Skoda Octavia vRS Review & Prices
The Skoda Octavia vRS is just as practical, but now even plusher inside and adds a super economical plug-in hybrid model. Shame it isn’t more fun to drive, though
Find out more about the Skoda Octavia vRS
Better still, the new one is more efficient, too, because it features a range of new tech including an optional hybrid system. The hybrid model shares its 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 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’s 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’s 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
Of course, this being an Octavia, adults of all sizes will sit comfortably. There’s loads of space around the front seats and two tall adults will stretch out in the back too, let alone kids. A simply huge boot takes care of the luggage – bigger than that of any other hot hatch.
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 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 39 miles using just electric power.
The new Octavia isn’t just available as a hybrid, though – you can also 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, and it also features an electronic limited-slip differential for maximum traction out of corners.
Finally, there’s a 200hp 2.0-litre diesel-powered Octavia vRS. This model ditches the manual gearbox option and comes with the seven-speed auto as standard. And you can upgrade from front- to four-wheel drive for a bit of extra traction in slippery conditions.
So, if you like your hot hatch with a decent dose of space, look no further than the Skoda Octavia. Head to our deals page for the best prices.
The Skoda Octavia vRS has a RRP range of £36,555 to £36,555. However, with carwow you can save on average £3,524. Prices start at £33,031 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £317. The price of a used Skoda Octavia vRS on carwow starts at £25,250.
Our most popular versions of the Skoda Octavia vRS are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|2.0 TSI vRS 5dr DSG||£33,031||Compare offers|
The vRS, unsurprisingly, costs more than the standard Octavia. However, for the extra money, buyers will get a redesigned front end with sportier front bumper, black grille, vRS badging, LED Matrix headlights as standard and some air vents to help channel air over the wheel to keep them and the brakes cool. And a bootlip spoiler. And the extra performance.
Buyers looking at this area of the market have quite a few options, most noticeably in the form of the Volkswagen Golf GTi. The Golf is priced higher than the Skoda, but for that there is a premium in quality, performance and, arguably, appearance.
There are 19in wheels as standard and red brake callipers. The black theme continues with door surrounds and wing mirrors also in that shade.
The Octavia vRS has plenty of punch both in town and out on the open road, but could be not as far removed from the standard car as some buyers would like
Despite the vRS showing all the appetite and hunger for being a sports car, it is – at the end of the day – still a Skoda at heart. Which means that for many people, it is good, reliable family transport and a lot of its time is likely to be spent on school runs and in and around town.
Thankfully then, it features clever steering technology that enables drivers to move from going straight ahead to full lock in one turn of the wheel. That means mini roundabouts and tight turns can be navigated with ease and confidence.
The suspension is comfortable for a sports car, compared to more driver-focused cars such as the Honda Civic Type R. It’s a little firmer than the standard Octavia model, which means certain bumps in the road might be more prominent, but not to the point where it would put drivers off.
All is not lost here though, as there is an option of paying an extra £1,000 for more comfortable dampers, which hides bumps such as those described above.
On the motorway
The vRS is clearly not a slow car, so motorway miles can be eaten up with ease and in relative comfort, despite the Skoda’s sporty credentials. The automatic gearbox is seamless, which helps add to the experience on faster roads, with smooth up and downshifts throughout the ‘box. There is a slight delay when downshifting using the steering-wheel mounted paddles, but it's relatively minimal.
On the move at 50mph, overtaking is done with ease in the vRS. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is smooth and quick enough to react to pressing the accelerator down in order to get past slower-moving traffic without any fuss.
Cruising at 70mph there is a bit of noise from the tyres and through the windows. In short, the sound insulation is better on the Golf GTi. There’s not much in it, but it is noticeable.
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 feel 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 a another cracking alternative.
There’s a Tardis-like feel to the Octavia, although some of the interior materials can let it down
Space and practicality
The Octavia (as well as the larger Skodas in general) is well known for offering plenty of room for drivers and all other passengers. In the vRS that is no different. There is plenty of head and legroom for front passengers and the seats offer plenty of support and comfort. That’s especially important for long journeys, which is a staple for cars such as the Octavia, regardless of model!
