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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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.

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.

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

Advertisement - Article continues below

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

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/skoda/octavia-vrs
Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback

Skoda Octavia vRS review

21 May 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30/n
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N review – verdict, prices and rivals

22 Jul 2020
Visit/skoda/202145/full-2020-skoda-octavia-vrs-engine-range-detailed
Skoda Octavia vRS

Full 2020 Skoda Octavia vRS engine range detailed

3 Jul 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020
Visit/bmw/2-series-coupe/202900/new-bmw-2-series-coupe-spied-ahead-of-reveal
BMW 2 Series coupe

New rear-wheel drive BMW 2-series coupe spied – the M2’s not dead yet

BMW’s 2-series Coupe is coming back, with right-wheel drive.
6 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020
Visit/ferrari/roma
Ferrari

Ferrari Roma 2020 review – a new take on the Italian GT

Direct, engaging handling and superb ride quality, plus strong performance: the sharp-suited Roma nails its GT brief
5 Aug 2020