still smoothed out with aplomb and there’s not much road noise either.
Our test car was a manual-equipped 1.5 TSI with 148bhp. The engine itself is already familiar to us in recent years driving VW Group products, and it’s still an engine we recommend. It’s fast enough, though feels a little breathy at the top end – you’re better served by juggling the ratios and using the torque band instead. It’s also tremendously hushed; barely a grumble is heard even at higher revs. Cylinder deactivation under low throttle loads will help your economy, too – we were seeing high 40s during our drive.
Is it still as practical as ever?
Yes and no. It’s a gripe that’s plagued the latest Golf, and it’s one that we have to begrudgingly talk about here, too: the infotainment. While that new, central display does wonders for cleaning up the cabin and the digital instruments mean you don’t have to look over at the middle screen as much, the method in which you activate or change simple controls requires going through sub-menu after sub-menu.
Changing the air con temperature or fan speed, plumbing in an address into the navigation or even changing the drive mode feels like more of a faff than it ought to be; the old Discover infotainment used by Skodas (and VWs) of old was much more intuitive. There are also varying sensitivity issues; the central screen is hypersensitive to touch, so much so that you could scroll down a menu when you just wanted to tap at something, while the flat volume touchbar just below the central screen can either barely recognise your input or quickly deafen you if you stroke it awkwardly. Just use the steering wheel controls.
Elsewhere, though, the Octavia is still as roomy as ever. Rear legroom can hold the lankiest of adults, and you can’t forget that huge 600-litre boot is bigger than some estate cars out there. Skoda also still boasts about its little Simply Clever touches, so you still get an umbrella in the drivers’ door, a ticket holder in the windscreen, an ice scraper in the fuel cap and so on.
Skoda Octavia: verdict
It’s a shame that the infotainment system has taken a step in the wrong direction, frustrating enough to lop off an entire usability star on our verdict. Considering you’re going to use it constantly, we suspect it will take some time to get used to; perhaps Skoda has made its Octavia too Simply Clever for its own good.
But, other than that, Skoda has pulled it off once again. The Octavia is still a no-nonsense family hatch that rides well, is pleasant to drive, delivers good value and is still as roomy as it always has been.
|Price when new:||£25,150|
|On sale in the UK:||Now|
|Engine:||1498cc turbocharged four-cylinder, 148bhp @ 5000rpm, 184lb ft @ 1500rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive|
|Performance:||8.2sec 0-62mph, 142mph, 42.2-50.4mpg, 127-153g/km|
|Weight / material:||1338kg|
|Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):||4689/1829/1470mm|
In order to complete its permanent exhibition, the Škoda Museum in Mlada Boleslav is now hosting a special exhibition "120 years of Škoda Motorsport", which gives visitors an insight into the most important successes of Škoda Auto in motorsport. Numerous exhibits, information boards and interactive elements provide fans of the brand with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of races and rallies. The special exhibition will last until March 20, 2022.
Thanks to unique photographs, original film footage of Škoda vehicles on racetracks, interesting information boards and modern posters, visitors can dive deep into the history of the Czech car manufacturer. The collection also features a spectacular wall of fame with a large selection of trophies.
Andrea Frydlová, director of the Škoda Museum in Mlada Boleslav, explains: “With the new special exhibition“ 120 years of Škoda Motorsport ”, Škoda is marking its long line of success in motorsport. The "starting pistol" was fired in Paris on June 27, 1901, when Narcis Podsednicek set off on a three-day race to Berlin on a Laurin & Clement motorcycle. Numerous victories followed, world championships won, records and other triumphs of his successors, which led to the formation of today's Škoda Motorsport team with Fabia Rally2 evo rally vehicles. This year's Museum Night on September 24 will be dedicated to motor sports, and a tour of the new exhibition is available. "
The five original race cars are the highlight of a special exhibition, and the real spectacle is the 1903 single-cylinder Laurin & Klement BZ motorcycle dating back to the early days of motorsport, while the L&K FC (1909) represents the company's first generation of race cars. The Škoda Sport, which took part in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race (1950), is also part of the exhibition.
