The Octavia vRS recently received a new engine and interior facelift, with the outside due some fettling later this year. Ian Robertson tests the new limited edition vRS
It isn’t very often that us hacks get to drive limited edition versions of bread and butter cars, but Skoda obviously thought that the new Octavia vRS Limited Edition was too good for journos to miss out on.
But what ingredients make it a limited edition? Or is it a case of nailing a ‘limited edition’ badge to the back and fleecing punters for the extra £750, which this car costs over the standard car? Well, vRS geeks would immediately notice the unique multispoke 18-inch alloy wheels and would point out that the metallic Anthracite paint has never been seen before on the standard vRS. They would tell you that only 500 are to be made, and that there’s leather upholstery with the vRS limited edition logo stitched into the leather.
What hasn’t changed, though, is the driving experience – it’s as driver focussed as ever. The handling is fantastic with a sporty, well composed ride and pin-sharp steering. Interior quality is excellent and the chunky leather steering wheel is great to hold. The recent update to the interior, with new audio systems, air con controls and steering wheel are welcome improvements, and while the rest of the range got exterior enhancements as well, with new headlamps and grille among other changes, the vRS and the Octavia Scout must wait a few more months. Practicality is excellent with one of the largest loadbays in its class, swallowing up 560 litres with the seats in the upright position and 1,350 with them folded.
The 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine features the latest common-rail technology, making the previously used Pumpe Düse engine obsolete. The new unit is considerably quieter and smoother, even if it doesn’t feel quite as punchy. The manufacturer figures belie that fact, with the new engine achieving the zero to 60mph dash in 0.1 of a second faster, and continuing on to a maximum speed of 140mph. CO2 emissions are also improved by 1g/km, meaning the vRS limited edition falls into tax band F. In addition to the equipment detailed above, the vRS comes with dual-zone climate control, rear spoiler, cruise control, front fog lights and a touchscreen audio system that can play MP3 files.
In addition, there’s a full compliment of airbags, together with electronic stability programme. Residual values are expected to be higher than its peers, and whether the extra £750 for the limited edition version is good value depends on whether you really want leather seats, different 18-inch alloy wheels and grey metallic paint. What isn’t doubted though, is the sheer all-round ability of the Octavia, and for my mind, I think I’d pocket the difference and stick with a standard vRS.
RIVALS: Fiat Bravo 2.0 16v MultiJet 165 Sport, SEAT Leon FR 2.0 TDI, Toyota Auris SR180 2.2 D-4D
- Engine: 1968cc, 4 cylinder, turbodiesel with particulate filter
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 170bhp at 4,200rpm
- Max Torque: 258lb ft at 1,750-2,500rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 1,400kg
- Combined Consumption: 49.6mpg
- CO 2 Emissions (taxband): 150g/km (F)
- 0-62mph: 8.4secs
- Max speed: 140mph
- Insurance group: 14
Great handling, ride and performance. Lots of space
That Skoda badge still holds doubts for some. Doesn’t feel quite as punchy as Pumpe Düse engine