Dave Conole drives and reviews Skoda Octavia RS.
Skoda is back and back in a big way. Now part of the mammoth Volkswagen Group, the Skoda products of 2014 are vastly different from what we have previously seen from the brand.
Thus, a week behind the wheel of the 2014 Skoda Octavia RS wagon was a delight.
The Octavia RS range is offered in both wagon and hatch form and buyers have a choice of either 2.0 litre turbo-petrol or turbo-diesel engines. My test car was the petrol version, mated to a DSG automatic transmission.
Producing 162kW and 350Nm, the petrol power plant pulls from 3000 rpm like a shuttle launch! The engine is ably assisted by three pre-programmed drive modes on the transmission – Eco, Normal and Sport; you can also set the system up to your own individual settings.
The engine and transmission is an immensely usable combination and while Sport mode helps the engine produce a pleasant growl and spirited performance, in economy mode you can use as little as just 6.6L/100kms.
On the road the Skoda Octavia RS is mighty impressive! The suspension is a great balance between being sporty (especially when in Sports mode) and comfortable and despite the engine having plenty of grunt, torque steer was surprisingly minimal.
Inside the cabin, very impressive! The seats are fantastic, supportive and comfortable. The centre touchscreen looks great and is easy to use, allowing you to alter sound and vehicle settings. As you would expect, this grade of Skoda gets sat-nav and a reversing camera as standard.
The Octavia RS features a nicely sculpted steering wheel and you get welcome little extras including auto headlights and wipers and a cooled glove box. There are plenty of optional extra boxes you can tick which give you everything from a panoramic sunroof to parking assistance and a powered tailgate, all for more dollars.
In the back you get 588 litres of cargo space and safety isn’t compromised – the 2014 Skoda Octavia range comes with a full five star ANCAP safety rating.
Overall the feel both inside and out is one of quality, this is reinforced by a reassuring “thunk” when closing the doors. Attractive 18” alloy wheels complete the Octavia RS package.
Summing it up: The Skoda Octavia RS offers an impressive blend of quality, sportiness, comfort and convenience. The engine/transmission combo is a highlight, fit and finish is great throughout and it isn’t too hard on the eye as well!
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 162kW and 350Nm or 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 135kW and 380Nm
Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch automatic or six-speed manual
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Origin: Czech Republic
Price: From $37,840
For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Skoda 5E Octavia RS.
Dave Conole owns and writes the independent vehicle review and news website – A Wheel Thing.
With over 15 years of automotive journalism and reviewing experience, plus front line experience in vehicle sales, Dave is proud to be aligned with Behind the Wheel.