It has arrived! My much-anticipated Skoda Octavia vRS Estate long-termer, which was ordered back in October and which has been delayed due to the sheer popularity of the vRS range.
I reported at the Geneva Motor Show how Skoda was having to up production in order to meet vRS demand: this had particular personal resonance as I was one of the people demanding my car.
And so, imagine my joy on the turn of 9 this morning, when Mrs. A popped into my home office and told me my “lurid green” new car was here.
I went to get my shoes on, I looked through the frosted glass door. Yes, there was a vivid blaze of green outshining everything else: it could only mean one thing.
The delivery driver jumped out, excited. You’re going to love this! No kidding; and any doubts about the colour immediately vanished – with the dark-tint rear glass, it looks amazing.
A fine set of single-piece seatback chairs – not dissimilar to those on a Porsche – mean it’s racy inside, something enhanced by the Anthracite rooflining, punched-leather steering wheel and vRS-branded DSG shifter. Yup, I’ve gone dual-clutch, and gone for 184hp TDI: just about the perfect combination in my book.
My first drive of it, with a nice round 100 miles showing on the clock, came immediately: take the driver to the Metro station. So, first impressions? It’s going to be a fine six months…
Skoda Octavia vRS: first impressions
First thing that struck me was the smoothness of the engine. It started up shudder-free and idled without clatter. DSG enhanced this with its smooth clutch engagement and imperceptibly immediate upshifts. This engine’s grown into a nicely refined thing and Skoda’s installed it well.
The speed of the steering struck me; it’s a nicely lithe rack on this vRS which helps direct the nose accurately. The damping’s got a sporting edge but loads of compliance and the first few miles were comprehensively feel-good.
A general feeling of well-engineered, premium-level integrity was also apparent. That’s perhaps an MQB trait, but it’s something Skoda’s enhanced here, particularly with all the sports-edge development that’s gone into the vRS chassis. Mechanically, it’s right up there with the fast family class best.
All perfect, then? Well, I did notice things that weren’t brilliant. The optional sat nav’s graphics are blocky and Y2K in appearance, and the cheaply finished plastics around the electric window switches stand out. Loose change stuff, in other words.
And that’s about it. I think it’s otherwise pretty much perfect. Roll on the next six months: the wait certainly seems to have been worth it…