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10 Feb 2022

What We Dislike
Doesn't sound amazing
We want the Combi!

The new Skoda Octavia RS continues to offer a captivating blend of performance, practicality and value-for-money.


The Octavia RS has always found great appeal in its ability to offer pound-for-pound performance and functionality unlike any other. The previous generation model consistently topped our lists of best bang-for-buck performance cars, which understandably draws many people to this car. It's effortless ability to deliver family-friendly functionality combined with genuine dynamic performance doesn't hurt, either. 

Now, the new fourth generation model has arrived on our shores. We had a brief two-hour stint in the car to suss out what's what. 

Bold impressions

Black detailing make the Octavia RS a striking car to behold
Based on the fourth generation Octavia, this RS is the top-of-the-line model, and that comes replete with all manner of sporty exterior flourishes. With the blacked-out front grille, wing mirrors, rear spoiler and SKODA lettering on the tailgate, the Octavia RS certainly cuts an impressive figure on the road. 

Inside, the upgrades are most noticeable. There's the Virtual Cockpit, the new steering wheel (more intuitive to use than on the new generation Golf), a 10-inch Columbus infotainment system with built-in navigation, all of which make for a thoroughly modern, high-tech and connected car. 

In-built navigation means that the route can be displayed directly on the Virtual Cockpit
The Alcantara-trimmed sports seats are a joy to look at, and great to sit in too (the included massage function is a nice touch as well). The rest of the cabin is similarly 'sportified', with plenty of Alcantara, red stitching and carbon-effect trim. It's a distinctive space to be in, no doubt, but also quite pleasing. 

Of course, practicality hasn't suffered one bit. You've got a massive 600-litre boot conveniently accessible via the liftback, rear legroom is still generous, and fundamentally the RS still fulfils its duties as a family car. 

Valued performance

The Octavia RS still handles itself admirably through corners, delivering joyous fun
On the performance front, the RS is still a capable performer, even though the engine output hasn't changed. The car is slightly tardier to 100km/h than before (though 6.7 seconds is still no slouch), but that can be attributed to the fact that this is a slightly larger and heavier car than before. 

In gear acceleration is still stellar - put your foot down and the car pushes forward with gusto. And, when you throw it into a few corners, it still handles itself tidily and steadily. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) certainly helps - 'Sport' mode stiffens up the suspension and steering, and sharpens the gearbox as well. This lets you tackle corners more aggressively. 

The inclusion of DCC gives the car a greater breadth of character, whether you want it to be supple or sporty
On the flip side, there's also more give in the ride when you want it. You can even slide the damper setting past 'Comfort', and the car becomes a much more mellow affair. This added breadth of driving character is a welcome improvement.  

Niggles? I don't particularly like the acoustically-enhanced exhaust note, and I'm not convinced that the 'Normal' DCC setting has much use (too stiff for daily driving, not quite sharp enough for sport endeavours). 

Dollars and sense

The big question with this car, of course, is the price. Is this still a performance bargain? The $199,900 pricetag might look shocking compared to when the previous generation model was being sold, but as we're all painfully aware, COE is an absolute pain right now.

In need of a performance car that's family-friendly and still somewhat wallet-friendly? The Octavia RS continues to be the answer
But, when you consider that its segment rivals like the Golf GTI, CUPRA Leon and Megane RS are $230+k cars, then yes, this Octavia RS is still a value-for-money choice. The RS 245 was "73.8% of a Golf GTI" back in July 2019 (we've got receipts), and it's now 84.3% of a Golf GTI. Still cheaper, though not quite as much. 

The upgrades that this fourth generation model has received continues to augment the Octavia RS' ability to combine performance and practicality like few other cars can. This is fundamentally a very likeable car - family and enthusiast-friendly in equal measure. 

The bad news for potential buyers who want a more fuel-sipping variant is that it looks like the all new PHEV variant won't be offered in Singapore. However, the great news is that unlike the third-gen model, potential buyers can also look forward to the Combi variant that's coming soon. Now that's the one we really want...
 
 
In the market for a fast car? Here are some other options you may want to consider:

The new Volkswagen Golf GT brings new delight in motoring

The Renault Megane RS hot hatch leads the pack

The Cupra Leon is a flamenco dancer on the tarmac

The Toyota GR Yaris is a Jack Russell on steroids
Car Information
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Price

: $219,900

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1984cc

Horsepower

:

180kW (241 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

370 Nm / 4300 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.7sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

15.4km/L

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Tags :  

skoda  octavia  rs  octavia rs  rs245  vrs  gti  megane rs  cupra leon