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Skoda Octavia vRS engines, drive and performance

2001 - 2005 (change model)
Performance rating: 4.5 out of 54.5

Written by Simon Harris Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

180bhp engine allows both versions of the Octavia vRS to sprint from 0-60mph in less than eight seconds and maximum torque is available from just below 2000rpm to 5000rpm. Six-speed manual transmission is the only one offered which isn’t that engaging to use, but shifts cleanly and precisely. Always feels rapid, but the engine seems to lack character compared with a Honda Civic Type R or MG ZS 180.

Front wheels often battle against the sheer power they are trying to put down on the road, so the car rewards a degree of circumspection when accelerating from low speeds with much neater behavior for those willing to be patient. Otherwise the Octavia vRS offers well-weighted and precise steering and retains its composure when tackling a series of challenging corners.