2021 Skoda Octavia Combi - First impressions in Singapore

Leow Ju-Len
2021 Skoda Octavia Combi in Singapore

Skoda’s now offering the station wagon version of the Octavia in Singapore – will Skoda’s gamble pay off and convert Singaporean drivers to the estate side?

Photos by The CarBuyer Team

These First Impressions are from a short stint behind the wheel, so are less comprehensive than a full test drive/review. To get up to speed on the launch of the fourth-generation Skoda Octavia Combi in Singapore read our local launch story with pricing, spec details and more

SINGAPORE — The Skoda Octavia Combi is big news for the Czech brand in Singapore this week. The fourth-generation of Skoda’s admirable liftback was always going to go on sale here, but now we get the option of the wagon or “Combi” version.

New Skoda Octavia 1.5 e-TEC in Singapore

That’s a gamble on Skoda’s part, because as a rule, wagons don’t sell well in Singapore. In contrast they make up the majority of sales in some European countries for many model lines — In Italy you’re more likely to spot an Audi A6 Avant or BMW 3 Series Touring than the four-door version of either car, for example.

Could the Combi be the breakthrough wagon for Singapore? Buyers will really have to want one. With a launch price of S$137,900 with Certificate Of Entitlement, the Octavia Combi Style costs S$7,000 more than the Octavia Style.

Obviously, you get more cargo capacity for the money. The Octavia has a huge boot in general, but going the wagon route takes you to 640 litres in the back and 1,700 with the seats folded (as opposed to 600 and 1,555 litres in the liftback).

Skoda Octavia Combi boot space 600 litres

On first impression the two cars drive similarly, meaning the Octavia Combi picks up speed smoothly and smartly while the steering is light and responsive.

You can check out chief editor Derryn’s impressions of the Octavia Style here, but just know there’s very little to choose between wagon and liftback in terms of the experience behind the wheel.

Both cars let a surprising amount of tyre rumble through into the cabin on the highway, and in the Combi there seems to be a smidgen of extra boominess. One irritation: when the sunlight hits the strips of chrome on the doors just so, the light bounces up into your face.

Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine how anyone would feel shortchanged by an Octavia. It’s well-equipped (although front power seats would have been nice), the infotainment and virtual instruments are modern, it all feels solidly put together, the cabin is neat without being charmless, it’s damn spacious inside and occupants are surrounded by (seven) airbags. Family men, look here.

The Combi also comes with a panoramic glass roof, which makes the cabin feel even bigger than it is.

Apart from that nice touch, what the Combi offers is a dash of flash — driving a wagon here guarantees you won’t lose your car in a crowded lot. There’s a panoramic glass roof to let light pour into the cabin, and the extra cargo capacity just screams “lifestyle”. Family men with a mountain bike, golden retrievers or fun stuff to haul around, look here.

READ MORE: The latest on CarBuyer!


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Leow Ju-Len

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