The Skoda Octavia VRS – Peter Gartland

The Skoda Octavia is in its third generation and the VRS is blessed with more power than ever before. Though the diesel versions come with a fair amount of power- 181bhp- it is eclipsed by the petrol model which puts 227bhp to use enabling a sprint to 60mph from stand still in just 6.7 seconds making, for me, that decision a no brainer. With this amount of speed you can appreciate the speed at which this car moves through the gears. Though Skoda clearly doubted that they had stuffed enough horses into the VRS as an Octavia VRS 245 has been made. As the name suggests, the 245 has 245bhp allowing it to reach sixty a whole tenth of a second quicker (really, was it worth the effort?).

So just forget about the 245 and let’s get back to the model you should be interested in. With the Octavia VRS, it’s not just the speed that makes it a fun and exciting place to be as Skoda have added many VRS exclusive features this time around. One of these features is a VRS button to allow you to enter Sport mode. Sport mode increases the steering response and changes how the DSG gearbox behaves but the best feature, in my opinion, is that a very satisfying engine noise is played through the car’s speakers – meaning you can enjoy the sound a 200+ BHP engine should sound without waking up the neighbours – the very problem we had with an Abarth 595 Trofeo.

Then comes the customisable light strips located along each door. The colours can be changed depending on your mood, though ours rarely leaves red to match both the stitching on the seats and the paintwork on the outside – very nice. I think that’s what makes this car so unique, it is still sensible and can cruise along keeping the passengers in comfort whilst still having sporting touches dotted everywhere you look.

Being unique is kind of Skoda’s forte. It is evident from the design of their cars  – and from their latest adverts including the lines ‘make your own kind of music’ and ‘driven by something different’ – and I feel is a feature Skoda should strive to keep in a world where the only difference between many cars just seems to be the badge on the front and rear. With the VRS, they seem to emphasise this uniqueness by encouraging people to buy it in bright greens and reds instead of the regular whites and silvers which means the VRS stands out on the road, and clearly shows that the owner really cares about their car and hasn’t just bought it for the badge.

The Octavia VRS brings variation; mixing sportiness and comfort to a comparable level of some German giants at a price that may only let you venture into the mid ranges of their model. That balance is what makes this car brilliant, just forget about the 245 unless you have got some money to burn.


Peter Gartland