SKODA OC­TAVIA RS230

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

It’s well equipped and looks pretty tasty un­til you re­alise a GTI costs about the same. Lit­tle sep­a­rates them me­chan­i­cally, but the RS is larger and bet­ter equipped. Lim­ited to 70 ex­am­ples, it comes with a three year/ un­lim­ited kilo­me­tre war­ranty, with the op­tion to ex­tend two years. Ser­vice is $1197 for three years/45,000km.

DE­SIGN/TECH

It’s a lift­back dis­guised as a sedan. The beauty is that it doesn’t sac­ri­fice prac­ti­cal­ity to per­for­mance, with four doors and one of the big­gest boots in the busi­ness. The seats are com­fort­able with enough rear legroom to ac­com­mo­date large adults. There’s an eight-inch touch­screen, with RS sport seats and badg­ing. The hand­brake is old school me­chan­i­cal but it’s not a deal-breaker.

EN­GINE

It shares the GTI’s 2.0-litre turbo, tuned to de­liver 169kW/350Nm and with slightly wider torque curve. The 0-100km/h dash takes 6.7 sec­onds, mainly be­cause it’s larger and 80kg heav­ier.

Also has stop-start, sips fuel at the rate of 6.3L/100km if driven se­dately, but likes 98 RON. It’s man­ual only, which will limit its ap­peal.

SAFETY

Five stars for safety, with a very high 36.84/37 ANCAP. There’s a slight risk of se­ri­ous in­jury to the pelvis in a side im­pact. Comes with nine airbags, auto emer­gency brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol and a re­vers­ing cam­era. Lane de­par­ture warn­ing is a $1700 op­tion pack. No blind spot alert.

DRIV­ING

Strong per­for­mance is un­der­pinned by ex­cel­lent ride and han­dling. Shares its trick diff with the GTI, which keeps power de­liv­ery smooth. RS mode but­ton loosens the sta­bil­ity con­trol and sharp­ens both throt­tle and gear­box re­sponse. Ul­ti­mately, be­ing larger and heav­ier it’s not go­ing to be quite as nippy as the GTI — but it’s still plenty of fun.

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