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Skoda Octavia RS Car Reviews

Author: NRMA MotoringDate: 1 February 2010
Skoda Octavia RS Car Reviews

The Czech car maker has been back in Australia for two years now but you would be forgiven for not knowing that. Despite figures of 1000 plus sales a year you don't see many Skodas on the road.

What most people don't know is that Skoda is owned by Volkswagen and that most Skodas are built off the underpinnings of the Golf.

Take the Octavia RS. It is, principally, a Volkswagen Golf GTI underneath with a Skoda body on top. The core mechanicals and chassis are shared.

The car we are testing is the new version of the RS. It comes with the 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine that was in the previous generation Golf GTI and is available in either a liftback (hatch) or wagon. There is also a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine for more frugal motoring.

The 2009 model year change saw some upgrades to the RS range including a new Bolero radio with touch screen technology and SD reader and new white instrumentation illumination.

The new RS also gets an additional storage box in the rear arm rest.

Value for money

Pricing

As the cheaper company in the Volkswagen Group, value for money is sharper than the Golf. The sticker price is, however, only a few thousand dollars cheaper. While you are getting a larger car we expected the pencil to have been sharpened a bit more. Pricing for the RS hatch starts from $37,490 for the six-speed manual petrol and $39,490 for the diesel manual. The wagon models cost an extra $2000. This compares with $40,490 for the five-door manual Golf GTI.

Standard features

Extensive equipment list includes: Alcantara/leather seats, three-spoke leather steering wheel (multi-function on DSG) alloy sports pedals, climate controlled air conditioning, six-disc CD player, MP3 auxiliary input socket, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, auto dimming rear mirror, chilled glove box, cooled front arm rest, storage compartment under front passenger seat, 12-volt power socket, 18-inch light alloy wheels, spoiler, chrome double exhausts, fog lights, sports suspension and red painted disc calipers. Wagon models further add a 12-volt power socket in the boot, rear window wiper and silver roof rails.

Design and function

Space and practicality

This is where the Skoda excels. The hatch and wagon models have plenty of room for front and rear passengers with five adults able to sit in comfort and enough room for luggage. Boot space is good in the hatch - 560L with the rear seats in place - growing to 1420 litres with the rear seats down. The wagon models have 580L and 1620L respectively. This compares with 350L and 1305L for the GTI.

The rear seats fold 60/40 and the rear centre arm rest doubles as a ski port for long items.

At 4597mm (hatch) and 4599mm (wagon) in length neither RS model is cumbersome to park or manoeuvre.

Ergonomics

Given the sharing within the VW Groups it is not surprising that the dash layout and design of the RS is similar to that of the Golf models. The touch-screen centre dash display is the same unit that is in the Golf as is the switchgear and instrument cluster.

Oddly, the RS manual doesn't get a multi-function steering wheel so there are no controls for the audio which means you have to stretch your hand to change the volume.

Safety

Safety items include six airbags, stability control, LED daytime running lights, anti-whiplash head rests on front seats, tyre pressure monitoring and ABS brakes.

The Octavia model gets a four-star Euro NCAP crash rating compared with a five-star rating for the Golf. This is because the Octavia is not available overseas with standard curtain airbags so was not tested with them.

Build quality and finish

The Skoda models have the look and feel of a Volkswagen; but the VW models do feel slightly better finished overall. This is in line with the product positioning of the cars and works the same way with the Golf when compared with an Audi A3 (VW also owns Audi).

Security

Security features include remote central locking and an electronic engine immobiliser. No security rating.

On the road

Fuel

Skoda claims average fuel economy of 7.7L/100km for the petrol manual (7.9 for the DSG) and 5.9L/100km for the diesel manual (6.0L/100km for the DSG).

In our real-world testing for the diesel we averaged 7.65L/100km for the highway cycle, 10.0L/100km for the city cycle for an average on test of 8.8L/100km. While this is almost 3.0L/100km more than the claimed average it is not a bad real-world figure for a mid-sized sedan.

Performance

Both engines have some get up and go but our pick was the 2.0-litre turbo petrol. Just like the fifth generation GTI, acceleration is smooth through the rev range and turbo lag is minimal.

The diesel engine is supremely refined and doesn't do a bad job as a performance power plant. However, it lacks the finesse of the petrol version. The limited rev range (diesel engines are not designed to rev high and are best kept below 4500rpm) means it is not as flexible as the petrol engine which screams all the way up to the 7000rpm redline.

The diesel is also almost a second slower to 100km/h than the petrol - 7.3 versus 8.4. We recorded a 0-100km/h time of 8.17 for the petrol model during our track testing.

Both engines now have the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed twin-clutch automated manual.

Ride

The Skoda comes standard with sports suspension but unlike many performance cars it is actually a good compromise between comfort and sportiness. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable although the low speed ride can be a bit jiggly. The RS doesn't get the option of adjustable suspension like the new generation Golf.

Handling/steering

With underpinnings from the Golf it is not surprising that the RS is quite accomplished in the handling stakes. The 18-inch wheels provide plenty of grip in corners and the RS only gets minimal understeer when pushed hard. Even then it is predictable.

The RS's steering has good weighting and feel.

Braking

The RS took 23.08m to stop from 80km/h which is above average for the class.

