Compare and choose Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia. Photos, characteristics and test drive of cars

Compare and choose Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia. Photos, characteristics and test drive of cars

31 July 2021
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(4 voices, on average: 4.3 out of 5)

Skoda meets with the light of matrix headlights and silence inside after a solid slam of the driver’s door. I felt like I was deaf. Other senses work: there is a pleasant smell, I see a steering wheel reminiscent of the past S-class, large displays with a cute picture, alcantara on the front panel, contour lighting threads… Has Octavia gone for a promotion? But it does not go much better than its predecessor, and this stagnation is especially noticeable against the background of the progress that the Elantra demonstrates with the change of generations.

It is also not perfect, but at least it provides a higher smooth ride than Skoda. He pays less attention to the micro-profile, including thanks to the 17-inch wheels (Octavia has an inch more). It does not give up at the joints of the Third Transport Ring, and artificial irregularities can be taken by running. Objectively, there are enough vibrations — Hyundai does not ignore any average marriage — but the acceleration peaks are smoothed and do not cause irritation. However, on a broken road, the Elantra feels loose. As if its mileage is not 2500 km, but forty times more.

But Hyundai has an even bigger problem with noise insulation. Starting at low speeds, the interior is filled with the hum of tires, which progresses powerfully with the growth of the speedometer readings. And if there is rough asphalt with gravel interspersed under the wheels, then you will not envy the inhabitants of the cabin. At the same time, stones and sand drum in the arches, and if you go in rainy weather, then the water splashes loudly. The atmospheric engine also breaks down, screaming heart-rendingly from under the hood with each intense acceleration.

If you forget about the tantrums of the traffic control system in the lane, Octavia treats the ears more delicately. There is less noise from the road in the cabin, the turbo engine, which works less often at high speeds, does not bother, and the rear semi-independent suspension does not produce a low-frequency hum, as on the previous model. But it shakes on the bumps! Liftback reports on potholes with a special predilection, and on large pits, the stiffness of the suspension is about to turn into cruelty. You can ease your fate a little by abandoning the 18-inch wheels, but the chassis settings are primarily to blame for the unimportant smoothness of the course.

With an active start from the spot, Hyundai maintains a more noticeable pause and is already half a second behind by 60 km/h ― 4.6 seconds versus 4.1 with one person in the cabin and a full tank. Both cars keep a straight line well, barely reacting to the rut.
With an active start from the spot, Hyundai maintains a more noticeable pause and is already half a second behind by 60 km/h ― 4.6 seconds versus 4.1 with one person in the cabin and a full tank. Both cars keep a straight line well, barely reacting to the rut.

Nevertheless, the same miserable section where the Elantra skips, the Octavia passes more carefully. It is much tougher, but still the breed is felt in this rigidity. And I’m not shaking for nothing — the chassis can be a source of endorphin. After all, Skoda rushes along the bends of the road together, and the effort on the unclouded steering logically increases or falls. The non-switchable stabilization system is liberal and does not immediately fend off a skid after a sharp throttle cover. They keep an active pace and brakes, which are a pleasure to work with at high speed. In the city, the combination of free running and a sharp bite replacing it requires a habit.

It is possible to conduct a 150-horsepower 1.4 TSI turbo engine without problems. The traction “four” is responsive, always ready to accelerate, and when accelerating from a place, it is quite easy to overlap its own passport data by two tenths, gaining 100 km/s in 8.8 seconds according to the Reislozhik, however, with one driver. The eight-speed “automatic” also matches, which throws up the necessary gears in time, quickly and seamlessly goes down even with a slight press on the accelerator. And you will sell from the heart, “hydromechanika” descends four steps without fuss.

Elantra also has a classic “automatic”, and it develops 150 forces. But the atmospheric engine is sluggish at low revs, comes to life a little on medium and pulls convincingly at high speeds. When Octavia is not around, it seems that the Elantra is not inferior to her at the start of the floor. However, the device records 9.9 seconds in the best attempt against the passport 9.8. And when accelerating on the move, both in the city and on the highway, Hyundai is not able to compete with Skoda ― it has much more momentum (250 N•m against 191), it is achieved earlier and in a larger speed range. The convenience of traction control is also so-so: the gas pedal is damped more strongly than in the Octavia, and the six-speed gearbox works slower.

