Used Skoda Octavia vRS 2020-present review

Category: Hot hatch

The vRS is swift and sensible, even if it doesn't excite like the best hot hatches. It's still fairly expensive to buy used too. 

Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 front cornering
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 front cornering
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior infotainment
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 rear right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 rear cornering
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior infotainment
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 rear right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 boot open
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior rear seats
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 front cornering
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior infotainment
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 rear right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 rear cornering
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior infotainment
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 rear right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 boot open
  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior rear seats
Used Skoda Octavia vRS 2020-present review
Star rating
Author Avatar
Mark Pearson
Updated13 March 2023

What's the used Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback like?

If you want all the thrills of a boy-racer hot hatch but you have a family to transport and can't compromise on space, the Skoda Octavia vRS in its many guises has always been worth a punt.

So it's not surprising you can get this latest-generation, 2020-onwards Skoda Octavia vRS variant with either a manual or automatic gearbox, a choice of bodystyles (hatchback and estate car) and with three engine options – petrol, diesel and petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – to help it appeal to all.


Although there’s an awful lot to recommend the vRS as a swift yet sensible family car, it just doesn’t excite enough in bends to be considered a good hot hatchback. But if the moderately spicy performance and drive hits the spot, you’ll find plenty of space, a well-constructed interior and decent comfort for the everyday grind.

  • Ride is comparatively comfortable
  • Huge boot
  • Not quite as involving to drive as the best hot hatches
  • Fiddly heater controls

The traditional option, perhaps, is fulfilled by the 242bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol hatch. The similarly powerful 1.4 TSI plug-in hybrid iV vRS cuts CO2 emissions to 26g/km thanks to a decent all-electric range above 40 miles. The ultra-sensible 2.0 TDI diesel produces a respectable 197bhp and can do around 600 miles on a tank of fuel. All get sporty styling inside and out, bespoke sports seats and keyless entry.

The front-wheel-drive 2.0 TSI 245 makes for the fastest Octavia vRS from 0-62mph, taking a respectable 6.7sec when fitted with a dual-clutch DSG automatic gearbox. It feels substantially swifter than the TDI. It’s not quite as punchy low down, but there’s plenty of power at the top end for easy overtakes. Nevertheless, it finds itself at the slower end of the hot hatch class, with even the Ford Fiesta ST proving quicker outright. It's not in the same league as upmarket rivals such as the Audi RS3 and Mercedes A45 AMG.

The front-wheel-drive diesel (2.0 TDI 200) and the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) 1.4 TSI iV take more than 7.0sec to complete the sprint, although the diesel does it in a more eager 6.8sec in four-wheel-drive form. Even so, while the TDI’s strong low-down pull makes driving briskly effortless, it's an effective rather than enjoyable engine that's not all that responsive compared with the petrol or PHEV.

The TDI and TSI models get lower, stiffer sports suspension as standard, something that’s absent on the iV version. It's a fair bit stiffer than on a regular Skoda Octavia and the optional DCC adaptive set-up allows you to stiffen it even more with a prod of the touchscreen. Even with the DCC switched to its firmest setting, you’ll experience more body lean and have less agility than in a Fiesta ST.

That’s not to say you can’t hustle a vRS along your favourite B-road briskly; it’s just that most rivals will put a bigger smile on your face. The heavier vRS iV is even less of a hoot. It hides its weight well for a plug-in, but you’re all too aware of how that mass and its softer suspension hurts the car’s agility.

The Octavia vRS rides well, though, and is one of the comfier hot hatches, especially with the optional DCC set to Comfort mode. It will sometimes thud over sharp ridges and potholes, but it's a smooth cruiser and has far better body control over undulating roads than the standard Octavia. There’s a bit of wind and road roar, though.

A six-speed manual gearbox is offered only on the TSI 245, but the notchy lever action and numb clutch pedal action add nothing to the experience – unlike the excellent gearshift of the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST.

The DSG gearbox (standard in the TDI and TSI iV, optional on the TSI 245) shifts quickly and near-seamlessly between ratios, but it isn’t as smooth as the best ’boxes when manoeuvring at low speeds. The iV’s gearbox is similarly proficient, and switches between power sources without fuss.

