Skoda Oc­tavia RS245

So much for so lit­tle: Skoda’s RS245 adds up, says Damien O'car­roll.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

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?

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