Skoda Octavia vRS long-term assessment

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We’ve simply had a diesel vRS for 3 months. Subsequent up: a petroleum vRS for 3 months. Which makes the higher purchase? Why we’re operating it: It’s the primary in a two-parter: diesel vRS for 3 months, petrol vRS for 3 months. Which makes the higher purchase? Month four – Month three – Month 2 – Month 1 – Specs & costs Life with a Skoda Octavia vRS: Month four Tweaking tyre pressures – eighth August 2018 I’ve performed round with the Octavia’s tyre pressures in a bid to enhance its agency journey. They had been 38psi however are actually 34psi. Skoda recommends 39psi for a half-loaded automobile so I could also be pushing it only a contact. Anyway, the journey is healthier with out being remodeled. We’ll see within the subsequent few weeks if, by the regulation of unintended penalties, I’ve knackered one thing else. Mileage: 3071 Again to the highest Selecting a diesel vRS is likely to be a smart saving, forgoing adaptive dampers just isn’t – 18th July 2018 When the time comes handy my Octavia vRS 245 again to Skoda, I’ll conduct a complete breakdown of its operating prices and take a look at how they evaluate with these of the diesel vRS that it changed. For now, although, I couldn’t resist a fast gasoline financial system comparability. It goes with out saying the diesel engine will obtain higher gasoline financial system and due to this fact be cheaper to run, however the petrol motor is a lot sweeter to make use of each in on a regular basis driving and whereas on a little bit of a run that I reckon most individuals studying this journal could be glad to swallow just a little extra expense on the gasoline pumps, though provided that the distinction is comparatively slim. To get correct and dependable miles per gallon knowledge for the vRS 245, I brimmed its tank, drove it till the onboard laptop was screaming at me to refuel, then brimmed the tank once more. The entire distance coated in the course of the check was 375 miles, which included a good quantity of motorway driving, a superb chunk of fast crosscountry stuff and a little bit of around-town work too. At no level did I regulate my driving type with a view to nudging the gasoline financial system determine up a couple of factors. Life is much too quick. Anyway, the result was 33.9mpg, which is definitely fractionally higher than the journey laptop’s estimate. The departed diesel vRS averaged 44mpg throughout its time with me, which is an affordable enchancment over the petrol mannequin. I’ve run some numbers and for each 1000 miles coated, the petrol will value £171 to gasoline, whereas the diesel would value £135. In case you drive 15,000 miles per yr, that’s a distinction of £540 in favour of the diesel (taking the distinction in worth between the 2 fuels under consideration). Would you readily hand over £45 a month simply to drive a petroleum, relatively than a diesel? Sure, there can be different prices to think about, however £45 a month as a tough determine is a large enough sum that you would need to actually dislike the lumpy, low-revving nature of a diesel engine to splash out on the petrol model as a substitute. Personally, I believe I might – notably for a automobile that has a sporty edge to its character – however I get why any person else won’t. Ah sure, its sporty edge. I’ve already written about this automobile’s journey high quality. It wasn’t specified with the non-obligatory adaptive dampers and, in consequence, it rides a bit like a hospital gurney that’s been shoved down the Spanish Steps. On the motorway or out on the open highway, I quickly overlook concerning the lumpiness of the automobile’s journey, however on the town it truly is a little bit of a ache. It crashes closely into potholes and sunken drain covers, finds ridges within the highway floor that you simply didn’t know had been there and thumps