Skoda Octavia RS245
So much for so little: Skoda’s RS245 adds up, says Damien O'carroll.
When it comes to powerful, understated wagons that are equal parts practical, sensible and massive fun to drive, the European manufacturers really do them best, and Skoda is one of the best among them. The Octavia RS245 is undeniable proof of that. The RS245 is the range topper of the Skoda’s Octavia RS line up, and the “245” stands for 245 horsepower (180kw), meaning that the RS245 has received an 11kw/20nm bump in power and torque over the standard RS. While this is not exactly an earthshattering increase, it is certainly handy and measurable. The RS245 also scores a number of other extras over the RS, with things like park assist (a $1,000 option on the RS), dynamic chassis control ($2,500), Alcantara and leather seats ($2,500), electric front seats ($2,300), 19-inch alloy wheels ($1,500) and a Canton audio system ($1,500) all coming standard on the RS245. But perhaps most importantly, the RS245 also gets Skoda’s XDS+ torque vectoring system that isn’t even an option on the RS, as well as a seven-speed DSG transmission, as opposed to the RS’S six-speeder. Oh, and they only ask an extra $4,000 for all of this, so why wouldn’t you? The new Octavia face looks brilliantly purposeful and aggressive with the additional RS bits on the rest of the car's, particularly in our cars black colour, and while those Rs245-exclusive gloss black 19-inch alloy wheels may be a nightmare of curbing waiting to happen, they look sensational, again, particularly on a black car.
Inside the RS245
On the inside the heavily-bolstered Alcantara and leather seats are superbly comfortable and brilliantly supportive (and they look fantastic too) while the red stitching is a great touch and the leather sports steering wheel feels as good as it looks. The 180kw 2.0-litre petrol engine is delightfully powerful and flexible, and is equally happy to potter around in low revs or scream up to the redline. It boasts a wonderfully strong mid-range and instant (and addictive) power delivery. The seven-speed DSG is wonderfully smooth and fast when punting the RS245 along. Chuck the RS245 into a corner and things start getting really good - it is wonderfully confident and well-planted, with brilliantly accurate steering with great weighting and feel. Powering out the other side is also beautifully handled, with the torque vectoring system all but eliminating any traditional silliness associated with channeling big power through the front wheels – it simply hooks up and blasts out. The Skoda Octavia RS245 is a deeply impressive car that not only looks great, it is also massively satisfying to chuck around a winding road. Oh yeah, it also happens to be practical, versatile and sensible as well. How do they do that?