Skoda Octavia 2.0TDI vRS Estate : Fuel Economy

  • We test out our diesel Skoda Octavia's fuel-sipping properties
  • Single journey reveals a figure better than official 61.4mpg claim
  • vRS encourages fast and fun rather than frugal driving though

Sixty-one point four. That’s what the spec sheet for our diesel Skoda Octavia vRS estate says its combined fuel economy figure is. Considering the yellow peril will also sprint from 0-62mph in just 8.1 seconds, carry five adults and 610 litres of luggage (under the load cover) and hit 144mph, I reckon that’s rather impressive.

Of course we all know that when it comes to manufacturer-quoted economy figures, they’re best taken with an extra-large pinch of salt. Consider also that we’ve added the optional 19-inch Xtreme alloy wheels, which will increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions (pegged at 119g/km for RSV), and there’s even less reason to believe our Skoda is capable of such lofty numbers.

Skoda Octavia Drive Mode

But that picture at the top of the page says differently. Sixty-three point five MPG. Without a tailwind.

Now I’m not suggesting that number is particularly representative, it is after all a one-shot journey not a long-term loan average (around 45mpg normally), but it does show what is possible if you try to drive this car economically. Captured on my commute to the office, which is just over 56 miles, at a time when there was little traffic and no rush to get behind my desk – conditions were perfect.

But ideal testing situation or not, what really mattered was a light right foot, early gear-changing and plenty of planning ahead. Over-brake and you’ll find yourself needing to use the accelerator again, using more fuel in the process.

Octavia vRS fuel

The Skoda does have one more trick up its sleeve though, thanks to its Driving Mode Selector – alongside Normal, Sport and Individual choices there is an Eco option. By selecting the latter the engine response is throttled-back, the air-conditioning lessens its ferocity and even the headlights curtail their power-consuming beam bending when turning corners.

Along with the eco tips function, which reminds you to close the windows and sunroof at higher speeds to decrease any aero drag, the Maxidot information display also tells you when to change gear. Making saving fuel as easy as possible.

Octavia vRS driving

Driving gently, my 56 mile journey took one hour and six minutes, which is only around five to ten minutes longer than it would have taken had I driven more enthusiastically. And around 18mpg better.

That’s a significant difference, and with a 50-gallon tank that would add a theoretical 203.5 miles onto this car’s range. In fact compared to the 45mpg I usually see, whereby after 990 miles I’d be re-filling the tank with diesel, I’d have over 400 miles left – almost a free tank of fuel. Prices might be on the slide, but every little helps.

Octavia diesel

The Octavia itself does its best to make this parsimonious outlook a little more bearable too, thanks to some of the most comfortable seats and superb-sounding stereo on the whole of the fleet.

However, despite all those attributes and that eco figure RSV doesn’t feel particularly setup for economical driving. With 380Nm of torque to back up that 181bhp power output, as well as the sports chassis, our Skoda is far more adept at encouraging faster and more fun use. So while I’m not likely to match that 63.5mpg economy figure again, at least I’ll have fun (not) doing so.