Experience ultimate driving satisfaction with the newly released Skoda Octavia RS Wagon.

Boosting the Golf GTI: Unleashing power with the versatile all-rounder.

The Octavia was once again the top-selling Skoda for the year, with an impressive 191,900 units delivered. As part of its 2024 update, this popular model is receiving a few changes, including revamped styling, a larger display, and a more efficient selection of engines. Additionally, Skoda is introducing the highly-anticipated RS version, featuring a sleek wagon design and a boost in power.

The Octavia offers a more roomy alternative to the recently revamped Volkswagen Golf, featuring newly designed matrix LED headlights that seem to be melting. These modern lights come with an adaptable glare-free high beam and can be selected as an add-on feature for the lower trim levels, while they come standard on the RS model. Interestingly, Skoda has done away with the distinct lower lights that had been placed within the bumper since the launch of the second-generation Octavia RS facelift in 2009.

The back end of the vehicle remains mostly unchanged, although the potential design for the taillights now exudes a subtle Audi influence. In the new 2024 Octavia, an updated selection of alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 19 inches in size is available, along with striking hues such as Phoenix Orange and Mamba Green. The font used for the make and model has also been subtly updated, while the RS logo at the front and rear has been enlarged.

As expected, the interior of the cabin remains largely unchanged, although there is now an updated infotainment system with a larger 13-inch screen. Additionally, even the base model boasts a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and dual-zone automatic climate control. Skoda has also refreshed the trim and upholstery choices, while still offering the option for ventilated and massaging front seats for an extra fee.

Interestingly, the engine choices available for this vehicle present some noticeable emissions concerns as there is no mention of a plug-in hybrid option. Despite this, the Golf eHybrid model will still be available. Furthermore, the Octavia RS will only come equipped with a gasoline engine, meaning that the previous 2.0-liter diesel option, available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive, has been discontinued. This shift away from the diesel-powered version in the high-performance variant is not surprising considering the declining popularity of diesels in Europe. In fact, recent data published by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) shows that electric cars outsold diesel cars in Europe for the first time last year.

The demise of the Octavia RS diesel is a logical move, considering the tightening regulations on emissions and the fact that this type of vehicle serves a niche market. This decision also aligns with the discontinuation of its counterpart, the Golf GTD. Surprisingly, Skoda remains silent on the fate of the Octavia RS iV plug-in hybrid, while its parent company Volkswagen plans to keep selling the Golf GTE.

The base version of the Octavia has bid farewell to its previous three-cylinder, 1.0 TSI engine and now offers the larger 1.5 TSI as its starting option. This four-cylinder engine is available in both standard and mild-hybrid versions, with power options ranging from 114 hp and 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) to 148 hp and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). The non-electric choices are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 48V models come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All 1.5 TSI variants are front-wheel drive.

The main model, solely front-wheel-drive Octavia RS has been equipped with a enhanced 2.0 TSI motor that now produces 261 horsepower, an additional 20 horsepower when compared to the previous version before it underwent a facelift. This power output is equivalent to the new Golf GTI and maintains a torque of 370 Nm (272 lb-ft). The presence of a clutch pedal is absent, following in the footsteps of Wolfsburg’s DSG-only high-performance hatchback.

In the year 2025, Skoda will unveil a new all-wheel-drive gasoline model equipped with a 2.0 TSI engine tuned to 201 horsepower and paired with a DSG transmission. The power will be distributed to both axles for improved performance. This marks a 13 horsepower improvement from its predecessor’s offering of the same engine. The torque remains unchanged at 320 Nm (236 lb-ft).

In the meantime, there is also an option for a diesel engine, specifically a 2.0 TDI with two different power outputs: 114 hp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) or 148 hp and 360 Nm (266 lb-ft). The first one comes with a manual transmission while the second one is only available as an automatic, both with a front-wheel drive configuration.

In the future, Skoda will be revamping their trim options for the 2024 Octavia to include Essence, Selection, Sportline, and RS varieties. However, they will not be offering their luxury-focused Laurin & Klement version.

As VW has already confirmed the next generation of the Golf will be fully electric, this could potentially be the last major update for the Octavia in its era of traditional combustion engines. Once a separate entity, Skoda has now integrated into the VW Group and has successfully sold over seven million units of its flagship vehicle throughout four iterations. Additionally, an estimated 360,000 versions of the original rear-wheel-drive Octavia were also purchased between 1959 and 1971. In the near future, a similar electric wagon model is set to be released for purchase in 2026.

There is little to no possibility of catching sight of a Skoda in the United States, as former VW Group CEO Herbert Diess firmly rejected the idea during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit a few years ago. It is truly unfortunate because the Octavia RS Combi would make for a fantastic all-around vehicle in America’s exclusive automotive market. Essentially a wagon version of the Golf GTI, it would be perfect for those with limited garage space. While VW does offer a pricier Golf R wagon with 315 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a DSG transmission in select markets, this model remains out of reach in the US.

Source: Skoda

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