Skip advert
Advertisement

Should I keep my Skoda Octavia vRS? – evo Market

If you can’t face selling your car, take a look at the latest options to upgrade and improve it instead

The first Skoda Octavia vRS debuted in 2001 and immediately made an impact for its bang per buck. With a 178bhp 1.8-litre turbocharged engine but a price tag of only £15,100 (a Golf GTI was £16,425, and less fun to drive), its appeal was clear.

In 2006 we got the second-generation. It wasn’t quite as effervescent as that first car but it was more grown-up. Still brisk too, with 197bhp and a claimed top speed of 149mph. And still relatively affordable, at £17,500, when a Golf GTI had climbed to £19,995.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Offered in hatch and estate bodies, petrol and diesel engines, and manual and DSG transmissions, there’s a vRS for almost everyone. But the current vRS is even better to drive and arguably sharper to look at. So do you trade up, or improve what you have?

Find a used Skoda Octavia vRS for sale on the Classic and Performance Car site

Skoda Octavia vRS upgrade ideas

The Octavia vRS’s talent lies in mixing strong performance with the utmost ease of use and a level of practicality that shames most other cars – especially in estate trim. The second-gen cars are also dropping in value (the earliest 2006 examples now start from as little as £2500) and out of warranty, making them ideal platforms for modification.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

With turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, ECU tuning is an obvious starting point given the easily-boosted turbocharged engines. Superchips’ Bluefin (£399, mybluefin.co.uk) adds as much as 41bhp and 40lb ft to the standard 197bhp and 206lb ft in the petrol model, and 28bhp with 44lb ft for the 168bhp, 258lb ft TDI.

> More: Read our Skoda Octavia vRS review

Next is handling, as the vRS has a fair amount of mass to control in the corners. Peer at the forums and many owners recommend starting with anti-roll bars to help check body movements. H&R supplies front and rear units (£334 from awesomegti.com) that reduce roll and improve cornering without significantly affecting ride quality.

Advertisement - Article continues below

New wheels are worth a look too: the standard 18-inch pieces are around 13kg each, which becomes a significant amount of rotating mass. Neuspeed RSe07 wheels – another item recommended by many owners – weigh 8.8kg each in 18 x 8in. You can find them at awesomegti.com for £250 apiece.

Skoda Octavia vRS key facts and figures

EngineIn-line 4cyl, 1998cc, turbocharged
Max power197bhp @5100rpm
Max torque207lb ft @ 1800-5000rpm
TransmissionSix-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Weight1470kg
Power-to-weight135bhp/ton
0-62mph7.1sec (claimed)
Top speed149mph (claimed)
Price new£17,500
Price range used£2500-£13,000

Servicing

Variable service interval: Up to 18,600 miles or every two years

Recommended service interval: 9300 miles or annually

DSG oil change interval: 37,000 miles at the latest

What we said at the time

‘The fact is the vRS is a fine drive, its engine smooth and crisp and revvy and full of lovely turbo torque without the usual downside of turbo lag and a soft throttle response. Thank the 2-litre engine’s direct injection for making a high compression ratio possible. It sounds crisp, too, but the note is never intrusive. The handling is amusingly throttle-steerable but ultimately foolproof, and the steering, well-weighted and accurate with convincing feel for an electrically-assisted system.’ John Simister, evo 085 Read the full review here

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

New Skoda Octavia vRS revealed - the more practical Golf GTI ups its game
Skoda Octavia vRS – front
News

New Skoda Octavia vRS revealed - the more practical Golf GTI ups its game

The facelifted Skoda Octavia vRS arrives hot on the heels of the Mk8.5 Golf GTI, equipped with the same upgraded 261bhp engine
15 Feb 2024
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Le Mans 24 Hours 2024: Ferrari triumphs (again) with the 499P
Le Mans 24 Hours 2024
News

Le Mans 24 Hours 2024: Ferrari triumphs (again) with the 499P

The 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours was a thriller, with a record-breaking number of Hypercars, changeable weather and the new LMGT3 class making its debut
16 Jun 2024
Lotus Elise S2 v Toyota MR2 Mk3 v Porsche Boxster S 987: The best affordable mid-engined sports cars
Used mid-engined bargains
Group tests

Lotus Elise S2 v Toyota MR2 Mk3 v Porsche Boxster S 987: The best affordable mid-engined sports cars

Everyone should own a mid-engined car at least once in their life, and the S2 Elise, Mk3 MR2 and 987 Boxster S are brilliant places to start
15 Jun 2024
The new Alpine A290 sounds like the electric hot hatch we’ve been waiting for
Alpine A290 – front
News

The new Alpine A290 sounds like the electric hot hatch we’ve been waiting for

We’ve seen the concept, driven a prototype, and now Alpine has unveiled its A290 hot hatch in its final form
13 Jun 2024