Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but choice can be seriously confusing. In our new configurator challenge, we’re going to let the CarAdvice team loose on a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal spec of a certain model.
For this edition of the Configurator Challenge, we’re designing our perfect Skoda Octavia RS.
Let us know what you think in the comments, and which cars you’d like to see next!
James Wong, Journalist
I have a soft spot for the Skoda Octavia because it's a quirkier, more practical take on the Volkswagen Golf, and soon you'll be able to option one with the sexy Active Info digital driver's display.
Anyway, enough about me. For this week's Configurator Challenge I've chosen the RS 169TSI Wagon (from $40,390), finished in my favourite Skoda colour – Rallye Green metallic ($500), naturally. Why not the RS245? You can't get it in green, boo.
The six-speed DSG was my pick for the transmission ($2500), mainly because it's quicker than the six-speed manual and it's one of the better examples of the Volkswagen Group's double-clutch shifter. Additionally, it'll be much easier to drive in traffic.
To complement the loud exterior colour, I've gone for the 19-inch 'Xtreme' alloy wheels ($700), which fill the arches quite nicely and give the humble station wagon a rather aggressive stance.
Options? I've completely decked out my Octavia RS, ticking the Luxury Pack ($2800), Tech Pack ($2300), panoramic sunroof ($1700) and automatic tailgate ($500).
Unlike the related Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Octavia RS is more of a practical grand tourer rather than a enthusiast-focused hot hatch, so it's worth ticking a few option boxes to have all the latest features and tech.
All up, Skoda's configurator quotes a drive-away price of $54,490. It's exxy, but it's a fully-specced all-rounder – and it's green.
Scott Collie, Journalist
We're talking about performance cars here, so there was never any question about which engine and gearbox combination required here: an RS245 Wagon with a six-speed manual. Where else can you have all that power, three pedals and enough space for an antique dresser in the boot?
There aren't many options for the exterior, because the RS245 gets sharp-looking 19-inch alloy wheels as standard. I've chosen Corrida Red, because the only other options are grey, silver and black. Why not offer the full palette on the range-topper, Skoda?
Inside, you can have any configuration provided it's black with red stitching. I guess that'll be it, then.
I've added the Luxury Pack ($1500) for heated front and rear seats, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring. I wasn't too fussed about the safety kit, but heated seats are a must.
Final price? $49,490 drive-away. Not bad for a fast, spacious performance car.
Roomster, No.1 CarAdvice commenter and definitely not a Skoda fan
When I noticed the request to be part of the Configurator Challenge, I was disappointed when I realised it wasn't the Skoda Superb I was expecting. The smaller Octavia RS, however, would easily be my next choice from Skoda's current selection of models.
As you may have guessed from the chrome grille and window surrounds, this is not a car you can spec on Skoda Australia's configurator. This instead has come from Skoda's UK website. Since the Octavias you find in our local dealerships come from the same Mlada Boleslav factory in the Czech Republic, you can place a special order for any colour available there.
To continue with the UK-spec theme (no reference to a certain event happening in England right now), I would have liked to take the 135TDI diesel, but the 169TSI is hard to go past for a sporty Liftback, especially if you don't do many kilometres per year. I have driven the RS245 version as well, with its LSD and seven-speed DSG making the Octavia feel more capable as a performance car, but oddly, less fun to drive. I couldn't justify the extra spend, unless I was a track day regular.
I have selected the six-speed DSG over the manual, mainly because the fake engine noise from the speakers sounds better with the auto. Definitely not the perfect specification for everyone, but with a brand like Skoda, isn't that the idea?
I do like something slightly unusual, so I have opted for Velvet Red metallic, a colour available on the AU-spec Superb and Kodiaq Sportline, but not the Octavia (the reason behind my choice of the UK configurator). The wheels pictured are UK-spec (as is the additional chrome mentioned earlier - Australian cars get a black pack as standard).
The liftback body style was an obvious choice for me, since there are too many Octavia wagons around these days… and I'd always have my Roomster whenever I needed to transport my dog, coincidentally named "Yeti."
As for the interior, there's not much to choose from - black Alcantara seats or black Alcantara seats with partial leather (part of the Luxury Pack). I've kept it basic, fitting a sunroof as the only option. In my opinion, if you're after luxury, select the Superb. Some non-RS Octavias overseas do come with a rather nice beige interior option. The price? A cool £29,480 according to the UK site – or $52,968 in our money.
Kez Casey, Road Tester
I’m about to be become Australia’s least-liked person because I’ve ticked the dastardly diesel option box. Thing is, the 135kW/380Nm RS 135TDI diesel pulls like a freight train and is stupidly good fun around town without needing to rev to the stratosphere.
There’s no manual that way though – a personal pet-hate of mine – but at least you can get a wagon. Inside all I want is Alcantara trim, but it comes bundled with front and rear seat heating along with powered front seats, plus blind-spot and lane assists. So much for keeping things simple.
At least the Quartz Grey exterior and standard 18-inch alloys play the understated game. The panoramic roof not so much. Give and take I guess, but it’ll ride nice and I can work on my sunburn.
All up that’ll see my wallet lightened to the tune $52,090 for this mid-size locomotive. All aboard!
Melissa Ong, Community Manager
Here is my Skoda Octavia RS 245 Wagon configuration. I've chosen to go Moon White Metallic and thrown in a few extras to make it the perfect wags for weekends away.
I chose the 180kW 2.0L petrol with a 6-speed manual. There aren't many manufacturers offering manual transmissions these days, and this is available in the top-spec model. I'm also very content with the five-year warranty on offer. Well done Skoda!
On the inside, you get the black trim with red stitching which looks classy. I've added the Luxury Pack which throws in lane assist, blind-spot detection along with heated front and rear seats. Let me repeat that - heated REAR seats. Skoda is serious about impressing not only you, but your passengers too. I respect that.
I also added the Tech Pack which adds Advanced Keyless Entry and a German 'Canton' 10-speaker sound system amongst other creature comforts.
The rims are limited to only one option, and I'm a fan of these. The only change I'd make is powder coating them in gloss black. Oooft!
Lastly, the two most important features I've added is the powered tailgate and electric panoramic sunroof. Believe it or not, the sunroof will even get a work out in winter months with the seat heaters on at the same time. This is my kinda climate control.
I expected this to exceed $50,000, but my configuration snuck in at $48,490 drive-away. Give the Skoda configurator a go and then #showusyourskoda! I should trademark that hashtag...