Say hello to…
…the Skoda Octavia vRS in estate form. A car that’s aimed squarely at those needing to regularly tow or travel long distances while carrying lots of kit and who can’t make an EV work for their needs. Interestingly, while Skoda uses the vRS badge to mark out its sportiest models, in the case of the diesel Octavia it’s much more an indicator of simply the range topper as both on paper and in reality it’s not really that sporty.
While there’s only one vRS trim level, there are four powertrain options:
- 2.0 TDI 200hp front-wheel drive with DSG automatic gearbox
- 2.0 TDI 200hp all-wheel drive with DSG automatic gearbox
- 2.0 TSI 245hp front-wheel drive with manual gearbox
- 2.0 TSI 245hp front-wheel drive with DSG automatic gearbox
Standard equipment across the Octavia vRS range includes 19-inch alloys, adaptive cruise control, aluminium pedals, sports seats, sports styling, dual-zone climate control, 10-inch infotainment screen with satnav, powered and heated door mirrors, front heated seats, LED auto dipping headlights, keyless entry and start (including rear doors), drive modes, rear privacy glass and wireless Apple CarPlay.
Is The Skoda Octavia vRS Suitable For My Fleet
In everyday form the Octavia in both hatch and estate forms is an incredibly fleet-suitable vehicle from a practicality, quality and value point of view. There’s even a PHEV version in the main line-up. The vRS version is still a great fleet car, but isn’t available as a plug-in, so there are tax implications. However, if you tow, or need to carry lots of kit on long distances the diesel still makes a lot of sense.
With the seats in place the boot of the estate version, tested here, is massive 640 litres. Seats folded this rises to a maximum capacity of 1,700 litres.
Fuel economy is good too, while our real-world figure of 43mpg may not seem that high, this is likely the worst you’ll ever see as the car was carrying a family, their luggage, two dogs and had a roofbox on top. The official figure of nearly 50mpg sounds easily achievable in more normal conditions.
Leasing A Skoda Octavia vRS
Intelligent Car Leasing quotes £516 a month for a 3+36 rental with 20,000 miles a year. With a P11D of nearly £38,000 and a CO2 tax band of 37%, the monthly Class 1A NIC cost at £121 is steep next to EVs, but this will have to be offset by need for a diesel estate. Gensen Reports shows a competitive monthly maintenance figure of £65 a month.
Driving A Skoda Octavia vRS
Surprisingly the latest Skoda Octavia vRS is not as sporty – against its rivals – as previous generations. While the vRS badge in theory would be the equivalent of a GTI in other makes, the driving experience is at odds with this. The Octavia vRS is much more an accomplished tourer than it is a hot hatch (or hot estate).
This is great news for fleets, the vRS doesn’t encourage silly behaviour. Instead the quickest Octavia offers a more luxurious driving experience with the power to easily cope with heavy loads or towing and long motorway journeys where the engine feels unstressed and has plenty in reserve.
With the luxury not sportiness vibe, the ride comfort is in no way harsh and absorbs imperfections well. Engine refinement and cabin noise levels are also good if you turn off the artificial noise that’s piped in to make the car sound more sporty. Unfortunately you have to do this every time you start the car.
The grown-up approach doesn’t just define the driving experience, but also the cabin. The quality of the materials and their construction is well ahead of where you’d expect from a brand that’s positioned at the value end of the Volkswagen Group. The only downside to the driving experience is around the software used to run the car’s functions and infotainment. We’ve already mentioned that you can’t permanently disable the fake engine noise, but the system is generally slow to react to inputs and has a complex menu system; why should it take four steps to turn off the intrusive lane assist system?
Our car also developed an issue where the clever cruise control started refusing to overtake cars occupying the inside lanes of the motorway, instead it would slow down and ‘sit’ on their shoulder.
Even with these quirks and features of the electronics, the Skoda Octavia vRS estate is a very compelling car for high mileage drivers. Not once over the 1,600 miles of our test did anyone of the three passengers complain about feeling cramped or uncomfortable.
The cabin felt special, the boot space was impressive and the driving experience reassuring.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The Skoda Octavia vRS
For high mileage drivers who need a good value, practical, comfortable car the Skoda Octavia vRS estate is near ideal.
Skoda Octavia vRS
- Model: Octavia vRS 2.0 TDI 4×4 estate
- Power: 200hp
- Torque: 400Nm
- Max speed: 149mph
- 0-62mph: 7.1s
- Official mpg: 49.6mpg
- Test mpg: 43.4mpg*
- CO2 emissions: 151g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 37%
* with a roofbox, luggage and family on board