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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

    £28,499 £28,499

    Variant name:VRS TSI DSG ,Derivative:VRS TSI DSG ,Variant: 2.0 TSI 245 vRS 5dr DSG

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 750 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    Lookers Group -Manchester Eccles ŠKODA
  • Skoda Octavia

    £14,799 £14,799

    Variant name:2.0 TDI CR vRS 5dr ,Derivative:vRS ,Variant: 2.0 TDI CR vRS 5dr 5 Star NCAP Rating,6 Speed Gearbox,ABS,Air Conditioning,Alloy Wheels,Anti Theft System,Automatic Headlights,Automatic Wipers,Bluetooth Prepared,CD Player,Climate Control,Cruise Control,Electric Mirrors,Electric Windows,Engine Immobiliser,ESP,Front Fog Lights,Full Service History,Heated Mirrors,Heated Seats,iPod Connection,Isofix Seats,Leather Steering Wheel,MP3 Connectivity,Multiple Airbags,Onboard Computer,Parking Distance Control,Power Steering,Satellite Navigation,Traction Control,Xenon Headlights

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 20104 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £22,995 £22,995

    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 race blue metallic with black cloth interior Specification includes Driver/Passenger Seat Height Adjustment, 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 Leather, Two Seats - Rear Seat - ISOFIX Anchorage Point, Automatic Dimming Rear View Mirrors Internal, 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: 2017
    • Mileage: 1000 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • SKODA OCTAVIA VRS 2.0 TFSI 2011

    £9,990 £9,990

    PRACTICAL HATCH WITH OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE THIS SKODA OCTAVIA VRS 2.0 TFSI SHOULD NOT BE MISSED - FULL SERVICE HISTORY (7 STAMPS LAST SERVICED AT 37960 MILES ON 21-02-2017);;GENUINE LOW MILEAGE EXAMPLE JUST 39K;;JUST VALETED and READY TO GO;;FINANCE DEALS AVAILABLE - WE ARE PARTNERED WITH WIDE A VARIETY OF FINANCE COMPANIES SO WE ARE ABLE TO OFFER SOME OF THE BEST DEALS ON THE MARKET APPLY ON OUR WEBSITE USING OUR QUICK AND EASY APPLICATION FORM;;EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS - LED Daytime Driving lights, Dual Zone Climate Control, Rear Parking Sensors, Privacy Glass, 18" Unmarked Alloy wheels with premium tyres, Cruise Control, 3-Spoke Sports Leather Steering Wheel and Gear Knob with "VRS" detail.;;This car comes complete with both keys, a clean HPI report and warranted mileage. We can offer nationwide warranty upgrades extendable up to 3 years from the UK's best car warranty provider which can include cover against MOT failure at very competitive rates please ask for a quote - PART EXCHANGE WELCOME - All major credit and debit cards accepted - Deposits Welcome. This car is ready to be driven away! --- Alexander Paul GB Specialist vehicle sales, putting the client first. Save time and money, discuss your requirements with us first before buying elsewhere. Call us now to book your viewing and test drive. Viewings available 7 days a week by appointment only to assure you of our best attention. Out of hours viewings also available. ;;LOW RATE CAR FINANCE PACKAGES AVAILABLE.

    • Mileage: 39000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.984
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £10,000 £10,000

    Variant name:VRS TDI CR ,Derivative:2.0 TDI CR DPF vRS 5dr ,Variant: VRS TDI CR Metallic Black, AA INSPECTED PLUS 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, 1 owner, 5 seats, Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Only £30, Specification Includes, 18'' Alloy Wheels, Bi-Xenon Headlights, L.e.d Daytime Running Lights, Audio And Visual Rear Parking Sensors, Digital Dual Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Stop/start Technology, Half Black Leather Interior, 3 Stage Heated Front Seats, Touch Screen Digital Display, Cd/dab Stereo System, Satellite Navigation System, Canton Premium Sound System, Voice Control, Bluetooth, Park Assist, Normal/sport/eco/individual Vehicle Dynamic Modes, 6 Speed Manual Gearbox, Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices., £10,000 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 118080 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £8,000 £8,000

    Variant name:VRS TDI CR ,Derivative:2.0 TDI CR vRS 5dr ,Variant: VRS TDI CR Metallic Green, AA INSPECTED PLUS 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, 1 owner, Last serviced on 24/01/2017 at 78,479 miles, 5 seats, Service History, 170 BHP, 12 Months Road Tax Is £150, The Specification Includes: 18'' Alloy Wheels, Digital Dual Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Half Black Leather Interior, Touch Screen Digital Display, Cd / Mp3 Stereo System, Satellite Navigation System, Bluetooth, Voice Control, 6 Speed Manual Gearbox, And Much More, Value Financing Options Available, Great Value, Fixed Prices., £8,000 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 84140 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
  • Skoda Octavia

    £22,990 £22,990

    Variant name:Hatchback vRS ,Derivative:2.0 TSI vRS (230PS) ,Variant: 2.0 TSI vRS 5dr Skoda Octavia 2.0 TSI vRS (230PS) 5-Dr Hatchback finished in race blue metallic with multicolour leather interior Specification includes Computer, Cruise Control, Heated Front Seats, Satellite Navigation, Acoustic Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Lane Assist, DAB Digital Radio, Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment, Eight Speakers, Panoramic Sunroof, Tinted Glass, Front Fog Lights, Memory Electric Door Mirrors, LED Daytime Running Lights Exterior Lighting, Rain Sensor, Black Design Pack, Bi-Xenon Headlights/ LED Rear Lights, Climate Control, Front/Rear Electric Windows, Leather Sports Seats, Automatic Dimming Rear View Mirrors Internal, Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver, Passenger And Front Side Air Bags, Hill Holder, Alarm, Remote Central Door Locking, Immobiliser, 18In Alloy Wheels and Tyre Pressure Control.

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 25 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
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