Skoda Octavia RS Car Review
Škoda Octavia is a brilliant and well-established car. It has grown its market share since it first entered the scene in 1996 due to a combination of practicality, efficiency and, of course, affordability. Value for money has been one of its best-selling points for years. If this isn’t enough for you, then the fact that it holds its value better than any other car on the Irish market (according to our Motor Industry Review 2018 H2) makes it an irresistible option to consider when you’re on the hunt for your next car. In recent years it has most commonly been powered by a 1.6 turbo charged diesel engine. Although this engine has been a popular one for families and taxi drivers alike, it’s not exactly very exciting to drive and therefore Škoda introduced the ‘RS’ model.
To the naked eye, the RS model looks just like a higher spec Octavia. It’s got some sportier features like bigger alloys, RS badges and some extremely appealing bucket seats. Other than that, it’s quite subtle and understated, and this is one of my favourite things about this model. Inside the car, those bucket seats are extremely comfortable, potentially some of the most comfortable on the market. The balance of comfort and support makes the driver’s seat a lovely place to be.
As far as technology goes, the Octavia doesn’t hold back. The RS model comes with just about every extra under the sun, from heated front and rear seats, to an easy to use Bluetooth phone connection system. The chances are, if you’re interested in an Octavia RS, then you’re probably more intrigued to know how it performs when driving. Both around town and at motorway speeds it continues to deliver in the same manner that a normal Octavia would. It does have stiffened suspension but, despite this, it’s actually reasonably smooth day to day. You will, however, be let down by the fuel consumption, and that’s because it’s got the same 2.0 litre engine as the Golf GTI.
On the flip side, this makes it much more entertaining to drive than your standard Škoda. I wouldn’t quite call it a ‘fast car’, but with 230bhp it is without a doubt a very ‘quick car’. It will do 0-100kmph in 6.5 seconds which is a respectable time for any 5-door hatchback. You also hear a lovely noise whilst in the driver’s seat, but I must warn you that half of that noise is ‘fake’, as it’s being played through the speakers. Controversial I know, but in recent years this is becoming more and more of a common trend across the industry. From the outside it does have a ‘real’ exhaust note which will no doubt put a smile on any motor enthusiast’s face. In fact, if you use your right foot on the accelerator in a certain way, you can actually get a little pop and bang at high revs, which is always a pleasure to hear.
So, it all looks good for the Octavia RS, it’s practical, comfortable, reasonably fast and even sounds nice. However, there is one massive drawback… it’s front wheel drive! Unless the roads are bone dry, the car won’t be able to deliver the power, no matter what tyres you have, but what’s worse is that the traction control intervenes and creates a terrible shudder that scares the living daylights out of you. This has, and probably always will be, a drawback to any high-powered front wheel drive car so I think it’s worth mentioning. However, the RS has a very intelligent differential that helps fight for the front wheel drive cause. Without going into too much detail, it effectively brakes the wheel on the inside of the bend to help hug the corner – and this really does work well.
All in all, I think the Octavia RS is a great car that will hold its value well, fit your whole family and even bring a big grin to your face when you’re driving on some country roads. Check out our full review below.