2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate review

Tyler Heatley

27 Jan 2022

1/8
Can you have your cake and eat it? The Octavia VRS Estate makes a strong case for itself.

YesAuto Score:

80/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Great practicality

+ Available as petrol, diesel and PHEV

+ Good blend of performance and refinement


CONS:

- Unreliable tech

- Poor infotainment system

- Not the most engaging car to drive


Verdict: The Skoda Octavia VRS Estate has all of the potential to be a fantastic allrounder – and it is for the most part. Electrical gremlins aside, it will happily step up to family duties while presenting a more sporting character than the standard model. It’s a compelling package with a wide range of powertrains to choose from. 



2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate: walking around it 


Estate cars are typically quite sober machines in terms of design, and the same goes for the Octavia. Its bone structure is a traditional wagon with boxy rear and a lack of swooping bodywork. To this end, it looks purposeful and functional, but the VRS model adds some distilled aggression to the mix.


Bold gloss black elements replace chrome work with more aggressive front and rear bumpers projecting an athletic stature. It’s not in your face about its newfound performance, but this estate certainly looks a little meaner, especially when optioned in a striking colour. These 19-inch alloy wheels also fill the arches very nicely indeed. 


The whole visage is grown-up and highly polished, a testament to Skoda’s push upmarket. Its purposeful understatement will appeal to those lacking the appetite for publicity.



2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate: sitting inside it 


The VRS treatment is immediately apparent when you open the door and take a seat in a highly bolstered post. These chairs really do look the business with contrasting stitching and quilted texture. They are highly supportive and really differentiate the interior from lesser models.


Lashings of Alcantara and customisable ambient lighting give the cabin a sporty yet premium feel, but beneath all of the fancy bits and bobs is a solid build quality. This remains a traditional Skoda family machine that will stand up to the punishment of toddlers.


Speaking of those sat in the back, there’s acres of legroom making for a comfy means of travelling long distances. Headroom is also good, however, optioning the glass panoramic roof does eat into that space a little. There’s also a prominent transmission hump for the middle passenger to contend with. That said, the wide bench and large glasshouse presents a spacious compartment.



2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate: using the tech 


Here’s where things get a bit sticky for the Octavia as it uses the same new system that has spread throughout the Volkswagen Group. While the system does feature a 10.25-inch display and hosts rich graphics, the software is unnecessarily bloated. It’s difficult to quickly navigate and a lack of physical controls results in a lot of hopping around menus. Thankfully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard and make excellent use of that large screen.


You can also have your VRS with Virtual Cockpit which consists of a customisable digital driver’s display that can overlay maps and other data. Nifty.


We have to report that our time with this particular VRS was marred by technical issues. The car’s adaptive cruise control would periodically stop working along with its SOS function, its touchscreen froze several times, and the heated seats had a mind of their own. While these issues could be confined to our test vehicle, there have been wider reports of similar problems with the new Octavia.



2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate: getting stuff in it 


We’ve gone into detail on the passenger space, but people buy an estate car to put dogs and other awkward items inside. Open the Octavia’s tailgate to reveal a large square opening that makes sliding even the chunkiest of cargo inside nice and easy.


There are some nice storage cubbies and handy bag hooks for delicate items, but overall you have a very healthy 640-litres of space to play with – enough for two medium dogs. Fold the rear bench flat and that expands to 1,700-litres of space. Both of those figures are greater than what you’d get in the Golf Estate.



2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate: driving it 


One of the best things about this sporty Octavia is that you can have it in three flavours. There’s a 242bhp petrol, a 197bhp diesel, or a plug-in hybrid that promises up to 37 miles of EV range. So far we’ve spent time with the 2.0-litre diesel.


The diesel engine is a strong unit, providing good power and a very healthy 400Nm of torque. It isn’t the world’s fastest car with a 0-62mph run of 7.4 seconds, but its muscular delivery won’t leave you wanting in the real world. There is a touch of turbo lag, and the standard seven-speed DSG can be hesitant at times, but you wouldn’t describe this estate car as feeling sluggish.


This diesel will likely spend most of its time on the motorway, and in that regard it is sublime. There’s a bit of road noise that reverberates around the open cabin, but generally, it’s a nice refined experience. Its engine has enough torque to rinse off any dawdlers, and between the comfort on offer and various infotainment, the miles tick on by with little resistance. Diesel is still the way to go for anyone looking for the most economical means of regularly doing long trips.


The Octavia VRS sits 15mm lower to the ground than the standard model, and that more taught suspension certainly contributes to greater body control through the corners. Unrelenting grip and precise steering makes for a confidence-inspiring drive over undulating Tarmac. It’s far from the most engaging car in the class and the fake exhaust noise played through the speakers becomes grating – thankfully you can turn it off. That said, you can cover ground at a good pace in this practical VRS.


We’d recommend optioning the adaptive dampers as the sportier suspension and larger alloy wheels tend to thump into things like potholes at low speeds. The ride improves as the pace increases, but an adaptive system does give the driver more flexibility.


None of the electronic gremlins we encountered altered how this car travels, something it does with ease and confidence. If you want a truly sporting estate, the Cupra Leon ST might be a better bet, but as an allrounder featuring just a touch of athleticism, this VRS scores highly.



2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate: paying for it 


The Skoda Octavia VRS Estate starts at £33,495 which is pretty good value when you consider the performance and standard equipment it comes bundled with. That’s for the petrol model, with the diesel costing £35,180 (all-wheel drive is an option) and the PHEV £38,520.


If we take the entry car with a 20% deposit on a hypothetical 3 year PCP finance plan, that comes to £465 per month.


For a full in-depth rundown on the XXX's prices, specs and YesAuto deals, click here.



2022 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate: comparing it 


The lure of a sporting estate car is well understood by those with growing families who take pride in what they drive. In terms of keeping all the plates spinning, the Octavia VRS is a highly commendable choice. However, there are other options.


The Cupra Leon ST has the allure of a relatively unknown badge while offering much of the same underpinnings found on this Skoda. It’s also a more engaging car to drive. However, if you want the best handling car in the class, that honour goes to the Ford Focus ST Estate.


This VRS does have the advantage of a plug-in offering which will be a strong pull for company car buyers, but it also leads the way in terms of outright practicality.


Compare these cars with the Octavia using YesAuto's car comparison tool here.


Q: How big is the Skoda Octavia VRS Estate’s boot?

A: The Skoda’s boot is amongst the largest in its class, offering 640 litres of cargo space. Folding the rear seats flat presents 1,700 litres.


Q: What’s the Skoda Octavia VRS PHEV’s electric range?

A: The plug-in hybrid VRS iV has a pure electric range of up to 37 miles. Its official CO2 rating can be as low as 27g/km dependent on specification.


Q: Is the Skoda Octavia VRS all-wheel drive?

A: As standard, the Skoda Octavia VRS Estate is front-wheel drive, however, you can option all-wheel drive for some engine options. 


Read more


Buy a new or used car with YesAuto

Configure your perfect car with YesAuto


Tyler Heatley

27 Jan 2022