Skoda Octavia vRS Review 2024

Skoda Octavia vRS At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Available as a hatch or estate, the Skoda Octavia vRS is a brilliant all-rounder, but it might lack the sparkle that some want from a hot hatch.

+Decent choice of engines. Spacious cabin. Practical and easy to live with.

-Sharper handling rivals. Lacks drama. Some elements of the interior could be better.

The Skoda Octavia vRS doesn't deliver the same white-knuckle ride as something like the Honda Civic Type R, but if you're looking for a hot hatch that's practical and easy to live with day in, day out, then it could be the car for you. Find out more in our Skoda Octavia vRS review.

The fourth-generation Skoda Octavia vRS is the hot hatch version of one of our favourite family cars, the ever-popular Octavia

Skoda's always done things a little differently when it comes to hot hatches though. Who remembers the original diesel-powered Fabia vRS? And it's a similar story with the Octavia vRS. Not only is it available as a hatchback, but the Octavia is also available as an estate to make it even more family-friendly.

To differentiate the Octavia vRS from the standard car, both incarnations feature unique front and rear bumper designs that incorporate a host of black details. These include the double-slat radiator grille, lower air diffuser and the distinctive air curtains above the front fog lights. The door mirror housings and window frames are also finished in gloss black, while the estate model is finished with black roof bars as standard. At the rear, the hatch model adds gloss black aero flaps, diffuser and a subtle bootlid spoiler, while both models come with chrome exhaust tailpipes and bespoke vRS badging as standard.

Skoda reckons the styling of the Octavia vRS is both sporty yet subtle. It's certainly not as outrageous as something like a Civic Type R, and whether that's a good or a bad thing will be down to your hot hatch checklist. Given that Honda's had to tone down the latest Civic Type R design to appeal to a broader audience, the understated styling might work in the Octavia vRS's favour. 

As well as offering two body styles, the Octavia is available with three engines - a 245PS 2.0-litre petrol, a 200PS 2.0-litre diesel and a 245PS plug-in hybrid. The big seller is likely to be the petrol engine variant partnered with the DSG gearbox (there's a six-speed manual available as well), but it looks like the PHEV has been less of a success, now no longer available to order new. 

The latest Skoda Octavia vRS enjoys a Virtual Cockpit instrument panel fitted as standard and offers an additional Sport layout. This complements the large 10-inch touchscreen display, though we're not huge fans on the over reliance of touchscreen controls. On the plus side, the new multifunction three-spoke leather steering wheel features physical controls that are definitely easier to use than the touch-sensitive interface on the latest Golf GTI

Speaking of which, the Octavia vRS uses a longer wheelbase than the Golf GTI, resulting in ample space in both the front and back. Meanwhile, the boot space is epic at 600 litres, while the estate goes one better at 640 litres. 

It might not be the last word in hot hatches, but the Skoda Octavia vRS makes for a brilliant family car and a great all-rounder. 

We lived with an Octavia vRS for six months - find out how we got on with it in our Skoda Octavia vRS long term test.

Ask Honest John

Can you suggest a replacement for my BMW 430i?

"I currently drive a BMW 430i. I love the car but want to replace it with a performance hatchback with a good-sized boot and excellent road handling. As a minimum, it must cover 0-62mph in less than seven seconds and return at least 33mpg. I like the new Honda Civic but it looks like most models will be hybrids with reduced boot size. Would the new Civic Type R suit my needs? "
We're yet to drive the new Honda Civic Type R. Many people do drive older Civic Type R models every day and find them a good compromise between performance and useability. It comes down to your requirements and tastes, though – personally, I'd much rather have something a little softer and more upmarket like your BMW 430i. Have you considered a Skoda Octavia vRS? It's a very practical hot hatch with a big boot and impressive performance. It'll probably be a bit more comfortable day-to-day than the Civic, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a sports car for a tall driver?

"I've not long retired and would like to get a nippy sports car. I have a budget of about £10k. I'm 6ft 8ins tall and feel my choice may be very limited. Any ideas as to what I might fit in?"
While not quite as tall as you (I'm a mere 6ft3), I too have issues getting comfortable in sports cars. I suppose it depends on what you want from a sports car. You could go for a hot hatch like a Focus ST or Octavia vRS which has plenty of space but if you want a 'true' sports car like a two-seater, you may be more limited. Porsches tend to have good space and plenty of seat adjustment so an early Cayman or a Boxster may suit. Similarly, an Audi TT could be worth a look. German cars tend to have more space than French or Japanese when it comes to sports cars.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Skoda Octavia vRS cost?