Although the Elantra is ready to move quickly ― tenacious, collected, eager to turn! The rolls are surprisingly smaller, as is the diagonal swing in turns, and there is almost no tendency to skid even with the stabilization system disabled. The car can! But the driver doesn’t want to. The viscous steering wheel is almost devoid of feedback, and the force on it is always the same.

Visibility in the Elantra is better due to less thick front pillars and larger side mirrors. And you can see more back. Both machines have a blind spot monitoring system with a clear indication and a good setup.
Visibility in the Elantra is better due to less thick front pillars and larger side mirrors. And you can see more back. Both machines have a blind spot monitoring system with a clear indication and a good setup.

And there are problems with the brakes traditionally for Korean cars ― they simply cannot withstand active driving with frequent decelerations. The pedal becomes softer, there is a smell of burning … But in calm mode, I liked the brakes even more than Octavia’s ― the efficiency is the same, and the braking intensity is regulated more by the force on the pedal than by the stroke.

In general, the buyers of Elantra were lucky. With such a spectacular appearance and interior, she could drive primitively, and none of the customers were bothered by this. But the engineers have achieved a good balance of the chassis. Plus, in Hyundai, the front seats are more convenient, the geometry of the landing at the back is more accurate, the visibility in the mirrors is better. Elantra is evolving! And yet, I can’t definitely advise you to buy a Hyundai. The Koreans did not report too much noise insulation to the car and went too far with economy. The hood without gas stops, cheap finishing materials, the back of the driver’s seat without a pocket ― an incomplete list of annoying things.

Octavia has a crisis of self-determination. This is almost the most family car in the class. It is more convenient to get in and out of Skoda, it has a more spacious interior. It’s even awkward to talk about the trunk ― a different level of convenience and capacity. But why does the rigidity and noise of the Octavia resemble a Cayman on 18-inch wheels? According to the editor-in-chief, it’s easy to imagine driving a cheap Porsche while driving Octavia in a straight line. Where is the logic here? Moreover, the work in the direction of comfort was clearly carried out: at low speeds, the shock absorbers work more delicately than before, the passage of artificial irregularities is accompanied by a swing. But with the general degree of sports, it’s still too much.

As in the case of Elantra, I would not categorically recommend Octavia, but within the framework of our comparative test, she looks preferable. It is difficult to ignore not only the unattainable convenience and practicality, but also a higher sense of quality, noticeably better sound insulation, a more pleasant power unit and handling. The Czech liftback is simply more technologically advanced than the Korean counterpart. And the Czechs can also tighten the smoothness of the course. Comfortable Karoq will not let you lie.

31 July 2021
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(4 voices, on average: 4.3 out of 5)

Volkswagen Taos. Review of new products, test drive of cars on asphalt and off-road, photos and characteristics

Volkswagen Taos. Review of new products, test drive of cars on asphalt and off-road, photos and characteristics

26 July 2021
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(3 voices, on average: 3.7 out of 5)

However, in the conditions of a total rise in price, it is not so easy to fill it and at the same time remain the same Das Auto. The recipe already worked out on the new Polo helped: the place of the compact crossover was taken by a redesigned Skoda model. Yes, Taos and Karoq are produced at the same Volkswagen group plant in Nizhny Novgorod and have the same body — the only difference is in the “plumage”.

The engines are gasoline — only. The basic 1.6 atmospheric engine develops 110 horsepower. It can only be ordered with a 5-speed “mechanics” and front-wheel drive… And only in the initial configuration of Respect.

All this looks like an “advertising” version, which no one will take as completely out of touch with life. However, Volkswagen, as in the old days, offers both separate options and a package for such cars.

The basic equipment includes LED headlights, 6 airbags, tire pressure sensors, heated front seats and steering wheel, an 8-inch digital “dashboard”, air conditioning, an electromechanical handbrake with auto-hold function, cruise control… and a central armrest. Don’t laugh — in Volkswagen, it has been an option for many years, even on quite expensive models.

