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?
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 & Economy||2013 Skoda Octavia vRS|
|Engine||1,984cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol|
|Transmission||6-speed manual, front-wheel drive|
|Power (PS / bhp)||220 / 217|
|Torque (Nm / lb.ft)||350 / 258|
|0 - 62 mph (seconds)||6.8|
|Top Speed (mph)||154|
|CO2 Emissions (g/km)||142|
|Combined Economy (mpg)||45.6|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||1,350|