Neo Fluidic Hyundai Elantra or new Skoda Octavia: Which one should you buy?

Jan 18 2014, 12:24 IST
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Skoda Octavia and Hyundai Elantra are the two cars that will fight it out in the Indian executive segment. Skoda Octavia and Hyundai Elantra are the two cars that will fight it out in the Indian executive segment.
SummaryWhile Elantra is the current crowd favourite Octavia comes across as the more sensible car. Which one should you buy?

space all around, the sliding roof eats into the rear headroom space and tall passengers may not appreciate this. One nice feature the Elantra has is cooled front seats, which can turn your drive very comfortable in hot Indian summers.

Lucid—that’s the word to describe Octavia’s interiors. The layout is clean, buttons are easy to reach and the soft-touch dashboard feels premium. The steering wheel is good to hold and rotary audio controls work well. The cabin appears to be more user-friendly than the Elantra’s and there are lots of sensible storage slots. A longer wheelbase ensures very spacious rear seating area and the rear headroom, too, is voluminous.

Under the hood

The Elantra comes with two engine options: The 1.8L dual VTVT petrol that produces a maximum power of 149.5ps@6500rpm and a torque of 18.1kgm@4700rpm; and the 1.6L CRDi VGT diesel that has power and torque figures of 128ps@4000rpm and 26.5kgm@1900-2750rpm, respectively.

The Octavia comes with three engine options: The 1.4 TSI petrol that produces a maximum power of 140ps@4500-6000rpm and a torque of 25.5kgm@1500-3500rpm; the 1.8 TSI petrol produces a huge power of 180ps@5100-6200rpm; and the 2.0 TDI diesel that has power and torque figures of 143ps@4000rpm and 32.6kgm@1750-3000rpm, respectively.

On the road

We extensively drove the petrol versions of both cars and because, on paper, Skoda offers more powerful engine options, this gets reflected on the road too. While Octavia’s 1.4 TSI matches up to Elantra’s 1.8L VTVT in both drivability and outright acceleration, the former’s 1.8 TSI clearly outclasses the Elantra—the 180 horses it produces literally shoot the car ahead. The Elantra, on the other hand, has a slightly quieter cabin and refinement on the move is impressive, and you feel almost zero vibrations through the controls.

While the Octavia rides well on city roads, it is on the highway where it is superlative. We touched high three-figure speeds and the Octavia was stable as ever at any speed. The Elantra, on the other hand, isn’t very comfortable at high speeds and especially on broken highways, but within city limits, the Elantra does its job of absorbing bumps very well.

Practicality

The base petrol Elantra will cost you R12.82 lakh while the top-end automatic petrol comes for R15.05 lakh. The price for the entry-level diesel is R13.24 lakh while the top-end automatic diesel comes for R16.18 lakh.

On the other hand, the 1.4 TSI Octavia petrol begins from R13.95 lakh and the 1.8 TSI petrol will

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