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Driven: Skoda Octavia vRS 245. Image by Skoda.

Driven: Skoda Octavia vRS 245
The hotter version of the vRS Skoda Octavia, here tested in Estate format.

 



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Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Good points: the 245 Estate specification makes the already-brilliant Octavia vRS even better

Not so good: it's still those split headlights we dislike most of all

Key Facts

Model tested: Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate
Price: Estate starts from 18,395; vRS 245 from 28,795; car as tested 31,570
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: 150g/km (200 VED first 12 months, then 140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 42.8mpg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 6.5 seconds
Power: 245hp at 4,700-6,200rpm
Torque: 370Nm at 1,600-4,300rpm

Our view:

We're going to keep this short and sweet; you know we like the Skoda Octavia in all its multitudinous guises, and you know we particularly love the vRS performance model, especially since it was facelifted earlier this year and seemed to go up a level when it came to driver rewards in the process. So giving it the most power any hot Octavia has ever had - 245hp, in case you were wondering - slapping in an electro-mechanical front locking diff, firming up the suspension and bolting on a set of delicious 19-inch Xtreme alloys is hardly going to make us dislike the rapid Skoda. Not least because our test car was an Estate model, and we are absolute suckers for fast wagons.

Anyway, if the 245's formula sounds familiar, that's because it is. On the pre-facelift Mk3 Octavia, there was a harder, faster vRS called the 230 which employed much the same chassis tricks. But as the 'regular' vRS is now up to 230hp itself, the 'special' model needed a bit more oomph - hence, here's the 245.

And it's sublime. It really is. Sure, there are faster hot hatches in the C-segment (albeit, we're not talking about the hatch here, but the estate... but we're sure you get the point), yet there are few that are as all of-a-piece and balanced as this Czech chariot. It sounds tremendous and goes with a rabid urge that has us casting suspicious glances at the printed peak horsepower figure, doubting its veracity. It steers beautifully. It grips and turns in marvellously. It even rides well; admittedly, with an additional firmness and a gnat's more tyre noise than you'd experience on the current 230hp vRS, but not by so much that it'd have you cursing your decision to tick the '245' box on the order form.

In short, it is every bit as fantastic and likeable as the regular vRS, only it's a just a bit better in all regards. It'll thrill you down the right country lane, it'll soothe you along the most turgid of motorway stretches, it'll ease you through towns and cities thick with congestion and in absolutely all traffic, road and weather situations you'll love it. Adore it, even. Crikey, it's even good on fuel: we did 451 miles in the vRS 245, spread across almost 12 hours of driving, and it gave back 37.2mpg overall with a 40.6mpg peak on the motorway. And it's not like it's bank-busting, either. At 31,570, it feels like exceptional value for money, particularly as that figure included options such as Dynamic Chassis Control (+850; spec it, it works a treat), a panoramic sunroof (+1,150; nice, but you don't need it), a rear-view parking camera (a bit steep at 375, but ultimately you'll want it), a space saver spare wheel (you might as well set fire to the 100 this'll set you back) and wireless phone charging with Bluetooth (essential and only 300). Honestly, what more could you want from an everyday performance wagon than this?

What's that, you say? Why have we only given it four-and-a-half stars out of five? Ah, well, that's easy; this is a facelifted Mk3 Octavia, when all's said and done, which means we've got the ugly Clark W. Griswold quad headlights. So if you can find someone who'll do a pre-facelift-Octavia nose-job on this vRS 245 Estate, then what you'll have here is a genuine, honest-to-goodness five-star car. It's either that, or simply don't look at the front of the Skoda during your entire ownership of the car. Whatever you choose to do, if you do decide to purchase an Octavia vRS 245, then you'll have a storming performance machine.

Alternatives:

Ford Focus ST Estate: nearing the end of its life now and while it's a good performance car, it can't hope to match the Skoda for interior space nor for the overall comfort of its ride.

SEAT Leon ST Cupra 300 4Drive: the pesky rival from Iberia gets the (slightly down-tuned) engine from the Golf R and four-wheel drive. Makes it fast, but it's expensive and curiously uninvolving.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance: this has the same engine and chassis trickery as the Skoda, only you can't have a Volkswagen Golf GTI Estate and it costs quite a bit of cash just as a hatch.


Matt Robinson - 3 May 2018









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2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.

2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.2018 Skoda Octavia vRS 245 Estate. Image by Skoda.








 

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