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Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2: Buying guide and review (2005-2013)

Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2: Buying guide and review (2005-2013) Classic and Performance Car
Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2 Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2 Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2 Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2
When Dickie Meaden hit 227mph in a ‘mildly’ tuned Skoda Octavia vRS at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the sensible family hatchback obliterated the old production-class speed record for a 2-litre car – even hitting the national media. If that made the Octavia a little more exciting to the general populace, those who’d driven any of the vRS versions already knew this was a car with genuine petrolheaded credentials.
 
The first-gen Octavia had arrived in 1996, initially a worthy but dull range of hatches and estates based on the Mk4 Golf. Things got more interesting when the first vRS appeared in 2001 with VW’s familiar 1.8-litre 20v turbo petrol engine, tuned to 178bhp.
 
Which one to buy?
 
The Mk2 Octavia came in 2004, now with Mk5 Golf underpinnings, and this time the vRS version – the one we’re concentrating on here – arrived just a year later. It was the same basic recipe, but now with a choice of engines: 197bhp 2-litre TFSI direct-injection turbo-petrol or 168bhp 2-litre TDI (the famous PD, or Pumpe Düse) turbodiesel. Both drove the front wheels through a traditional six-speed manual gearbox, and both were strong performers, the diesel’s extra torque and extra mpg helping it win the lion’s share of sales.
 
For 2009 there was a facelift, embracing a new grille and lights and a more upmarket interior. The engine range was also revamped, with the latest TSI petrol and CR (common rail) diesel, though both retained the same peak power figures, while the DSG ’box was now available for the first time.
 
The Mk2 vRS ran to the beginning of 2013, when the current third-gen Octavia appeared. 
 
Performance and specs
 
Engine In-line four, 1998cc, turbo
Power 197bhp @ 5100rpm 
Torque 206lb ft @ 1800-5000rpm 
Gearbox Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph 7.3sec
Top speed 149mph
Insurance group 30
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2577mm
Length 4578mm
Width 1769mm
Height 1447mm
Weight 1375kg
 
Common problems


• Basically these are sound engines as long as they’re serviced on time, experts advise every 10,000 miles or 12 months. But there are a few issues you need to be aware of.

• The 2-litre TFSI occasionally suffers premature wear of the fuel pump cam follower, potentially causing serious scoring to the camshaft. Replacing the follower is an inexpensive service item and well worth it for peace of mind.

• Whereas the TFSI has a cambelt, the TSI that replaced it in 2009 has a timing chain, and failure of the tensioner can result in a cripplingly expensive rebuild. If you hear noisy rattling there’s a chance the tensioner is failing. Getting it replaced with the latest improved design (as fitted to 2011MY cars onwards) will cost around £500 from an independent. 

• The other engines have belts, which most agree should be renewed every four years or 60,000 miles and the water pump replaced at the same time. Budget around £300, or c£400 from an official Skoda agent. 

• The PD diesel engine is notoriously fussy about oil spec. It needs to be 505.01, which has additional anti-wear properties to protect the cams and lifters. It’s worth checking it’s been used, especially if the car’s been serviced outside the network.

• The manual gearboxes are generally robust. If you feel a juddering when moving off it’s probably the dual-mass flywheel on the way out. It makes sense to get the clutch replaced at the same time, so the total bill could be as low as £500 from an indie or as high as £1000 from an official agent. 

• If the car has DSG, it’s vital the oil and filter are changed every 40,000 miles to avoid overheating or the clutches burning out. On the test drive, check both automatic and manual shifts for speed and smoothness.

• As ever, listen for any clunks over bumps – in the vRS it’ll probably be worn anti-roll bar bushes. The Octavia’s huge boot means many are used for serious load-lugging, so don’t neglect the rear springs and dampers.

• The 18-inch wheels look cool, but they don’t do the ride or handling any favours; the 17-inch alloys are arguably the smarter choice.

• If the ABS light and/or the ESP light is illuminated, beware. It could be a fault with a sensor (not too expensive to fix) or it could be the ABS pump control unit that needs replacing, which will cost hundreds at best, potentially five figures if you buy an official replacement.

• Some pre-facelift cars have surface rust on the sills, so check it hasn’t taken hold. Interiors wear well, though the light cloth trim on the seats is hard to keep looking clean. 

• Check the air con – the pump has been known to fail and even a non-OE replacement is c£450. 