onerous over bumps. If the highway floor is admittedly poor, you get out even after a brief drive feeling considerably crushed up. It’s fairly good to drive on a twisty B-road, although. In contrast with the Volkswagen Golf GTI that it shares a lot with, the Skoda does really feel a bit lazier and fewer agile, however you would need to count on that of an property automobile. Given its dimension, it’s fast alongside a highway and fairly good enjoyable to hustle too. The electronically managed VAQ differential actually hauls the entrance finish away from corners and the steering is exact and linked sufficient that you may place the Octavia the place you need with actual confidence. Nonetheless, none of that goes a very lengthy option to making up for the journey high quality. We’re not discussing a supercar right here, are we? I repeat my recommendation from earlier stories: when you’re contemplating a vRS 245 as your subsequent automobile, £860 on Dynamic Chassis Management is cash very nicely spent. Adore it: COMFORTABLE CRUISER Experience points however, I by no means as soon as keep in mind feeling achey or numb on the wheel of the Octavia, even after a protracted drive. Detest it: LACKLUSTRE AIR-CON In sizzling climate (by UK requirements) the air con isn’t the best system I’ve come throughout. Mileage: 2034 Again to the highest Two faculties of thought on the vRS’s appears to be like – 4th July 2018 The third-generation Octavia is now 5 years previous however nonetheless a good-looking automobile, particularly in vRS 245 guise. With Moon White bodywork, two-tone wheels and a contrasting black end to the grille, door mirrors and window surrounds, it really appears to be like fairly powerful. That mentioned, my different half thinks it’s a bit determined. “Who’s it for?” she asks. “A boy racer who was compelled to develop up?” Mileage: 1533 Again to the highest Life with the Skoda Octavia vRS: Month three Time to swap a vRS all-wheel-drive diesel hatch for a front-drive vRS petrol property – 20th June 2018 My three-month custodianship of the Race Blue Skoda has drawn to an finish. I doubt I’ll miss the Octavia vRS 2.Zero TDI an excessive amount of, however solely as a result of it has made manner for a shiny new mannequin. The lasting impression from these three months on the wheel of Skoda’s diesel vRS is that this: when authorities laws makes diesel automobiles unduly costly, and when it knackers their residual values – which appears to be the path we’re heading in in the mean time – a lot of drivers, myself included, are going to sorely miss mid-40s to the gallon and nearly a 500-mile vary. What the diesel vRS did nicely – and I recognize there are many different automobiles on the market that handle a lot the identical factor – was mix that kind of gasoline financial system and vary with sturdy straight-line efficiency and a broad unfold of dynamic competencies. With out actually excelling at one factor particularly, my now departed Octavia vRS, which was outfitted with a DSG dual-clutch transmission and four-wheel drive, had nearly each base coated. It was fairly quick, competent alongside a twisty highway, comfy and refined on the motorway and, when you swapped the summer time tyres for winter rubber, I’ve little doubt it will be fairly indomitable within the very worst of the colder months too. However, alas, it has been decreed by the powers that be that diesel is the gasoline of the satan and we should all transfer away from it post-haste. Which utterly ignores the truth that each diesel automobile on sale at present should now meet EU6 emissions necessities, which means they’re hardly any worse for native emissions than a comparable petrol engine whereas being much better when it comes to general CO2 emissions. For the file, we at Autocar preserve that diesel nonetheless has its place, notably for greater automobiles and for drivers who cowl greater than 15,000 miles annually.
