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23 Jun 2022

What We Dislike
Steering rack could be a little quicker
Feels a little hefty around tight corners

If you love the Octavia RS, but yearn for even more useable boot space, the Octavia Combi RS is the answer - you wouldn't even have to sacrifice any performance!


With sedans being the traditional choice, and the whole SUV revolution in recent times, wagons never really had a huge following around here. Add on the negative connotations of the body style with a type of vehicle that starts with an 'H' and rhymes with 'verse', it's no wonder that we don't really see many wagons running about.

And that is why it was quite a surprise to know that Skoda Singapore chose to bring in the Octavia Combi when the current iteration was introduced. While we all knew the Octavia RS was next, not many might have guessed the wagon version of it was scheduled to arrive as well.

A familiar look and an expanded greenhouse

The Octavia Combi RS mates the familiar handsome face to a stylish stationwagon rear
Save for its extended roofline, the Octavia Combi RS looks just like its liftback counterpart. Like the latter, the Combi has been given the full RS treatment, starting with the aggressive RS-specific front bumper which features enlarged air intakes.

These striking elements works perfectly with the iconic Skoda grille sporting the RS badge, and those stylish headlights with inverted 'L' daytime running lights, to leave a deep impression on first sight.

While wagons of the past tend to have a boxy silhouette towards the rear-end, modern ones like this Octavia Combi RS has a slightly sloping roofline, which meets a tapered rear end to further accentuate the car's flowy lines. All these design elements result in a coherent and pretty shape - I'll argue that it might even be one that's more lovable than the liftback.

The driver's choice for a road trip through b-roads

As expected, the Combi RS is an excellent highway cruiser
The Octavia Combi RS looks like the liftback with a different silhouette, and it too, drives just like the latter. This really is a good thing, as it proves that you can have the option of a different body style, with expanded practicality, without sacrificing on the drive.

To introduce the Octavia Combi RS, along with the Kodiaq RS to the media, Skoda Singapore organised a road trip to Kuantan, Malaysia, allowing us to get up close and personal with the cars.

This presents an excellent opportunity for me to ascertain something that has been bugging me since my time with the liftback Octavia RS.

Its excellent damping makes the Combi RS a potent weapon on the b-roads
You see, I didn't particularly enjoyed putting that car through the tight successive bends on Singapore's roads, but how it felt cruising on the expressway was excellent - there's sufficient power, the ride comfort was great and it felt right at home.

So, how would these cars fare on a road trip in Malaysia, where there are plenty of longer routes, sweeping curves and open roads to get up to speed?

I'm glad to say, the Octavia Combi RS doesn't disappoint. Despite being an RS, which sits 15mm lower than the standard cars, damping was on-point, keeping an excellent balance of comfort and control. Uneven surfaces, even those that surprise you in the middle of a mid-high speed corner gets soaked up without throwing the car off your intended line. I suppose that is why Skoda gave these cars the aptly named 'Rally Sport' moniker which the 'RS' stands for.

Stout performance with comfort that we've come to expect

Equipped with the same 2.0-litre TSI engine, it does not disappoint in the power department
Getting the Octavia Combi RS up to speed is easy as well. Equipped with the same 2.0-litre TSI engine that is found on the liftback, there's plenty of useable power. With 241bhp and 370Nm of torque, overtaking on Malaysia's two-way b-roads is a relatively stress-free manoeuvre despite the higher traffic speeds and tight window to overtake.

Sometimes, a larger cabin can result in more pronounced noises, especially when you compare a sedan with a hatchback or shooting brake design that only has a tonneau cover to separate the boot area.

With both cars performing almost identically, you can make a choice solely based on the body style you prefer
With the Octavia Combi RS however, there was no more noise than inside the liftback version. In fact, it offers the same quality ride comfort with similar levels of noise, vibrations and harshness - you wouldn't even know which you were in if you hadn't glanced at the rear.

So, the Octavia Combi RS drives and feels identical to the liftback variant. Inside, the level of equipment and features are the same as well, save for a panoramic sunroof in the Combi. Hence, when deciding on which variant of the Octavia RS to go for, your decision can solely be made based on the body style which you prefer.

And if you were to ask me, I'll likely opt for the Combi - there's just something about the shape of a stationwagon that hits all the right spots.
 
 
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Car Information

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SKODA Octavia Combi RS 2.0 TSI (A)
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Price

: $229,900

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

:

15.2km/L

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