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Giving rivals the slip: the Skoda Octavia vRS 4x4

  • Hot diesel Skoda Octavia vRS gains all-wheel drive for extra traction
  • Raises the price by £15 per month* for the estate, £11 for the hatch
  • Makes for cleaner getaways and more confidence in poor weather

Performance diesels like the Volkswagen Golf GTD and Ford Focus ST diesel are ideal company cars for the driving enthusiast as they look and handle just like their petrol counterparts, yet produce lower CO2 emissions.

They don’t offer the improved traction of four-wheel drive though; for that you’ll need a Skoda Octavia vRS.

Fast and frugal with added traction

We’ve had the diesel vRS for a while now and it offers an impressive balance of speed and fuel efficiency.

You can now have it with the Haldex all-wheel drive system as used on the Octavia Scout, and a DSG automatic gearbox (there is no manual option).

This enables you to pull away quicker (0.3 seconds faster from 0-62mph) and cling onto slippery bends with impressive traction, even in poor weather conditions.

Lots of kit comes as standard

The Skoda brand has always represented good value for money and the Octavia vRS is no exception.

Kit highlights include:

  • Touchscreen sat-nav
  • 18-inch anthracite-coloured alloy wheels
  • Bi-xenon headlights
  • Sports suspension
  • Dual-zone climate control

Best of all, you get the vRS bodykit and badges so the car looks just like the petrol version from the outside.

How much extra does this cost?

The economy takes a small hit due to the weight of the 4x4 system, so you get a claimed 57.7mpg and 129g/km (compared with the front-wheel drive’s 60mpg and 124g/km).

That pushes it into a higher BIK band meaning an extra £11* a month for the hatchback, and £15* a month for the estate compared with the two-wheel drive automatic cars.

This means you’ll be left with a tax bill of £114 and £123 respectively, which is still a decent deal when you consider the potent performance and high specification of the Octavia vRS.

Other four-wheel drive options available

Four-wheel drive is not a new addition to the Octavia line-up though, so it’s worth exploring the rest of the range if you’re not bothered about the sporty image.

While the 4x4 hatchback is available in vRS form only, if you pick an estate you can have all-wheel drive with the lower-powered 1.6 and 2-litre diesels, plus the Scout version, which has the same engine as the vRS.

Pick the 1.6-litre engine in SE L trim and your tax bill will be £92 a month.

*Calculations based on 20 percent tax