Skoda Octavia vRS Estate - SKODA OCTAVIA Car Review

Review

Added: 08 May 2003
Last update:

SKODA has come up with the best of all worlds in its high performance Octavia vRS estate.

This is a car with more than 50 cubic feet of cargo space and the guts and handling of a rally car.

At £15,800 it is a veritable bargain, not to mention the fact that it has a few touches of class.

Using a turbocharged, 20 valve, 1.8 litre engine that develops 180 bhp - the magical hundred horses per litre - the Octavia RS estate can hit 60mph from standstill in just eight seconds and has a reported top speed in excess of 140mph.

It is also capable of averaging around 35 miles to the gallon, and with relatively low CO2 emissions of 192g/km it has some advantages on the tax front for business users.

And if you are waiting for the catch - well there isn't one. Skoda has banished its reputation of old and its current range is up with the best.

The Octavia vRS boasts sporty looks set off by alloy wheels, with the green form of huge Brembo brake callipers showing through. That just goes to underline its powerful image. Cars that need stopping power like this must have plenty of go in them and the vRS has it in bucket fulls.

The same is true on the inside with rally-style leather and fabric seats that hug their occupants and dominate the cockpit.

Electric windows all round, automatic air conditioning and a five speed gearbox that is wonderfully smooth and precise, all go to make this car magnificent in all departments and especially when it comes to value for money.

This car is the current flagship of Skoda's rejuvenated Ocatvia range and it combines great power with practicality - plus impeccable handling. It is slick and great fun to drive and there is nothing basic about its appointments.

Roof rails are fitted as standard, as is a luggage blind, and the cargo area is deep, flat and wide. There are even reinforcing strips across the floor to protect the matting.

In the passenger area the vRS is roomy and comfortable, and even with five people on board it still has 20 cubic feet of luggage space to play with. Dropping the rear seats creates more space than in a BMW 3 Series Touring and almost as much as in the super sporty MG ZT-T.

Take the performance of the Skoda into account and it is definitely in the same league as the BMW and the MG - and even the Audi A4 Avant - but those are cars that are significantly more expensive.

Pound for pound the Octavia vRS estate is really something special. For what it delivers it is almost untouchable and demonstrates just how Skoda is hitting the mark in this day and age.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Octavia vRS Estate

Price:  £15,805

Mechanical: 180bhp, 1,781cc four cylinder engine driving front wheels via 5-spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 143mph

0-60mph:  8.0secs

Combined mpg:  35.3

Insurance group: 16

CO2 emissions: 192g/km

BiK rating:  22%

Warranty:  3yrs/ unlimited miles;  10yrs anti-rust;  3yrs paint

Words: Chris Russon

Keywords: SKODA, OCTAVIA