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2022 Skoda Octavia RS Review: A Familiar Sense of Power

Lionel Kong
10/05/2022

The quiet achiever of Singapore’s Skoda lineup aims to balance a sporty drive experience with the refinement of an executive sedan


2022 Skoda Octavia RS

Launched: February 2022, Price S$207,900 with COE (April 2022)

Four-door sports sedan, five seats

245hp 2.0-litre petrol engine, VES B, 6.5L/100km


PROS
Comfortable, confident ride

Large cabin and lots of load carrying capacity

CONS
Power delivery may feel too muted for driving enthusiasts

Lacks any form of hybrid power system


SINGAPORE

The very short version of what the Skoda Octavia RS is all about: High performance version of the very family-friendly but still smartly executive Skoda Octavia

The long version: Here at CarBuyer HQ we all quite like the base model Octavia for what it is. A comfortable, confident, and refined car with the styling of a sedan yet features a large tailgate that makes it an excellent load carrier as well. The base model 1.5-litre turbo engine makes 150 horsepower, which is more than enough for the daily commute. But this fiery red car seen here isn’t that.

A 2.0-litre turbo engine from the Volkswagen Golf GTI powers this red Octavia RS, and if you’re wondering how that happens, that’s because Skoda is part of the Volkswagen group and hot Skodas have been using VW engines for a couple of generations now.

Power output is tipped at 245hp, and that’s not all that’s different. The suspension setup has been given a complete makeover for even more surefooted handling at speed and in corners. Sitting slightly lower, with stiffer damping, and with tougher rubber bushings, the first impression of the complete sports suspension package is that it gives the car a more connected feel between the road and driver’s seat. 

Exterior treatment is nicely low-key, with the addition of larger wheels, a bootlid spoiler, gloss black accents and red brake calipers. 

It’s important to temper expectations here, because Skoda’s RS cars are built for a very different audience compared to something like Audi’s RS cars, which incidentally is also part of the Great VW Group Empire.

Less astronomically priced, maybe more mature, and with a focus on the overall driving experience rather than outright crazy performance figures, the new Octavia is very much everything we liked about the last-generation car, updated for the world of 2022.



That means it’s brisk rather than outright fast. Its 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.7 seconds may seem pedestrian in this time of sub-four second electric Teslas, but at least it still has that trademark turbo four-pot rumble that we’ve become so accustomed to from the VW Group’s famous EA888 engine. The engine note will be familiar to anyone who has owned a Volkswagen Golf GTI from the last three generations, though here there’s an obvious synthetic edge to the rumble.

Skoda took care to explain that the engine is not a complete carry over from the old Octavia RS. It’s been tuned and updated with the aim of reducing internal friction so it is more efficient than ever. The official fuel economy rating is 6.5l/100km, but we managed just 8.6l/100km. It’s conceivable that you can get the car to run under 7.0l/100km with very economical driving on the highway, but for a driving enthusiast this is just too fun of a car to drive sedately.

It’s actually faster in a straight line than a BMW 320i, plus it has a much more spacious interior with the trump card of a massive boot as the rear window lifts up completely. Whether or not it’s quicker through the corners will depend on the driver, but with all the electronic traction aids in action it feels like a much more agile car than its size would have you believe.

The engine has a very wide powerband, but in standard drive mode the car is also very reluctant to downshift, staying doggedly in too high a gear when you’re in need of a quick blast to overtake on the highway. Only after the accelerator is pinned for what seems like a really long time does the gearbox get the idea and downshifts. The solution is simply to use the steering wheel’s paddle shifter to get the car into the right gear if you really need to get ahead in a hurry.

The good news is that in Sport mode the car is properly urgent, with enough feedback at the wheel and through your bum from the sports seats, but still presents a properly refined drive rather than going for hooliganism.

Its other glaring omission is the lack of any hybridisation. With other manufacturers tripping over themselves to peg the ‘hybrid’ word to their cars with all sorts of fancy electrical tricks, the Octavia RS has none of that. The base model Octavia features much of the same mild hybrid tech as the base model Volkswagen Golf, and there’s also a PHEV Skoda Octavia RS in existence, but this car has none of that.



It does occupy a unique niche in the Singaporean automotive scene though. Costing around S$40k less than a VW Golf GTI and S$50k less than a BMW 318i, it’s perhaps best to see the Octavia as a medium sized GT car for driving enthusiasts that also value refinement in their daily drives. 

Skoda Octavia RS

Drivetrain type Petrol engine 
Engine1,984cc inline 4, turbocharged
Power245hp at 5250rpm
Torque370Nm at 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$207,900 with COE
AvailabilityNow
Verdict It’s not a crazily exciting sports sedan, but has plenty of confidence and ample power for family-oriented driving enthusiasts

Tags:

EA888 octavia rs skoda sports sedan VRS

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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