Review: Skoda Octavia RS 245

It has taken Skoda a while to usher in its performance sedan, right since the time it was launched globally nearly five years ago. And with the new Octavia coming to India soon, is this car going to impress enthusiasts? Well, at a price of ₹ 35.99 lakh, it is even costlier than the RS 230. But if affordable performance is what you’re looking for, then the Octavia RS is all the car you’ll ever need, as we find out after taking it for a spin.

A question of sport

The interior isn’t particularly new, but the fully digital instrument cluster is a very welcoming feature. Information is displayed very clearly, and then you have the vRS button next to the gear lever, which gives to easier access to the four driving modes: Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual. The rest has been seen before and beginning to show its age. The levels of plastic quality could’ve been better, considering the price tag. At the front, you get sports seats along with vRS stitching on the seatback. What makes it even more sporty is the Alcantara upholstery, faux carbon fibre and contrast stitching.

Even on the outside, it really isn’t easy to spot the differences. What’s most prominent is the piano black surround for the butterfly grille. Even the ORVMs and the lip spoiler at the back, get a gloss black look. And it sports newer and bigger alloy wheels too.

A mean machine

The RS 245 employs a 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol engine that receives some tweaks for more power and torque. It produces 241bhp and 370Nm. Gone is the DQ250 6-speed DSG and in comes the new DQ381 7-speed DSG unit. Also, the new vRS comes with bigger 18-inch wheels and is equipped with bigger brakes that provide good bite.

On the road again

Acceleration remains more-or-less the same, meaning it is still a quick Skoda cars. Switch on launch control, and you tend to feel a slight lag before you start moving. The VRS darts with an urgency that’s bound to leave you smiling, but torque steer is apparent. The engine revs with ease, and you’ll really like it for that. Performance is excellent, and the gearbox works well too. And we love how smoothly the 7-speed gearbox works. The RS 245 also features a limited-slip differential. Its VAQ system is efficient and ensures the best possible traction at the front. Understeer still exists, but it corners with confidence. And the brakes are a lot stronger now. The ride is a bit firm, because of the bigger wheels and 40-section tyres.

The ultimate vRS?

The new Octavia vRS doesn’t cease to impress, but there’s no denying that this model has taken its own sweet time to reach our shores, making it feel a bit aged for the market. But it’s still a hoot to drive and offers great quality. But the price makes our jaws drop, particularly if one had to consider you could get a BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe for nearly the same on-road prices. And Skoda’s very own Superb offers better value at that price, but for the sticklers out there, we’re not stopping you. Also, read the latest car comparisons, only at autoX.

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