Stations wagons go a long way back into history books of cars. The name Station wagon or Estate cars comes from the purpose these cars used to fulfil back in the day. These cars were used to make daily runs between railway stations and country estates carrying passengers and their luggage. So estates cars begin life as commercial vehicles.
With the passage of time and cars evolving into more than just a fundamental people’s carrier, station wagons also for many evolved into a lifestyle essential. Station Wagons with its attributes of two-box configuration with an elongated rear cabin for storage and the convenience of a sedan are a must-have for some of the western urban families for decades now.
Though the Estate car culture resided in the Western and European countries all through the 20th century and is prevalent even today. The Subcontinent didn’t get to see Station Wagons until the late 90’s and early 2000s. Several foreign and indigenous brands introduced Estate variants of their sedans in our country during the early 2000s. But those who remember these cars from those days also remember that Station Wagons weren’t able to garner high popularity in the Indian car market.
Still, these were some of the best cars that the Indian market ever received and was also a great success in the International markets. One such car whose sedan counterpart is still considered a proper enthusiasts car was the Skoda Octavia Combi.
The Skoda Octavia Combi looked like nothing else
Skoda Octavia Combi was the Station wagon version of the Skoda Octavia. The Octavia Combi, like most of the Station Wagons, had a similar platform and design as their sedan version. The only way one could tell them apart when viewed from the side and rear with the rear compartment stretched out and hinged out tailgate to offer massive boot space. The Skoda Octavia Combi had similar attributes found on an Estate car. It the Similar sporty design of the Octavia sedan with the enhanced practicality of a Station wagon.
Skoda Octavia Combi | Dimensions
|Length||Width||Height||Wheelbase||Ground Clearance||Boot space|
|Skoda Octavia Combi||4513mm||1731mm||1431mm||2512mm||134mm||548 Litres|
There wasn’t a huge difference between the Combi and the Regular Skoda Octavia in terms of dimensions. The Octavia Combi was a mere 6mm longer than the Octavia sedan and had similar width and wheelbase.
As far as boot capacity is concerned( which is the key aspect for a Station wagon), the Skoda Octavia sedan with its horizontally angled hatchback-style tailgate already had ample amounts of boot space on offer. In fact, there was little no different in the boot space capacity between the Skoda Octavia Combi and its sedan sibling.
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Probably this was the reason that the Skoda Octavia didn’t turn out to as successful as the Octavia in India. People were not interested in spending a premium and also sacrificing the sportiness of a sedan when the difference was so marginal.
What powered the Skoda Octavia Combi?
This was probably the most exciting Station wagon India ever received. The Skoda Octavia Combi came in two variants, the L&K and the vRS. The L&K variant got a 1.9 Litre Diesel engine and the vRS came with a 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine making a strong 149HP and 210Nm of torque. Imagine what a fun-to-drive Station wagon it must’ve been with the Skoda driving credentials in its DNA.
How was the Skoda Octavia Combi priced in 2005?
The Skoda Octavia Combi was priced between Rs. 13.9 Lakh to Rs. 14.26 Lakh ex-showroom. This made it more expensive than the Skoda Octavia and significantly more expensive than the other Station wagons on offer back then.
The Skoda Octavia Combi and its Competition
Octavia Combi didn’t have a direct competitor in the Indian market. Other Station wagons in the country Included the Maruti Baleno Altura, Tata Indigo Marina, Fait Weekend, etc. All these cars were much cheaper than the Octavia Combi and despite being reasonable saw no takes themselves as well. So a Station wagon for Rs. 15 lakhs in 2005 in India, made no sense at all.
Since a very few Octavia Combi(s) were sold in the country, makes the car a very rare find today. If you find one in neat condition today, odds of which are very few, it could turn out to be an interesting buy.