The official figures promise a return of 55.9mpg for CO2 emissions of 132g/km. So far, that economy looks almost achievable in the real world, but I’ll report back once there are a few more miles under its belt. Since having the vRS delivered, I have noticed a fair few looks coming my way, no doubt helped by its, well, red-ness (this paint is a £595 option).
It’s far more head-turning than the standard Octavia, helped by lots of exterior black detailing, including on the grille, door mirrors and badges, and red brake calipers. That vibe continues inside, with black vRS sports seats, red stitching and heated three-spoke leather wheel with gearshift paddles.
The red paint is fitting for a sporty car, but the most popular colours on the vRS tend to be staid, as on regular variants of the Octavia, given the business focus of the car. While the very dull and inoffensive Quartz Grey is most selected for your average Octavia, vRS owners are slightly more daring, going for, um, Meteor Grey. It’s far from wild, but the gunship-like colour is one of my favourite car shades of recent times and looks blooming great on the vRS.
Our car is as well-specified as you would expect from a top-of-therange Skoda, including a 10.25in touchscreen, sat-nav, dual-zone air conditioning, Apple CarPlay and parking sensors, although cameras are noticeable by their absence. It also has lane-keeping assistance, a system that I have previously grumbled about on the standard Octavia. For the avoidance of doubt, I’m still grumbling about it with this car.
The vRS was wasted on me in my first few moments in it: I was parked in a tight space on the street and resented the heavy steering when manoeuvring out – a far cry from the Octavia that had just left me. Thankfully, I had a valid reason that day to be driving on some quiet country lanes, and nowhere is better to demonstrate exactly why one might invest in a vRS. That once-annoying steering became exactly the dynamic, accurate set-up required, alongside neat handling, for fun cornering.
So far, the diesel vRS is living up to my expectations as an everyday, performance-focused estate. The next few months will offer me more chance to enjoy it, and to consider the relevance of the diesel in the line-up.