The driving position is sensible and easy to configure to your desired position – there is plenty of travel in the seats in all directions. When sitting comfortably, the controls are laid out well and in easy reach for the driver.
Skoda’s tagline of ‘Simply Clever’ rings true as you look around the driver’s area, with a number of innovative storage solutions alongside wide door bins that can easily accommodate large drinks bottles. The centre console boasts dual cupholders, while further towards the dashboard there is a deep storage area for keys, wallet and phone.
More storage space comes under the central armrest, which slides back and forth to aid comfort. There are also USB ports hidden away here, enabling devices to be charged on the move with ease. The electric parking brake controls are sensibly positioned just behind the gear lever, with an auto hold button added should drivers want this option.
Space in the back seats
Just like the standard Octavia, there is plenty of room in the rear of the vRS. It’s a sporty car that would meet the needs of a family of five, as there is decent space for three people across the back seat. However, the fabric material used on those seats does feel a bit budget – it’s definitely an obvious step down from that used in the Golf GTi.
Staying in the back there is a special pouch integrated into the seat back storage of the front seats. Ideal position and placement for a mobile phone, ensuring that it won’t get lost in the larger, deeper pocket.
If you’re familiar with the Skoda brand, 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 the family car cannot be underestimated.
There are more than enough reminders that you’re in a vRS Skoda, but does the badging policy go too far? Either way, it’s an impressive interior, but comes at a cost
When you move into the cabin, there are some welcome enhancements over the standard Octavia. For a start, there’s a sports steering wheel, with red stitching and lots of vRS badging.
The steering wheel also features physical buttons to control items such as the cruise control, infotainment and heating for the steering wheel itself. Unlike some of the new Volkswagen products, including the latest Golf, a touchscreen-only policy was rejected, much to a lot of drivers’ delight. However, some functions – such as turning off the stability control system – require too many steps through the touchscreen systems. The sliding volume control can take a bit of getting used to, too.
Carrying on the sporty theme are bespoke sports seats – again with a black and red colour combo running through them – with another vRS badge. More badging can be seen on the kick plates.
In other material news, the use of faux carbon fibre on the dash, running underneath the central screen, is questionable – but alcantara makes a welcome change from plastic, that would typically be seen in the standard Octavia as well as the comparable Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra models.
On the whole, aside from the obvious badging and material upgrades, it’s pretty much like the standard Octavia. That also goes for the infotainment systems, apart from small touches such as the image of the car on the screen, which is the vRS model, and bespoke items in the menu that detail the status of the car’s turbocharger.
Unfortunately, that does mean some cheaper plastics used for the door linings and the same substandard gear selector that feels like it should’ve had the vRS treatment to improve the overall quality look and feel.
Another element that isn’t quite up to scratch in the vRS is the position of the driving mode button. On a sports-oriented car, it would make sense for this selector to be positioned on the steering wheel or nearby, but it is near the end of a row of buttons, which is a bit of a stretch. Then when choosing the mode, the driver has to move from physical button to touchscreen menu, which isn’t ideal.
Buyers should also be aware that a reversing camera – a given in other models in this segment – doesn’t come as standard; it’s a £600 option.
The original version of this car was only offered with a petrol engine, but that’s all changed with the desires and needs of drivers – as well as fuel costs! The new Octavia vRS offers a selection of engine options, including a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 245bhp and a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel with 200bhp.
The latter option can return up to 56mpg and comes in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive (the petrol is front-wheel-drive only). Finally, there is a plug-in hybrid version of the car, using a 1.4-litre petrol engine, combined with an electric motor to provide 245bhp.
The plug-in hybrid cahas an official fuel consumption figure of 245mpg, but that economy is unlikely in reality. Charging the car for two hours using a 7kW charger will take the battery from empty to full and subsequently provide an electric-only driving range of up to 39 miles. But the hybrid is heavier, which impacts on the driving experience and interior space.
The Octavia vRS comes with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox, with auto only for the plug-in hybrid option. Fleet or business drivers might be particularly taken by the tax advantages of the plug-in, which records CO2 emissions of 26-27g/km, meaning lower bills for great performance.
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.
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. 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.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.