ESP, of course, is “in the base”, and it is able to stabilize the trailer and simulate the locking of the inter-wheel differential. Even with the initial 6.5-inch screen, the media system is equipped with Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. There is even an engine start button. However, in the initial configuration, instead of keyless access, there is a regular central lock with remote control.

It would seem that the “living wage” is provided, but there are nuances. Mirrors in sun visors without illumination, wheels-stamped, 16 inches… However, a two-zone climate can be purchased for 20 thousand, and for 35 they offer a “City” package: it has parking sensors and a rear-view camera, two USB connectors in the front and behind (all are Type C), and at the same time a dead zone monitoring system that warns about cross traffic when driving in reverse

We’ve met somewhere

You get comfortable in the interior as if you see it not for the first time. The climate control unit, buttons, the gearbox lever, the steering wheel are familiar. The driver’s seat has a huge range of height adjustments. Finishing materials are budget-friendly, but only those that the inhabitants of the usual salon do not touch. Plastic does not try to imitate veneer, leather, or carbon fiber: it is simply painted in a pleasant metallic gray.

Taos is not remembered, but it does not repel either. It is average-modern. It seems that such a design can now be entrusted to a neural network to save the time of human designers. Which will only have to add some memorable detail. It's like a solid light-guide strip through the entire grid, like on Taos
Taos is not remembered, but it does not repel either. It is average-modern. It seems that such a design can now be entrusted to a neural network to save the time of human designers. Which will only have to add some memorable detail. It’s like a solid light-guide strip through the entire grid, like on Taos

Claims appeared only for strange default settings. The trunk door is always closed, but this is regulated through the menu. And here’s something cooler: if you open the door with the engine running, there is a frantic panic squeak, as if an irreparable catastrophe with human victims is about to happen. I have heard this signal before on some cars — if you open the driver’s door when the machine is not in the parking lot. Something must be done about this alarming cry.

It cannot be said that inside Volkswagen is perceived richer than its sister Skoda: the Carok has a more solid transmission selector, a steering wheel rim with ergonomic tides. In a word, there is parity in the sense of quality. At Taos, the ventilation deflectors are not located on the sides of the central display, but under it. This location has the right to be life-tested by 34-degree heat. And although the climate control works great, a couple of times I had to add the intensity of the blowing, because the automatic mode could not cope.

The electromechanical “handbrake” freed up enough space for cup holders and niches. All the keys are at hand. Unless I would like a physical button for switching traffic modes, especially since there is a stub for it.

By the way, about these modes. They are switched only through the second menu screen (not very convenient) or with a washer at the DSG selector (convenient!). And they are present only on four-wheel-drive cars, but there are as many as seven of them! Eco, Normal, and Sports-this are understandable. There is also a separate mode for snow (road) and an Individual one, which the user (sorry, driver!) configures himself. Plus the Off-road mode and even off-road individual.

Fewer joys are available to the driver of a front-wheel-drive car: the Aisin automatic has a sports mode (the lever from the drive to itself) and manual switching (the lever from the drive to the right). Off-road, you can disable the stabilization system. Of course, if you are sure that the slips will allow you to drive further.

Ground of Doubt

I will not hide that I expected less from Taos on the move. I thought that I was looking at an elevated analog of Polo — the more pleasant it was to make a mistake. And the first discovery is excellent sound insulation by the standards of the class. Even the tires do not bother, and the engine is not heard at all until you properly spur it.

We spent less time on asphalt than on primers of varying degrees of cross-country ability. But it was enough to understand: this is really a Volkswagen. The course is moderately hard, tight. The roll from the machine can be squeezed out only on serpentines.

There are fake exhaust pipes on the rear bumper. What are they for? Perhaps in order to visually unload a large lower element made of unpainted plastic.
There are fake exhaust pipes on the rear bumper. What are they for? Perhaps in order to visually unload a large lower element made of unpainted plastic.

The dynamics feel like sufficient plus a small margin. Regardless of the gearbox, the turbocharged Taos drives out in nine seconds. But this is on-demand because more often it tends to save fuel. Both the automatic and DSG like high gears and are reluctant to go down. The” robot ” used to have such a sin: if you cheer it up with a kick down, the acceleration began only after a noticeable pause.

