Facelifted Octavia gets the sporty vRS treatment

Our Verdict

Skoda Octavia vRS
It's not difficult to distinguish the standard vRS from the more conventional models

We test the all-new version of Skoda's Octavia vRS, which combines Golf GTI performance with practicality and a reasonable price tag

What is it?

The facelifted Octavia in sporty vRS guise.

Upgrades over lesser Octavias (and the old vRS) include LED driving lamps and a lowered chassis, and they’ve chopped some weight out of it — 20kg in the case of the petrol car.

Engines are unchanged but prices have gone up; this petrol estate is now £19,010, £245 more than the last one.

What’s it like?

Still very fine, retaining that blend of practicality and entertainment that marked out the last vRS.

The upgrades are fairly subtle inside and out — a smidgen of new trim, different instruments — but it still grips and steers well enough and, on paper at least, is ever so slightly faster.

Should I buy one?

Certainly.

The vRS is still good value — as a wagon it has more space than a Citroën C5 Tourer — and offers a decent if not thrilling drive.

Luckily Skoda hasn’t overdone the marginally higher level of glitz, so it retains its eminently practical nature and remains a very likeable car.

Dan Stevens

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Comments
23

31 July 2009

[quote Autocar]and they’ve chopped some weight out of it[/quote]

Most of that is achieved by deleting the spare wheel...

That said, My Mk1 vRS is up for replacement and I'm having trouble finding anything different to replace it - unless I spend serious amounts of money.

Not so sure about the "goosed" look of the new lights mind...

31 July 2009

[quote Squonk61]

That said, My Mk1 vRS is up for replacement and I'm having trouble finding anything different to replace it - unless I spend serious amounts of money.

Not so sure about the "goosed" look of the new lights mind...

[/quote]My son has a vRS estate Mk2 170PS CR diesel with some of the bits from the face lifted model, eg, touch sceen infotainment, large door mirrors, paddle shift for the DSG.

I thought, if go for drive in this car with it's lowered suspension and 18" wheels on the potholed roads where I live, I will loose the rest of my fillings and end up with a compacted spine. To my pleasant surprise the ride was fantastic. Highly recommended.

31 July 2009

Cut Price Audi-Avant! I have absolutley no issue whatsoever in choosing A Skoda these days.

Germanic build quality, value for money etc. You know exactly what i'm talking about.

As a society we're crazy about badges - I don't see the sense anymore.

31 July 2009

Having had BMWs for a long time i seriously considered the vRS when i came to change... until i sat in one. With all the rave reviews i was genuinely amazed how bad the interior was, really hard cheap plastics. An old Vectra feels much more solidly put together. Engine might be sweet but it REALLY doesnt compete with Audi/BMW interior, even this refreshed model.

31 July 2009

The front makes me think 5-series!

31 July 2009

[quote yanyan]

Having had BMWs for a long time i seriously considered the vRS when i came to change... until i sat in one. With all the rave reviews i was genuinely amazed how bad the interior was, really hard cheap plastics. An old Vectra feels much more solidly put together. Engine might be sweet but it REALLY doesnt compete with Audi/BMW interior, even this refreshed model.

[/quote]My neighbour has a BMW 5 series, his car might have more gizmose, but the fit and finish is no better than my sons' vRS, also the ride on those runflats' is jarring. As far as I'm concerned the Octavia is a much better car all things considered.

31 July 2009

[quote yanyan]really hard cheap plastics[/quote]

Personally I don't stroke the plastics in my cars on a regular basis...

The areas that need to be tactile are the ones you touch most, like the steering wheel & gear knob. All this fuss that (mainly journos) make about some of the hard plastics in a cabin make me chuckle.

31 July 2009

[quote Squonk61]Personally I don't stroke the plastics in my cars on a regular basis...[/quote] I do, but I prefer my plastics HARD. Which is why I like this car.

31 July 2009

[quote yanyan]REALLY doesnt compete with Audi/BMW interior, even this refreshed model.[/quote]

Friends have an early Bangle 5-series and the interior is tacky. There is a pop-out cupholder in the dash , like a Transit van .Audi interiors look lovely when new , but seem to wear very quickly.

31 July 2009

It may sell itself as a sensible, practical but fast car. However there is one thing about this car that is completely stupid. Apparently the only way to get the factory fit bluetooth and multi-function steering wheel is to buy a dsg gearbox!

Somebody should tell Skoda that it's not only people driving cars with automatic gearboxs that use mobile phones or change the volume on the radio!

That aside I really do like this car. As regards the build quality, i don't for one minute believe the cabin is as nice as an Audi or a BMW. However it does manage to shame a similarly priced Ford Focus, not only on quality but also on standard equipment and performance.

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