Skoda Octavia vRS
13 September 2006
Skoda's quick Octavia could be seen as a low cost way of buying the brilliant VW Golf GTi, because it uses many of the same underpinnings (all Octavias are based on the latest Golf) and the same 200PS 2.0-litre turbo engine.
But the difference is obvious as soon you drive the Skoda. Gone is the nimble driving experience coupled to light and precise steering, The Octavia vRS also misses out on the Golf's super supportive seats.
But what you get is as desirable as a Golf GTi when you consider the vRS is £3335 cheaper than the GTi and you get much more room inside - particularly the huge 560 litre boot.
Aside from these differences, much is the same. The cars are vying for the same user-choosers in a growing market which now includes the Astra VXR and the formidable Ford Focus ST.
The Skoda is a welcome addition to the market because it's an easy winner in the practicality stakes even if it's not number one for driving experience. This fact alone would put it first for fleet too. This position is reinforced when you look at the costs. The GTi and ST come in at 34.4p and 33.2p per mile respectively while the vRS undercuts both at 31.3ppm.
Also working in the Skoda's favour is the top-notch build quality with near perfect fit and finish inside. Equipment is on a par with rivals, with Octavia drivers being treated to climate control, a six-disc CD stereo and switchable traction control.
All this makes the Octavia vRS the sensible fleet choice for user-choosers hunting for a hot-hatch.