Skoda Octavia RS – Review


I’m a huge fan of hot hatches. When I got the opportunity to test the Skoda Octavia RS range, I grabbed it with open, greedy arms and got two of them! If you’re after a diesel or a petrol hot hatch, look no further. I’ll guide you in the right direction.

A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Skoda Octavia RS – 4×4 TDI and the 230 TSI
Engine: 2.0 TDI 4×4 diesel – 184hp and 380Nm
                  2.0 Petrol TSI  – 230hp and 350Nm
Transmission: Diesel: 6 Speed automatic (DSG), Four Wheel Drive
Petrol: 6 speed Manual, Front Wheel Drive
Price: The Octavia range starts from €18,995. The RS starts from €33,495. As tested – €40,817 for the diesel and €36,766 for the petrol. Both including options. 

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Styling

The RS doesn’t look a whole lot different than the regular Octavia. It comes in two body styles; a hatchback or Combi. DSC_0028The hatchback features a spoiler on the boot. The RS has twin, rectangular exhaust pipe trim built into the rear defuser.

A lot of the chrome trim featured on the regular Octavia has been replaced with black trim, like on the front grille.

DSC_0009The petrol is very limited in terms of options and colours. You can only choose from four colours in the petrol and one style of alloy wheel. Whereas, with the diesel you can choose from 11 colours and four styles of alloys. Its like Skoda want you to buy the diesel…

Top tip; if you see a Race Blue or Rallye Green RS on the road or one with 18 inch alloys, it a diesel. That is how easy it is to spot the difference!

Interior

Once you open the door to the RS, you are greeted with sportiness. You slump into the rigid yet surprising comfy leather bucket seats and grip the D-shaped steering wheel. DSC_0012Yeah, this is nice. Black and red surrounds you; from the black headliner to the black carpets to the black and red trimmed leather seats. Faux-carbon fibre effect trim lines the doors, divides the dash and surrounds the gearshifter. I can’t wait to turn the key.

On The Road

I finally turn the key and I hear the engine rubles into life. This can one of many ways; I can either love or hate a diesel automatic or I can either love or hate a manual petrol. Before I pull away, I know which one will be the winner in my mind.

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I select Drive and pull away. I’m driving the RS Diesel 4×4. The only performance diesel I have driven before this is the Audi A7 bi-turbo. The two can’t be compared. Although the Octavia is quick and agile, it was still a bit boring. The 184hp unit is rattly and can still be heard from inside the cabin. The 6-speed DSG is not suited to the engine unless you hate cars and driving, in which case you should not be buying a RS. The grip from the four wheel drive system is good, though, if only it was offered on the petrol chassis…

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On the otherhand, once you select the first out of 6 gears on the manual transmission of the RS 230 petrol, its a different kettle of fish altogether. There is a synthetic engine sound pumped through the cabin but it just adds excitement. From going around a round about to pulling away from traffic lights, the noise is just addictive. The 230hp engine is both powerful and torquey. If I had to go for the DSG, I would try it mated to this engine, blipping up and down with the paddle shifters would make it kind of fun.

Practicality/Boot Space

Although the Octavia has been given the RS treatment, this does not mean it has skimped out on practicality. The RS still features a 590l boot and the rear folding seats can increase this to 1,580l. I can vouch for this flexibility in boot space as I made a trip to Ikea. A whole office furnishings fitted into the Octavia with ease.

Equipment

The Skoda shares a similar infotainment system with the Volkswagen range.  The RS comes with an 8-speaker Bolero set up. This includes a 5.8 inch touch screen to navigate the tuneage you’ll be banging out!

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Front and rear parking sensors, full leather and RS door scuff plates come as standard on the car.

Running Costs

The vRS petrol emits 142g/km of CO2 so falls under tax band C coming in at €390 per year. The diesel on the other hand is slightly more environmentally friendly emitting 129g/km of CO2 and falling under tax band B1 coming in at €270 per annum.

As I mentioned above, the diesel is slightly thankful to the environment, it is also more friendly on your pocket too in terms of fuel economy. Throughout the week, driving both in the city and on motorways, I averaged 6.6l/100km. In the petrol, doing similar driving, I got 8.1l/100km.

Pricing

Prices start at €33,495 for the RS diesel with the 4×4 version coming in at €38,795. The petrol version starts at €35,995. Add €1,000 to each price for the Combi equivalent.

Competition

Volkswagen Golf GTI/GTD – The most obvious of choices. The RS is more exclusive than the GTI/GTD and is better priced. Although, arguable the GTD is better looking.

Peugeot 308 GTi – The Peugeot looks better, sounds better and is more powerful. Prices start at €37,195 for the 250hp. Although, it lacks a diesel version and isn’t as practical as the RS.

Ford Focus ST – The Focus ST is overlooked especially with the new RS getting all the attention. Prices start at €37,900 and it has both a petrol and diesel variant so is a direct rival for the RS. Although, is it getting a bit boring looking or is that just me?

Conclusion

The petrol one is the one to have. It sounds so much better and there is only 30Nm difference between the two. If you are worried about fuel economy, then why would you be buying a RS in the first place? The Octavia RS is a great car and is worth every penny. Yo Skoda, when can we have a 4×4 petrol version?

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