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What’s this?

The new model of the Skoda Octavia – the vRS – now fitted, for the primary time, with four-wheel drive. And, as you possibly can see, you possibly can have it not simply in hatchback costume, however with the whopping 1,740-litre property boot.

I am sensing an ‘all of the automotive you’ll ever want’ verdict arising…

Maintain that thought, as a result of there’s a catch. Sure, Skoda will promote you all-wheel drive within the vRS, however no, you possibly can’t have it with simply any mannequin. Not with the newest 227bhp variant, or with both of the two.0-litre petrol variations, the truth is. It’s provided solely on the 184bhp 2.0 TDI. Yup, it’s the diesel.

And, ought to you’ve gotten hoped to claw again some petrolhead kudos with a handbook gearbox, think about your hopes dashed. In contrast to the front-drive Octavia vRS, the AWD model is completely fitted with a six-speed, DSG paddleshifter.

Oh. I hoped for a reduction Golf R with plenty of traction.

Us too, if we’re trustworthy, however diesel with DSG is what we’ve bought and the very fact is, it’s nonetheless a significantly completed household automotive. The 184bhp, 280lb ft diesel is the exact same engine that lurks in a VW Golf GTD, which you’ll have as an property, however solely with front-wheel drive. And by full coincidence, that’s an similar output to the front-drive Ford Focus ST Property diesel. So, the numbers are spot on for a brisk diesel. It even sounds okay – easy, and fewer rattly than some diesels.

Enjoying faux noise by way of the audio system?

Nope – Skoda’s far too smart for that. Weirdly, the identical engine, when it lives in an Audi TT, is dubbed over by the hi-fi to sound meatier. Learn into that what you’ll.

Is it any good to drive?

Sure, in that assured and smart method that Skoda does moderately effectively. And in fact, not that completely different to the front-drive model, save for fast getaways. Ground the throttle from standstill on a moist, chilly, gritty highway and it’ll romp away with diesely gusto with out troubling the traction management mild, which is a plus level should you’re not a fan of ‘altering your driving model with the situations’, like your driving teacher suggested. This factor does make 280lb ft at 1,750rpm, keep in mind. Even on a dry floor, the 4×4 is 0.3sec faster from 0-62mph than the front-drive vRS TDi. It’s just about foolproof.

And precisely how briskly is it? I want numbers

Launching to 62mph takes 7.7 seconds, or 7.6 should you’ve bought the very barely lighter hatchback moderately than the wagon. So sure, it’s brisk moderately than outright fast, however you’ll nonetheless be capable to see off a Toyota GT86 on a wet day. Easy pleasures. High velocity falls 2mph to 142mph. So should you commute by the autobahn, bear that in thoughts. You’ll be faster down the sliproad, however in the end slower. How’s that for shopper recommendation?

Traction apart, the vRS is pretty chuckable for a household wagon, with plenty of grip and sensibly weighted controls. Clearly it could possibly’t do the drift-mode heroics of the AWD Focus RS, as a result of there are not any intelligent clutch packs right here, however moderately an older faculty however nonetheless fit-for-purpose Haldex system that makes use of an electrohydraulic clutch to summon as much as half of the ability to the rear axle if it senses you’ve cocked up. You possibly can upset the rear finish by trail-braking the automotive, however the ESC can’t be turned fully off, and the Octavia is, like your outdated man on the wedding ceremony disco, not a pure dancer. Neither ought to it’s. It’s a wise quick household automotive and that’s advantageous by us.

How a lot?

A not-horrific £1,450 greater than the front-drive automotive, that means a hatch prices you £27,315, and a wagon £28,515. Sure, nearly thirty grand is quite a bit to throw on a Skoda, however you do get sat-nav, auto local weather management, the DSG gearbox and a 55.6mpg financial system declare as customary. All of it feels effectively screwed collectively and appears moderately good-looking too, particularly within the RS-like battleship gray paint. And should you had been struggling to see the purpose of the Octavia subsequent to its Audi A3, VW Golf and Seat Leon cousins, it now has a 4×4 USP.

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