Options fitted: Satellite navigation ($2,890); xenon headlights ($1,730); sunroof ($1,730) and front parking sensors ($490).
Impressive acceleration, handling, interior.
Brakes with Michelin tyre combination, satellite navigation quibbles.
CarAdvice rating: (4.25)
– Review and photographs by Paul Maric.
“Hooowwwlllyyy crap!”, I shrieked after standing on the Octavia RS’s throttle. This thing is ballistic, I thought to myself. Sitting on command under my right foot is yet another user of the infamous Volkswagen Golf GTI engine. The 147kW, 280Nm unit has been borrowed from the German manufacturer to slot into Skoda’s hot RS model. It does the naught-to-one-hundred dash in just 7.3-seconds (which I reckon is understated).
Mated to an easy-to-use and silky smooth 6-speed manual gearbox, the combination of torque and power delivery make the Skoda Octavia RS an extremely enjoyable car to drive. Fitted to the Australian spec of Skoda Octavia RS are a sticky set of Michelin Pilot tyres measuring 225/40/R18. The tyres provide phenomenal grip and work in harmony with the Octavia RS’s chassis to bring the ultimate driving experience.
The cabin is also a nice place to be. Sport seats and a very well built dashboard set off first impressions, while a killer stereo and groovy green illumination at night follow soon after. The test vehicle was optioned with satellite navigation, but no 6-stack CD-player. This meant that whenever I wanted to listen to a CD, I had to remove the navigation disc and lose all navigation functionality! It became quite frustrating, quite quickly.
Rear leg room is impressive – but not nearly as impressive as the boot size. We’re talking 560-litres of storage space! That’s on par with the Falcon and Commodore – all while catering for a full-sized spare tyre.
The way the Octavia RS drives is impressive – to say the least. It feels very confident and agile through tight corners and doesn’t mind changing direction in a hurry. One oversight were the brakes though. Not because they weren’t effective, but more because the ABS calibration didn’t seem to factor in the ultra-grippy Michelin tyres. There was no linearity between medium braking and emergency braking, it was either or, and this became a bit tedious when throwing the RS through our private test circuit.
Priced from $37,490, the Octavia RS is available as either hatch or wagon (add an extra $2,000 to the list price for the wagon) with only one gearbox on offer – the 6-speed manual.
Standard features include: Power steering; power mirrors; central locking; alloy wheels; cruise control; 6-stack CD-player with MP3 compatibility; automatic headlights; automatic windscreen wipers; dual zone automatic air conditioning; rear parking sensors; heated front seats; power widows; auto dimming rear vision mirror and fog lights.
Safety features include: ABS brakes with EBD and BA; driver and passenger front airbags; side airbags; curtain airbags; ESP (Electronic Stability Control); engine immobiliser; alarm with interior monitor and height adjustable front seatbelts.
The new Skoda Octavia RS really is a car you can take for a tear up your local mountain road of a weekend – or if you don’t feel in the mood, you can cruise around causing little fuss (and using little fuel, sipping through just 7.9-litres/100km).
Although the yellow colour is a bit outrageous for my liking, there is a nice blue colour that would suit me down to a tee. Given the chance, I believe this car will impress the masses. If you haven’t already, give one a shot at your local dealership. Remember to bring a change of underwear – this thing will almost certainly take you by surprise!
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2008 Skoda Octavia RS Specifications
Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder Power: 147kW
Torque: 280Nm Top speed: 240km/h Safety: Electronic stability control- front air bags – side airbags – curtain airbags – front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters. 0-100km/h: 7.3-seconds EuroNCAP rating: 4-stars Turning circle: 10.2m Fuel tank: 55-litres Fuel consumption : 7.9 litres/100km (claimed) Fuel type: 98RON Premium Unleaded