Škoda is seen in Europe as a more affordable option for Volkswagen’s products. Instead of paying for a Golf, get a Scala and save almost 20 percent right away for the same tech. Volkswagen does not sell a liftback or a sedan on the compact segment – C, for the Europeans – but Škoda fills that gap with the new Octavia. For the first time with a plug-in hybrid option. You'll know you're in front of one for the charging port on the left front fender.
Gallery: Fourth-Generation Skoda Octavia Will Offer Plug-In Hybrid Option
The new Octavia borrows the MQB platform from the Golf and serves it with a roomier body. Instead of 2.64 m of wheelbase (103.9 in), the Octavia has 2.69 m (105.9 in), or 5 cm more that reflect into more legroom for the rear passengers. Both the station wagon and the liftback are 4.69 m (184.7 in) long, 1.47 m (57.9 in) tall, and 1.83 m (72.1 in) wide. Škoda did not inform how much the station or the liftback weight – a crucial piece of info regarding efficiency.
We just got to know that the liftback has a very low drag coefficient of 0.24, while the station wagon gets 0.26. It is a pity we do not have the frontal area of the cars, but the air resistance should be among the lowest in their segment.
Their plug-in hybrid options will be very similar to the one Volkwagen adopted for the Golf VIII PHEV. A 115 kW (154 hp) 1.4-liter turbocharged four-pot engine is mated to a 75 kW (101 hp) electric motor. Due to integration losses, they deliver just 150 kW (201 hp) in total. Torque reaches 350 Nm (258.2 lb-ft).
The Volkswagen group has a more fuel-efficient engine, the 1.5 TSI, but it has probably decided to use the 1.4 TSI to bring costs down in the plug-in hybrid version of the Octavia – and the Golf. The 13-kWh battery pack helps the Škoda run 55 km (34.2 mi) in both bodies in the WLTP cycle.
The penalty for having the battery pack is losing 150 liters (5.3 ft³) of space in the luggage compartment. From 600 l, the liftback goes to 450 l. The station wagon goes from 640 l to 490 l. Running with no need to stop at a gas station as much as possible will probably compensate that.