Fourth-generation Skoda Octavia launched in Singapore, with both five-door hatchback and Combi wagon variants available; prices start at S$123,900 with COE
Photos: CarBuyer Team
– New fourth-gen Octavia sold here in five-door liftback and Combi wagon models
– Starts at S$124k with COE for the standard Ambition mode.
– Upper-spec Style variant available, Combi has only this trim level
– All variants will have the 1.5-litre mild hybrid E-Tec drivetrain
– No 1.0-litre model because of VES, Octavia RS to follow possibly this year
– Read our first impressions from behind the wheel in Singapore
First drive impressions: The Skoda Octavia 1.5 e-TEC Style
First drive impressions: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.5 e-TEC Style
SINGAPORE – Skoda has launched the all-new fourth-generation Octavia in Singapore, and Skoda Centre Singapore has announced that both the regular five-door liftback as well as the Combi station wagon versions will be available for sale here.
Three variants of the Octavia will be offered here, with the entry-level version being the Ambition five-door that retails for S$123,900 inclusive COE. The next trim level up is the Octavia Style, which is seven grand more at S$130,900 with COE. The Combi wagon model is available only with the top-spec Style trim, and goes for S$137,900 including COE. All models will be powered by a 1.5-litre e-TEC 48V mild hybrid drivetrain that produces 150hp and 250Nm of torque.
While there are engine options for the Octavia that will help it net a Cat A COE here, such as a 1.0-litre 110hp inline three, Skoda Singapore’s managing director, Ricky Tay, says that such an engine will be likely to incur penalties under the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES), making it financially unviable to be offered for sale to customers.
“We’re not planning to bring in the 1.0-litre engine at this present time, as it will be penalised under the VES. There will be no additional benefits to us or the customer to offer this engine here as the additional outlay will be paid to the Government in taxes,” says Tay.
The difference in price could be significant, as a car that falls under VES band A2, like the 1.5-litre mild hybrid does, will net a S$15,000 rebate. Whereas should the 1.0-litre powerplant fall under VES band C1 as implied by Skoda, it will incur a S$15,000 penalty, making the overall net difference a whopping S$30,000.
That said, further variants of the Octavia are in the pipeline for Singapore, according to Tay. The hot Octavia RS model is said to be expected ‘soon’, although there’s no confirmation yet as to when exactly it would arrive or in what body style it’ll be offered here. The Octavia iV plug-in hybrid is also being explored for Singapore, with Tay saying that ‘talks and preparations’ are underway to bring the car here.
As to why the Combi wagon is being offered here, Tay says, “We always try to cater to all our customers in Singapore. There are cult followers and fans who like cars like the Combi and our RS models, and if we are able to negotiate with the factory and bring them in, even if it’s not a big volume, we will try to cover our customers’ requests and not deny them what they want.”
We’ve had a short spin in new Octavia Combi: Read Ju-Len’s first impressions here!
The new Octavia is noticeably bigger than its predecessor, with the car being 19mm longer, 15mm wider and 9mm higher than the outgoing car. Wheelbase is unchanged, but Skoda says that rear passengers can enjoy 5mm more legroom. The dimensions are identical for both the five-door and the Combi wagon.
The front end design features narrower headlights and a lower, wider grille, and the overall look mimics the Scala hatchback, and gives the Octavia a clear Skoda family identity. Down the sides, the car’s tornado line signature stretches across the length of the car, and the sleek coupe-like roofline helps emphasises the car’s liftback body style. The rear also gets slimmer taillights and the new ‘Skoda’ script that replaces the logo on the bootlid.
As mentioned earlier, the Octavia will be offered with a 1.5-litre e-TEC engine with a 48V mild hybrid drivetrain. It’s effectively the same setup as the Octavia’s stablemates, the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, and outputs are therefore similar at 150hp and 250Nm of torque. In the Skoda’s application, the drivetrain allows the Octavia to go from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 230km/h.
Like the Golf and A3, the Octavia also features cylinder deactivation technology, which can switch off two of the engine’s four cylinders under light load conditions, and also allow for engine-off coasting. The result is improved efficiency overall, with the five-door recording a fuel consumption figure of 5.3L/100km, and the Octavia Combi getting 4.8L/100km.
The figures are similar to the outgoing model, which used a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, but the new car’s mild hybrid system puts it in VES band A2 and nets a S$15,000 rebate, as opposed to the old car which sat in the neutral VES band B.
Interior and equipment
The Octavia’s overall interior design is broadly similar to the Golf’s, but there are a few crucial notable differences. The infotainment screen is an 8.0-inch item on the Ambition, and rises to 10.0-inch for the Style. Below it sits a button bar that allows quick access to a variety of functions, while there is also a compartment further down the centre console that contains the wireless smartphone charger.
Standard equipment on the base Ambition trim includes the aforementioned wireless charger, the digital Virtual Cockpit instrument panel that’s also seen on the larger Superb, as well as the usual Skoda ‘Simply Clever’ features like the hidden umbrella in the doors, and pockets for your mobile phones at the back of the seats.
The Style trim adds to that the bigger infotainment screen, an electric tailgate, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and active driver safety features like blind spot warning and lane keeping assistance systems.
Opt for the Combi and you not only get more space, but also an extra stack of equipment, such as a panoramic sunroof, a variable boot floor and an automatically retractable boot cover. It also throws in adaptive cruise control and front collision assist with emergency braking, items which are incidentally not offered on the car’s Volkswagen Golf cousin.
In terms of boot space, Skoda claims an impressive 600 litres of cargo capacity for the five-door liftback, expandable to 1,555 litres if the rear seats are folded down. For the Combi wagon, the boot capacity is rated at 640 litres, and increases to 1,700 litres with the rear seats folded.
Our quick take, for now, is that the Skoda Octavia is the de facto replacement for the Volkswagen Jetta. The previous model was sedan-like enough for Singaporean tastes, and the new one is Volkswagen Group Singapore’s tech-relevant and uber-practical sedan-esque offering for the mainstream market – and it’s priced pretty much on par with the VW Golf. Given those who really want a Golf will spring for one, given that car’s status, it’s not so much a case of cannibalism as it is offering customers here more choice.