1 Oct 2007
AFTER a 25-year absence in Australia, Volkswagen’s Czech brand Skoda was relaunched in October 2007.
Leading the charge were the Roomster and Octavia – two four-cylinder engined models aimed at buyers seeking European style at Japanese prices.
Skoda competes against the likes of the Mazda 6 and Honda Accord heartland with the Octavia – its biggish small-car contender.
Based on the 2003—2009 VW Golf V platform, the Octavia was launched in 16 varieties – seven sedans and nine wagons (including two all-wheel drive models).
Priced from $29,990, there are three Octavia variants – base Ambiente, luxury Elegance and sports RS.
Five four-cylinder engines can be chosen, mated to five-speed or six-speed manual, six-speed Tiptronic automatic, or six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmissions – depending on the model in question.
The Ambiente uses a 77kW/250Nm 1.9-litre TDI turbo-diesel the Elegance offers three engines – a 110kW/200Nm 2.0-litre FSI petrol, 118kW/250Nm 1.8-litre TFSI turbo-charged petrol, or 103kW/320Nm 2.0-litre TDI turbo-diesel units while the RS boasts the 147kW/280Nm 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol powerplant from the Golf GTI.
Besides value, a five-star ENCAP safety rating, Volkswagen group ownership, German technology and high owner satisfaction results in Europe will help sell cars, according to Skoda senior personnel.
Skoda released a diesel-powered RS in late 2008, as well as the model’s first automatic, in the guise of the twin-clutch DSG sequential transmission.
The 2.0-litre common-rail four-cylinder turbo-diesel delivers 125kW of power at 4200rpm and 350Nm of torque from between 1750 and 2500rpm, while returning as little as 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres.
At 8.4 seconds, it is 1.1s slower to 100km/h than the continuing TFSI petrol RS, and concedes 15km/h in the top-speed run, coming in at 225km/h.
Other than that, the TDI is pure TFSI, down to the lowered suspension, sporty body kit and upgraded sports interior.
Octavia RS TFSI buyers had to wait until February 2009 for the new seven-speed DSG version.
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