Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

vRS Stays Way Ahead for Skoda

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

vRS Stays Way Ahead for Skoda

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Keenan

The latest Skoda Octavia is now rolling on to garage forecourts ( but the company is keeping the current vRS estate model on the books for 2005 and it's easy to see why.

This is a real gem of a motor, offering performance with the practical benefits associated with an estate.

The new Octavia models rolled out so far have earned rave reviews but they can't hold a candle to performance figures of 0-60mph in eight seconds and a reported top speed of 143mph offered by the vRS estate.

In short, there are few faster ways to haul the family and its luggage around the country. Skoda know it so this Octavia will continue to be part of the line-up until the end of the year when a new vRS is expected.

The car may burn up the tarmac but it's easy on the wallet, with average fuel consumption a shade above 35mph.

Seeing the car for the first time, those harshest of critics, my children, were impressed. They regularly give their views, mostly unsolicited, on the relative merits of the vehicles I test.

The Octavia estate earned an immediate thumbs-up for rear seat room and comfort, while my six-year-old son admired the sleek exterior. In his words it looked `cool'.

His dad agrees, as the estate is smoother than the Cresta Run.

Volkswagen's influence on Skoda is never better illustrated than on the Octavia, which is based on the same platform as the Golf and shares its excellent engines with relatives from the VW group.

The vRS has a distinctive look helped by the ride height being reduced by 15mm compared to the standard car. The addition of a rear spoiler also gives the car presence.

The alterations also mean the car grips the road like a mountaineer on a rockface, which makes cornering a pleasure not normally associated with large estate cars.

The interior's leather and mesh seats hug the body, while head and legroom, for adults as well as children, are excellent. …

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