Skoda Octavia VRS interior
The interior of the Skoda Octavia vRS is very well built, but it doesn’t feel quite special enough for a top-of-the-range car
The Skoda Octavia vRS’ interior has the same basic design as the standard car, but with a few additions that make it feel little bit sportier.
Solid build quality is what forms the base of the interior’s appeal however, and everything feels robust – like it’ll shrug off abuse for years to come – and most of the plastics are soft and expensive-feeling. Given the Octavia’s very reasonable price, there’s a lot of satisfaction to be had from that.
Exciting it is not, though, and that’s despite Skoda sprinkling the interior with vRS badges and carbon-fibre-style trim pieces. The standard sports seats are very comfortable – although they could do with more side support in fast corners – and have sporty contrast stitching. You also get ambient lighting with your choice of 10 colours, although the default setting is Skoda’s signature (uninspiring) medical green.
Ticking the box for the £925 Alcantara leather upholstery raises the vRS’ interior game significantly, but if you like your hot hatch’s cabin to be dripping with ‘go faster’ touches then the Honda Civic Type R will be more up your street.
The vRS’ huge boot makes it the turbocharged warehouse of hot hatches
The vRS’ Amundsen sat-nav has an eight-inch screen that’s colourful and big enough to operate fairly easily on the move, although a fixed control knob between the two front seats would make it even easier. It comes fitted with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Smartlink+ so you can use the sat-nav and music apps that are on your phone, meaning most people will never use the slightly nicer looking integrated navigation system.
An extra £1,050 buys you the top-of-the-range Columbus system with a 9.2-inch screen. It has no physical buttons, giving it a rather fetching glassy appearance that looks very modern, if a bit of a fingerprint magnet. You might miss the volume knob you get with the Amundsen unit, but the graphics are clear and colourful and the system is navigated via a tile layout that’s slightly easier to use on the move. That said, the differences aren’t big enough to justify splashing the extra cash.
You’re better off spending the money you save on the £500 Canton stereo. It has ten speakers – the regular version has eight – and a subwoofer in the boot. The resulting 570W delivers bombastic (though not particularly detailed) sound compared to the rather limp output of the standard stereo.