RE: Skoda Octavia vRS: PH Used Buying Guide

RE: Skoda Octavia vRS: PH Used Buying Guide

Wednesday 21st February

Skoda Octavia vRS: PH Used Buying Guide

The second generation vRS bought you Mk5 GTI mechanicals and a bigger boot. 'Nuff said



Just as Skoda's Octavia filled a gap between Golf-sized hatches and larger Passat-shaped models, the vRS occupied ground that other hot hatches couldn't. So what you got was most of the fun and mechanical packaging of a Mk5 Golf GTI in a car with considerably more space and practicality.

It's a blend that proved very appealing and the second generation vRS went on to sell more than its well-regarded predecessor. As before, Skoda offered the fast Octavia in hatch and estate forms, but new for this 2006 car was the choice of a diesel engine. Clearly a sap to the company car market, the 2.0-litre TDI model was a strong seller and it's easy to see why with up to 50mpg and 0-62mph in a respectable (if not that quick) 8.3 seconds.

For many though, the real interest lies in the 200hp turbo petrol. It cleared its way past 62mph in 7.2 seconds, meaning it was bang on the pace with its contemporaries. Choose the estate and it was only 0.1 seconds behind and it made no difference to these figures if you chose the six-speed manual or DSG twin-clutch auto transmissions.


For 2009, Skoda facelifted the vRS in line with the rest of the Octavia range and the hot hatch versions gained new engines. The petrol went from TFSI to TSI, while the diesel switched to the common rail 2.0-litre. Power remained the same and performance was unaffected. What might sway your choice is the later petrol is more robust than the earlier unit that suffers from the same niggles as found in the Mk5 Golf GTI.

Overall, though, the Mk2 vRS is a very handy car in any of its incarnations. The cabin is spacious and well kitted out, the boot is huge in hatch or wagon, and this is a car built with big mileages in mind.

Take a look at the classifieds and you'll find plenty second gen vRS out there well into six-figure miles and still going strong. For these cars, reckon on spending from £2,000 for early 2006 models, and diesel commands a £500 premium on top of that. The DSG transmission is also sought after, so expect to pay as much £500 more for this compared to a car with the manual. A late model car with the petrol engine, DSG and 50,000 miles will set you back around £9,500.

Inspired? Buy a Skoda Octavia vRS here



Bodywork and interior

Air conditioning is supposed to be recharged every year and this costs about £90. Check the air-con blows cold when the dial is turned down low. The pump can fail and is £450 to replace.

ABS/ESP warning light stays on continuously. This is a fault common to many Volkswagen Group models that share the Mk5 Golf platform and is due to a broken ABS pump and module. A new one is £1,200 plus labour to fit it, but you can get rebuilt pumps for £250.

The rear wiper motor packs up, so try this during a test drive.

Look for rust on the sills. Any sign of this and you should look elsewhere as there are plenty of vRS models for sale.

Check the rear carpets for any signs of damp that point to faulty rear window seals.


Engine and transmission

Servicing intervals can stretch to as long as 18,600 miles depending on the model, but specialists advise sticking to a regime of 10,000-mile routine stops.

Fuel pump cam follower wears and can cause scoring to the camshaft. A replacement follower is cheap to buy and fit.

Dual mass flywheel fails and causes lumpy idling. A replacement is £220 plus fitting, so about £500 at an independent or fast-fit clutch specialist.

DSG gearbox needs its oil and filter changed every 40,000 miles to maintain smooth changes and avoid burning the clutches.

Skoda originally reckoned the cambelt on the earlier petrol engine was good for four years and 130,000 miles. Specialists recommend four years and 60,000 miles intervals and to replace the water pump at the same time for around £400.

Listen for any rattles from the turbo petrol engine on post-2009 cars as a warning the chain tensioner is about to let go. Replace this with an improved tensioner as used on 2011-on vRS models.

Only use 505.01 oil in the diesel engines. Check the service records for evidence of this being used.

Remapped ECUs are a common upgrade, but ask to see evidence it was properly installed.


Suspension and steering

Front bushes wear - listen for any knocks as you go over bumps.

