Skoda Octavia vRS Review

The Skoda Octavia vRS is just a practical, but now even plusher inside and adds a fuel-sipping plug-in hybrid model.

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Skoda Octavia vRS: what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

The new Skoda Octavia vRS is big news in the world of hot hatches because it’s, well, massive. Octavias always have been.

Better still, the new one is efficient, too, because it features a range of new tech including an optional hybrid system. The hybrid model shares its hybrid drive tech with the new Cupra Leon and VW Golf GTE, but wraps it up in a more practical family-focused package.

The new Skoda Octavia vRS takes the recently revamped Octavia and adds plenty of sporty features. The front grille now gets a moody black finish, there’s a huge new air intake in the bottom half of the front bumper and the plastic trims above the fog lights come painted black, too. Lowered suspension, larger alloy wheels and a subtle lip spoiler on the hatchback’s bootlid complete the Octavia’s vRS makeover.

The new Skoda Octavia vRS’ interior follows a pattern set by the latest VW Golf and SEAT Leon. Everything’s very simple, minimalist and (mostly) button-free. It features a large central touchscreen infotainment system, a digital driver’s display instead of conventional analogue dials and a dinky selector switch instead of a chunky gear lever.

The dashboard has a slightly more flowing design to it than these cars, though, and you get plenty of bright red trims to make sure you don’t mistake it for the standard Octavia inside. Red mood lighting on the doors and red stitching on the more supportive sports seats add to the vRS’ sporty demeanour, as do the embroidered headrests and vRS-specific graphics on the driver’s display.

Will a plug-in hybrid hot hatch ever catch on? Well, it might have to, because you'll be seeing a lot more of them going forward.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The new Skoda Octavia vRS is available as a vRS iV hybrid model. This uses the same combination of 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor as the new VW Golf GTE and hybrid variants of the Cupra Leon.

As a result, it produces an identical 245hp and drives just the front wheels through the same six-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Skoda says it’ll reach 60mph from rest in less than 7.3 seconds and reach 140mph. You’ll also be able to travel for around 37 miles using just electric power.

The new Octavia isn’t just going to come as a hybrid, though – you’ll also be able to get a purely-petrol-powered version with a 245hp 2.0-litre engine. This model will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, or you can upgrade to a seven-speed DSG automatic.

Finally, there’ll also be a 200hp 2.0-litre diesel-powered Octavia vRS – although Skoda hasn’t confirmed if this model will be available in the UK. This model will ditch the manual gearbox option and come with the seven-speed auto as standard. But, you will be able to upgrade from front- to four-wheel drive for a bit of extra traction in slippery conditions.

The new Skoda Octavia vRS non-hybrid will go on sale in the UK in November 2020, priced from £31,495 for a hatchback with a manual gearbox.

Skoda hasn’t announced how much the new Octavia vRS iV hybrid will cost, but you can expect it to set you back closer to £35,000 thanks to its more complicated hybrid-drive system and added tech.

We have yet to get behind the wheel of the new Skoda Octavia vRS, but we’ll let you know what it’s like as soon as we do.