Review: Skoda Octavia vRS (2013)
Practical and refined performance version of latest Octavia. Available with excellent TSI engine or more economical TDI unit. Handling much improved over the standard car.
Top vRS 230 gets more equipment but a considerable firmer ride.
Skoda Octavia vRS (2013): At A Glance
- New prices start from £27,625, brokers can source from £21,497
- Contract hire deals from £233.74 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 26–30
- On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure
Skoda's vRS stock continues to grow with each new incarnation and although the 2010 Fabia vRS didn't quite catch the imagination of the public in the same way as the original TDI version, the vRS badge is still recognised by many as something of a more practical alternative to a GTI.
That's very true of the latest Octavia vRS. It uses the same platform as the latest Golf (and Audi A3 and SEAT Leon for that matter) and uses the same engines too. The petrol is a 2.0 TSI with 220PS which makes this Octavia the most powerful ever built. It's a superb engine with a smooth revving nature and great response when you want it to perform.
Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 6.8 seconds - a Golf GTI with the same engine is only 0.3 seconds quicker. Yet it will average - according to the official figures anyway - 45.6mpg. Of course start enjoying that performance and this will soon drop. The other engine is the 2.0 TDI with 184PS which has incredibly strong in-gear acceleration yet is still quiet and refined. Economy is impressive too with a claimed 61.4mpg.
To go with its sporting nature the vRS gets sports suspension and has been lowered by 12mm plus it gets the XDS electronic differential as standard. This system cleverly brakes the inside wheels in corners, making the car feel more agile and meaning less steering lock is required. It also has new electro-mechanical progressive steering. On the road the Octavia is a revelation compared to the standard car with much improved steering feel and a sharper nature through corners. It's a very enjoyable car to drive yet is still usable every day thanks to a supple ride and easy controls.
To make it stand out from the standard model, the vRS gets honeycomb design air intakes, a bespoke front bumper and fog lights along with xenon headlights. At the back there's a diffuser and trapezoidal exhaust pipes. It gets 17-inch alloys as standard but there are 18-inch and 19-inch wheels available as options. The 18-inch wheels come in silver and anthracite while the 19-inch in black. Inside there are vRS sports seats and a three-spoke steering wheel with perforated leather.
What does a Skoda Octavia vRS (2013) cost?
Skoda Octavia vRS (2013): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the Octavia vRS isn't the most exciting for what is a performance hatch, but there's no denying the build quality nor the fit and finish which are impeccable. It feels a very solid car and so while it may be a little dark that is Skoda's aim - it says black is beautiful which may explain the black finish across everything including the roof lining.
To lift the interior there is red or green stitching on the seats, which are another real strength of the vRS. They offer a superb combination of comfort and support, particularly at the sides, plus with plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering column it's easy to find an ideal driving position. There are some other small vRS details like the badging on the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and on the instrument dials.
The layout of the cabin is easy to get on with all the controls and switches clearly labelled while there's impressive storage too. The door pockets are huge and there's a large central cubby that doubles as an armrest. There are two useful cupholders next to the handbrake.
What really makes the Octavia vRS such a good all rounder is its practicality. It goes like a GTI yet has plenty of rear passenger room - helped by a longer wheelbase than its predecessor - and a huge boot with 590 litres in the standard hatch and 610 litres if you go for the estate version. The backrests of the rear seats can be folded down via handles in the boot in a 60/40 split.
Other genuinely handy features include the optional double-sided floor mat which has carpet on one side and a dirt and water repellent surface on the other, ideal for transporting muddy wellies, plants or pets. As with the standard Octavia, the vRS also has the handy ice scraper built into the fuel filler flap.
Child seats that fit a Skoda Octavia vRS (2013)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Skoda Octavia vRS (2013) like to drive?
- Engines range from 2.0 TDI 184 4x4 DSG to 2.0 TSI 245 DSG
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 26–61 mpg
While there was a positive response to the new Octavia when it was launched, the handling wasn't a particular highlight. However, for the vRS it's clear Skoda has worked to ensure its sportiest Octavia has the handling and steering to merit the vRS badge.
That's down to a number of changes such as a sport chassis and a 15mm lower ride height. There's also a new multi link suspension at the rear but the two big factors are the progressive steering and the XDS system. The progressive steering system means that you don't need as much steering input in corners as the steering ratio actually changes depending on how far the wheel is turned.
This is coupled with the impressive XDS system. It's a feature we've seen on the Fabia vRS and which is used across the Volkswagen Group. It uses the ESP to cleverly brake the inside wheels in corners, making the car feel more agile and meaning less steering lock is required. It makes the Octavia feel far keener in corners than the standard car.
All these things combine to make the vRS an impressive handling car. It's actually something of a revelation compared to the standard car with a solid and planted feel at speed yet an agile and composed nature through corners. The steering has a nice weight to it and a decent amount of feel too but it's perhaps how well the Octavia vRS responds to quick changes of direction that impresses. It's genuinely enjoyable to drive quickly.
It's a great all rounder too because while it's very composed when you throw it into a corner, with little in the way of body roll, it still rides well. So around town it's as easy to drive and as comfortable as a standard Octavia. All the main controls like the gear change and clutch are nicely weighted while it's still easy to manoeuvre despite its larger wheels,
We're big fans of the 2.0 TSI engine and think it suits the vRS perfectly. It's got a real zest about it with a free revving nature yet has great refinement. It's the same engine that's used in the latest Golf GTI so it's no surprise that it's so strong. On paper it will accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds while economy is reasonable with a claimed 45.6mpg.
Not so exciting but equally as good is the 2.0 TDI version. It makes sense if you want a blend of usable performance and economy. The figures say it can average 61.4mpg. It may not have as much power as the petrol with 184PS but it makes up for it with 350Nm of torque which means it will pull in sixth on the motorway with real strength. Emissions for the manual are just 119g/km too. It lacks the character of the TSI but it will make more sense for many buyers.
|2.0 TDI 184||64 mpg||7.9 s||119 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184 4x4 DSG||55–58 mpg||7.6 s||129–134 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184 4x4 DSG Estate||55–57 mpg||7.7 s||129–134 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184 DSG||58–63 mpg||7.9 s||119–129 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184 DSG Estate||58–59 mpg||8.0–8.4 s||129 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184 Estate||63 mpg||8.0–8.3 s||119 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 220||46 mpg||6.8 s||142 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 220 DSG||44 mpg||6.9 s||142 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 220 DSG Estate||44 mpg||7.1 s||149 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 220 Estate||45 mpg||6.9 s||142 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 230||44–46 mpg||6.7 s||142–143 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 230 DSG||43–44 mpg||6.8 s||146–149 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 230 DSG Estate||43–44 mpg||7.0 s||147–149 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 230 Estate||44–45 mpg||6.8 s||143–149 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 245||43–46 mpg||6.6 s||150–152 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 245 DSG||44–46 mpg||6.6 s||139–146 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 245 DSG Estate||44–46 mpg||6.7 s||141–146 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 245 Estate||43 mpg||6.7 s||150–154 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Octavia vRS (2013)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Skoda Octavia vRS (2013)?
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What DSG is used in the Skoda Octavia vRS?
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