Skoda Octavia vRS Review & Prices

The Skoda Octavia vRS is hugely practical, performs well and offers plenty of choice. Steer clear if you want a really hardcore hot hatch, though

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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Punchy performance
  • Spacious interior
  • Very usable everyday

What's not so good

  • Other hot hatchbacks are more fun to drive
  • Some cheap-feeling trim
  • Touchscreen is vexing

Find out more about the Skoda Octavia vRS

Is the Skoda Octavia vRS a good car?

The Skoda Octavia vRS has always been somewhat out-there when it comes to the world of hot hatchbacks. That’s mainly because if you park it next to something like a Volkswagen Golf GTI or a Hyundai i30 N, you’d struggle to see those cars past the Octavia’s sheer bulk.

Selling big cars for small-car money has always been Skoda’s forte, and the Octavia vRS continues this trend. Though it offers similar performance to the Golf GTI for less money, it’s a real family car at heart, with loads of space inside and a massive boot. Think of it like a rocket-powered container ship.

Based on the standard Skoda Octavia, for the vRS model the boat’s been pushed out with plenty of sporty styling features. The front grille gets a moody black finish, there’s a big air intake in the bottom half of the front bumper and all the trim that would be chrome on the regular car has been blacked out too.

Added to this, lowered suspension, big alloy wheels and a subtle lip spoiler on the tailgate complete the vRS makeover. 

But it’s far from just a cosmetic transformation. The Octavia vRS comes with a choice of three of Skoda’s most powerful engines - a 245hp petrol, a 200hp diesel, or an interesting 245hp petrol plug-in hybrid. Optional four-wheel drive is available on the diesel model for those who desire an all-weather weapon, and driving purists can even have a manual gearbox on the petrol variant - though the majority of Octavias will have Skoda’s seven-speed automatic gearbox instead.

Large and in charge - the Octavia vRS is a brilliant family hot hatchback, though you do lose some driving sharpness with that size

As a result, the fastest model can hit 60mph from rest in just 6.6 seconds and go on to a top speed of 155mph. Though that’s far from the quickest hot hatchback on the market, it’s nonetheless impressive performance.

Inside, the sporting theme continues with supportive sports seats swathed in grippy upholstery. There’s red trim all over the place and a digital driver’s display with several modes from the clean to the info-overload, all with bespoke vRS graphics.

Elsewhere, it’s standard Octavia - which means a minimalist dashboard dominated by a large touchscreen infotainment system. It also means a huge back seat with room for a pair of burly rugby forwards to stretch out, and one of the biggest boots in the business with a colossal 600 litres of space. 

So if you like your hot hatch with a good dose of space, look no further - you’ll find all the best Skoda Octavia vRS deals here on Carwow, as well as great deals on used Skoda Octavia vRS models. You can also browse other used Skodas for sale, and when the time comes to change your car you can even sell your car through our network of trusted dealers.

How much is the Skoda Octavia vRS?

The price of a used Skoda Octavia vRS on Carwow starts at £22,592.

The vRS costs more than the range-topping standard Octavia, but you do get plenty for your money. Not only does it come with more powerful engines and upgraded suspension, but you also get a raft of sporty styling additions and interior upgrades.

Standard equipment is also very generous. LED Matrix headlights come on every model, which dim in sections according to oncoming traffic helping illuminate more of the road at night without dazzling drivers. You also get adaptive cruise control, all-round parking sensors and keyless ignition. 

Some key items are relegated to the options list, though, such as heated seats, a wireless charging pad or a reversing camera.

Competition in this area is notable, especially the smaller but mechanically similar Volkswagen Golf GTI. The Golf is a little more expensive than the Octavia, but you do feel some of that with a higher-quality interior and arguably more brand cachet. You could also consider the Hyundai i30 N, which starts at an even lower price than the Octavia and is even better to drive.

Performance and drive comfort

The Octavia vRS has plenty of power and punch, but isn't as thrilling in the corners as some hot hatchbacks

In town

One of the key benefits of a hot hatchback is in its duality - and here the Octavia vRS excels. When you’re done being a hooligan, you can switch into the ‘Comfort’ drive mode via a shortcut button underneath the touchscreen and then the Octavia vRS does a passable impression of being a regular family car.

