2021 Skoda Octavia Mk4 1.5 TSI e-TEC launched in Singapore [first drive review]

By jaytee, 17 June 2021

Singapore - The lineage of Skoda’s Octavia is a rather illustrious one, spanning across four generations with over 6.5 million units sold since the very first model emerged back in 1959.

And here today, we have the latest fourth-generation 2021 Skoda Octavia in two variants; An Octavia liftback sedan (1.5 TSI e-TEC Style trim, priced at S$130,900 at the time of writing) and an Octavia Combi estate (1.5 TSI e-TEC COMBI Style trim, priced at S$137,900 at the time of writing). Don’t be fooled by the size of the Combi though. Both cars actually share identical footprints on the road, with minor height and weight differences because of the extended cab of the Combi.

Apart from the “Style” trim on both of these models, the Octavia is also available in a lower-tier “Ambition” trim (priced at S$123,900 at the time of writing), which still has numerous creature comforts and luxuries. Full LED headlamps and DRLs, 17-inch alloys, a multifunction steering wheel with paddles, a wireless charger for your smartphone, an 8-inch infotainment system, and an Audi-eqsue virtual cockpit to name a few.

On our media test drive, we were handed the keys to the top-spec “Style" models, which were outfitted with gizmos aplenty and more bling. Additional chrome accents the front bumper and edges of the windows, an electronic tailgate on both the liftback and the estate models, and 18-inch rims. Safety systems on both cars include side assist, lane keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert. The Octavia Combi gets additional systems such as adaptive cruise control, front assist with city emergency braking and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Under the hood of all Octavia models, you’ll find a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 150hp and 250Nm of torque. The four-pot is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG box which enables the Octavia to sprint from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds, and just a tenth of a second slower in the Combi. It also comes fitted with a 48V mild-hybrid system, which sees the addition of a separate 48V battery and a belt starter generator to boost torque at low RPMs, or generate electricity to power the car’s ancillaries while the stop/start system is active.

Those stats may seem familiar – after all, it's no secret that Volkswagen is the parent company of Skoda. As such, you’d find the very same engine in the Mk8 VW Golf, albeit without the oddly useful windshield washer cap that doubles as a funnel.

Like the new Golf, the new Octavia is built atop the MQB Evo platform that is also shared with several other cars in VW’s extensive family tree. Power delivery in the Octavia isn’t rapid, nor does it have to be. The DSG shifts between cogs to seamlessly transition into the next higher gear without muddling the ride in the cabin.

Both cars we tested were upholstered in leather, with ambient lighting strips nestled under several trim pieces and the footwells in both front and back seats. Skoda’s new 10-inch “Bolero” infotainment system makes its debut in the Mk4 Octavia, with a touch slider for volume controls and a row of physical buttons under the screen.

The new system operates like most smartphones on the market today, with numerous menus and homepages, remarkably similar to the system in the Mk8 Golf. Drivers also get a new toggle-switch gear lever that operates the 7-speed DSG along with the paddle shifters mounted on the new two-spoke steering wheel. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on both “Style” trim models.

The Octavia Combi, which admittedly I spent more time in, also came fitted a large panoramic sunroof (electronically controlled, of course) and a cavernous boot that could easily accommodate most home furnishings this side of a TV console. You could almost think of it as a VW Golf Variant wearing a different badge, and different body panels. Almost.

According to Volkswagen Group Singapore, bringing in the Octavia iV PHEV is being looked into. VGS is also looking into Category A COE compliant variants of the Octavia. 

Currently, there are no plans to bring in the Volkswagen Golf Variant, but it is not entirely off the table despite the Octavia Combi having a bigger fanbase. But the good news for petrolheads: the hotter Octavia RS is in the pipeline.

PHOTOS Jay Tee

Skoda Octavia Style 1.5 TSI e-TEC
Engine 1498cc, inline4, turbo
Power/rpm 150hp/5000-6000rpm
Torque/rpm 250Nm/1500-3500rpm
Transmission 7spd dual-clutch DSG
0-100km/h 8.5secs
Top Speed 230km/h
Fuel Consumption 5.3l/100km (combined)
CO2 122g/km
VES Band A2

Skoda Octavia COMBI Style 1.5 TSI e-TEC
Engine 1498cc, inline4, turbo
Power/rpm 150hp/5000-6000rpm
Torque/rpm 250Nm/1500-3500rpm
Transmission 7spd dual-clutch DSG
0-100km/h 8.6secs
Top Speed 224km/h
Fuel Consumption 4.8l/100km (combined)
CO2 109g/km
VES Band A2

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