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Used Skoda Octavia vRS long-term test review: report 5

You get a lot of space and performance for your money with a used Skoda Octavia vRS. But is the car as impressive an all-rounder as it sounds? We're living with one to find out...

Skoda Octavia vRS

The car 2019 Skoda Octavia vRS 2.0 TSI 245 DSG Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here To find out if the high-performance version of the outgoing, immensely practical Octavia makes sense as a used purchase

Needs to Show its performance credentials against some mighty fine rivals, and cope with the daily grind of work and family life

Mileage 4250 List price new (2019) £28,765 Price new with options £32,775 Value now £21,400 Test economy 34.1mpg Official economy 37.7mpg

12 October 2020 – Grace, space and pace

You know how gratifying it is to break a personal record? Early doubts about my used Skoda Octavia vRS’s fuel economy – which can easily dip down to 25mpg in regular town use – were dispelled by a long trip back in August to Dartmoor, at the end of which I was happy to see the digital readout displaying an impressive 40.4mpg – a personal best.

Skoda Octavia vRS

This stood until just recently, in fact, when I managed to smash this with an all-time high of 42.6mpg, way in excess of the official WLTP figure for my car of 37.7mpg. This magnificent wallet-enhancing feat was no mere economy-minded jaunt around the block either, but a 50-mile, four-up journey around the M25 from Surrey to Kent, involving much traffic. Impressive stuff, even if my own overall average remains at 34.1mpg, this being mostly due to the urban nature of most of my everyday motoring.

Skoda Octavia vRS

Still, that’s not at all a bad figure for a swift petrol-engined hot hatch, especially one as commodious as my Octavia.  A recent trip to the local tip to unload some gardening waste proved its practicality, too. The rear seats fold more or less flat, and the hatch opening is usefully wide. We weren’t the only ones to be impressed by the Octavia at the recycling centre, either: one of the workers there felt impelled to comment on the car as he passed by, telling us what a good car he thought the vRS was. 

Skoda Octavia vRS

I agree with him, actually, because I can think of few fast cars that are as pleasant to drive and as family-friendly, as well as being so graceful and inoffensive in appearance.  The subcutaneously similar Golf GTI is one obvious rival, but it can’t match the Octavia for space, while the ferocious Renault Megane RS and Honda Civic Type R both look, to my jaded eyes, as if they’re trying too hard next to the understated Skoda.

In fact, were it not treading on the toes of a rather famous British car manufacturer whose advertising slogan used to run along similar lines, I would have no hesitation in saying my Octavia has grace, space and pace, a welcome and, in these days, a rare combination. 

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