Skoda Octavia vRS – Owner’s Review

It’s quite possible that by owning a Skoda, you are the type of person that utilises your brain much more than your heart when buying a car. I don’t necessarily think that that’s a bad thing to do, especially in a world suffering with the current economic situation. Times aren’t easy after all. But what if I told you now that there’s a Skoda that can appeal to your heart as well as your head? What if I told you that Skoda has delivered a car that will keep your head and your heart as happy as each other?

Skoda Octavia vRS

Skoda Octavia vRS

The new Skoda Octavia vRS does exactly this. Happiness comes from the excellence of execution; the design, the performance, and the overall attitude of the car. There isn’t anything about this car that isn’t excellent, and you will of course look for that little flaw here and there. I still haven’t found one in mine after a good 5 months of ownership.

So what have I got? I have a 220bhp 2 litre hatchback variant with a few simple optional extras; I’m of the opinion that this is a car that doesn’t need spec’ing much. Simplicity, keep that price down and you’ve got yourself a car I’d argue was as good as anything else on the road today. Choose your colour, think carefully about the wheels you’ll have (the 18-inch anthracites are free and better for UK roads), and always, always pick the black design pack.

There’s one option amongst the standard equipment that Skoda have neglected to include and that’s cruise control. Personally, I’m not a huge user of that function so it didn’t make it onto my options list, but in a car costing this much it should be standardised. Many drivers will expect this to be part of the car but make sure you tick that box, otherwise you won’t get it. Apart from that one omission, the basic equipment list is excellent. Examples on that list include; dual-zone climate control, bi-xenon headlights, and a nice big touchscreen infotainment system that controls most of the main functions of the car. Try to keep it simple, that way you get the best value from this superb automotive package.

When it comes to performance, I challenge anybody to come at me with a sensible argument for having more power in a road car. The vRS will get you from stationary to 62mph in around 6.5seconds. Skoda says it’s 6.8 but we all know they have to make themselves look worse to make their parents over at VW happy. This car also isn’t as heavy as its size suggests, it’s only 1350kg. For perspective, that’s around 200kg lighter than a BMW 3 series. The power to weight ratio means that this car is very, very sharp to drive and it’s really far quicker than you’d expect it to be.

You will cover ground exceptionally quickly in this car if the mood takes you. Be it a motorway or a B road this car will deliver. It’s very comfortable over long cross-country journeys and very stable and sharp on short B-road blast to a more rural location. I haven’t had any other car on the road beat me for pace yet, be it in a straight line or around the twisty stuff. Neither have I had another car put as much of a smile on my face as the Octavia vRS does. Additionally, when you factor that in with the ever-excellent Skoda offers and customer service, for around £23,000 is there anything else this good?

I’m struggling to think of a better car for sale in the UK at this present time. The Octavia vRS is the perfect argument for a one-car garage. And let’s face it, that’s all most of us can have anyway. This car has all the performance, all the equipment, and all the space you’ll ever need in a car.

So, why would you need anything else?

Performance & Economy2013 Skoda Octavia vRS
Engine1,984cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol
Transmission6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp)220 / 217
Torque (Nm / lb.ft)350 /
0 – 62 mph (seconds)6.8
Top Speed (mph)154
CO2 Emissions (g/km)142
VED BandF
Combined Economy (mpg)45.6
Kerb Weight (kg)1,350
Price (OTR)£23,310


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Author: Jonny Edge

Driven by an intense passion for cars seemingly since birth, Jonny throws himself into his role at Driving Spirit as if it was a twisty corner in his native region of Devon. A region he once described as "one of the best places in the world to analyze a car". Whilst lost, he once drove around aimlessly for nine and half hours inside central Paris, and he's still getting over it.

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10 Comments

  1. Nice write up and very cool car. Question, you say it is a hatchback but it looks like a sedan to me, is the rear trunk hinged at the top? Or is the term different on your side of the ocean?

  2. Hi Tom. The Octavia may look like a sedan, or saloon to us Brits :), but it is genuinely a hatchback that’s hinged above the glass. That hatch covers a big boot (a.k.a. trunk) too, making the Octavia vRS a really practical choice.

  3. That’s a really nice overall package! I really enjoy the fact that nowadays you can get over 200 bhp with four cylinders. Growing up in the Netherlands I always thought of Skodas as very poorly built/designed cars, but I guess VAG helped with that!

  4. You’re right Philip, VAG have really helped Skoda. In fact, the Octavia shares so much of the Golf’s best bits that you have to seriously ask why you’d buy the VW.

  5. I have to say, although the Golf is the undisputed champion of hot hatches, I feel the Octavia has better styling. It’s a little bit more modern and the angles and interior really make it feel very special indeed. I don’t think that the Golf has much in its arsenal to top the Octavia. The amount of money you save by buying the Octavia not to mention the excellent offers, free servicing and general customer care at Skoda makes it a far better all-round proposition for me. It truly is a great car. It’s also absolutely fantastic to drive. If you can, get out and see for yourself!

  6. I still wonder…WHY WE DO NOT GET SKODAS IN CANADA?? :'(

  7. With the likes of this new Octavia and the new Rapid, Skoda have really raised their game. VW doesn’t want them to get above their station and started optionalising (not sure if thats a word) some of what once was standard as Skoda were starting to take many Brits away from VW and Audi. Such as the Superb II and the Audi A6. The Superb II is a great car and easier on the pocket than the A6 to the tune of some £8,000 for similar spec cars. I’ve never seen cruise control as a big issue, sure it’s on many BMWs and similar, but the VRs is more a drivers car. Cruise control is a nice option for long tedious journeys but many would want to be using the B roads and country lanes to open the taps a little and enjoy what the car can do.

  8. Good review, as for the info, would you please privide us with the real world MPG or l/100km

    Thanks
    Adrian

  9. I’m getting about 35mpg on each tank on my manual TSI. Just over 40mpg on long motorway runs and almost 30mpg around town. I’m sure it would be possible to average nearly 40mpg if only I could resist the temptation to use the performance.

  10. Thanks Bubba, good to know. Anyone else out there running a vRS as your daily driver? It would be interesting to know how the diesel compares.

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