The next-gen Skoda Octavia has long been coming to the Indian market, but its launch has yet again been delayed. Zac Hollis, Director of Sales and Marketing at Skoda, has tweeted that the executive sedan will now only be launched in India in Q2 of 2021. The next-gen Octavia was originally supposed to be launched in September this year, but it got pushed to Q1 of 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. And from Q1, it has been pushed to Q2. If you have been waiting for the new Skoda to arrive, your wait just does not seem to end.
Skoda has however 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 in India and that can only be a good thing. If you were however 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. On the inside, the dashboard has been completely revamped, at least on the European model. We have not seen the interiors of the India-spec Octavia but it should be largely similar to the European model. The cabin has a very minimalistic theme with minimal use of buttons and most functions concentrated on a floating touchscreen system. 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.
Under the hood, the next-gen Skoda Octavia will be a petrol-only model here in India. There will be two turbo-petrol engine options. Lower-spec variants could be powered by a 150hp, 1.5L TSI petrol engine. This is the same engine that does duty on the Volkswagen T-Roc and Skoda Karoq. Higher-spec variants could be powered by a 190hp, 2.0L TSI engine. Both the engines will solely come mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Currently, the executive sedan segment in India only has the Honda Civic and the Hyundai Elantra. Naturally, the Skoda Octavia will take the competition up to these cars in an otherwise obsolete segment. It must however be noted that both the Elantra and the Civic get a diesel engine option and it could be a let down for some that the Octavia will not get a diesel engine. It should however continue with its image of being a stylish, premium, fun-to-drive sedan.