It’s not terribly comfortable over bumps thanks to the big alloy wheels and stiff suspension, but only compared to the regular Octavia - next to other sporty models such as the Honda Civic Type R it’s positively plush. You can pay extra for adaptive dampers that allow you to select how hard or firm the suspension is, but this is a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than essential as the standard setup is very well judged. 

The engine is quiet and the steering is light so it’s not awkward to thread your way through traffic, and the styling is discreet enough that you won’t stand out in commuter traffic either. At least, not unless you’ve selected the Day-Glo ‘Hyper green’ paint colour…

On the motorway

The Octavia’s friendly nature continues on to the motorway. The extra power makes slip roads and overtakes effortless, and if you select the automatic gearbox driving at speed is really relaxed thanks to the long top gear that keeps the engine revs nice and low at 70mph. 

The Octavia vRS has variable-ratio steering, which allows you to make big turns without too much wheel-twiddling at low speeds, but relaxes on the motorway so things aren’t too hyperactive.

Cruising at speed you’ll notice a bit of noise from the big wheels, and the diesel engine in particular can be quite noisy if revved up for an overtake. Sound insulation is better on a Volkswagen Golf GTI.

On a twisty road

Go beyond all of the vRS badges and this Octavia’s driver’s car credentials have some depth. The suspension has been stiffened and clever technology at the front can provide more power to individual front wheels when they need it. 

Meanwhile, just like an old-school boy-racer’s car, the vRS version of the Octavia has been lowered by 15mm. As a result, there is a more sporty feel and it also improves the car’s appearance over the standard models. 

Another upgrade over the standard car are the brake discs, which means better stopping performance. Steering upgrades add to the responsiveness, too, without losing any of the feedback from the front tyres when cornering at speed. 

The Octavia is an impressive car, but its Volkswagen Group stablemate, the Golf GTi just edges it when it comes to the fun factor. Meanwhile, the Honda Civic Type R takes the hot hatch game to a whole new – and more focussed – level, and the Hyundai i30 N is another cracking alternative.

Space and practicality

Capacious interior, but not all of the materials are the nicest

Space and practicality

Life’s good for all passengers in the Skoda Octavia vRS, mainly thanks to the ample space on offer. Up front, the sports seats are very supportive without being as aggressively huggy as the ones in a Hyundai i30 N, so they’re more comfortable for larger drivers. There’s plenty of travel for people of all sizes, too.

What’s really impressive is the suite of storage solutions - clumped under Skoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ tagline. The large door bins include a clip-on waste bin, ideal for chewed gum or sweet wrappers. The centre console has dual cupholders with a pattern at the bottom which grips onto drink bottles, enabling you to open them one-handed. There’s also a sliding central armrest which conceals a deep storage bin, with hidden USB ports, as well as a storage area ahead of the gear lever for oddments.

Other useful touches up front include a USB-C port up by the rear-view mirror - intended for plugging in a dashcam without having wires trailing all round the cabin.

Space in the back seats

The Octavia’s back seats have an amazing amount of legroom compared to the hot hatch competition - a Volkswagen Golf GTI or Honda Civic Type R don’t even come close. Two adults have room to stretch out, though the centre seat can be a little narrow if you’re trying to fit three across the back. 

The seat fabric does feel notably more budget in the rear, which is a shame, but you do get a centre armrest with cupholders and some useful storage pockets in the back of the front seats - plus smaller ones for storing a mobile phone. There are ISOFIX points in the outer rear seats, though not in the front passenger seat. Installation is really easy thanks to wide-opening doors and all that room.

Boot space

If you’re familiar with Skoda, you’ll be aware that storage space – and space in general – is a bit of a USP for the Czech brand. So it will probably come as no surprise that the hatchback offers Tardis-like qualities in the boot. 

With the seats up, there are 600 litres of space in the boot – fold them down and you get upwards of 1,500 litres. Due to its size, the boot boasts Velcro-backed brackets that help hold smaller items firmly in place, too. 

