DT Garage: Meet our new Skoda Octavia vRS daily wagon
You helped configure it – and here it is in all its blue beauty
Cast your minds back to the wintry depths of January and you may remember I asked the DriveTribe masses to help configure my next long-term test car – a Skoda Octavia vRS estate.
Well, it's finally arrived from the factory in Czechia (and has been with me for more than a month, I'm just very slow at writing), and as you can see, I specced it exactly as you all asked.
It's a 2.0-litre petrol Octavia vRS Estate with 245hp – none of that fancy (and quite good) hybrid stuff here. You just about decided it should be a DSG (the poll has since swung just in favour of manual, but hey ho – we're not having a recount), so automatic it is. And you overwhelmingly favoured Skoda's classic Race Blue, and lo – it was (is).
I had to go for an estate simply because I carry lots of baby/toddler stuff with me – the hatch looks great this time 'round though
The rest of the spec is pretty straightforward – vRS models sit at the top of the Octavia line-up here in the UK, so they get a lot of kit as standard. But since I'm anal about sharing these things, I added a few bits and pieces to help my six month with the car be as enjoyable as possible.
It's a lot of car for £37,000
On top of the Octavia vRS Estate's list price of £33,350, I've added £4,115 of options. Which still means it costs less than the Mini Clubman JCW that I've just said goodbye to.
Top of my list of options for the Skoda was dynamic chassis control – not because the standard vRS suspension is cack, but simply because I like being able to switch between comfortable and sporty at the tap of a screen. It's always worth having on Volkswagen Group cars, and on this Skoda the adaptive dampers only cost £945. Bargain.
The new Octavia's droopy snout really works on the vRS with its blacked-out grille – it's easily the best looking Octavia yet
I also added a £605 reversing camera which, weirdly, also bestows my car with Audi-esque scrolling LED indicators. I'm not sure why those options come together, but I dare say there's a Czech man with a clipboard and a calculator who knows exactly why.
Two bona fide VWG icons? Time will tell for the Skoda. It's weird to think these two cars cost the same right now… (yes, it was a manual R8…)
I've also had £510 of blind-spot detection fitted to the door mirrors, £590 of upgraded Canton sound system (because the standard system in Skodas is never phat enough for my bass addiction), and £335 of wireless charging mat, which is an essential these days when you have wireless Apple CarPlay. Which the Octavia does. This means you can run Google Maps from your phone to the screen all day errr'day without worrying about your battery when you leave the car.
So far, so Skoda
The Skoda's first long trip was up to Caffeine & Machine to drive the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition. I'm getting 40mpg without trying on motorway runs
Otherwise, my vRS is standard – so it sits on 19-inch anthracite alloy wheels (which have attracted several compliments from strangers), a lush Alcantara-clad dashboard, LED matrix headlights and plenty more stuff that I'll talk about over the next six months.
So far I've put 2,000 miles on the car on several family holidays, as well as driving to press launches and appointments at KFCs across the country.
First impressions are very, very good – and I'll soon be writing another update telling you just why this blue box of joy has already wormed its way into my (and my family's) affections.