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Skoda Octavia RS 245 review: Power to the people

Not everyone wants to own a powerful car, but the Octavia RS 245 shows that Skoda believes everyone ought to be able to.

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Compared to regular Skoda Octavias, the RS 245 can be identified by its more aggressive bumpers, small boot spoiler and 18-inch wheels on the outside, while the interior sports a more contoured steering wheel and racy seats trimmed in grippy suede.

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Compared to regular Skoda Octavias, the RS 245 can be identified by its more aggressive bumpers, small boot spoiler and 18-inch wheels on the outside, while the interior sports a more contoured steering wheel and racy seats trimmed in grippy suede.

Singapore

SPEED doesn't come cheap in the car industry. At least, that's how things normally are. But if one carmarker has set out to democratise high performance, it's Skoda, the value-driven brand in the sprawling Volkswagen Group empire.

Its latest and hottest number ever is this, the Octavia RS 245, and as is the Skoda way, it offers incredible value at S$134,900 (including Certificate of Entitlement).

It shares its running gear with that other mainstay of performance for the everyman, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but the price tag is a hefty S$40,000 lower.

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Yet, even though you're paying less, you're actually getting more car. Not only does the RS 245 have a significantly larger and roomier body, it's also more potent as well - its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is slightly more powerful and torquier than the GTI's, at 245 horsepower and 370 Newton-metres.

There's even a limited-slip differential to enhance traction and cornering abilities.

But what point is aggression under the bonnet if it's not expressed in the design? Compared to regular Octavias, the RS 245 can be identified by its more aggressive bumpers, small boot spoiler and 18-inch wheels on the outside, while the interior sports a more contoured steering wheel and racy seats trimmed in grippy suede.

Hit the road and the RS 245 provides entertaining shove once the engine spins past 3,000rpm, and rushes enthusiastically towards its rev limiter.

That said, for a car wearing an evocative badge like "RS", the engine does lack some drama.

Likewise the handling, as the RS 245's relatively long wheelbase means it's less agile on a twisty road than a GTI.

The flip side is that the RS 245 has unshakeable stability and composure, meaning that even the most clumsy of drivers can safely exploit the car's ample ground-covering abilities.

The best part about driving the RS 245 comes courtesy of its trick front differential.

It's a device that keeps both driven wheels spinning at the same rate, which ensures the nose doggedly maintains its trajectory through corners instead of sliding wide, and helps slingshot the RS 245 out of turns at a rapid pace.

For all its on-road potency, the RS 245's true worth is in the same thing that makes the regular Octavia so good: versatility.

Apart from a slightly firmer ride, the RS 245 is no harder to live with, and the colossal amount of passenger and cargo space remains unchanged.

That, coupled with its performance and extremely attractive price tag, mean the Octavia RS 245 is a fantastic one-size-fits-all solution for a single car household.


Skoda Octavia RS 245

Engine 1,984cc, inline 4, turbocharged
Power 245hp at 5,000-6,700rpm
Torque 370Nm at 1,600-4,300rpm
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
0-100km/h 6.6 seconds
Top Speed 250km/h
Fuel Efficiency 6.5L/100km
Agent Skoda Centre Singapore
Price S$134,900 including COE
Available
Now