Read Caroline’s Skoda Octavia RS review for everything you need to know about buying the last ever diesel Octavia RS performance saloon.

The Skoda Octavia RS TDI is no more – it’s going out of production around about now though it’s still possible to pick one up on the new or used car market.

The Skoda Octavia is one of Ireland’s favourite cars and has been for a very long time.

Same goes for the high performance RS models, but the RS TDI in particular. Its blend of power, performance and economy always struck just the right note with the Irish motorist seeking something fast, fun…and frugal.

It’s time for one last blast before we say goodbye to our favourite fast Skoda diesel.

The Skoda Octavia RS TDI on test for Changing Lanes
The Skoda Octavia RS TDI on test for Changing Lanes

Styling 

The Skoda Octavia RS is sporty and understated. It’s a very handsome car with timeless design that’s seen it gently evolve from previous models. The Octavia RS TDI gets a few sporty additions to its styling to help it to stand out as something a bit special in the range – notably 19-inch alloy wheels with red brake calipers, a lowered ride height of about 15 mm, sportier bumpers, glossy black grille with the famous badge, black wing mirror caps, black boot lip spoiler and two chrome tipped exhausts. It’s a high spec car with matrix LED headlights included as standard with headlight washers.

Interior

The Octavia RS gets a suitably sporty feeling cabin. Highlights include the sports front seats with integrated headrests, logo and red stitching, as well as a suede-style material in the dashboard and doors that adds a plusher feel than more standard Octavias. There’s also a little carbon fibre effect trim, aluminium pedals and a gorgeous sports steering wheel with paddles.

A full digital driver display comes as standard as does a large touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A wireless smartphone charging pad is available as an option.

Standard features include a reversing camera, heated steering wheel and heated front seats. Altogether it’s a great cabin to spend time in.

The cabin of the Skoda Octavia RS TDI
The cabin of the Skoda Octavia RS TDI

Practicality

Just like the rest of the range, the Octavia RS TDI offers a hugely spacious interior. There’s loads of legroom in the back and amenities like vents, USB-C ports and an armrest with cupholders.

The boot in the saloon is a massive 600 litres, while the Combi offers even a bit more at 640 litres. A powered tailgate comes as standard.

Engine

The Skoda Octavia RS TDI is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 200hp and 400Nm of torque. 0-100kmh is completed in a swift 7.4 seconds. Motor tax costs €210 per year.

Driving 

Out on the road, the Skoda Octavia RS TDI is great fun to drive. There are a number of driving modes, with Sport mode activating a sound actuator to enhance the drive with a sportier soundtrack and making the Octavia feel speedier and more responsive. Don’t sniff at a diesel performance car – the Octavia RS TDI is one of the best. The engine is an absolute peach, offering a smooth and strong delivry of power seamlessly put to the road via a 7-speed DSG gearbox. The 4×4 version is no longer on sale but the front wheel drive version does just fine in terms of the grip it offers and the way it goes around corners. It feels really agile and precise. Throw in the plentiful torque of the diesel and this is one of the last fun and engaging cars on the road.

The Skoda Octavia RS TDI - a joyous machine!
The Skoda Octavia RS TDI – a joyous machine!

Performance is good without the suspension being overly firm or uncomfortable for day to day driving.

What about fuel economy then? Skoda quote about 5.0-5.1 litres per 100 kilometres and that is definitely possible when cruising out on the motorway. Over a week of zealous driving my average consumption was still a respectable 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

Pricing

The Skoda Octavia RS TDI is on sale from €47,845 for the Saloon and from €49,485 for the Combi.

Verdict

It’s sad to say goodbye to the Skoda Octavia RS TDI. It’s a brilliant car offering the perfect blend of power, performance, spaciousness and economy. In that way it’s been perfect for the Irish market and it’s a car we’ve enjoyed for many years. Its time is up but it will be missed and is sure to be a popular buy on the used market for years to come.

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Skoda Octavia RS TDI ceases production in early 2024 - grab one before they are all gone!
The Skoda Octavia RS TDI ceases production in early 2024 – grab one before they are all gone!