First Impressions: 2022 Skoda Octavia RS

Lionel Kong
Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

Performance variant of the Skoda liftback arrives in Singapore, but how will the traditional, non-hybrid drivetrain fare in the face of change and competition?

Derryn finds out if the Skoda Octavia RS is still a bargain at S$200k

SINGAPORE – The short version of what you’re getting with the Skoda Octavia RS: This is what happens when you combine a base model Skoda Octavia with a Volkswagen Golf GTI

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

In Singapore, Skoda isn’t a brand that’s widely-known for its performance cars. It is part of the great big Volkswagen Group though, so a lot of go-faster bits from Audi and Volkswagen are right there for the taking. These end up in Skoda cars with the RS badge, and the new Skoda Octavia RS is, as stated, the quicker version of the regular 1.5-litre turbo engined Octavia.

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

In the Octavia RS, motive force to the front wheels comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, with a maximum power output of 245 horsepower. This very same engine is also found in the current Volkswagen Golf GTI, and in an earlier evolution, in the previous-generation Skoda Octavia RS 245. Together with a host of suspension tweaks this gives the Octavia RS plenty of potential as a practical performance car.

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

Skoda claims that further tuning has been done to the engine to increase efficiency with lower CO2 emissions, and the good news is that the car is clean enough to register neutral on the VES B scale, so owners will pay no extra penalties as would happen with more pollutive cars. 

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

The car’s exterior gets a bunch of subtle enhancements over the base model, with a black bootlid spoiler at the rear, black accents on the front with an RS-specific front apron, badging, and 19-inch wheels.

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

The interior gets front sports seats, RS badging in a few places, and the digital instrument cluster gets a sports display that’s unique to the Octavia RS with a horizontally laid out tachometer.

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

The suspension has also been fettled with RS adaptive sports suspension dampers that lower the overall ride height by 15mm. Then there’s the clever electronic limited-slip front differential that’s also found in the rest of the Volkswagen Group’s performance cars, and when powering out of corners quickly  really improves the tracking accuracy of the car. 

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

The real selling points of the Octavia RS is that for less money than a Volkswagen Golf GTI, you get similar performance, similar build quality, and a heck of a lot more boot space with the large liftback opening at the rear. Even a Renault Megane RS seems much less practical than the Octavia RS when you consider the whole package of interior space, fuel economy,  and creature comforts. 

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

In our short drive of the car at the launch, its dynamics were found to be very much on point. A punchy engine, smooth and quick self-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission were the order of the day, and the engine note also seemed slightly louder than that of the VW Golf GTI from inside the car. It’s a very sharp car to point about with the settings put to sport mode and quite relaxed when out of it.

It’s also quite well-equipped with active safety features, including city emergency brake, lane assist, blind spot warning systems, and adaptive cruise control. Eight airbags are fitted, including one between the front seats to prevent the front occupants from crashing into each other. 

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

However, the electric vehicle era is already upon us, and will this turbo petrol engine still be enough? The official fuel economy rating of 6.5l/100km is pretty good for a car of this level of power and size as it is already. A sprint time to 100km/h of under 7.0 seconds is also very respectable for a performance orientated front-wheel drive car, but there’s a feeling of the Skoda Octavia being a faster, sportier, family car rather than an all-out performance car.

If that’s what you want out of your car then this will fit the bill. But if the looming spectre of electrification and continuing record-high petrol prices in Singapore is making you think about how soon a car of this calibre will become overly expensive to maintain, then you might not be the target audience for the Skoda Octavia RS.

Skoda Octavia RS in Singapore

Skoda Octavia RS

Engine1,984cc inline 4, turbocharged
Power 245hp @ 5250rpm
Torque370Nm @1600rpm – 4200rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h6.7 seconds
Top Speed250km/h
Fuel Efficiency6.5l/100km
VES Band B/ neutral
AgentSkoda Singapore
PriceS$199,900 with COE and VES
Availability Now
Verdict Early impressions show it to be a smooth, fast, and very comfortable car with real sporting dynamic ability beneath the surface, just like its predecessor


4-door 5 seat octavia RS petrol sedan skoda

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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