In part, this feature has been preserved, but it is much less evident. With a good pressure on the gas, the DSG quickly switched from sixth gear to third. On the highway, you can safely drive in sports mode — it seemed to me that DSG works in it not as nervously as on Tiguan, and reacts more quickly when overtaking — and every time it handles 250 Newtons intelligently and intelligently.

Yes, it does not do without kinks. In particular, the “robot” almost does not use the first gear and even tries to climb the mountain on the second. And if he thinks hard, then on the fourth. The same tricks are thrown out by the machine.

A pleasant surprise from DSG — a very smooth start. It is difficult to distinguish it from an automatic machine. Even off-road, where it is important to carefully start or crawl by centimeters, the box behaves flawlessly. In particular, it coordinates its work well with the gas pedal damped in off-road mode. Taos is confidently selected on the imitation of inter-wheel locks with diagonal hanging.

On the primers of Kabardino-Balkaria, sometimes you can confidently drive at 50 kilometers per hour, the main thing is to look for large stones. Yes, these are not yet Karelian “dopa”, but they are already quite decent trails. They are recognized in a good way by the Volkswagen school. No slackness, the body feels monolithic, assembled. The interior does not rattle, the steering wheel does not convulse.

And I don’t want more than 17 inches of wheels any more: they look elegant, and a 55-percent profile plays into the hands of comfort and confidence on a bad road.

Difficult choice

I hope I don’t have to answer the question “Taos or Karoq?” The difference between them lies not in the technical plane, but exactly in the one where people make decisions based on likes. For example, I prefer the exterior of a Skoda, but the interior of a Volkswagen. Well, what about it? The Russian representative office of Volkswagen believes that there are customers who are loyal to Skoda or Volkswagen. So it’s not a question for them.

There is a lot of glossy black plastic on the front (won't it get worn out?), a large area of grilles with large cells. The radiator is perfectly visible through them. I was puzzled by a lot of sharp-angled conjugations of whimsical forms — they are quite flimsy to the touch. You can't count the ribs on the hood.
There is a lot of glossy black plastic on the front (won’t it get worn out?), a large area of grilles with large cells. The radiator is perfectly visible through them. I was puzzled by a lot of sharp-angled conjugations of whimsical forms — they are quite flimsy to the touch. You can’t count the ribs on the hood.

But what if you haven’t decided on a camp? Collect the configuration that is right for you and choose the best price. The main differences lie precisely in the configuration. For example, a Karoq with a turbo engine and front-wheel drive will cost less than a Taos: Volkswagen has this combination of units available only in the more expensive Status configuration.

Taos is a little more compact and cheaper than Tiguan, but still not poorer in terms of its overall sensations. And I would probably prefer a 150-horsepower Taos to a front-wheel-drive 122-horsepower Tiguan (and even more so to a significant surcharge for its more “packaged” modification). Even in driving “on the far side”, the younger crossover is quite well-off, and its back seat does not look like squeeze torture.

Tiguan is suitable for people who are larger and taller, with more serious suburban logistics tasks. Well, and more well-off, of course.

And one more answer to an unasked question. If you are looking closely at Polo — is it worth getting into a bigger loan and overpaying half a million? I have no right to give advice on how to manage the family budget. I can only assess whether Taos is worth this surcharge. And my answer is probably yes. This is not the case when a “heavier” price tag is hung on a model just because it is some kind of crossover.

Polo is perceived as an outspoken state employee with a set of important advantages. That is, there is a certain compromise: it qualitatively closes the economic needs, but still does not give pleasure from the very fact of ownership.

The Taos is seen as a more mature, more versatile, and more established car. His opportunities are wider, impressions of him are fuller, and the very feeling of compromise does not visit. For example, it is already quite possible to embark on a journey on it. And you are unlikely to suddenly post it on the bulletin board with the comment “I’m waiting for a replenishment in the family, I need a bigger car”.

I assume that you will outgrow this class of cars earlier and find interest in something more advanced than your household needs will really stop closing Taos.

26 July 2021
160
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(3 voices, on average: 3.7 out of 5)