The past 30 years of motorsport at Škoda have been marked by two rally cars: the Škoda Octavia WRC (2003) and the Škoda Fabia R5 (2019). The exclusive collection is rounded off by the Škoda 130 RS (1978) and the Škoda Fabia S 2000 (2015) from the museum's permanent exhibition. Other vehicles of the brand can be seen in a special hall next to the publicly accessible museum, in agreement with the museum service for visitors.
We hit the road in a prototype version of the all-electric Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV 80
Almost as practical and as clever as ever, it appears the Skoda Enyaq Coupe will offer few drawbacks over its conventional counterpart. Skoda has never been one for compromise, and on this evidence, that trend looks set to continue long into the future.
Skoda has dabbled with coupes in the past, but most recently it’s come to be known for its humble family hatchbacks, cavernous estate models and spacious SUVs rather than anything you’d conventionally call stylish, or fashionable.
But not one to get left behind, the Czech maker is gearing up to launch a coupe version of its pure-electric Enyaq SUV later this year. Set to be revealed in December, the Enyaq Coupe iV will go on sale in the UK in January next year, with first customer cars arriving in early summer 2022.
It’ll get all the same battery and motor combinations as the existing Enyaq SUV, meaning a choice of iV 60 (58kWh battery, 177bhp) and iV 80 (77kWh, 201bhp) models, plus a range-topping iV 80X with all-wheel drive and 261bhp. A performance-focused vRS version is planned for later.
To get a taste of what’s in store, we were given the chance to try a camouflaged version of the 4.65m-long Skoda SUV on European roads. Identical from nose to B-pillar, the Coupe’s smoother, more rakish roofline and the subsequent changes inside are the big news here.
These tweaks are arguably best sampled from the rear seat, then. Every version gets a fixed, full-length panoramic roof, but thanks to special heat reflecting glass, the car doesn’t require a roller blind. This frees up space in the back, where only those over six foot will find their heads brushing the roof; knee room is particularly generous, while the MEB platform’s flat floor means even those in the middle can get comfortable.
The boot shrinks, but only marginally – from 585 litres in the standard Enyaq, to 570 litres in the Coupe. It’s a decent shape, and unless you’re regularly loading the car to the roof you’re unlikely to notice the slightly smaller capacity; there’s a big, deep well under the floor that’s perfect for storing the car’s charging cables, too.
Speaking of which, Skoda says that developments in battery technology mean that the Enyaq Coupe will launch with brand-new ‘ME3’ software enabling not only faster peak charging, but a flatter charging curve. While bosses couldn’t confirm charge times at this stage, we can expect the Coupe to better the current flagship Enyaq’s 125kW maximum, as well as slightly reducing the 10-80 per cent charge time of 34 minutes.
In terms of range, a more favourable drag coefficient means the Enyaq Coupe is, Skoda says, capable of “10 to 15km” (6-9 miles) more than the conventional car on a single charge. That should mean, for this iV 80 model, somewhere in the region of 340 miles – versus 331 in the normal Enyaq. The figures haven’t yet been homologated, but in any case, the difference is likely to be negligible in real-world driving.
From behind the wheel, the Coupe is near-enough indistinguishable from any Enyaq we’ve driven to date. Refinement is excellent, tyre noise is non-existent, and wind noise was barely noticeable. This is largely true of the standard SUV too, of course, despite its boxier shape.
The suspension and chassis feel stiff, but never uncomfortable – aided by smooth roads, the smallest 19-inch wheels, and our Enyaq’s adaptive dampers. The steering is on the weightier side compared with rivals, but lacks the finesse or sharpness found on a Ford Mustang Mach-E, for example.
On-paper, performance is little more than satisfactory alongside, say, a Tesla Model 3, although that doesn’t dent its appeal. You still get that shove of instant torque, but without constantly having to watch your throttle inputs or your speed via the standard-fit digital instrument cluster. Figures haven’t been confirmed, but we expect 0-62mph in around eight seconds and a top speed of around 100mph.
We mentioned that the Enyaq Coupe is visually identical to its standard sibling from the B-pillar forwards – and it’s the same story inside. The cabin is finished in high-grade materials, customisable via Skoda’s range of Loft, Suite, Lounge, EcoSuite and Sportline trims. The overall layout feels familiar, but the climate controls remain hidden in the central infotainment display – frustrating if you want to adjust the temperature or fan speed on the move.
