Skoda Octavia vRS

Chee-Chiu Lee
4 May 2006

Sat in traffic with my missus next to me, I sensed all was not right. 'What's up?' I asked. With her face screwed up she complained, 'I don't like normal cars.'

Sat in traffic with my missus next to me, I sensed all was not right. 'What's up?' I asked. With her face screwed up she complained, 'I don't like normal cars.'

Yep, having enjoyed a near-£60K Range Rover Sport Supercharged for the last few months there's no doubt that we've been a bit spoilt, but to call my new 197bhp Skoda Octavia vRS estate 'normal' is a little unfair.

Our first Skoda long-termer, it arrived with racy Race Blue paint (£315), 18in wheels (£300), xenon lights (£550), rear parking sensors (£260) and a trip computer (£90), bringing the total cost to £19,865. Not exactly the kind of bargain basement price you might once have expected from Skoda, but still good value for a large family estate.

Having neither a family of my own nor a green-fingered fetish, I didn't choose the estate over the hatch for its carrying capacity, but for its looks. I'd hoped the estate would be somewhat cooler-looking than the frumpy hatch, but I must say I'm a little disappointed. To me it seems more Primera estate than über-chic A6 Avant-alike. Oh well...

After the easy running-in period (the torquey engine helped) the strong but snatchy brakes have become more feelsome, making heel and toe-ing feel natural. The engine impresses with the way it provides low-end torque before singing its way to the red line with such smoothness that you wish there was a better soundtrack to let you know when to change up.

The Octavia doesn't quite have the vivid, driver-focused character of evo's Golf GTI, but it's early days yet; maybe the vRS needs stretching before it shows its true colours. On the plus side, the Skoda rides much better than the VW, making for deceptively quick progress with passengers on board, helped by a speedo that reads 50, 60, 70, 80, 100... With nearly 200bhp under my right foot I think I'd better keep a close eye on that...

Running Costs

Date acquired March 2006
Total mileage 1541
Costs this month £0
Mileage this month 1379
MPG this month 30.5mpg

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