Our acquaintance with Skoda Octavia
ALL-WHEEL DRIVE WITH SOFT CHARACTER
"Skoda Octavia" debuted in September 1996. The car is created on a single platform with the Volkswagen Golf IV. Since 1998, in addition to the sedan, a wagon has also been produced. 1.4 petrol engines; 1.6; 1.8; 2.0 liters and three 1.9-liter diesel engines (atmospheric and two supercharged) of varying degrees of boost. Transmission - mechanical five-speed or automatic. There is an all-wheel drive modification.
Sergey VOSKRESENSKIY, Anatoly KARPENKOV
It would be illogical if Skoda, successfully trying on all the advanced Volkswagen technologies, would refuse an all-wheel drive transmission with the latest Haldex clutch (it recently appeared on the fourth-generation Golf).
By the will of strategists, it was Octavia Combi that the first all-wheel drive scheme was inherited, that is, a station wagon, with a modest ninety-horsepower 1.9TDi diesel engine.
Outwardly, “Octavia 4x4” does not stand out anything special among its relatives adapted to Russian conditions. The same body, the same tires of dimension 195 / 65R15, and only a modest nameplate on the fifth door gives out its “all-wheel drive”. Of course, if you put the car next to it on a “low”, European suspension (in Russia, most “Octavia” are “high”, adapted), you will immediately notice that the body is raised and the ground clearance is increased. Inside, there are also no noticeable differences - only a bright 4x4 inscription on the gearbox head.
The first features are in the luggage compartment. The cargo compartment of the Octavia 4x4 is clearly smaller, because under the body floor there is a multi-link suspension and an impressive differential box combined with a multi-plate clutch that distributes torque along the axes.
Well, some loss of usable volume for an all-wheel drive is forgivable, but for a station wagon … Let's see if this is offset by the capabilities of the car.
The diesel engine eagerly responds to the turn of the ignition key, filling the interior with an unexpectedly loud, monotonous rumble. Vibrations are very noticeable on the steering wheel, clutch pedal and even door trim. I remember that on the front-wheel diesel 110-horsepower “Octavia” we did not note such “musicality”. We add revolutions a little - the vibrations disappear and the station wagon immediately becomes welcoming and comfortable.
The capabilities of the engine are clearly modest for the all-wheel drive version of the Octavia. His "puffed up" ninety horses is enough only for quiet movement of the car in space. It is necessary to demand more from the car, as you are faced with a lack of torque “on the bottoms”, very noticeable due to the extended gear ratios of the transmission. So it turns out that up to 2000 rpm you are looking forward to a “turbocharged” pickup, and by 4000 rpm the diesel noticeably loses in activity. There remains a rather narrow operating range, requiring frequent gear changes both in the city and on the highway.
All-wheel drive suspension is also very peculiar. On smooth asphalt roads, it seems even too tough: the impression that all the minor bumps are transmitted to the body. But it is worth appearing a gentle wave traditional for our roads, body vibrations are suddenly alarming by increased amplitudes.
On a dry and even surface, the reactions of our ward are simple, understandable and … front-wheel. This is not surprising, because in essence the Octavia 4x4 is a car with an automatically connected rear axle. Therefore, when driving without slipping and slipping, almost all 100% of the torque is transmitted to the front axle of the machine.
We turn onto a slippery road. The very first start off allows you to taste all the advantages of the four driving wheels. The front ones have time to crank a little, and immediately the clutch activates the rear axle. "Octavia", as if forgetting about a modest engine, like a spring loaded breaks down. On a wet snow-ice surface, the reactions of the machines are surprisingly stable and reliable. As if on rails, it is being rebuilt from row to row when overtaking, confidently holds the road on a straight line and in gentle turns. But do not cross the line permitted. Surprise awaits at the first emergency braking - under the dissatisfied chatter of the anti-lock braking system, we rush past the desired outcome - summer tires!
Finally we turn on a special winding track. Alas, Octavia does not like extreme driving. In fast corners, it first “in the front-wheel drive” slides out of the turn, sluggishly reacting to the corrective actions of the driver, and then, as if recalling the rear drive axle, suddenly falls into a deep drift. For its correction, the thrust is already lacking in engine capabilities and you have to work hard on the steering wheel …
Having run into, we turn into a deep rut. “Octavia” is confidently moving forward, despite summer tires and not so much ground clearance, especially since the engine protection is steel, strong, not afraid of contact with the road. Of course, the "Octavia 4x4" is not for off-road, but something this car still allows you.
It's time to summarize the experience. Perhaps, the all-wheel drive “Octavia” in such a performance responds well to the concept of a family wagon. In the configuration SLX with climate control and heated seats, it costs $ 22, 400. It’s a kind of calm, reliable and solid car to drive. There is only one “but”: the back is very crowded - the heavy legacy of the fourth “Golf”, to which “Octavia” is the closest relative.
SЏKODA Octavia COMBI 4x4
General data: number of places - 5; curb weight - 1420 kg; gross weight - 1950 kg; maximum speed - 173 km / h; acceleration time 0–100 km / h - 15.2 s; fuel consumption in conventional suburban and city cycles - 4.9 / 7.3 l / 100 km. Engine: diesel, with direct fuel injection and turbocharging; location - transversely in front; the number of cylinders - 4; working volume - 1896 cmz; cylinder diameter and piston stroke - 79.5x95.5 mm; compression ratio - 19.5; power - 66 kW / 90 l. with. at 4000 rpm; maximum torque - 210 N.m at 1900 rpm. Transmission: all-wheel drive with axial torque distribution through the Haldex coupling; gearbox - manual; gear ratios: I - 3.78; II - 2.06; III - 1.31; IV - 0.92; V - 0.72; reverse gear - 3.6; the main pair is 3.65. Suspension: front - type "McPherson" with anti-roll bar, rear - wishbones and wishbones with anti-roll bar. Brakes: ventilated disc with vacuum booster and ABS. Steering: rack and pinion with power steering.
Reliable behavior on a snowy, slippery, wet road, profitability, makings of off-road qualities, a convenient driver's workplace.
The modest capabilities of the engine, the cramped rear seat, the handling in extreme conditions, wish the best.
This is not the same “quattra"
on which the “driver" (the driver, that is) will be able to satisfy its driver’s ambitions. For this all-wheel drive "Octavia" you need a completely different engine. Perhaps, it will fit the role of the family crew, however, with a reservation about the rear cramp.