OC­TAVIA VRS MK2

Fast Car - - Up Front -

If you fancy a Golf GTI but also need plenty of bootspace for dump­ing bod­ies in the woods, the Oc­tavia vRS is the ob­vi­ous an­swer. It’s ef­fec­tively a Golf GTI, it’s just a foot longer. Same en­gine, same chas­sis, same switchgear, the works. Oh, and it’s use­fully cheaper.

Skoda’s vRS line has be­come a bit of a leg­end, and the Mk2 Oc­tavia vari­ant is one of the best. Launched in 2005, it came stuffed with the same 200bhp 2.0-litre TFSI mo­tor you’d find in the Mk5 Golf GTI, along with that su­per-slick six-speed man­ual ’box. It had lower, stiffer sus­pen­sion, 18-inch al­loys and – yay! – green brake cal­lipers, lib­er­ally sprin­kling a load of hooli­gan mis­chief over the sen­si­ble Oc­tavia plat­form.

This, in essence, is a car that can poo­tle around and hap­pily de­liver 35mpg while swal­low­ing vast items of fur­ni­ture in its cav­ernous boot, or go com­pletely bonkers down a wind­ing B-road and leave lesser hot-hatches in its dust. It’s a proper Jekyll-and-Hyde ma­chine. Very re­cep­tive to tun­ing too – an easy £400 remap will pro­vide an ex­tra 60bhp. Proper gains, with­out even chang­ing any parts.

These cars sold for £20k-ish back in ’05. Nowa­days a tidy one will cost you about £3,500. No brainer.

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