• The rear wash/wipe is a common failure: check the wiper and the washer work.
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• briskoda.net
• skodaforum.co.uk
• autops.co.uk
• quattro-tech.co.uk
• revotechnik.com
• vagtech.co.uk
• sharkperformance.co.uk
 
Summary and prices
 
Early, high-mileage Mk2s, privately advertised, have started to appear for around three grand, but check that service history extremely carefully. Well cared-for cars with average miles start at around £4k.
 
£5000-6000 provides a really good choice of ’06/’07 cars with average miles and a good history, both trade and private, petrol or diesel. Post-2009 facelift cars with high miles start around £6k. A low-mileage 2010/2011 car with impeccable history and just one or two owners will be around £9k.
 
Words: Peter Tomalin/evo magazine
Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2 Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2 Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2 Skoda Octavia vRS Mk2
Last updated: 21st Apr 2016
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Skoda Octavia
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  • Skoda Octavia

    £3,500 £3,500

    Climate Control, Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Alcantara Leather, Height Adjustable Seat, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Power Steering, Parking Sensors, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Colour Coded Body, Metallic Paintwork, 18'' Alloy Wheels

    • Mileage: 118000 mi
    • Engine size: 1984
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    Fareham Car Sales
  • Skoda Octavia

    £9,990 £9,990

    Variant name:Diesel Hatchback vRS ,Derivative:2.0 TDi CR vRS DSG ,Variant: 2.0 TDI CR vRS 5dr DSG Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDi CR vRS DSG 5-Dr Hatchback finished in Candy White with black leather/alcantara interior. Specification includes driver, passenger and front side air bags, colombus satellite navigation, cruise control, 18in alloy wheels, radio/CD/MP3/CD autochanger, anti-lock brakes, two seats - rear seat - isofix anchorage point, dual zone climate control, alarm, electronic stability programme, front and rear parking sensors, driver/passenger seat height adjustment, front/rear electric windows, power-assisted steering, remote central door locking, bluetooth, front seats sports, heated front seats, xenon headlights, rake/reach adjustable steering column/wheel, seats split rear, 6 speed automatic gearbox, tinted glass, electric/heated door mirrors, steering wheel leather, eight speakers, front fog lights, curtain airbags, rear spoiler, immobiliser, centre rear seat belt, space saver spare wheel, load anchorage points, auto dimming rear view mirror and light and rains sensors.

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 64046 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £13,295 £13,295

    Variant name:VRS TDI CR ,Derivative:2.0 TDI CR vRS 5dr ,Variant: VRS TDI CR White, AA INSPECTED PLUS AA 3 MONTH WARRANTY, 2 owners, Last serviced on 16/03/2017 at 43,852 miles, 5 seats, Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Only £30, Specification Includes, 18'' Alloy Wheels, Bi-Xenon Headlights, L.e.d Daytime Running Lights, Rear Parking Sensors, Digital Dual Zone Climate Control., Stop/start Technology, Half Black Leather Interior, Touch Screen Digital Display, Cd/dab Stereo System, Voice Control, Bluetooth, Sport/eco/individual /normal Vehicle Dynamic Modes, 6 Speed Manual Gearbox.Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices., £13,295 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 43980 mi
    • Engine size: 2
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  • Skoda Octavia

    £10,990 £10,990

    Variant name:Diesel Hatchback vRS ,Derivative:vRS ,Variant: 2.0 TDi CR vRS Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDi CR vRS 5-Dr Hatchback finished in corrida red mica with onyx/indigo leather nappa interior Specification includes Driver/Passenger Seat Height Adjustment, Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Heated Seats, Power-Assisted Steering, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Radio/CD Autochanger/MP3, Eight Speakers, Rear Spoiler, Tinted Glass, Front Fog Lights, Electric/Heated Door Mirrors, LED Daytime Running Lights Exterior Lighting, Body Coloured Bumpers, Limited Slip Differential, Air Conditioning, Front/Rear Armrest, Front/Rear Electric Windows, Front/Rear Head Restraints, Driver/Passenger Seat Lumbar Support, Seats Split Rear, Steering Wheel Leather, Rear Seat - isofix Anchorage Point, Winter Pack, Gear Knob Leather, Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver, Passenger And Front Side Air Bags, Electronic Stability Programme, Centre Rear Seat Belt, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Alarm, Remote Central Door Locking, Immobiliser, 18In Alloy Wheels and Tyre Pressure Control.

