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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
7200 25000 GBP
  • Skoda Octavia

    £19,550 £19,550

    Variant name:Hatchback vRS ,Derivative:vRS ,Variant: 2.0 TSI vRS (220PS)

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 4315 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    Marshall Motor Group-Marshall SKODA Oxford
    01865 566100 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Skoda Octavia

    £21,995 £21,995

    Variant name:Diesel Estate vRS ,Derivative:vRS ,Variant: 2.0 TDI CR vRS (184bhp) Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI CR vRS (184bhp) 5-Dr Estate finished in brilliant silver metallic with beige cloth - leather interior Specification includes Driver/Passenger Seat Height Adjustment, Trip Computer, Power-Assisted Steering, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Radio/CD/MP3, Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment, Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment, Eight Speakers, Rear Wash/Wipe, Tinted Glass, Front Fog Lights, Memory Electric Door Mirrors, LED Daytime Running Lights Exterior Lighting, Rain Sensor, Body Coloured Bumpers, Limited Slip Differential, Roof Rails, Climate Control, Front Armrest, Front/Rear Electric Windows, Front/Rear Head Restraints, Driver/Passenger Seat Lumbar Support, Seats Split Rear, Steering Wheel Mounted Controls, Two Seats - Rear Seat - ISOFIX Anchorage Point, Automatic Dimming Rear View Mirrors Internal, Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver, Passenger And Front Side Air Bags, Traction Control System, 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 Repair Kit.

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 1000 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale

    £7,200 £7,200

    SAT NAV/ USB / DVD / BLUETOOTH / FULL SERVICE HISTORY / CHEAP ROAD TAX £150 A YEAR / 2.0 TDI 170 BHP 6 SPEED / 1 YEAR M.O.T / 2 PREVIOUS OWNERS.  L.E.D DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS (DRL), Front foglights, Full service history with receipts. Cambelt and Waterpump changed (all genuine parts used and regularly serviced), Rear parking sensors, 18" VRS Alloys. Just been professionally refurbished by 360 Alloys, Full VRS Interior/Exterior VRS Pack with front armrest. Factory fitted privacy gl, Full black leather interior with the VRS logos embossed into the seats and front 3 stage heated seats, Full Electric Windows (Front and rear) & Mirrors,  Digital Dual Zone Climate Control, All rear seats fully fold down and this gives loads of space. The boot itself is spacious enough,  Comes with the load boot cover and dog guard   I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT YOU WILL NOT FIND ANOTHER 2011 SKODA OCTAVIA WITH THE SAME SPEC AS THESE ARE RARE CARS TO FIND IN FULL LEATHER WITH LOW MILEAGE AND IN A GREAT CONDITION LIKE MINE.     With every car there is always stuff to point out: Stone chips on the bonnet / bumper nothing major. Minor stone chip to the windscreen Other then that the car is immaculate I am not a trader so please do not be offering me P/X or silly offers. Location: I am 10 minutes drive from the M4 Junction 12.    Any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. If i don't answer please leave a voicemail or a SMS and I will respond back  

    • Mileage: 88200 mi
    • Engine size: 1968
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £10,500 £10,500

    Variant name:VRS TDI CR DSG ,Derivative:2.0 TDI CR DPF vRS DSG 5dr ,Variant: VRS TDI CR DSG Silver, AA INSPECTED PLUS AA 3 MONTH WARRANTY, 1 owner, Last serviced on 29/06/2016, 5 seats, Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Only £115, Specification Includes, 18'' Alloy Wheels, Bi-Xenon Headlights, L.e.d Daytime Running Lights, Rear Parking Sensors, Stop/start Technology, Digital Dual Zone Climate Control, Half Black Leather Interior, Touch Screen Digital Display, Cd Stereo System, Bluetooth, Voice Control, Sport / Eco / Individual / Normal Vehicle Dynamic Modes, Automatic/Tiptronic With Paddle Shift Gearbox. Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices., £10,500 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 75160 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • SKODA OCTAVIA 2.0 VRS TDI CR DSG Estate 5dr 2014

