Skoda Octavia vRS review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Just about the roomiest in its class. The Octavia's huge boot and ample rear space transfer unharmed to the vRS
The regular Octavia is one of the most useable and practical cars in its class and the upgrade to vRS spec doesn’t change that. The benefits of that boxy body are clear to see: not only is it roomier for passengers, it can also carry more luggage than almost anything at this price point. Plus, being a Skoda, it gets some neat little touches, such as an ice scraper in the boot and ticket holders around the cabin. General storage is good, too, with decent oddment bins and plenty of storage.
The Octavia vRS is, like the regular Octavia, significantly longer than the hatchbacks that it competes with.The hatchback’s saloon-like profile doesn’t give away the fact that it’s essentially a Golf underneath, and the platform has been stretched.
The regular hatch is 4,659mm long, a huge 404mm longer than the Golf MK7, although it’s only 15mm wider. The wheelbase is only 49mm bigger, however, so it’s clear to see most of the space has gone into the enlarged boot. The vRS is actually 26mm longer than the regular Octavia due to its chunkier bumper design, but the space inside is identical and the best in its class.
Legroom, headroom and passenger space
There’s a reason why the Octavia is often used as a minicab. It has loads of space for two adults (and enough space for three) in the back thanks to excellent head- and legroom, while not even the tallest driver should have any complaints in the front. The Octavia vRS is much the same, although the sporty seats marginally restrict the rear legroom. Still, you’ll struggle to find another hot hatch with this sort of space.
There’s even more benefit to the Octavia is you open the rear hatchback. Whereas the Golf and Leon have 380-litre boots, the Octavia swallows up a massive 590 litres with the seats up. Fold them down (which is easy enough to do) and you’ll have a 1,580-litre loadbay, which is better than in a number of fully-fledged estate cars.
The opening is large and there’s no big lip to lug items over, while the boot is a good shape overall. The only fly in the ointment is that the seats aren’t totally flat when folded, but it’s a minor complaint considering the space on offer. Features such as a loading hatch in the middle of the rear seats and a storage net in the boot also add a practical touch.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Skoda Octavia vRS is a hot hatch with a difference, as it delivers more practicality than any of its rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveNot the most engaging around, but it's grippy, composed and a more mature way of going quickly
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsNot quite as good as the Golf GTI, but still commendable given the performance on offer
- 4Interior, design and technologySporty upgrades help lift the dull regular Octavia, but it's still quite a subtle and understated hot hatch
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingJust about the roomiest in its class. The Octavia's huge boot and ample rear space transfer unharmed to the vRS
- 6Reliability and SafetyAlways finishes highly in our Driver Power survey, and mechanicals are all well-proven