The Octavia vRS diesel offers power and practicality, says Edward Stephens
Finding a car that offers the space of an estate with the power of a hot hatch and is not too heavy on the fuel sounds like a tough task.
But it’s far from impossible.
And one of the best to match all three requirements is the new Skoda Octavia vRS TDI.
The petrol version of the vRS meets two out of the three requirements.
But if you really want to keep fuel costs down you have to go for diesel.
They can both lay claim to being “hot”, it’s just that the petrol version is slightly hotter than the diesel – but not much.
And what you loose in raw power is more than made up for with fewer visits to the garage to fill up.
With Volkswagen’s much respected 170bhp TDI engine under the bonnet the vRS estate is certainly quick and has shedfulls of pulling power no matter how many people are on board.
And like its petrol-powered sibling the firm but comfortable lowered suspension setup means this is one estate you can very definitely corner with enthusiasm.
Mated to a slick, six-speed manual gearbox the vRS TDI pulls superbly well in every gear.
Taking this engine to 170 bhp – the optimum for power and refinement is probably 140bhp – means there is a certain amount of harshness but the power you get from it makes you turn a blind eye to that.
On the practical side the Octavia is certainly a capacious vehicle, no matter what sort of loads you have to fit in and transport.
With the rear seatbacks in place it offers 605 litres of space and with them down that jumps to a mega 1655 litres – more than enough for the needs of most families.
And this is a car which comes exceptionally well equipped. There’s dual-zone air conditioning, carbon-look fascia inserts, sporty seats in a mixture of cloth and Alcantara and 18-inch alloy wheels which add to the sporty feel of the whole package.
And unlike on some hot saloons and estates there is plenty of interior storage space, including a large, air conditioned box beneath the centre armrest.
So despite its sporty attributes the vRS is very definitely a very practical family car.
If you have children and need plenty of space but still yearn for a sporty drive this could well be the car for you.
Skoda Octavia vRS Estate
Mechanical: 170 bhp, 1968cc, 4 cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 140 mph 0-62mph: 8.4 secs
Combined mpg: 49.6
Insurance group: 28E
CO2 emissions: 149g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles