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Handbook: Skoda Octavia vRS

Time 7:33 am, October 10, 2013

73040sko-aJAMES Batchelor got an exclusive drive of the new racy Octavia at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Here’s what he thought… 

What is it?

Leagues of vRS fans around the UK are anxious to hear whether the new hot Octavia is any good or not. There are thousands of them, too – loyal and supportive. And arguably the one that attracts the most ardent fans is the Octavia. This MkIII version is totally new and comes in a variety of flavours thanks to two bodystyles, a couple of engine choices and a pair of transmission options.

What’s under the bonnet?

The car comes in both petrol and diesel varieties. The 2.0-litre TSI gives an entertaining 217bhp, hits an impressive 154mph and gets to 60mph in 6.6 seconds. Despite this nice turn of speed, the vRS returns 142g/km of CO2 and 45.6mpg on the combined cycle. If buyers opt for the 2.0-litre diesel they’ll get 181bhp, 61.4mpg and emissions of 119g/km of CO2. Customers can also choose between a slick six-speed manual or six-speed DSG.

What’s the spec like?

Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 16.35.33To make sure buyers don’t mistake it for a humdrum Octavia eco diesel, Skoda has fitted it with fetching sporty bumpers, a rear spoiler, anthracite 18-inch alloys, bi-Xenon headlamps, LED rear lights and dropped the vRS’s suspension by 12mm (13mm with the estate) and stiffened it up a tad. There’s an array of body colours too – from traditional Race Blue metallic to mean Meteor Grey. Prices range from £22,795 for the 2.0-litre TSI hatchback and rise to £25,720 for the 2.0-litre TDI DSG estate.

What’s it like to drive?

We had the chance to drive the 2.0-litre petrol up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it’s hard to come up with a comprehensive road test of it. But in our very short drive we were impressed. Skoda has fitted the sporty Octavia with an electronic differential lock called XDS to aid fast cornering, a multi-link rear axle and progressive steering – and it makes for a fun ride. It’s a grippy and responsive thing that’s on the money in terms of fun, speed and value.

What do the press think of it?

Evo said: ‘The petrol is more than enough speed for real-world, on-road driving – and hooked up to the slick manual gearbox, leaves you wishing for nothing more complicated.’

What do we think of it?

Our short stint behind the wheel at Goodwood has got us itching to try out the new Octavia vRS for a longer period of time. Like the rest of the range, the Octavia is a well-built car with a classy character rarely seen on Skodas before. And now the vRS adds a racy touch to the mix. For some the vRS won’t be hardcore enough, but we’re pretty sure the leagues of hot Skoda fans will be tempted to splash out on this new one.


James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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