This is the first Skoda I have owned. Before this I have had a stable of BMWs , Audis , SAAB , Volvo and VW etc. I had been looking for a mkVI Golf GTI with DSG but I felt that £23k for a 2nd hand Golf was just a joke. I therefore snatched at the chance of picking up a 25k 2010 vRS with DSG for £12500 from a dealer. Once I got over the Skoda jibes I must say it has become a family favourite and frankly the best all round driving car I've owned. It has all the fun and pace of the VW GTI , but the ride is smoother , has the boot of a Mercedes and comfort of a BMW. Its not as well put together as an Audi - but it rides better and is quieter. My wife drives a 2010 VW Golf GT TDI and although its good this is just so much better in every facet. Its not the prettiest of cars but with the LED lights , deep front spoiler and 18" Alloys it does look quite purposeful. The DSG paddle shift is a gem but frankly I generally leave it in drive and let the 200 bhp engine do the rest.
Its frankly difficult to find fault - the rear windscreen is a pig to keep clean in the winter and the light grey of the seats get dirty too easily (next time I'd get 100% leather). It had its first Skoda service last week after a years ownership and cost £199.00 which was OK I guess but it still seems expensive for what is effectively an oil change. The Skoda dealership is also a pleasant place to be. The logo may get a few jibes but I can handle them for what is the best motoring value on the road.
My fourth, and probably last, car from VAG. It is good at what it does, but at 50,000 miles (yesterday !) and 27 months old there are too many issues. In a car that young, you shouldn't have problems with lights that are caused by connectors RUSTING AWAY, nor should there be frequent intermittent problems with the DRLs. The above I could live with, but 3 days in the garage because of an electrical failure (frayed loom - not something that can be detected by following diagnostics, but because the repairing garage were not the seller, they have to follow Skoda's instructions for warranty repairs) at 15 months old was bad enough, but the car has just come back after 3 weeks off the road following a turbo failure, again, repaired under warranty, but it took so long as everything had to be done with reference to Skoda Technical, whose spec says the oil pressure should be 9 bar and the garage spend two weeks under direction trying to acheive that before Skoda Technical changed their mind and said it should only be 6. If it wasn't for these issues, I'd happily have another, but its beginning to look like VAG has returned to penny pinching - Coil pack, anyone ?
I have owned this car a few months now and it is a lovely, comfortable car to drive which feels very steady and safe on the road (but I did previously drive a Picasso!). I do regret going for this engine as the gearbox has to be worked hard to maintain progress, probably due to the weight of the car. Fuel economy over the first 4,000 miles is 45.5 m.p.g. The boot is cavernous and I am glad I went for the variable boot floor which gives a flat loadspace, but I do find the cabin a bit short of stowage spaces e.g. for road maps (remember them?), a waste bin etc. The centre rear seat's usefulness is limited by the driveshaft tunnel. Build quality seems generally very good but the paint seems very thin - a very minor encounter with a plastic bin has gone through the paint. With the benefit of hindsight I think I would have been happier if I had gone for the 140bhp TDI engine (at least). The 1.6 engine maybe economical enough but, in this car, it doesn't provide much driver satisfaction or fun. I have yet to test its capabilities fully loaded but I expect the car to struggle at times.
This car is very uncomfortable for anyone over 5ft 11in. The rear end tends to slide easily making it feel unstable on country roads and the build quality does not live up to the clever marketing Skoda have put out. They keep their prices down by using poor quality paints which look good when you buy the car new but soon you may well have corrosion. They are notorious for not paying out on the corrosion warranty so there is a significant chance you will be left with a rust bucket. If you want people to mistake you for a Taxi driver get one of these. I am changing mine for a Subaru and I recommend anyone thinking of buying an Octavia to look beyond the clever VW Group marketing and think carefully about the quality of the materials they use. Ask yourself how they can produce the cars at the price?
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