Hyundai Elantra vs Skoda Octavia

Our reader survey shows that most of you reading TopGear are in the 18-24 age group. So the odds are that most of you have never driven the earlier generation of the cars that you see here. For the rest of you who’re not part of this majority, you may know that the Octavia introduced, in 2001, and then cemented Skoda’s name in India. It sold a shade under 45,000 units, and showed us what luxury feels like on the road, its only other major competition being Toyota’s Corolla.

In 2004, Hyundai got into this segment with the Elantra. But its popularity never came anywhere close to what the Octy achieved – largely because of its bland styling. Nevertheless, it was a good car. It came with capable diesel and petrol mills and was backed by Hyundai’s extensive after-sales network, which is third only to Maruti and Tata.

That was a long time ago. Since then, most of you have completed college and likely landed your first job; the rest of you are probably even spotting your first strands of grey hair. Both these cars went off the market after they lost sales numbers to their newer, more modern rivals. Turns out, while the two cars were off the charts, the R&D guys at their respective facilities were busy readying the next generation.