Skoda Octavia 2.0TDI vRS Estate : Simply Clever


  • Octavia vRS makes our man feel like a dunce thanks to superior intellect
  • Thinks of the small, and the big, things to make life with the Skoda easier
  • Inside and out, there's always something that will surprise you with its cleverness

Thirteen years at school, another 12 months in college, four years at university followed by another year mastering a specialised degree; I like to think I’m a pretty well-educated individual. And when it comes to cars I’d say my knowledge has become even more rounded in recent years working for Parkers.

But if ever there was a car to make me feel like a dunce it’s my Skoda Octavia vRS estate. Not because it turns into a Czech-accented KITT (from Knight Rider) and quizzes me as I drive it, but due to the firm’s Simply Clever ethos for its models.

You see, while there’s no bad car out there these days, there are some clever ones – and this Octavia is one of them. The list of features designed to make my everyday life easier makes my curriculum vitae look like a post-it.

Octavia heated screen

And it all starts before you even get into the car; on a cold day, when your front screen is iced over and you need to go rummaging around the cabin – or worse still your bomb-site garage – for a scraper the Octavia lends you a helping hand. Conveniently located inside the fuel filler flap is an ice scraper, ready to slice through the ice and provide you with a clear view ahead.

Unless of course you have the heated windscreen option, like we do, which makes life even easier. Like I said, this particular Octavia’s a clever sod.

Octavia multimedia holder

Once you’re inside it continues to impress its knowledge and helpfulness on you, thanks to the parking ticket holder on the windscreen and the multimedia (phone) holder built into the cupholder. You might question the usefulness of the latter, but how often have you had to wedge your phone inconveniently into some sort of cubby hole in a car only for it to rattle around, or worse, fall out onto the floor at the first sign of a corner?

When you turn the car off and exit, the main infotainment screen will flash up a ‘Remember your mobile phone’ reminder too. Brilliant.

Skoda phone reminder

That same display is the key to this car’s potential as a mastermind though, as there you’ll find a way of combining mapping and audio information for control on the move. Plus if you’re running out of fuel it’ll use the sat-nav to re-direct you to the nearest petrol station.

Assuming you haven’t listened to the car’s eco tips, shown on the Maxidot screen between the main instruments, and saved a load of fuel of course.

Octavia headlight swap

Drive to Europe, as I have, and the car will automatically swap the beam angle of its headlights to reflect driving on the right hand side of the road – and the front fogs will light up when required to illuminate corners better. There’s even a dedicated storage shelf for your high-vis vest under the driver’s seat, to keep you legal abroad.

Hi vis vest skoda

And if that’s not enough, storage spaces abound in this car; the door pockets are perfect for bottles of water (500ml rear and 1.5-litres front), the front seat passenger has a generously sized lidded cubby slotted underneath and our car had the optional variable boot floor with extra storage below. Bag hooks and a remote rear backrest fold take care of any specific load lugging needs.

Visibility on the move is taken care of by the rear screen wiper, which automatically provides an occasional cleaning sweep when the front’s are working hard to clear the screen of rain. And our car’s glass sunroof blind automatically closes itself at night if the temperature requires it, ensuring a comfortable cabin when stepping into the car the next morning.

Skoda wiuper

After many months with this car, using it to commute, at the weekends, in Europe, to carry people, to lug loads and generally just to live with it feels like it’s given me another education.

In my eyes, it's not so much simply clever - more really clever.


Mileage: 10,414miles                      Economy: 43.1mpg (calculated)