Skoda Octavia vRS

Estate 2.0 TSI

Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, 2021, nose
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, 2021, side
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, 2021, rear
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, 2021, interior
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, 2021, rear seats
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate, 2021, boot

If you're looking for a spacious estate with hot hatch performance - or for that matter a second home - then the Skoda Octavia vRS is a good place to start.

With an enormous 600-litre luggage area accessed via a powered bootlid, expanding to a whopping 1,700-litres with the rear seats split and folded, this estate is practicality personified - providing a cave-like space for shopping or a sofa and telly.

If like me you yearn for a reminder of life before SUVs and mobile phones took over the world, then this super station wagon is just what the doctor ordered.

When I was a lad if you wanted extra room for family motoring then choosing a decent estate was the way to go - and if the boss wanted to get hold of you, she'd have to wait until you'd finished your journey.

The Octavia estate more than meets a family's needs but fails to pass the latter test as it is fitted with the latest tech so your smartphone can be seamlessly integrated into the excellent Columbus infotainment system which boasts a neat sat nav accessed via the 10-inch touchscreen.

The cabin is stylish and modern with the nippy vRS version getting figure-hugging sports seats with a logo emblazoned on the backrests up front, red stitching on the dashboard trim and a sportier, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel.

Top class materials are employed with no evidence of any cheap, hard plastics as a suede-like Alcantara upper section and a carbon-fibre look below cut the mustard.

There is ample room for all with the rear passenger area enjoying top-notch levels of space and comfort.

The exterior is sleek and well proportioned with LED matrix headlights, a natty front and rear bumper design with black detailing, mirror housings and window frames in gloss black as well as eye-catching red brake calipers giving the desired road presence.

It looks hunkered down - a result of the sports chassis lowering the vRS by 15mm - and ready to pounce which is the case as rapid acceleration is guaranteed.

The 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine - in cahoots with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission - powers the car to 62mph from a standing start in 6.7 seconds on its way to a claimed top speed of 155mph.

A neat gear shift feature sees the traditional stick replaced by a chrome rocker switch which frees up more interior space.

The vRS estate is great to drive with informative steering and decent cornering characteristics part of a handling package that allows it to be driven positively. A sophisticated multi-link suspension ensures a smooth ride on the standard 19-inch alloy wheels.

The driver benefits from Skoda's virtual cockpit with a wide range of permutations available for the set up of the speedometer, rev counter and on-board computer readouts.

The car driven here was fitted with the £700 head-up display option which gave a certain jet fighter feel to proceedings

There is also a range of driving modes - eco, comfort, normal, sport, dynamic and individual settings - which do exactly what they say on the tin to the car's set up.

I always like it when the predicted miles before you need to fill up actually increases after you start your journey. This happened with the Octavia Estate when driven conservatively, although the urge to make use of the power beneath the bonnet will impact on an average fuel economy figure that hovers around the 40mpg mark.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Octavia vRS Estate 2.0 TSI

Price:£33,530

Mechanical:245ps, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:155mph

0-62mph:6.7 seconds

Combined MPG:40.4

Insurance Group:29

C02 emissions:159g/km

Bik rating:35%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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