I took the Skoda for a spin along some of my favourite winding country roads.
It’s definitely worthy of the RS badge on the back, so threading it through some corners was the only way to go.
The Skoda Octavia RS is basically a Golf GTI> underneath, so it shares all the delightful characteristics of that vehicle. And it’s manual!
The 162kW and 350Nm from the new 2.0-litre turbo pumps is perfect for this car, it’s more than quick enough without overwhelming the front end. It’s a sharp handler, always encouraging a grin when you point it at some corners.
Add to that the Octavia RS comes in a wagon, and you have a very practical car that is seriously good fun. Family and driver friendly, all in one.
Like the other models in the Octavia line-up, I have to mark the RS slightly down on material quality, but it more than makes up for it with extra equipment.
In the Octavia RS the navigation system is impressive with a large 8-inch high-resolution display.
The upgraded display improves the cabin ambience significantly, and makes it feel like a more premium product. It’s much easier to see the navigation maps too.
The seats are very comfortable too, with excellent bolstering and adjustment. The leather and cloth seats have a pretty cool design, too, with red highlights and stitching adding to the sporty flavour.
The dash trim is less attractive, with some odd 3D cube pattern that reminded me of those eye puzzles where a 3D object appears.
A particularly handy addition is a phone holder that sits in one of the cup holders.
The whole value proposition is a standout with the Octavia RS, including bi-xenon projector headlights and large navigation display.
Despite wearing large 18-inch alloys the ride is very good, with a compliance and suppleness that shrugs off rubbish roads, both in the city and out in the country.
This particular Octavia RS was manual, exactly how I'd buy it if I was in the market. The DSG is very good, but in an inexpensive performance car I'd still go for a manual. The shifts are slick and the clutch is light so it's both fun to drive and easy around town.
A big digital speedo is a superb addition as well.
The lack of reversing camera is a slight disappointment, but the excellent visibility and parking sensors mostly make up for it. Still, it’s a good safety feature to have in a family wagon.
Also the seats don’t fold completely flat, with a lip and a rise at the back. Many wagons and hatchbacks do this better.
A super-punchy drivetrain in a very practical vehicle makes it a perfect all-rounder.
The Octavia RS I drove was manual, and it's exactly how I'd buy it if I was stumping up the cash. Helps that it's a very smooth, slick shifting box too.
Even when you add the six-speed DSG you still come in around $40,000 before on-road costs. Not bad.
None come to mind. This washed out elephant grey colour wouldn’t be my first (or second) choice though.
The Octavia RS represents incredible value, considering it combines a performance hatch and a practical wagon. If I needed space and practicality but didn’t want to give up an enjoyable drive, the Octavia RS would be very high on the list.
Nope, if I was in the market for a sub-$40k wagon this would be my pick. It's very spacious, great fun to drive, economical and excellent value. Only change would be one that looks like it's been painted.
Definitely for me, and anyone else who values fun and practicality in their daily driver.