Should we drive purely electrically or with a combustion engine? The middle ground works, even very well, as shown in the practical test with the Octavia Combi as a plug-in hybrid.
The Skoda Octavia Combi is popular with families because it offers a lot of space. It is also in demand as a company car, because with its powerful and efficient engines, it makes many business trips fly by. The Czech all-purpose weapon has recently also become available with a plug-in hybrid drive. And this variant also has the potential to convince both fan groups at the same time. On top of that, the double-hearted Czech attracts with a rich innovation bonus.
Lots of space in the interior
Utility nerds are likely to sober up the bare figures at first: Thanks to the large battery and high-voltage technology, the otherwise 640 to 1.700 liter trunk of the Combi in the iV shrinks to 490 to 1.555 liters. That sounds like a lot less, but even in everyday family life you can get along well with this space. The rear is still very spacious, and there is ample space in the rear, even for adults. You never actually experience the reduced storage space as a real limitation. An electric tailgate and typical Clever solutions from Skoda also make everyday driving easier. The charging cables also fit well under the removable intermediate floor, which ensures that the trunk floor is perfectly level right up to the front seats.
The mix of a 115 hp electric motor and the 150 hp 1,4-liter four-cylinder can even be seen as the opposite of doing without. In concert, they provide an impressive system output of 150 kW / 204 PS and 330 Newton meters of torque. But first it's a leisurely and thus purely electric tour of the city. We drive quietly, but not silently, because although the engine makes no noise, a sound generator warns other road users discreetly and yet effectively. When the 13,0 kWh battery is full, the on-board computer initially indicated a purely electric range of 45 kilometers. After a few kilometers of efficient driving in an urban environment, the electric range has even increased in the meantime. Skoda promises over 60 kilometers purely electrically, in practice the truth in city traffic will probably be slightly less. Those who consistently use electricity do not feel underpowered by any means. Even in E mode, the propulsion looks effortless and lively. This also applies on the motorway, because at least 130 km / h are possible, which allows you to swim along without any problems even with an emission-free driving style. However, if you go on a motorway tour with a fully charged battery, you have to watch the electric range shrink significantly. In our case it was practically enough for only 34 kilometers.
Depending on the use or route, the part-time electricity can be driven more or less electrically. And accordingly, the gasoline consumption can also vary greatly. The perhaps optimistic manufacturer value of 1,4 liters per 100 kilometers is practically possible in any case. However, it can also be significantly more. On our motorway tour, the fuel consumption with cruise control 130 increased from zero to 100 liters after 4,7 kilometers. After 200 kilometers at the same speed it was 5,4 liters. Then we pushed the pace a little more and drove the average value to 6,5 liters. If you are faster on the road and at the same time eager to recharge the battery from time to time, you will end up at about this level. Anyone who never drives electrically and, above all, fast, will drive consumption even higher. That can easily happen because the drive tempts you to take brisk left lane rushes. It is impressive how easily and quickly the 1,7-ton truck reaches the top speed of 220 km / h. In the case of intermediate sprints, there is also the lush and addictive torque of the electric motor, which repeatedly provides additional momentum in propulsion and joy for the driver with an extra boost. In interaction with the self-shifting dual clutch transmission, you experience the engine duo as extremely smooth and confident at the same time.
Driving fun remains despite the battery
There is a small downer, because the chassis of the Octavia does not always feel quite as smooth and balanced as in variants with a pure combustion engine due to the extra pounds from the battery and electric motor. The substructure sometimes reacts more bumpy to unevenness, while the vehicle appears less articulated when cornering. But even with spicy left-right maneuvers, there is still more than enough driving fun potential to make even more ambitious drivers happy.
Another catch of the Octavia iV could be the price, which might go beyond some limits. It only starts at 37.640 euros with the medium equipment Ambition, which has a lot to offer, but is also expandable. Anyone who orders three or four of the attractive equipment packages such as the Columbus infotainment bundle is more likely to end up at 45.000 euros. Thanks to the innovation bonus of 7.110 euros, the iV can still be a snap, because minus this, the plug-in hybrid with the same equipment is a few hundred euros cheaper than the Octavia Combi with 1.5 TSI and DSG. On top of that, virtually free of charge, the iV offers more power and the wonderful e-boost, including the option of driving shorter distances purely electrically and thus locally emission-free. If you have a socket in the parking lot, you can even use it very often in everyday life.
Oversized compact station wagon, length: 4,69 meters, width: 1,83 (with exterior mirrors 1,99) meters, height: 1,48 meters, wheelbase: 2,68 meters, trunk volume: 490 to 1.555 liters
1,4-liter four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine and electric motor, system output 150 kW / 204 PS, maximum torque: 330 Nm, six-speed DSG, 0-100 km / h: 7,8 s, Vmax: 220 km / h, average consumption: 1,4 l and 11,6 kWh, test consumption: 6,5 liters, CO2 emissions: 31 g / km, efficiency class: A +, emissions standard: Euro 6d, battery size: 13,0 kWh, electric range: 61-69 km, Price: from 37.640 euros
Skoda Octavia Combi iV - brief description:
Why: Because you want to reconcile unrestricted suitability for everyday use and electric driving
Why not: Because the Octavia Combi with diesel offers more range with less consumption and more storage space
What else: Kia Ceed SW PHV, Peugeot 508 SW PHV, Seat Leon Sportstourer e-Hybrid