Prices and specs will be revealed alongside the full production car in December, but we expect the Coupe iV to command a circa-five per cent premium over the standard SUV, with prices from around £33,500.
|Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV 80|
|Engine:||77kWh battery, single electric motor|
|Transmission:||Single-speed auto, rear-wheel drive|
|0-62mph:||8.0 seconds (est)|
|Top speed:||100mph (est)|
|Range/CO2:||340 miles (est), 0g/km|
|Charging:||10-80% @ 125kW+ in 30 minutes (est)|
|On sale:||January 2022|
The new Skoda Fabia has all the credentials to challenge the very best in the supermini class
The new Skoda Fabia shows lots of promise on this early drive; it’s comfortable, spacious, neatly finished and packed with lots of clever features and useful technology. Pricing - particularly those crucial monthly finance rates - will determine its overall standing in the class, but on raw merit it feels every bit the serious rival for the Clio, Fiesta and i20. Be careful on engine choice, though, if you’re planning regular travel with the car fully laden.
The Skoda Fabia is a huge car for the Czech manufacturer - and never more than with the all-new fourth generation. The popular supermini still has to provide a slightly better-value, more roomy alternative to the likes of the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta. But it also has to be cheap enough at its entry point to appeal to customers of the now-discontinued Citigo city car. And due course it’ll also need to satisfy buyers of the Scala, Skoda’s compact family car, which won’t get a successor.
What that all means, in short, is that this Fabia has to be bigger, better and more refined than before, including the sort of technology that customers in the class above expect, while not really raising its price much beyond current levels. No pressure, then Still, Skoda has an ace card up its sleeve, because the outgoing Mk3 Fabia was the last VW Group supermini to be based on the old PQ platform. The new fourth-generation Fabia switches onto the MQB A0 platform, instantly giving Skoda’s designers and engineers more freedom to broaden the Fabia’s remit.
The result is a substantial growth in length - by more than 11cm, in fact. And almost all of that goes into the wheelbase, in a bid to improve rear cabin space. The boot capacity increases too, mind; it’s up by 50 litres, to a Golf-rivalling 380 litres, although this is still a little down on what you’ll find in our class favourite, the Clio.
Under the skin, Skoda has resisted the temptation to spend money developing mild-hybrid powertrains (now offered in the Hyundai i20 as well as the Fiesta). Instead the engine line-up looks rather familiar, with a pair of normally aspirated MPI three-cylinder motors, producing 64bhp and 79bhp and both delivering 0-62mph times worryingly beyond 15 seconds, and then two more TSI turbocharged three-pots, with 94bhp and 109bhp.
What we’re driving today is pretty much the likely sweet spot of the UK Fabia range: the TSI 1.0-litre engines in both states of tune, and both with manual gearboxes - a five-speed in the 94bhp, a six-speed in the 108bhp. Skoda sources suggest the more modest of these configurations is likely to be the best seller in the UK, although the split may be closer if the Fabia does succeed at pulling in family car customers.
Entry-level cars will stick with conventional dials but many Fabias will get a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel that’s crisp and clear. The core of the UK range will have an eight-inch infotainment system - again, straightforward to use and spared the dubious honour of controlling heating and ventilation, because you get regular switches for that. A larger 9.25-inch set-up will also be available.
There are plenty of big-car features on offer, depending on trim level and how much you’re prepared to spend on options. Dual-zone climate control is on the list, along with heating on the windscreen and steering wheel, up to five USB-C ports and wireless smartphone charging. Skoda claims the car features a record 42 of its ‘Simply Clever’ touches too; the Fabia now gets Skoda’s trademark umbrella in the door armrest, plus a neat pen holder at the base of the dashboard and a removable central storage box for the back-seat passengers.
On the road, the Skoda quickly makes a strong case for being the most accomplished of all the VW Group superminis. The steering is direct and nicely weighted, and the suspension set-up is definitely softer than in the likes of the SEAT Ibiza, so even with its relatively simple layout - MacPherson struts at the front, and a torsion beam at the rear - the Fabia does a great job of dialling out bumps and potholes, particularly at lower speeds around town.
