The fourth-gen Skoda Octavia, unveiled back in November 2019, has long been due for the Indian market and its launch now seems to be just around the corner. Zac Hollis, Director of Sales, Service and Marketing at Skoda Auto India, has tweeted that the fourth-gen Octavia will be launched in India towards the end of April, with deliveries beginning from May 2021. The new Octavia was anyway set to arrive before the market launch of the Skoda Kushaq, which itself is expected to launch sometime in June 2021.
The 2021 Skoda Octavia will be powered by VW Group's 2.0L TSI engine. This engine already does duty on the Skoda Superb and it produces 190hp and 320Nm of torque. It solely comes mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. If it continues in the same spec of tune, the upcoming Octavia should be a hoot to drive with the 7-speed DCT gearbox. The Skoda Superb with the 2.0L engine does the 0-100kph sprint in about 8 seconds. When this engine is put in the much lighter Octavia, performance should be plenty. Skoda could also offer the 150hp 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine from the Volkswagen T-Roc and Skoda Karoq on lower trims of the Octavia.
Skoda has been spied testing the next-gen Octavia on our roads on quite a few occasions, sometimes even uncamouflaged. Based on what we have seen from the spy shots, the India-spec Octavia will be pretty similar to the one that's sold in Europe. The design of the next-gen Octavia is in line with the current Superb. If, however, you were a fan of the split headlamps of the outgoing car, Skoda has unfortunately ditched that for a more conventional design, again, quite similar to that of the Superb. The buttery honeycomb grille, however, continues and so do the C-shaped LED tail lamps at the rear.
The next-gen Octavia will also be very well appointed in terms of features and equipment. The interiors are properly premium with a floating touchscreen, digital instrument cluster and most buttons replaced with touch-based controls. We have not seen the interiors of the India-spec Octavia but it should be largely similar to the European model. The dashboard has a beautiful layered design and it will be loaded with features such as dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, a branded sound system, powered front seats, and cruise control.
All this should not, however, suggest to you that it will be considerably more expensive than its rivals. The new Octavia is likely to be priced from around INR 18 lakh, putting it exactly in the ball park of the Hyundai Elantra - its only existing rival in the Indian market after Honda pulled the plug on the Civic in India. If Skoda manages to get the pricing right, it could shake up the segment and probably even bring in some SUV buyers as well.