Skoda Octavia vRS

Skoda Octavia vRS long-term review: 13,000 mile update

Skoda Octavia vRSI was dreading the message. From Skoda, it read that my time was almost up: they wanted the vRS back. 

What, taking the ultimate everyday performance family car away from me? This really wasn’t on, I thought, as I used all my wit to delay the inevitable. Salvation came, but only for another month. I now have just a few weeks left in the unmissable green wagon.

With a heavy heart, I’ve thus started labelling all the things I’ll miss: the superb bolstered seats, the small and just-so steering wheel, the fluidity of the DSG gearbox, the brilliant body control at high speed that makes fast motorway trips so pleasurable.

And the boot space. Oh, the boot space. Its 610 litres have been fully utilised by me, Mrs. A and our two young children. Never has anyone had to go without, not even over Christmas. We’ll certainly have to downsize our day trip detritus when the vRS goes, that’s for sure.

Skoda Octavia vRS

Wintry roads mean I’ve also been fully savouring my latest discovery, the sense of grippy satisfaction from the front electronic differential. It’s electronics doing a fair impression of mimicking a limited-slip differential, with none of the downsides, and the positive feel it delivers through the steering has me kicking it into life at almost every wet road junction.

I really must clean it before it goes, though. The luminous glow of the green is still there, but it’s caked in grime as an indicator of just how much I’ve been using it. I’m time poor but hate auto washes: sorry, Skoda. Call it a protective coat.

Indeed, I know only too well how dirty the roads are by the sheer amount of water I’m sticking into the washer bottle. It takes litre after litre but, it seems, the xenon lights’ washer system has an unquenchable thirst. And must we really have to pay for water at filling stations?

Never mind. In a few weeks, it’ll be me filling up when the man comes to take it away. How to replace it? Well, all will be revealed soon. For now, I’ll see if I can’t delay Skoda a bit more…

Skoda Octavia vRS


  • In heavy rain, the rear wiper auto-wipes too, even if it’s not turned on. Stress-free screen-cleaning maintenance. But how does it know?
  • Must remember to twist the mirror knob to 12 o’clock for the heater function to work: unlike many other cars, it doesn’t switch on with the heated rear window.
  • Is it my ears or is it becoming noisier with age? The growl of the engine at motorway speeds certainly seems more prominent than before.
  • The ice scraper in the filler flap is genius. Not quite so clever if the filler flap is frozen shut, though.
  • Skoda’s value roots are revealed when you come to shut the bootlid. No handles shaped into the plastic here, just a cheap rubber strap on the driver’s side. And a grimy car means grubby fingers when you press the electric release lock.
  • Watched the vRS drive towards me when Mrs. A picked me up one day. Those mean-looking LED daytime running strips in the headlights certainly give it presence.
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