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Our automobile has now been changed by a vRS 245, the most recent mannequin within the Octavia efficiency vary, which was launched simply final yr. In addition to being the newest vRS with the newest chassis tuning, the 245 can also be probably the most highly effective vRS to date. My new automobile appears to be like the half in Moon White with black accents – really, parked subsequent to the Race Blue Octavia, it instantly made the diesel automobile look considerably old-hat – and it arrived with simply 458 miles on the clock. As I’ve mentioned earlier than, the brand new automobile is diametrically against the previous one. It’s an property relatively than a hatch and a petroleum relatively than a diesel, in fact, but it surely’s additionally a front-wheel-drive handbook automobile whereas the one it replaces was a four-wheel-drive DSG. Over the following couple of months, I’ll have loads of time to work out which precise configuration works finest for the Octavia. What’s extra, the brand new automobile doesn’t have Dynamic Chassis Management, whereas the previous automobile did. I seen that exact omission throughout the first half mile. With no adaptive dampers, and due to this fact no Consolation suspension mode, the 245 has a troublesome and unsettled journey. It isn’t insufferable, however it may be irritating. Take it from me: when you’re considering a vRS 245, be sure you spend the additional £860. What you really want to know concerning the 245 is that it borrows the 242bhp 2.Zero-litre turbo engine and electronically managed mechanical differential from the Volkswagen Golf GTI Efficiency. Other than making it the quickest vRS but, that drivetrain also needs to make the 245 probably the most entertaining sizzling Octavia to date too. Extra of which in a second. The 245 comes so loaded with package as commonplace that there are simply two choices fitted to this check automobile. The primary is the metallic Moon White paint at £400 and the second is a spacesaver spare wheel, which prices the grand sum of £105. The entire value of this automobile is £29,805. The usual specification contains 19in wheels, rear parking sensors, a touchscreen sat-nav, electrical seat adjustment, cruise management, local weather management, Bluetooth, LED lights, heated seats and many extra in addition to. Other than the Dynamic Chassis Management that I’ve already talked about, the one factor I’m lacking so removed from the Race Blue automobile is wi-fi cellphone charging (though it’s solely any good on lengthy journeys as a result of it costs a cellphone at such a dismally sluggish charge). How does this automobile evaluate with the diesel model? What’s clear straight away is that it’s rather more enjoyable to drive, with tauter physique management, sharper responses to steering inputs and a far sweeter, extra revvy engine. Really, in contrast with the 245, the diesel doesn’t really feel notably sporty in any respect. The petrol mannequin’s differential is brilliantly efficient, too, particularly in its extra aggressive mode, when it drags the automobile away from corners with an brisk, terrier-like enthusiasm. Over the course of this long-term check, I’ll have loads of alternative to check operating prices, notably gasoline financial system, between the 2 fashions. To date, it appears to be like as if the petrol vRS averages one thing like 33mpg, though with the automobile not but correctly run in, I don’t wish to choose it too harshly. The all-important first impressions are usually superb. I reckon a 245 property might simply be the right automobile for anyone who has outgrown a traditional sizzling hatch however nonetheless needs one thing with a little bit of efficiency and a style for abandoned again roads. vRS 245 mileage: 458 vRS TDI closing mileage: 7735 Again to the highest We’re about to modify from one sporty Skoda to a different – sixth June 2018 My Race Blue Octavia vRS will quickly be making manner for a Moon White one. The alternative vRS is totally different to the outgoing one in nearly each conceivable manner. As a substitute of being a diesel, four-wheel-drive hatch with a DSG transmission and Dynamic Chassis Management, it’ll be a petroleum, front-wheel-drive property with a handbook gearbox and passive dampers. Between them, they signify the 2 opposing ends of the Octavia vRS mannequin vary. As I write, I nonetheless have a while with the blue automobile and not too long ago I had my most gratifying drive in it to date. I used to be on my option to a photograph shoot in Berkshire on a stretch of highway that I do know much better than somebody who doesn’t stay in Berkshire ought to. The B-road in query is likely one of the smoothest you’ll discover wherever on our honest isle. Relatively than jinking and darting this fashion and that like a demented housefly, the highway simply meanders alongside, flowing gracefully via the low-set hills. In brief, it was precisely the kind