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Make Mine A Skoda

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Skoda Octavia

Make Mine A Skoda

Geoff Maxted
October 19, 2013

Skoda Octavia vRS Skoda Octavia vRS Skoda Octavia vRS Skoda Octavia vRS
Skoda have been around for a long time; since 1859 in fact, when they were an arms manufacturer. The first car appeared around 1905. It was still for sale in 1980! No, no; only kidding! These days it is simply not possible to crack bad jokes at the expense of this brand which has, for various reasons, become a byword for quality and competitive pricing.

And so it was that DriveWrite approached the Skoda Octavia vRS with confidence. This model is the 2.0TSI with the familiar DSG gearbox option; the combination of which delivers a bullish 220PS. This in turn means that the car will reach 62mph from a standing start in under seven seconds and carry on to 152mph if you feel like chancing your licence.

The vRS sits lower on the road and is easily distinguished from the more humble Octavia variants thanks to a series of sporty design changes. There is a new front grille, honeycomb air intakes, new front and rear bumpers, a black rear diffuser, chrome trapezoidal exhaust tips, a rear spoiler, LED rear lights and bi-xenon front headlights with integrated LEDs. Safety is handled by an Electronic Stability Control system which comprises all the usual suspects like ABS and so on. This can only be partially switched off. It’s for your own good.

The featured car rides on attractive 18” ‘Pictoris’ alloys which are a no-cost option. These are the ones I would go for. They look ‘right’, if you know what I mean. The standard wheels look a little small in the arches and I suspect that the nineteen inch option would affect ride comfort on which more later.

What is an option however is a space saver spare wheel. I don’t have a problem with these as a ‘get you home’ choice and they are preferable to the dreaded repair kits. A Black Spot is handed to Skoda on this one though - the space saver will sting you for an additional £75. Don’t be so parsimonious Skoda - stick one in as standard!

Other extras on this car include an electric sun roof and the Columbus touch screen satellite navigation system which works brilliantly but will set the buyer back an eye-watering £1350. Without the options this car retails at £24,380. As seen it’s £26,855. Go on Skoda - stick it all on for a straight £26k and it will go down well!

These days, with all the rules and regs we are subjected to, the idea of owning a supercar sounds good but will probably just leave the driver frustrated to the point of madness. What’s needed is a compromise and this, reader, is what you need.

This car is fast in use and feels incredibly balanced, never making you feel like you‘re going to die, even if you’re wildly optimistic through the corners. It’s got a trick electronic front differential called XDS+, which slightly brakes the inside wheels when cornering to allow the driver to pick tighter lines. It works seamlessly, so you never know it’s there. The steering can be adjusted to offer the enthusiastic driver a portion of extra weighting.

The ride is exceptional, soaking up bumps very well indeed when you consider it sits on lowered sports suspension. This could be compromised by the bigger wheel option no matter how desirable they look. This ride quality is enhanced by the excellent front seats. They’re supportive and well-bolstered, yet hug you in very well indeed when getting a shift on.

So, with the new Skoda Octavia vRS you get a lot of well sorted car for the money. It’s a comfortable, practical hatchback family car that’s doubles as a grown-up hot hatch and is way better than its smaller, slower predecessor. Dare I say it - I would choose this over the Golf GTI it is based on. Now that’s a recommendation.

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