The compromise is body control that can get out of phase and require a second stab at mid-corner bumps, so the Skoda isn’t really a car that appreciates being thrown around at speed. But it’s comfortable and composed most of the time.
The engines are where the Fabia might find it toughest to fulfil family car duties. The 94bhp unit is refined enough once you’re up and running, but getting to that point requires some patience. There’s not much grunt at all below around 2,300rpm, and there’s a noticeable delay as it spools up before delivering the required shove. It’s acceptable around town, we’d say, but going anywhere in a rush with four occupants and luggage would require a little patience, along with tolerance of a fair bit of three-cylinder thrum.
The 108bhp is stronger all round, with a slightly quicker response and noticeably more punch when it does kick in. It’s happier at motorway cruising speeds too, aided by that extra ratio in the transmission, and we doubt it would really be much less efficient in real-world use. Given that any price gap between the pair is bound to narrow when boiled down to monthly PCP rates, we’d try to find the extra few quid per month for the more potent engine.
Skoda has prepared a new equipment package for its bestseller, so the fourth generation Octavia model will now be offered for the first time in a more dynamic edition - Sportline. It will, therefore, be a version just below the sporty Octavia RS model.
Situated between the Style trim level and the sporty Octavia RS model, the new Sportline variant brings black exterior elements, a three-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel, sports seats with integrated headrests and, perhaps best of all, the option to order with DCC dynamic chassis control.
On the outside, the Sportline Octavia differs from the others in the front splitter, as well as in the grille frame and the Skoda inscription on the tailgate, which comes in a glossy black color. The rear is also a black diffuser with chrome elements, while the hatchback version also boasts a black rear spoiler.
Standard equipment for the Octavia Sportline includes black 17-inch Pulsar alloy wheels, and metallic black 18-inch Vega wheels are also available as an option, and exclusively for Sportline 19-inch black polished Taurus alloy wheels. The front wings are decorated with Sportline badges.
In terms of engines, the Škoda Octavia Sportline is available with petrol and diesel engines, a natural gas (CNG) version, as well as plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid technology and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Output power ranges from 85 kW (115 hp) to 150 kW (204 hp). The 110 kW (150 hp) 1.5 TSI petrol can be ordered with the optional 7-speed DSG transmission and mild-hybrid technology, while the 140 kW (190 hp) 2.0 TSI comes standard with a DSG transmission and all-wheel drive.
The 2.0 TDI diesel can be ordered with 85 kW (115 hp), 110 kW (150 hp) and 147 kW (200 hp).
The Octavia iV Sportline is a 150 kW (204 hp) plug-in hybrid, while the G-TEC version on compressed natural gas (CNG) delivers 96 kW (130 hp).
In the cabin, the Octavia Sportline is inspired by the level of Style equipment and includes Piano Black decorative strips. The sports seats have integrated headrests and are equipped with specially breathable ThermoFlux upholstery. The multifunctional sports steering wheel has three arms and the Sportline mark, while the decorative sills on the front door have the inscription Octavia. In addition, the new variant of the Czech bestseller also offers well-known Simply Clever solutions, such as a USB-C port on the interior mirror.
The SKODA OCTAVIA won the “Women's World Car of the Year 2020” award in the “Family Car” category.
This is the first success for the Czech car manufacturer within this international award, which is being awarded for the tenth time this year, and which is awarded exclusively by professional car journalists. As one of a total of nine winners in individual categories, the ŠKODA bestseller is now competing for the main prize: the winner of the main award "Women's World Car of the Year 2020" will be announced on March 8 on the occasion of International Women's Day. The jury consists of 48 journalists from 38 countries from Argentina to New Zealand.
The "Women's World Car of the Year" award has been given since 2011, and the jury consists exclusively of professional car journalists. This year, 48 members of the jury from 38 countries evaluated all nine models that were presented between January and December 2020, and first nominated three finalists in each of the nine categories at the beginning. In the "Family Car" category, the OCTAVIA model won and thus qualified as a candidate for the main prize.
The evaluation criteria are, for example, safety, quality, price, design, driving comfort and environmental friendliness.