of highway that basically flatters the vRS. The floor was bone dry and the Pirelli P Zero tyres had been clawing a constant and predictable stage of grip out of the floor, whereas the superbly weighted steering allowed me to place the automobile precisely the place I needed it. These two virtues alone gave me all the boldness I wanted to string the automobile alongside at a superb, however not irresponsible, velocity, one flowing nook feeding seamlessly into the following. On a stretch like that, the Skoda actually works. What it doesn’t address so nicely are sections of highway that includes one tight nook after one other, the kind of highway that most accurately fits very gentle and nimble automobiles. You possibly can really feel the burden of the Octavia in second and third-gear bends, and also you sense it struggling for front-end grip. The identical is true of undulating and cresting roads, which make the automobile really feel floaty and loosely managed regardless of which driving mode you select. It’s a pity, then, that roads like that one in Berkshire actually aren’t quite common within the UK. That’s why the vRS won’t ever be a lot of a again highway thriller; the roads you discover on this nation imply that, more often than not, it simply feels just a little out of its depth. In lots of different methods the Octavia vRS continues to be a really easy automobile to stay with, proving unfussy, undemanding and comfy. That warning message on the instrument panel exclaiming ‘Error: workshop!’ hasn’t reappeared since I first talked about it again in Might, so the automobile been near faultless for the three months it’s been with me. It hasn’t been a breathless, steamy dalliance, however generally you simply need a automobile to be, you understand, a automobile. I’ve additionally come to understand the ‘Merely Intelligent’ options that make a Skoda a Skoda. They’re little thrives that you simply wouldn’t essentially discover in the course of the first few days of possession. As an example, the small rubber grips within the cup holders which let you unscrew a bottle cap utilizing one hand. It’s a function our editorial director, Jim Holder, can also be keen on in his Kodiaq. Then there’s the neat parking ticket holder that’s tucked into the windscreen, plus the assorted hooks, straps and little moveable obstacles within the boot that cease your eggs from flying out of your procuring bag and Humpty Dumpty-ing themselves throughout your strolling boots. Mileage: 6940 Again to the highest
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Life with the Skoda Octavia vRS: Month 2 Spurious warning messages or one thing extra sinister – ninth Might 2018 You’ll see why I assumed the warning under was a critical one. The automobile appeared nice, although, so I ignored it and carried on. I did go straight to my native Skoda dealership, which confirmed there was nothing amiss. Since then, the message has returned simply as soon as, however rapidly vanished. If it returns once more, the automobile will get a correct well being test. Mileage: 7138 Again to the highest Life with the Skoda Octavia vRS: Month 1 We’ve but to discover a situation that fazes this automotive equal of a smartphone – 2nd Might 2018 You’ve simply landed at Gatwick airport on a soggy, misty night in March. Your flight was delayed by a few hours and you continue to have 140 miles to drive dwelling. You’re moody and irritable. It’s at instances like these that each one you need out of your automobile is consolation, a stage of effortlessness, loads of gasoline vary – there are few issues extra irritating than having to cease at a gasoline station when all you need is to get dwelling – and for the Bluetooth to simply work. That’s precisely what the Octavia vRS does so nicely. As I mentioned within the first report, it’s an undemanding automobile. The seats are comfy and supportive in all the appropriate locations, the journey consists sufficient, it’ll do round 450 miles between gasoline stops and the infotainment stuff is all just about faultless. It additionally has sufficient accelerative punch to nip via site visitors on the town and overtake slower automobiles out on the open highway, and it’ll return 40-something miles per gallon nearly no matter how onerous you drive it. Now, there are many automobiles at this worth level that do all the above. The listing of automobiles that do all the above and likewise make you grin if you begin giving the tyres some ache on a B-road, although, is an terrible lot shorter. The vRS, I suppose, is all about breadth of capacity. Let’s be actual, although: it’s no Volkswagen Golf R on a rustic highway. It feels heavier, much less agile and slower. The damping isn’t as brilliantly resolved and the steering not fairly as sharp. What’s essential, although, is that its chassis has sufficient substance about it that it doesn’t collapse huffily into a large number of understeer and comedy physique roll on a twisty highway. It holds itself