Luxurious Vehicles – It is All About The Plushness
The new model of the brand new Octavia may lack the outright thrills of some rivals, however that does not cease us wanting one
The added visible meanness of the brand new Octavia vRS is instantly apparent. Skoda hasn’t gone utterly nuts with it, however there are extra moody black trim items, some black badging, a neat spoiler that’s like a downscaled model of what you discover on a BMW M2 CS, and a few alloy wheels that seem like (within the nicest potential means) a rejected design pinched from Lamborghini Centro Stile.
If you happen to’re hoping meaning extra energy and driving aggression, you’re going to be disillusioned. The non-electrified vRS produces 242bhp, precisely the identical because the previous-generation vRS 245. Torque is an identical at 273lb ft, in the meantime, and the 0-62mph time unsurprisingly stays stubbornly at 6.7 seconds.
Not essentially a nasty factor – the output of the ultimate model of the MkIV vRS was properly judged. For extra poke, there was all the time the choice of the Octavia’s extra flamboyant Seat Leon Cupra cousin. Positive sufficient, the MkV has a good quantity of go from that easy, versatile ‘EA888’ inline-four turbo engine. It’s a pleasant factor to rev out, though the sizeable serving to of mid-range torque means it’s quick anyplace north of 2500rpm.
The one bother is, you’ll be able to barely hear it. The brand new vRS is a lesson in what occurs if producers don’t increase the noise a bit in fashionable, well-soundproofed vehicles. Granted, some such efforts might be fairly ropey, however the previous automobile’s ‘Soundaktor’ (a bit vibrating magnetic coil sitting in entrance of the bulkhead) did a very good job of enhancing the TSI engine’s nice din. For no matter motive, Skoda hasn’t bothered this time round.
There are not any ‘farts’ on the DSG’s upshifts, nor are there any burbles from the exhaust. It’s all very restrained – much more so than you’d count on from a vRS. Sticking the automobile in sport mode doesn’t appear to make any distinction to the soundtrack, both.
It’s the identical deal in terms of cornering. Nail it out of a tighter bend, and the standard-fit ‘VAQ’ electronically-controlled locking differential will shuffle torque throughout the entrance axle as vital, however not with any nice deal of aggression. The ESP is fairly nannyish in its commonplace setting, too, and if you wish to swap it to the extra lenient ‘Sport’ setting or flip it off completely, there’s no devoted button – it requires a number of prods and swipes of the touchscreen infotainment system.
I anticipated a stickier entrance finish, however to be truthful to the vRS, our time in it so far has concerned typical greasy autumn-spec roads. There’s loads to love concerning the chassis, anyway. The experience on the adaptive dampers is on the entire superb, giving greater than sufficient firmness whereas remaining softer in all modes that the passively-damped Audi S3 we had in a number of weeks in the past. And in the event you chuck it right into a quicker bend a bit faster than you assume you must, the vRS simply shrugs it off with a sense of unflappable stability. The steering is quick and predictable, if missing in suggestions, very like it was within the previous automobile.
In relation to the best way it drives, the positive factors on the previous automobile are marginal. Infinitesimal. The larger variations are all within the cabin – sizzling rattling, is it good in there. We’ve already been impressed with the best way the usual Octavia upsets the pure VAG order by making the VW Golf eight really feel a bit low cost, with neat cabin design laced in high-quality supplies. The vRS takes that theme and runs with it, enhancing proceedings with darkened trim and snazzy purple stitching.
Shaking issues up even additional, we’d go as far as saying the inside is nicer than the S3’s. Very just lately, that will have appeared like an impossibility, however as we speak, a quick Skoda actually is a nicer place to spend time in than a quick Audi.
Maybe that’s one of the simplest ways of viewing the vRS. Not as a sizzling hatch, the place it doesn’t fairly hit the mark, however extra as a funds luxurious automobile with a good flip of pace and a sorted chassis. And regardless of all of the added niceness, the pricing continues to be actually spectacular – even with some choices and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, it is available in a number of grand underneath a base, guide Golf eight GTI.
It’s not the final phrase in B-road tomfoolery, however that doesn’t cease the Octavia vRS being extra interesting than ever.