Skoda Octavia vRS review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Costs & verdict

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Skoda Octavia vRS 2019 infotainment
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  • Skoda Octavia vRS 2019 instruments
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Compared with its closest rivals the vRS is competitively priced, undercutting cars such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Mercedes-AMG A35 and Honda Civic Type R. As such, it makes sense to keep the vRS as cheap as possible – going for the all-wheel drive diesel or top Challenge trim pushes the price rather too far. Having said that, if you have the budget for it and want the best-driving Octavia vRS, you won’t be disappointed.

Those with an eye on fuel economy or who are running a vRS through work are better off going for the two-wheel drive diesel model. It uses the least fuel and emits the least CO2 of the range, although even the petrol versions are clean and frugal next to other petrol hot hatches. The 2.0 TSI 245 model actually offers better fuel economy and CO2 emissions if fitted with the seven-speed DSG automatic, with the difference worth a couple of percent in BIK tax for company car users.

The vRS models get sporty styling, bespoke sports seats and LED headlights, and even more kit than the SE trim, so you shouldn’t need to add much, if anything, from the options list. Only if you plan on loading up your vRS with every option would we consider Challenge trim, as it pushes the price dangerously close to the much better Civic Type R. All Octavias have seven airbags as standard, and rear side airbags are available as an optional extra. Disappointingly, only the Challenge comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard, although you can add it to the regular vRS for a fee.

Other standard safety features include lane-keeping assistance, stability control, hill-hold assist, tyre pressure monitoring which alerts you to a slow puncture, and a system that automatically brakes the car in the immediate aftermath of a collision to reduce the likelihood of a second impact.

The Octavia has received the full five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP. An alarm and engine immobiliser are fitted to every model, and security firm Thatcham Research has rated it highly for its resistance to theft and break-in.

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Skoda Octavia vRS 2019 infotainment

Overview

The Skoda Octavia vRS is quick and spacious, although it can't compete with the best hot hatches for driver involvement.

  • Punchy performance
  • Masses of space
  • Well priced
  • Interior feels cheap in places
  • Doesn’t handle as well as its rivals

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