Skoda Octavia vRS 2.0T FSI - SKODA OCTAVIA Car Review
Added: 06 Jul 2006
The Octavia vRS is a monster of a machine dressed in the sober clothes of a family saloon.
It has styling on the sweet side of Alice in Wonderland, but the heart of Alice Cooper.
The vRS is the Czech firm's quickest-ever car, but save for the 17-inch alloy wheels with natty green brake calipers, a subtle spoiler and the distinctive vRS badge - you'd never guess.
Smart it is, but there are only hints of the beast beneath.
Open the bonnet and a 200bhp turbocharged terrier is revealed that rockets the Octavia from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds on its way - via a slick six-speed manual gearbox - to a top speed of 149mph.
The superb chassis handles this power surge with aplomb giving the vRS beautiful balance.
The lowered suspension means the ride is firmer than the standard Octavia but not to the point of harshness.
Only when the bumps and hollows resemble an off-road course do the resulting jolts transmit themselves to the cabin.
And when coupled with the superb steering and grip that never seems to run out it's clear Skoda's goal is to ensure the driver feels in total control.
That the vRS is so well built really should come as no surprise as it shares many of the VW Golf GTI's best bits.
In many ways it's probably too well groomed for the true hot hatch fanatic - but this Octavia is the closest mum and dad are likely to get to sports car performance with two or three kids, the week's shopping and a baby buggy in the back.
The reality is that the vRS has hot hatch capabilities but its role is more swift and practical family transport than boy racer.
The interior is airy and comfortable with the feel of a much more expensive car. The fit and finish is excellent and good quality materials are used throughout.
Sit in the driver's seat and you find a steering wheel that adjusts for everything but your taste in clothes. I defy anyone not to find the perfect driving position thanks to a seat that allows for all shapes and sizes.
Rear passengers aren't neglected as the roomy interior has ample leg, head and shoulder room.
The car has a huge 560-litre boot that fits the bill for even the most luggage-hungry of families.
The classy dash is well laid out with all instruments, dials and switches easy to view and use.
I particularly liked the three-spoke leather steering wheel and supportive two-tone black and silver sports seats.
The vRS Octavia would already rank as excellent value for its £17,500 price-tag without a comprehensive kit list that includes dual zone climate control, a six-CD autochanger and radio, electric front windows, tyre-pressure monitors and remote central locking.
An electric sun roof, satellite navigation and 18-inch alloys are available as options if you desire.
The vRS also comes with twin front and side airbags, but curtain airbags are an optional extra.
Other standard safety features are ISOFIX child seat mounting points, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and electronic stability control. There's also an immobiliser and alarm fitted.
For my money, the vRS is one of the most versatile cars on the road with a sensational price-tag.
Skoda Octavia vRS 2.0T FSI 5dr
Mechanical: 200bhp, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 149mph
0-62mph: 7.3 secs
Combined mpg: 35.8
Insurance group: 15
CO2 emissions: 190g/km
BiK rating: 25%
Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited mileage; 3yrs paint; 10yrs anti-rust
Keywords: SKODA, OCTAVIA