A Skoda for all

reasons

Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, front
Skoda Octavia estate vRS 245, 2017, rear
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, interior
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, interior
Skoda Octavia vRS 245, hatch and estate
Skoda Octavia vRS 245, estate, rear

IMAGINE if you will a big family estate with loads of space that drives and handles like a brilliant hot hatch.

No such thing?

There certainly is - the Skoda Octavia vRS is the car for a family man or woman who still loves their driving as much as I do.

This is one of only a few cars that I could live with for the rest of my days and never be bored. It's right out of the top drawer.

I still find it hard to believe that the Octavia is based on the same chassis as the VW Golf. It has far more interior space and, even in hatchback form, the boot is way larger too.

That vRS moniker means the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine comes from the Golf GTi and gives marvellous performance in all six gears.

Prod the loud pedal in this one and you get a kick in the back that few other estates can copy, thanks to 230 horses beavering away under the bonnet.

This drives the front wheels through a quick changing six speed gearbox with a light clutch and a comfortable left footrest. Some cars still don't fit footrests and its daft because it can make for much more comfortable long distance trips.

Although the engine will rev to 6,000rpm, there's no need to press it so hard because acceleration in the mid-range is so brilliant. Overtaking in a car like this becomes safe on almost any straight piece of road with a large enough gap.

There is little engine noise at low revs but, as it's pushed higher up the range, it sounds beautifully tuneful making it very addictive.

Despite all the performance credentials, it will also trickle through town in fifthgear and pull gently away again.

The taut and precise steering is a joy to use, feeding information to the driver at all times, and with big tyres and sports suspension the road-holding and handling are truly excellent, with huge grip and great safety on the limit.

The ride is also more than acceptable. It does feel the bumps and lumps in the road but doesn't crash and bang over them, as some do, and is reasonably comfortable even on rough country roads.

The driving position is superb, with plenty of adjustment and the seats hold in all the right places without being too difficult to get in and out of.

The interior is vast, with loads of front and rear legroom and that enormous boot into the bargain, and a security cover to keep your stuff away from prying eyes.

It comes with footwell lights that stay on day and night and give just enough light to help without being too bright, and plenty of storage around the cabin. In fact it has more space overall than quite a few medium-sized people carriers.

Equipment in the range topping model, as you might expect, includes loads of safety gear, leather covered steering wheel, part leather sports seats, auto start stop, marvellously clear instruments and the audio, phone, sat nav and a number of apps are all controlled from the large touch screen.

There are also multiple controls on the steering wheel, and other kit includes stability control, alarm, climate, cruise, rear parking sensors, alloys, six airbags, remote locking, all round electric windows and electric heated mirrors.

FAST FACTS

Price: £26,880

Mechanical: 230bhp, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 153mph

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 43

Insurance Group: 28

C02 emissions: 149g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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