    £10,990 £10,990

    AMAZING VALUE-Vat Inclusive Price-HPi Clear-1 Owner-Full Skoda Service History+12 Months Gold Warranty-Mot 05-2018-New Shape 184ps DSG Automatic-Huge Spec-Finished In Stunning Rare Corrida Red-Full Black Red RS Seam Half Leather Interior-Widescreen Touch Media System-18 Inch Gemini Alloy Wheels-Bluetooth With Streaming-DAB Digital Radio-SD Cards-Multi Device USB Music Interface-Sports Suspension-Red Calipers-Bi Xenon LED Headlights-Multi Function Steering With F1 Paddleshift-Cruise Control-Privacy Glass-Dual Zone Climate Control-Drive Mode Selector-Rear Parking Sensors-Tyre Pressure Monitor-Stainless Steel Pedals-Electric Windows/Mirrors-Hill Hold Control-Isofix System-Thru Load System-2 Keys-Alarm Immobiliser-Plus Other VRS Refinements-1 Professional Owner With Full Skoda Service History-7 Skoda Services At 10K-22K-41K-60K-79K-91K-112K Cambelt+Waterpump Change-114K-Just Had Longlife Major Service With Full 12 Months Mot-New Michelin Pilot Sport Tyres All Round-Absolutely Stunning and Extremely Rare VRS DSG Auto With Top Spec--Low Rate HP-PCP Finance Available-Rates From 5.9% APR Fixed-Driveaway Insurance-All Major Cards Accepted-Full Dealer Facilities-Export Enquiries Welcome-Nationwide Delivery-REF : LT14 EZU

    • Mileage: 114000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.968
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £13,495 £13,495

    1 Owner, Call Today 01903236346, We Are A family run business of 40 years , RAC Warranty And 12 Months RAC Recovery , Bank Beating Interest Rates On Our Finance Package, We Offer Fantastic Part Exchange Valuations, All Of Our Vehicles Are HPI Cleared, Book A Test Drive, 2.0 Litre Engine, Fuel Type Petrol, £30 Road Tax, AUX/USB Connection(Subject To Compatibility), Active Park Assist, Front And Rear Parking Sensors, Stylish 18'' Multi Spoke Alloy Wheels, Audio System With Touchscreen, 6 Speed Gearbox, DAB Radio, Bluetooth (Subject To Compatibility), Air Conditioning, Stylish Half Fabric And Leather Interior Finish, Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, Power Steering, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Isofix, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Wash/wipe, Auto Lights , MultiFunction Steering Wheel, 2 Keys, 5 Door, Colour Coded Bumpers, Colour Coded Handles And Mirrors, Cup Holder, Drivers Seat Height Adjuster, Electric Pack, Electric Widows Front And This Is A Rare Car And What A Stunner It Is...Finished Rallye Green Metallic With Half Leather Interior & 18''Gemini Alloy Wheels, But This Is Also A 1 Owner Car With Service History And Must Be Seen..So Arrange A Test Drive Today, But Just Take A Look At These Features Touchscreen DAB Media System, Bluetooth(Subject To Compatibility) Voice Control ....And There's Lots More, Like Air Conditioning, Front & Rear Parking Sensors With Intelligent Parking, Also Black Design Pack And The Winter Pack Which Includes Heated Front Seats, Plus 6 Speed Gearbox And Cruise Control For Better Consumption & Various Driving Modes And £30 A Year Tax Making This A Very Economical Estate Car, Call Adrian To Reserve, All Cars Come With RAC Warranty And 12 Months Recovery All For Your Peace Of Mind, So Pop down to our showroom today and see why Skoda Owner's rate these cars so highly!, For More Pictures And Video And Information Please Visit www.paincarsales.co.uk, We Are A Family Run Business Of 40 Years+, We Offer Bank Beating Interest Rates On Our Finance Packages, We Offer Fantastic Part Exchange Valuations, All Of Our Vehicles Are HPI Cleared, Call Today 01903 236346

    • Mileage: 37669 mi
    • Engine size: 1968
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £9,000 £9,000

    Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Alloy wheels, Full service history ONE OWNER - 2010 60 SKODA OCTAVIA 2.0 DIESEL VRS ESTATE AUTOMATIC FINISHED IN SILVER WITH A BLACK HALF LEATHER INTERIOR. THE CAR HAS FULL SERVICE HISTORY WITH RECORDS 19K, 38K, 51K, 54K, 55K & 58K. THIS VRS COMES FULLY INSPECTED WITH A LONG MOT WITH NO ADVISORIES. It comes with a stamped service book along with all bills & receipts for work carried out. The car had a new cambelt fitted in November 2016. This is a fantastic example that has been well cared for by its previous owner. The 170bhp 2.0TDI Diesel engine delivers great performance and alongside the DSG automatic gearbox gives a super smooth drive on the road. The VRS is a great trim level with features including Dual Zone Climate Control, 18'' Alloy Wheels, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Half Leather Interior, Parking Sensors & So Much More... If you are looking for a large, practical car that still delivers a fun drive then this Octavia is a must see!

    • Mileage: 60600 mi
    • Engine size: 1968
    For sale
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