Unlike the days of low-CO2 diesel tax specials that were designed to drop below the magical 100g / km threshold, the Octavia iV does not lack performance in its quest for greater tax friendliness. .
It gets peak outputs of 201bhp and 258lb ft, and defaults to electric mode only on startup if there is sufficient load. Select hybrid mode and the power will be best deployed depending on the car. On top of that, you can select three drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport, the first saps a lot of power and the second gives you all of it – so much so that you’ll find yourself spinning the wheels. with even moderate throttle inputs and not just off the line, the chassis is so quickly overwhelmed.
It’s best left in Normal mode, where you can make smooth but fast progress and where the transitions between electric and hybrid power are almost undetectable. However, this transition can be a bit more choppy when slowing down, as well as in more stop-start traffic when the battery is depleted.
Speaking of slowing down, the brakes need a much firmer stroke than initially expected, which takes some getting used to. As well as the absence of true regenerative braking when driving in Normal mode; Release the throttle and the car rolls at about the same speed you took off the throttle, which is a bit confusing. Only going down a hill really engages the car, unless you put it in Sport mode, which adds an aggressive level of regenerative braking.
As for that electric range, on a cold November day, we pulled a little over 30 miles from the battery before it ran out. That’s pretty much typical with other plug-in hybrids tested for about a 25% drop in colder weather, so we would expect a figure closer to 40 miles when the sun rises again.
Dynamically this is not a car to enter, and is geared more towards comfort and trying to hide the extra weight as much as possible. The route is passable; Quite smooth and comfortable when the road is smooth enough, but not too much abrasion on the surface is needed to destabilize the car. Push and you will only encounter the roll and another memory of that extra weight. Gets the job for its intended purpose, is probably about right to describe it.
The interior is anything but offensive. It is a real highlight of the car, feeling a big step forward in terms of quality and technology for Skoda. Long-distance comfortable and well-appointed, but remember those batteries in the trunk mean a penalty of 150 liters in luggage capacity. The 600-liter trunk of Octavias non-iV here amounts to 450 liters.