Smoothness and quietness

At 80 km/h the RS recorded a interior noise reading of 71.8dB(A).

Verdict

Skoda might be the cheaper alternative to a Volkswagen but it is by no means the poor man's alternative. The RS offers a performance package that is - while not as sharp as a GTI - a good all-round performance car that can carry out most family duties.

The only hurdle with the RS is the badge. Even though it is all VW underneath and will more than likely serviced though a VW/Skoda dealer, the Czech brand is still the 'new' brand on the market. Skoda has poor perceived residual values but is it not as bad as some. For example an RS is worth an extra $2000 after two years than a Ford Falcon XR6. But, it can't compete with the likes of the Golf GTI which would be worth an extra $5000.

Get a good price in the showroom and you won't be hit as hard at the other end.

Specifications

 Skoda Octavia RS Hatch PetrolSkoda Octavia RS Wagon DieselSkoda Octavia RS Wagon PetrolSkoda Octavia RS Hatch Diesel
CategoryMediumMediumMediumMedium
Year2010201020102010
Body Type5-door hatchbackStation WagonStation Wagon5-door hatchback
Pluses

Volkswagen Golf underpinnings
Good interior space
Extensive equipment list
Great engine
Confident handling

Volkswagen Golf underpinnings
Good interior space
Extensive equipment list
Great engine
Confident handling

Volkswagen Golf underpinnings
Good interior space
Extensive equipment list
Great engine
Confident handling

Volkswagen Golf underpinnings
Good interior space
Extensive equipment list
Great engine
Confident handling

Minuses

Brand is not well-known
Exterior styling is not for everyone
Not as cheap as you'd expect
Jiggly low speed ride

Brand is not well-known
Exterior styling is not for everyone
Not as cheap as you'd expect
Jiggly low speed ride

Brand is not well-known
Exterior styling is not for everyone
Not as cheap as you'd expect
Jiggly low speed ride

Brand is not well-known
Exterior styling is not for everyone
Not as cheap as you'd expect
Jiggly low speed ride

Country of ManufactureCzech RepublicCzech RepublicCzech RepublicCzechoslovakia
Models

RS hatch (petrol & diesel)
RS wagon (petrol & diesel)

RS hatch (petrol & diesel)
RS wagon (petrol & diesel)

RS hatch (petrol & diesel)
RS wagon (petrol & diesel)

RS hatch (petrol & diesel)
RS wagon (petrol & diesel)

Prices

$37,490-$41,490

$37,490-$41,490

$37,490-$41,490

$37,490-$41,490

Engine size1.984 or 1.968 L1.984 or 1.968 L1.984 or 1.968 L1.984 or 1.968 L
InductionTurbochargedTurbochargedTurbochargedTurbocharged
FuelPULPDieselPULPDiesel
Engine aspirationTurbo chargedTurbo chargedTurbo chargedTurbo charged
Driving wheelsFrontFrontFrontFront
Warranty3yr/100,000km3yr/100,000km3yr/100,000km3yr/100,000km
Wheel typeAlloyAlloyAlloyAlloy
Wheel size18 "18 "18 "18 "
Spare tyre typeSpace saverSpace saverSpace saverSpace saver
Steering typePower with rack and pinion with powerPower with rack and pinion with powerPower with rack and pinion with powerPower with rack and pinion with power
Turning circle (measured)10.7 m10.7 m10.7 m10.7 m
Mass1460 kg1510 kg1475 kg1495 kg
Length4597 mm4599 mm4599 mm4597 mm
Width (incl mirrors)1769 mm1769 mm1769 mm1769 mm
Height1447 mm1451 mm1451 mm1447 mm
Ground clearance128 mm128 mm128 mm128 mm
Seating capacity5555
Fuel capacity55 litres55 litres55 litres55 litres
Max towed mass650 (without brakes), 1300 (with brakes) kg650 (without brakes), 1300 (with brakes) kg650 (without brakes), 1300 (with brakes) kg650 (without brakes), 1300 (wiith brakes) kg
Acceleration (50-80 Km/hr)3.89 secs3.89 secs3.89 secs3.889 secs
Acceleration (60-100 Km/hr)5.02 secs5.02 secs5.02 secs5.02 secs
Acceleration (0-80 Km/hr)5.75 secs5.75 secs5.75 secs5.75 secs
Acceleration (0-100 Km/hr)8.17 secs8.17 secs8.17 secs8.17 secs
Fuel consumption (best)7.65 L/100km7.68 L/100km7.65 L/100km7.68 L/100km
Fuel consumption (worst)10 L/100km10 L/100km10 L/100km10 L/100km
Fuel consumption (ave)8.8 L/100km8.8 L/100km8.8 L/100km8.8 L/100km
Distance to stop (from 80 Km/hr)23.08 metres23.08 metres23.08 metres23.08 metres
Interior noise (@ 80 Km/hr)71.8 dB(A)71 dB(A)71.8 dB(A)71.8 dB(A)

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Tags:

Skoda, Octavia RS Hatch Petrol, Octavia RS Wagon Diesel, Octavia RS Wagon Petrol, Octavia RS Hatch Diesel, Medium, 5-door hatchback , Station Wagon , Press-releases, Octavia, Motoring Feed

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