Wheels, tyres and brakes

18-inch wheels look great on the vRS but ruin the ride comfort. A set of 16-inch wheels will greatly improve comfort, but many owners compromise between style and ride with 17-inch wheels.


SPECIFICATION - SKODA OCTAVIA VRS

Engine: 1,998cc 4-cyl/inline petrol; 1,968cc 4-cyl/inline turbodiesel
Transmission: 6-speed manual/DSG
Power (hp): 200/170@5,100/4,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 207/258@1,800/1,750rpm
MPG: 37.7/49.6
CO2: 175/149g/km
Price new: £20,440/£21,260
Price now: £2,000 upwards

Author
Discussion

Ursicles

Original Poster:

764 posts

178 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Might have to get a 2nd hand one.

Ordered a new VRs 245 in October and yet to receive a build date.

Skoda really havent got a clue as to whats going on. Apparently they have also pulled the 230 VRs now, so the only VRs you can buy new is the diesel.

Way to go skoda (slow clap)

ahenners

211 posts

62 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
My 59 facelift MK2 drank oil for fun post 50k. IIRC there as a batch of piston rings that affected VW group stuff between 09 and 11. Chain Tensioner issue didn't exactly fill me with confidence either, though I believe the revised tensioner retrofit makes this less likely.

My MK3 VRS is a much better all round car, though considerably more expensive used.

WCZ

6,023 posts

130 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
extremely dull interiors (I suppose that's a skoda thing) but great value because of the engine

kambites

55,407 posts

157 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Ours hasn't been the most reliable of things. Off the top of my head:

- We had the afforementioned air conditioning pump failure
- The plastic bit of the condensor drier cracked (which required dismantling most of the front of the car to fix)
- The low pressure fuel pump electronics went a bit haywire and needed replacing.
- The heated mirrors have stopped working.
- The sat nav reckons we're in the middle of the English channel somewhere
- One of the rear door locks is sticky and sometimes doesn't lock
- The battery has an annoying tendency to spontaneously drain itself
- The climate control knobs don't work properly - you have to turn them really slowly or the target temperature jumps about all over the place.
- It's got a distinct knock from the bottom end (which mercifully hasn't got any worse in the time we've had it)
- The PCV valve failed, causing it to use a lot of oil (trivial to replace, fortunately)

It's difficult to think what we'd replacing it with though. It's an enormously practical car without being enormous.

Lukas239

73 posts

32 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Perfect timing. Is it correct to assume the earlier engines are slightly less prone to catastrophic failure Vs the EA888?
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matchmaker

6,487 posts

136 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Ursicles said:
Might have to get a 2nd hand one.

Ordered a new VRs 245 in October and yet to receive a build date.

Skoda really havent got a clue as to whats going on. Apparently they have also pulled the 230 VRs now, so the only VRs you can buy new is the diesel.

Way to go skoda (slow clap)
You can still buy a new TSI VRs.

Lundqvist

100 posts

63 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Lukas239 said:
Perfect timing. Is it correct to assume the earlier engines are slightly less prone to catastrophic failure Vs the EA888?
Pre 09 (mostly pre-facelift) will have the TFSI EA113 (belt timed) and the post 09 cars are mostly TSI/EA888 (chain). The TFSI is generally pretty reliable if treated well, whereas the TSI although a nicer engine to drive will yes drink lots and lots of oil eventually and probably eat it's tensioner.

Problem is in going for the earlier engine unless you're lucky and get a very early post facelift car, you're getting the original mk2 which (imho) looks like a nice Mk1 that melted in the sun a bit and then had a stroke. Post facelift looks much nicer.

the fury

590 posts

178 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
I've had my pre-facelift petrol one for six years now and LOVE it. It's been mega reliable, we have serviced it pretty religiously though (it helps that my mate works at the local main dealer). It's a cliché but it really is a brilliant all-rounder.

stuart_83

354 posts

37 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
matchmaker said:
You can still buy a new TSI VRs.
Dealers have stopped taking orders at the moment.

It's believed to be due to the introduction of a GPF on the petrol models.

xcseventy

61 posts

12 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Had a 2010 Octavia Scout 1.8tsi which drank all its oil in 300 miles... So that went back to the selling garage thankfully.

