With its strong lines, and a slightly odd name, Octavia provides a more spacious alternative to a hot hatch.
The RS245 is the hottest of the Octavias and has the 180kw drive train of the Golf GTI, my favourite hot hatch.
Despite being on sale here for several years, ŠKODA continues to a brand that only a few canny buyers know about. Perhaps that is a plus for the thrifty buyers who want a exclusivity without trading their first-born for it.
There are only 4 colours. Red, grey, in standard paint, and black and white in metallic. There are matched with a smart set of grey 19”, 5-hole alloys.
Clever LED lighting gives a slightly unassuming car a bit of much-desired menace. Headlights in particular have a jeweled look to them. Whilst it isn’t that unusual now, I love that complex arrangement that looks sexy even when the power is off.
A wagon offers extra space over a hatch but for some reason doesn’t carry the same gravitas in Australia that it does in Europe. It’s seen here as a bit of a mum’s taxi. That may be so, but the RS245 is for the mum who wears her leather with attitude.
The chunky looks lends itself to SUV convenience without the enormous bulk that comes with it. It’s the choice I’d make if I fancied a lifestyle where camping or sports were involved. My idea of camping is sharing a bathroom at the Sheraton. In fact, it is perfect for a weekend away, so a wagon is much preferred.
The interior is clever, and classy.
The elegant design is crisp and clean. Soft touch plastic surfaces have a quality feel to them. More over, it feels efficient without being bland.
The seats are not only supportive and comfortable, but adjust exactly to a good driving position. The steering wheel adjusts for rake and reach. Instruments are easily read, and controls are all within easy reach. Naturally, much of it is shared with other vehicles in the Volkswagen range, and that’s fine by me.
You’re not short of cubby holes either.
The glove box is air conditioned, and the centre console has a spot for a mobile. There is wireless charging too, so I’m told. I could get it to work. As well as a spot for your brolly under the passenger’s seat, there is a bin in the door that ŠKODA says is for rubbish. There are bottle holders, also in the doors, and a sunglasses holder overhead.
I liked the retainer on the windscreen for carpark tickets so you don’t have to rely on the flying off the dash when you shut the front door.
One of the coolest features is the LED torch that is always charged. It lives in a dock in the cargo hold. It isn’t unique exactly, but it is very welcome.
While we are in the back, I have to mention the double sided rear mat. Carpet on one side, and cleanable non-slip rubber on the other. Perfect for damp sports gear. You can run a hose over it to clean off the schmaltz.
Headroom is plentiful and rear leg room is good. 4 adults fit easily even on longer trips. There is a tablet holder on the rear of the front seat too. Never again will you hear “are we there yet”. To keep an eye on what’s going on in the back seat, there is an accessory that fits above the standard rear view mirror and allows Big Brother in the front seat to see all. It looks like one of those things Grey Nomads use when they tow caravans the size of a 3 bed house.