Skoda Octavia Estate vRS 2.0 TDI CR - SKODA OCTAVIA Car Review

Review

Added: 31 Mar 2009
Last update:

THE Octavia is a central character in the story of Skoda's revival - helping rid the Czech motor manufacturer of the ridicule that dogged it prior to the link up with Volkswagen in 1991.

The car has landed a raft of awards over the years putting Skoda back in the spotlight for the right reasons - and after a recent revamp it looks set to continue the good work.

The vRS Estate benefits from an interior facelift that enhances an already successful package.

The entertainment systems are stripped out with all but the entry level S trim getting the high-tech Bolero music system. No, it has nothing to do with Winter Olympic ice dancing legends Torvill and Dean and that gold medal-winning routine, but is instead a neat offering operated via a touch-screen colour display that provides access to a radio and integrated CD player with capacity for six discs.

There's also an i-Pod connection in the air conditioned storage box between the front seats.

The interior design is tweaked with stylish touches to enhance the look of the radio, dual zone air conditioning controls and gearstick, giving the car a more modern feel.

There's new upholstery on the comfortable seats and plenty of space for occupants to stretch out. The Octavia is one of the biggest compact estates on the market with tall adults able to sit behind similarly proportioned front seat occupants without feeling the squeeze.

It's easy to get the perfect position behind the steering wheel as both it and the driver's seat are adjustable offering a range of combinations to suit all shapes and sizes.

The boot displays anaconda-like tendencies when it comes to swallowing luggage, offering a huge 580 litres of space - extending to 1,620 litres with the rear seats folded down. The Octavia also has plenty of stowage space throughout a cabin whose fit and finish is top notch.

The dashboard is classy using quality materials and the whole design is logical and easy for the driver to operate.

The engines and mechanical parts are from Volkswagen so reliability is a given.

The vRS Estate's exterior is also set to change later this year with new headlights and front fog lights, plus new folding door mirrors all on the menu.

As far as the ride and handling are concerned the Octavia vRS Estate manages to make light of its sizeable proportions.

The car is remarkably supple, dealing with bumpy surfaces without allowing the merest hint of a thump to enter the cabin. The handling is precise and the steering let's you know what's on the car's mind. Corners are taken lean-free with the agility of a gymnast.

The vRS Estate's winning combination of performance - highlighted by a top speed of 140mph and a 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds - and refinement mean it's a good car to drive, helped by excellent all-round visibility.

The 2.0-litre engine uses fuel frugally and has relatively low carbon dioxide emissions making this Octavia a decent option when it comes to running costs while the price-tag is also attractive - with discounts likely to be offered by dealers.

As far as safety is concerned all models have front and side airbags, electronic brakeforce distribution and ISOFIX child seat mounts in the back seats. The vRS trim adds side curtain airbags and electronic stability control.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Octavia Estate vRS 2.0 TDI CR

Price: £19,700

Mechanical: 170bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined mpg: 47.9

Insurance group: 14

CO2 emissions: 155g/km

BiK rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000

Words: Peter Keenan

Keywords: skoda, octavia