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 36578 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • SKODA OCTAVIA VRS 2008

    £4,595 £4,595

    DUE IN SOON....;2008 Skoda Octavia 2.0 VRS, 5 door Petrol;One Owner from New;86K Miles with Full Service History (8 stamps in service book, 7 of which are Skoda main dealer);Last Serviced, to include new Timing Belt 21/09/2016 @ 81641 miles;2 Keys;HPI Checked and all clear;Mileage checked on National Mileage Register and all clear;Trading Standards Approved car dealer

    • Mileage: 86000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.984
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £14,495 £14,495

    Variant name:Diesel Hatchback vRS ,Derivative:vRS ,Variant: 2.0 TDI CR vRS 5dr DSG Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDi CR vRS (184bhp) DSG 5-Dr Hatchback finished in race blue metallic with black cloth interior Specification includes Driver/Passenger Seat Height Adjustment, Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Power-Assisted Steering, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Rear Parking Aid, Radio/CD/MP3, Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment, Eight Speakers, Rear Wash/Wipe, Rear Spoiler, Tinted Glass, Front Fog Lights, Headlamp Wash, Electric/Heated Door Mirrors, Bi-Xenon Headlights Exterior Lighting, Rain Sensor, Body Coloured Bumpers, Sport Chassis, Limited Slip Differential, Air Conditioning, Front/Rear Armrest, Front/Rear Electric Windows, Front/Rear Head Restraints, Driver/Passenger Seat Lumbar Support, Split Rear Seat, Heated Rear Screen, Steering Wheel Leather, Two Seats - Rear Seat - ISOFIX Anchorage Point, Centre Console, Textile Floor Mats, Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver, Passenger And Front Side Air Bags, Electronic Stability Programme, Hill Holder, Driver Air Bag Knee, Centre Rear Seat Belt, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Alarm, Remote Central Door Locking, Immobiliser, 18In Alloy Wheels and Tyre Pressure Control.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 34289 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £10,499 £10,499

    Variant name:Diesel Estate vRS ,Derivative:vRS ,Variant: VRS TDI CR Semi-Auto SKODA OCTAVIA VRS ESTATE, WITH LOVELY MILEAGE AND A FULL SKODA DEALERSHIP SERVICE HISTORY WITH 5 STAMPS! IN CORRIDA RED GLOSS PAINT WITH BLACK HALF LEATHER & CLOTH UPHOLSTERY. DSG AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION WITH PADDLES AND CRUISE CONTROL!

    • Year: 2011
    • Mileage: 54531 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • SKODA OCTAVIA VRS TDI CR 2009

    £7,495 £7,495

    WE ARE DELIGHTED TO OFFER ANOTHER SKODA VRS LIMITED EDITION - 1 OWNER- NO 231 - THE LAST ONE SOLD WITHIN 10 DAYS - RARE CAR - FULL SKODA SERVICE HISTORY - SPARE KEY, Dual - Zone Air Conditioning, Touchscreen Bolero Radio, Cruise Control, Upholstery Cloth/Leather - vRS Interior, 18in Zenith Alloys (225/40 R18 92Y) and Wheel Bolts with Anti-Theft Protection, Radio Bolero - 2 DIN with Integrated 6 CD Changer ( Can Play MP3 Recordings), 3.5mm Aux Socket, Alarm System with Interior Monitoring and Back - Up Horn, TPM (Tyre Pressure Monitor), Front and Rear Electric Windows, Tyre Pressure Monitor. 5 seats, Grey, HPI Clear, Part Exchange Welcome, All Major Cards Accepted,

    • Mileage: 97000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.968
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £18,499 £18,499

    Variant name:2.0 TSI vRS 5dr DSG ,Derivative:vRS ,Variant: 2.0 TSI vRS 5dr DSG 5 Star NCAP Rating,ABS,Air Conditioning,Alloy Wheels,Anti Theft System,Automatic Gearbox,Automatic Headlights,Automatic Wipers,Bluetooth Prepared,Climate Control,Cruise Control,Electric Front Seats,Electric Mirrors,Electric Windows,Engine Immobiliser,ESP,Front Fog Lights,Full Service History,Heated Mirrors,Isofix Seats,Leather Steering Wheel,LED Headlights,Manufacturer Warranty,MP3 Connectivity,Multiple Airbags,Onboard Computer,Parking Distance Control,Power Steering,Satellite Navigation

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 9124 mi
    • Engine size: 2
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