|Skoda Octavia vRS 2.0 TDI 184 DSG 4x4 Estate|
|The story: This is the range-topping vRS performance version of Skoda’s recently revised Octavia upper medium line-up that includes a significantly restyled nose.|
|Key rival:||Peugeot 308|
Skoda updated its core Octavia line-up earlier this year, and now the performance vRS and off-road Scout versions have been given the same treatment.
The petrol version gets a 10hp rise to take it to 230hp, with a 245hp version coming later this year, while the diesel remains the 184hp 2.0-litre engine that emits 119g/km in two-wheel-drive manual form. This rises to 129g/km with the excellent DSG automatic gearbox fitted, and 134g/km when the four-wheel drive system is also added. That system does provide extra sure-footedness, especially on damp roads where the front-drive car can struggle for traction, but overall it’s probably not worth the emissions penalty, or the four-figure price increase over front-drive versions.
New Alcantara sports seats and 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels are available for the facelifted vRS, which gets a new quad-headlight treatment that seem to work better on the sportier car than its regular stablemate. On the inside is a new infotainment system and a drinks holder that grips a bottle so it can be opened one-handed. As ever, passenger and luggage space are huge for the class.