This thread in an essential read:
https://www.briskoda.net/forums/topic/266114-18tsi...

Hubris

141 posts

73 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
These are great cars, but not as bulletproof as some may make them out to be, especially in higher mileage form. But then again, what reasonably priced car is?

Really struggling with what to replace mine with, when the time comes. They tick most of my boxes for a mostly dependable, relatively inexpensive to run workhorse with a little bit of go.

The boot, even in the hatch, makes everything in the Golf/Focus/anything else class seem tiny.

ManOpener

4,032 posts

105 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Most of the common issues are covered off, but there are a few which are relatively minor but very common. Chief amongst this is diverter valve and PCV system failure on EA113 cars. Former will cause boost leaks and eventually a CEL, latter lumpy idle, reduced fuel consumption and increased oil consumption. Though the EA888 suffered with chronic oil consumption in some cases, both the EA113 and EA888 tend to burn a bit of oil so make sure they're checked regularly. The mechanism that actuates the intake runner flaps can stick which throws a CEL- this tends to be intermittent rather than consistent. They can suffer from coking but much less so than the non-turbo direct injection engines.

Edited by ManOpener on Wednesday 21st February 16:26

GlobexCorp

18 posts

140 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
I’ve had a 2006 VRS diesel for 9 years. It wasn’t reliable until it got to about 80’000 miles. The next 50’000 have been trouble free. It’s been needing a new turbo and clutch for about 40’000 of those miles, but removing the chip and stopping the track days seemed to have prolonged the life of both.

Mine is being crushed next week under one of the diesel scrappage schemes which I suspect is where many of these early ones will end up as they approach old age and owners can get more money to ‘recycle’ them than sell them.

helix402

4,049 posts

118 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Pretty sure VW507 is the spec for both petrol and diesel.

cholo

958 posts

171 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
My 2006 Petrol VRS is still going strong at 170k....

WJNB

1,376 posts

97 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
You'll always feel a second class & second rate citizen wishing you were able to afford or be issued with an Audi.

j555

25 posts

164 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Hubris said:
These are great cars, but not as bulletproof as some may make them out to be, especially in higher mileage form. But then again, what reasonably priced car is?

Really struggling with what to replace mine with, when the time comes. They tick most of my boxes for a mostly dependable, relatively inexpensive to run workhorse with a little bit of go.

The boot, even in the hatch, makes everything in the Golf/Focus/anything else class seem tiny.
I seriously considered a petrol VRS a couple of years ago when looking to change cars. The various tales of unreliability led me to an older BMW e91 330i manual with N52 engine. They seem to hold their value and be pretty reliable. Mine has done >150k and is going very well. Average MPG around 28-29 (according to trip computer, including commuting, crawling in traffic jams, etc) which I think is pretty good. Drives well, reasonably quick and has a lovely 6 cylinder engine. 5 door means it's relatively practical but I would concede not as spacious as an Octavia.

blearyeyedboy

4,691 posts

115 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Mine had a drinking habit when it came to oil, but if I kept it topped up and it ran fine. Maybe a litre every 1500 miles or so? Mine tran without a major problem until I sold it at 125k. I know kambites had issues but my worst was an air mass sensor fixed for £200ish.

I now have a MK3 and I'm still not used to not buying as much oil. hehe

I would absolutely change the water pump when changing the cambelt. I changed the cambelt twice on mine (4 yearly intervals) and despite not being due for renewal, the water pump was leaking or on the way out on both occasions.

Jimboka

7,393 posts

140 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
I owned a 2008 estate for 8 years
Very uncomfortable seats on a long journey & the noisiest car i’ve owned. Tyre roar was dreadful on motorways, different tyres & 4 wheel tracking didn’t solve it.
Practical & reliable enough.
I have a 2014 Superb now & it’s far easier to live with!

Steve vRS

3,134 posts

177 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
Jimboka said:
I owned a 2008 estate for 8 years
Very uncomfortable seats on a long journey & the noisiest car i’ve owned. Tyre roar was dreadful on motorways, different tyres & 4 wheel tracking didn’t solve it.
Practical & reliable enough.
I have a 2014 Superb now & it’s far easier to live with!
Why keep it for 8 years?