It’s not perfect – the parcel shelf doesn’t fit under the false floor and, when folding the rear seats down, there is a slight ridge, which means a completely flat surface isn’t possible. However, the availability of so much room in a family car cannot be underestimated. A Volkswagen Golf GTI has just 380 litres of boot space, the Hyundai i30 N has 381, and the Honda Civic Type R has 410 litres - they don’t even come close.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Plenty of reminders that you're in a vRS Skoda, but standard Octavia technology still annoys

The structure of the dash is very much the same as the standard Skoda Octavia - which means you get a swooping dashboard dominated by a large, 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system

Unlike its Volkswagen and SEAT siblings, Skoda’s added a row of physical switchgear just beneath the touchscreen, which gives useful shortcuts to screens for the climate control, the driving mode and the hazard warning lights. You do, however, still have to use the touchscreen for the vast majority of functions, which is a shame. It’s big, and the onscreen buttons are reasonably easy to hit, but it’s simply not as easy to use on the move particularly for things like the climate control.

This is exacerbated in the vRS with its firm suspension, which means it’s harder to steady your hand to hit exactly what you want on the screen. And certain functions, such as turning off the stability control system, require one too many steps to accomplish.

Skoda certainly doesn’t let you forget you’re in a vRS model. There’s a swathe of faux carbon fibre on the dash, which feels a little try-hard. The use of Alcantara on the dash top is nice, though, as are the sports seats and the upgraded three-spoke steering wheel. There are also vRS badges aplenty - on the seats, steering wheel, kick plates and running through the themes on the digital instrument cluster.

Some of the plastics used, particularly on the door cards, do give away the Octavia’s budget beginnings, but this is to be expected given the price. Something’s gotta give, after all.

MPG, emissions and tax

Unlike most hot hatchbacks, Skoda offers the vRS with a choice of engines. The slowest, but potentially the most economical is the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel with 200hp. Driven carefully, this can top 60mpg on a long journey or 50mpg in mixed driving, and has low CO2 emissions of just 130g/km. This makes it a very usable everyday car, though the trade off is in its lower performance and that characteristic diesel rumble that takes away from the sporty feeling somewhat.

The 2.0-litre, 245hp petrol engine returns around 30-35mpg in normal driving, which is very good for a car with this much performance. It has the highest CO2 emissions of the bunch, though.

The interesting choice is the plug-in hybrid option. Badged as the vRS iV, this has a 1.4-litre petrol engine paired to an electric motor and battery pack to provide 245hp just like the regular petrol. The battery charges from empty in just two hours on a 7kW home charger, after which it can provide up to 39 miles of all-electric driving - or, you can set a destination in the sat-nav and the Octavia will intelligently use its battery to maximise economy along your route.

The option to do perhaps an entire weekly commute just on battery power has the potential to lower running costs rather drastically - and company car drivers will love the official CO2 emissions of just 26-27g/km which reduce Benefit-in-Kind tax. On longer trips, though, the plug-in hybrid is liable to be less efficient than even the regular petrol engine, so you should only choose this variant if you do lots of shorter journeys and you’re able to plug in and charge up regularly.

Safety and security

While the vRS hasn’t specifically been tested under Euro NCAP, the Octavia scored five stars out of five when evaluated. It recorded particularly good results on adult occupant protection (92%) and child occupant (88%). 

Helping to meet that maximum star rating, the vRS boasts curtain airbags, front side airbags and a front central airbag. The car also comes with lane keeping technology, adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.

Security-wise, there are manual child locks in the rear doors of the car as well as a built-in alarm featuring interior monitoring, tilt sensor and a back-up horn. Keyless entry and start/stop also comes as standard.

Reliability and problems

Skoda typically rates pretty highly on reliability on customer surveys, which means that owners and drivers can typically enjoy trouble-free motoring with the vRS. Skoda dealers also rate very highly for customer satisfaction so even if something does go wrong, it should be a reasonably slick experience getting it sorted.

There have been no reported issues or recalls with the vRS since launch – in fact there have only been limited numbers of the standard car identified as having any faults since it went on sale in 2021.

The Octavia vRS features a three year/60,000-mile warranty, which is typical of the sector, despite the likes of Kia and Hyundai offering up to seven years.

Buy or lease the Skoda Octavia vRS at a price you’ll love
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