collectively, which implies you may have enjoyable punting it alongside. You can too cowl floor at an honest tempo. I don’t assume that exact set of attributes will ever make you actually fall for a automobile. That kind of automobile is sort of a good smartphone: you respect it as a result of it makes your life simpler. I’ve been questioning if this automobile’s four-wheel-drive system is definitely worthwhile. You’ll pay a £1490 premium over the front-wheel-drive mannequin for it. Typically, I believe the 4×4 vRS actually is the higher automobile, like when pulling out onto a fast-flowing, moist roundabout. The 2-wheel-drive automobile would both set off its traction management and never go very far, or gentle up its entrance wheels and miss the hole within the site visitors altogether. This mannequin, although, leaps ahead with none fuss or hesitation, so that you want solely a slim hole within the circulate of automobiles to get your self transferring once more. That, in fact, is a really particular situation. The remainder of the time, I’m merely not conscious the automobile is four-wheel drive. A number of weeks in the past, nevertheless, when the vRS had solely not too long ago arrived with me and the not-so-fearsome Beast from the East was because of cowl a lot of the UK in a blanket of snow, I cancelled all prior preparations and as a substitute used the Skoda to get from Bristol to Heathrow airport. The flight was a particularly essential one which I completely couldn’t miss (two weeks within the solar, you see). Because it occurred, the snow didn’t really arrive till the day after I flew, however the sense of safety meant the journey was a lot much less fraught than it might need been. After all, that sense of safety would possibly nicely have been a false one as a result of the vRS was not on winter tyres. But it surely made me assume: a four-wheel-drive Octavia vRS with winter rubber could be just about excellent for the UK in our colder months. It could be sure-footed on a moist or chilly highway, and it will address an honest snow dump too. Adore it: EASY INFOTAINMENT Plenty of automobile infotainment methods are baffling and difficult to navigate, however the Skoda’s is as clear as day. Its display screen icons are usefully massive too. Detest it: INSISTENT WARNING When the windscreen washer fluid stage is low, the warning chime goes off each jiffy. Very annoying. Mileage: 6851 Again to the highest Economic system expectations – 18th April 2018 In the course of the 1500 or so miles I’ve coated within the Octavia vRS, I’ve averaged about 43mpg. That’s in need of the 55.4mpg Skoda claims for this diesel mannequin, but it surely’s not too dangerous given the punchy efficiency. Gasoline consumption hovers across the mid40s no matter how I drive the automobile. Would I commerce a few of that effectivity for a sweeter, higher-revving petrol engine? Extra on that subsequent time. Mileage: 6079 Again to the highest Welcoming the Octavia vRS to our fleet – 4th April 2018 All issues thought of, it is a barely unusual time to be taking supply of a brand new diesel automobile. Actually, far fewer individuals are doing so now than at any level previously few years. The stats present that gross sales of recent diesel fashions had been down in December by 31% yr on yr, the results of a persistent and, we reckon, wholly unreasonable character assassination of the black stuff each within the mainstream press and by the hands of the federal government. Just some days in the past, new tax guidelines had been applied that successfully make all new diesel automobiles costlier to purchase. For the very best CO2 emitters, the price of the primary yr’s highway tax could have leapt up by £500. For different diesels, the rise can be as little as £20, and the brand new rules relate to that first yr solely, however the message from Whitehall is evident: diesel’s days are numbered. The unintended consequence of the federal government’s efforts to discourage us from shopping for diesels is that general CO2 emissions are creeping up. New automobile patrons are favouring petrol-engined automobiles on this post-Dieselgate period and, usually, a petroleum automobile emits extra CO2 than a comparable diesel one. A number of cities across the UK are pondering banning diesel automobiles, too, every of them citing diesel’s dangerous NOx emissions, which have been intently linked to respiratory sicknesses. That’s fairly powerful to argue with. The very latest diesels are nearly as clear as a typical petrol engine, although, so forcing patrons away from such fashions achieves nothing in any respect. Aside, maybe, from giving a imprecise impression that one thing is being executed. For all these causes, we at Autocar assume diesel nonetheless has an essential function to play within the medium time period, which is why this Skoda Octavia vRS 2.Zero TDI is becoming a member of the long-term fleet. Take into account it a flag-waving train for compression-ignition.
