Skoda Octavia VRS Estate review
The Skoda Octavia vRS Estate is quick and more than practical enough for most, but its subtle looks might not suit everyone looking for a performance car.
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The Skoda Octavia vRS Estate is the high-performance version of the practical Octavia Estate. The Seat Leon Cupra ST and VW Golf GTI Estate are similar in idea to the Octavia vRS Estate, but the Skoda beats them for practicality. If you’re not a fan of estate cars, there’s also the Octavia vRS hatchback.
Sit inside the Octavia vRS Estate and immediately you notice how different it is from a regular Octavia Estate interior. Admittedly, it’s not the last word in exciting design and to some it may appear rather underwhelming, but sporty details such as the black roof headliner, metal trim inserts and red stitching for the sport seats make it a nice place to spend time in.
Speaking of the sport seats – they are a great reason you should go for a vRS Estate over a lower model. Even if you’re not interested in spirited driving, you’ll find the vRS Estate seats quite supportive and more comfortable than the standard ones.
vRS models of the Octavia Estate also benefit from an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav and an integrated wi-fi hotspot. It’s one of the easiest touchscreen systems to use, but it’s still a touchscreen so it’s a tad trickier to operate it while the car is moving.
Getting comfortable behind the wheel is no problem at all, and thanks to wide adjustment to both seat and steering wheel, you can get nice and low in the vRS Estate, almost like in a sports car. Moving onto the back seats you’ll be surprised by the amount of space – anyone short of Shaquille O’Neal will find the rear of the vRS Octavia Estate more than spacious enough.
Opening the boot reveals another pleasant surprise – the luggage capacity of the vRS Octavia is more than just about any close alternative – the VW Golf GTI Estate is close, but hatchbacks such as the Renault Megane have much less luggage room. Not only that but it’s full of neat practical touches such as velcro-bottomed boot dividers, hooks, nets and tethering points so saying you bought it for practical reasons is an excellent way of justifying your vRS Octavia Estate purchase.
It’s as much of a hoot to drive as the vRS hatchback but with extra practicality.
Picking an engine for the Octavia vRS is fairly simple – choose between a 2.0-litre petrol or diesel. The petrol has 245hp and the diesel makes do with 184hp but it has the pulling power to have similar performance to the petrol. The petrol suits the car’s sporty character better whereas the diesel is better for long motorway drives and can achieve some pretty impressive fuel economy.
No matter if you’re blasting down the M1 or tackling twisty B-roads, the Octavia vRS always remains sure and predictable – it’s far from the most exciting performance car, but it does give you the confidence to have a bit of fun without scaring yourself witless.
All in all, the Skoda Octavia vRS Estate doesn’t quite have the desirability of a VW Golf GTI Estate, nor is it as fun to drive as a Seat Leon Cupra ST. What the Skoda has is a nice balance between performance and practicality making it the thinking man’s choice.
The Octavia vRS Estate doesn’t quite have the full breadth of ability that a Golf GTI Estate has, nor is it as fun to drive as a Seat Leon Cupra ST. What the Skoda has is a nice balance between all capabilities with a slight lean towards fast-speed continent-crossing over twisty corners.
The light steering robs you of some confidence in fast bends