Skoda Octavia vRS (2013 – 2020) At A Glance
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.
Skoda Octavia vRS 2.0TSI 230 Estate 2016 Road Test
Skoda Octavia vRS 2.0TDI 4WD 2016 Road Test
Long Term Test Skoda Octavia Estate vRS 2.0 TSI
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Real MPG average for a Skoda Octavia vRS (2013 – 2020)
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Ask Honest John
My brake discs and pads only lasted 24,000 miles. Is this acceptable wear and tear on a brand new car?
"My 2019 Skoda Kodiaq is at 24,000 miles and I've had to replace both the front brake discs and pads, which I consider unacceptable wear. Before the Kodiaq, I owned (from new) an Octavia VRS estate for 4 years and 45,000 miles — during which time I didn't replace any pad pads or brake discs. My driving style and patterns have not changed and I would state, with more commuter traffic, average commuting speeds have reduced. Over the entire period, I have had the same job, the same commute and if anything I would have driven the VRS harder than the Kodiaq. I appreciate the Kodiaq is a bigger, heavier car — however, it's only 152PS.
OEM parts are required for the warranty. The cost of new OEM front discs and pads fitted was just under £500 and if this is considered fair wear and tear after two years, I'm seriously going to have to change cars. I can't afford £500 every two years. Is this acceptable wear and tear on a brand new car or are the OEM parts not at the required quality to provide a reasonable amount of life?"
It's very difficult to say how long your brakes should last without knowing exactly how your car is driven. If you push your Kodiaq hard I'd argue that 30k would be about right, given the size and weight of the car (and the fact the front brakes do most of the hard work when it comes to stopping).
It might be an idea to get a second opinion from another Skoda garage, however, or use an independent garage that will use OEM parts (that will keep your warranty intact) but charge you much less for the work.
Is there a good sporty estate or SUV I should consider?
"I'm a new dad and now want to move from an Audi S3 to a more suitable estate or SUV that I will use as a daily drive but would like something sporty. I have a budget of £15000, what would you recommend?"
If you're looking for something sporty, you'd be better looking for an estate. We'd recommend a Skoda Octavia vRS. It's a very practical estate car that's fun to drive. Although rarer, seek out a petrol unless you cover high miles. Also, consider a BMW 3 Series Touring. Even the 318i is good to drive.
What DSG is used in the Skoda Octavia vRS?
"I am thinking about buying a 2019 Skoda Octavia vRS Challenge 2.0 TSI 245 DSG. Is this a seven-speed wet box or some other type of automatic gearbox?
It will be a DQ500 seven-speed dual wet clutch DSG. Better than the old DQ250 six-speed dual wet clutch DSG, but can still be sluggish and frustrating to drive. It needs fresh oil and a filter every three years or 38k miles but is nothing like as problem prone as dry clutch DQ200.
I keep having to replace tyres due to pothole damage - what wheels should I swap to?
"I have 225/35 R19 wheels on my Skoda Octavia vRS. I've replaced four tyres since January at £150 each due to potholes. I’ve now been offered a swap to 225/40 R18 wheels. Would this help?"
Would help a little bit. What I'd do is find the smallest wheels that will fit around the front brakes and fit them with deeper profile tyres. I checked and these are 17-inch wheels with 205/50 R17 89V tyres.