There’s plenty of reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel, and a good range of movement for the seat, so finding an ideal driving position is easy. The standard sports seats are comfortable, thanks to lumbar adjustment and big side bolsters that keep you in place in bends. Naturally, they’ve got 'vRS' embroidered on them – and there's also carbonfibre-like trim, an Alcantara dash panel and sports displays to remind you you're in a hot hatch.

You’ll find those sports displays on the standard 10.3in digital instrument panel that replaces conventional dials. The graphics are sharp and it’s easy to switch between information sets using the controls on the steering wheel. Thankfully, there are no touch-sensitive switches, as you get in the VW Golf GTI – although there is a touch-sensitive volume slider beneath the main touchscreen infotainment system. It's not as easy to use as a regular dial, and neither are the temperature controls on the infotainment touchscreen.

That 10.0in screen is positioned high on the dashboard, so you don’t have to take your eyes far from the road to see it. Its high-resolution graphics are easy to read, while most icons are big enough to hit easily on the move. That said, we do wish the shortcut buttons, which are in the top left corner, were less of a stretch. The BMW 128ti and BMW M135i still rule the roost for infotainment in this class.

For quality, the Octavia vRS runs the Golf GTI close, with plenty of soft-touch plastics, appealing trims and ambient LED lighting. Harder plastics are well hidden.

The rear seats are roomy enough to allow six-footers to get comfortable, although rivals such as the Cupra Leon and Ford Focus ST offer more head and leg room. The Octavia is relatively wide, though, helping three occupants to sit side by side more easily.

Even with the rear seatbacks up, the Octavia’s boot is the biggest in the hot hatch class, and it’s bigger still if you opt for the estate. Boot space is reduced significantly in the iV plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version because of the hefty battery.We do wish a variable-height boot floor was available on the hatchback, though, because the extended load bay isn't flat.

If you're interested in buying a used Skoda Octavia vRS, or any of the other cars mentioned here, check out our What Car? Used Cars classifieds site.

Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior dashboard

Ownership cost

What used Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback will I get for my budget?

Prices for this generation of Octavia vRS start at around £26,000 for a 2020 model with a low to average mileage – a useful amount off the price of a new one. Spend between £26,000 and £30,000 on a 2021 or early 2022 model. This represents a smaller saving on the price of a new one, but one worth having.

How much does it cost to run a Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback?


According to the latest WLTP official figures, the petrol 2.0 vRS averages 40.9mpg, the diesel 56.5mpg and the plug-in hybrid 256.8mpg.

Road tax

Annual VED road tax for cars registered after April 2017, like this one, is charged at a flat rate, currently £155 a year for hybrids and £165 a year for the others. See our road tax costs advice page for the latest information.


Servicing for the Octavia is cheaper than for many rivals, and Skoda has a fixed-price scheme for cars that are more than three years old. An oil change is £184, with periodic intervals for the air filter (£45), pollen filter (£35) and – where equipped – diesel fuel filter (£59).

It’s worth noting that all diesel Octavias and most petrols have a timing belt that needs to be replaced every five years at a Skoda dealer at a cost of £449. It makes sense to replace the water pump at the same time.


Insurance costs are slightly cheaper than for an equivalent Volkswagen GTI, due to Skoda’s cheaper repair costs.

Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 interior infotainment

Our recommendations

Which used Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback should I buy?

Whether or not you choose the estate version depends on your individual needs. It offers more space in the boot and a more useful opening, especially if you have a dog. However, we’d stick with the hatch.

We’d also choose a petrol engine over a diesel, for its smoothness, although if you’re likely to do a high mileage, we wouldn’t blame you if you looked for a diesel. The PHEV would be worth a look only if it fits into your lifestyle and you can take advantage of its economy.

We’d probably seek out a DSG automatic car, too, because it’s more convenient around town and slightly quicker.

Our favourite Skoda Octavia vRS: 2.0 vRS 245 DSG

Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 right tracking


What alternatives should I consider to a used Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback?

The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI shares a lot of its underpinnings with this Octavia vRS. It’s better to drive than the Octavia and is fast and capable, yet also refined and easy to drive.

The Honda Civic Type R costs substantially more than the vRS, and although it has room for five inside, it offers less space. However, it’s brilliant to drive, with superb handling, yet it's also comfortable and surprisingly easy to live with.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

If you're interested in finding a used Octavia, or any of the other family cars mentioned here, search the What Car? Used Car Buying pages to find lots of cars listed for sale at a great price.

Skoda Octavia vRS 2022 rear right tracking