Skoda Octavia vRS: Spotted

We’ve spent the last week driving around in the current Skoda Octavia vRS wagon, which was drafted in to cart around the Sunday Service paraphernalia, the suggestively large EnduroKA tool box and all the other odds and ends required to keep the good ship PH sailing. It’s an unforgiving task, but the big Skoda does it consummately and with the kicker of genuine pace. We have to give it back today, and we don’t want to - which is virtually the only marker of quality that actually means anything. 

As it always does, the car’s departure has sent us burrowing into the classified treasure chest to discover what’s what. Given its longevity and reputation for value, it’s entirely unsurprisingly to find the cheapest Mk1 vRS-badged Octavia barely edges into four figures, despite being described as a “good, reliable runner” that’s “still a joy to drive”. Really though, you want a Mk2 - because then you get 200hp from a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

That’s 45hp short of the latest model, which ought to mean that today’s 76,000-mile-old Spotted should offer similarly brisk performance along with the same extensive list of practical traits. It’s a hatch, rather than estate, but being a Skoda which shares its underpinnings with the Mk5 Golf GTI, it can still swallow lots of luggage, easily return miles per gallons in the mid-thirties and do all that while carrying its passengers in comfort and without fuss. The Mk2 handled pretty sweetly too, with a GTI-like eagerness that was only slightly softened to give the Skoda a more forgiving character.

It’s probably not too controversial to suggest that the Mk2 Octavia vRS was bought for their broader usability than any specific fun factor, which would help to explain why so many came with a DSG gearbox. Opting for this over the manual had no impact on listed performance, but we’re still pleased to report that today’s Spotted comes with three pedals. The six-speed ‘box was slick in its day and since vRSs were engineered with the ability to tow, it’s tough, too.

The seller also reveals that the car was formerly owned by a policeman; less compelling than a service history perhaps, but further evidence of the Octavia’s no-nonsense credentials. It still looks the part, too, in healthy-looking red and on clean 17-inch alloys. Most importantly of all, for a smidge less than £5k, it remains a well-rounded and un-boring solution for shifting your possessions around.


Engine: 1,984cc 4-cyl inline petrol
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power (hp): 200@5,100rpm
Torque (lb ft): 207@1,800-5,000rpm
MPG: 36.2
CO2: 187g/km
First registered: 2007
Recorded mileage: 79,000
Price new: £20,440
Price now: £4,990

See the full ad here.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (20) Join the discussion on the forum

  • munk 12 Apr 2019

    As someone who is looking for a sub 6k family do-it-all with the possibility for a bit of fun, a vRS is sorely tempting.

  • baptistsan 12 Apr 2019

    Watch for corrosion in the boot lid & along the bottom of the doors. Zinc inclusions cause it & will require the attention of a bodyshop.

    Always felt mine needed a little more power, easily resolved with a remap or so I'm told. Never got around to having mine done.

  • marculos 12 Apr 2019

    Had mine for few months. Good family car that goes and handles well especially after a remap. Stage 1 will give you 250 bhp. Interior is durable but cheap looking. Plenty to choose from if buying another id get one better speced mine is povo spec but bought it due to the mods, handles great with b12 suspension and uprated rear anti roll bar. 5k for a 2007 one is pricey even with the low miles.

  • budgie smuggler 12 Apr 2019

    I've got a facelift mk2, agree that it could handle a little more power. I do quite like the linear delivery it comes with as standard though.

    Mines also had a fair few faults already despite being an obviously cherished car. Tweeters keep cutting out, p2015 (intake manifold flap) fault, air con seems to be leaking...Still like it though. For a family car, it's pretty ideal.

  • Rob J 12 Apr 2019

    I have purchased two (pre LCI) E90 330i manuals, both for less than GBP 3,200, both with less than 100k on the clock. Extremely reliable, good performance, good practicality and good economy.

    3.0 N/A straight 6
    256 hp
    0-60 ~6.3 seconds

    I think that these represent far better value than the RS - there are also plenty about to get your hands on!!

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