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This isn’t a wholly standard long-term check, although, as a result of after three months we’ll be chopping this automobile in for a petroleum mannequin. We completely do wish to stand in diesel’s nook at a time when it’s being unfairly demonised, but when we come to the conclusion six months from now petrol Octavia vRS is the higher general proposition, that’s the one we’ll be recommending. Over a couple of thousand miles, we’ll get a superb perception into the shopping for and operating prices of every mannequin, too, so we’ll know which one works out cheaper in the long term. This specific automobile, resplendent in Race Blue metallic, is a fourwheel-drive mannequin with the DSG dual-clutch automated gearbox. Its commonplace listing worth is £28,700, however the 19in wheels (£655), Canton sound system (£505), Columbus sat-nav (£1060) and the important Dynamic Chassis Management (£860), plus a few different extras, raise the general worth to £32,795. The engine is a 2.Zero-litre diesel with 182bhp and 280lb ft of torque. Skoda claims 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 134g/km (which, by the way, means the primary yr of highway tax prices £300 extra at present than it will have executed per week in the past). When this automobile is changed by the petrol model – the brand new vRS 245, probably the most highly effective vRS but – it received’t simply be the gasoline sort that modifications, however roughly all the configuration. Relatively than a four-wheel-drive hatch with a dual-clutch ’field, the petrol automobile can be a front-driven property with a handbook transmission. That manner, we’ll know for sure precisely what it takes to get the most effective out of the Octavia vRS. First impressions? Largely very optimistic. It appears like an easy, undemanding automobile, the type that slots neatly into your life. There’s acres of house within the cabin. The diesel engine is robust and gutsy, with a usefully large powerband. It’s hardly an exciting four-pot, although, and it’s fairly noisy, notably when chilly. The DSG ’field, in the meantime, is excellent, though it does change down too usually if you apply just a little extra throttle, maybe to get previous a bicycle owner on a busy city road, when it might simply lean on the engine’s massive wedge of torque and spare you the sudden downchange, thrash of revs and jolty burst of acceleration. For probably the most half, it’s very comfy, too, due to the non-obligatory DCC adaptive dampers that our highway testers have discovered to be so essential. My solely criticism of the journey high quality is a slight however fixed patter at motorway speeds. I believe these very massive – and presumably relatively heavy – 19in wheels are the trigger. It’s as if the hefty, oscillating mass on the tip of every limb is just a bit an excessive amount of for the springs and dampers to maintain management of. Within the cabin, it doesn’t really feel like a brittle or unyielding journey, however extra like there’s one unbalanced wheel. Every little thing else? I’ll report again in additional element subsequent time however, a few hundred miles in, I might characterise the Octavia vRS – on this specification, at the very least – as a sizzling hatch reimagined as a grand tourer. It’s much less tightly wound than the VW Golf GTI with which it shares a platform; extra laid again. That ought to make for a fairly respectable on a regular basis automobile, I reckon. Second Opinion On paper, ‘vRS’ appears at odds with the Octavia’s remit. It certainly must show the hallmarks of different nice Skodas: big vary, comfortable journey and unrivalled practicality. In actuality, you may’t say no to the additional poke, and we’ll uncover the remainder shortly Mitch McCabe Again to the highest Skoda Octavia vRS 2.Zero TDI 4X4 DSG specification and costs Costs: Record worth new £28,700 Record worth now £29,015 Worth as examined £32,795 Vendor worth now £20,394 Non-public worth now £18,128 Commerce worth now £18,355 (half trade) Choices: 19in Xtreme wheels £655, Canton sound system £505, Columbus sat-nav £1060, Dynamic Chassis Management £860, metallic paint £400, space-saver spare wheel £105, heated seats £255, wi-fi cellphone charging with Bluetooth and wi-fi £255 Gasoline consumption and vary: Claimed financial system 55.4mpg Gasoline tank 50 litres Check common 43.7mpg Check finest 52mpg Check worst 38mpg Actual-world vary 480 miles Tech highlights: Zero-62mph 7.1sec Prime velocity 132mph Engine four cyls, 1968cc, diesel Max energy 182bhp at 3500rpm Max torque 280lb ft at 1750rpm Transmission 6-spd dual-clutch auto Boot capability 590 litres Wheels 19in alloy Tyres 225/35 R19, Pirelli P Zero Kerb weight 1475kg Service and operating prices: Contract rent charge £222 CO2 136g/km Service prices None Different prices None Gasoline prices £375 Operating prices inc gasoline £375 Value per mile 13 pence Depreciation £14,440 Value per mile inc dep’n £5.08 Faults None Again to the highest
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