If there’s a type of car that car journalists like more than a hot hatch - it’s a hot wagon.
The Skoda Octavia RS is a Volkswagen GTI-powered, practical, family-oriented hot wagon that is just… “simply clever.”
Today we’ll be taking a closer look at what you get if you stretch your wallet all the way; this top-spec RS wagon and all the extra bells and whistles comes in quite a bit more expensive than its VW counterpart, so is it worth it?
How much does the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS cost?
Being the “RS” - or “VRS” spec in other markets - this model sits atop the range. The pricing for the 2024 Skoda Octavia lineup is as follows:
Additionally, you can option the Skoda Octavia Wagon RS with the “Premium Pack RS”, which will add $6,600 - and comes with the following:
Dynamic Chassis Contol
Suedia/Artificial Leather Upholstery + red stitching
CANTON Premium Audio system
Tri-zone climate control
Power adjustable front seats
Heated front and rear seats
Factoring in this extra pack, plus an additional $770 for the “Race Blue Metallic” paint, our model as tested comes in at $65,860 driveaway.
There is also an optional Panoramic Sunroof that will set you back $1,900.
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What do we think of the exterior looks of the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS?
Straight off the bat, the Wagon body style looks much nicer than the Sedan and is worth the extra $1500 for either the Style or RS trim. It has a mean presence on the road, with a low, long stance, and especially looks nice in the “Race Blue Metallic” colour, which is an extra cost over the no-cost “Mamba Green” that will definitely turn some heads.
You can tell that this is a Volkswagen group product from the front, it features an understated blacked-out grille, with the “VRS” badge on it, and a large radar in the centre.
The headlights are sleek, with some bright LED daytime running lights and turning signals, and the splitter is quite sporty with some small LED fog lights integrated into the bumper above.
On the side you get 19-inch alloys that have been wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza tyres - not the best, especially while testing the performance in torrential rainfall.
You’ll also notice the privacy glass across the length rear windows, which make the Octavia look like a comically stretched hatchback. This wagon is seriously big though, coming in at 4689mm in length.
Some more blacked-out features include the roof rails and shark fin antenna.
On the rear of the car you’ll find even more blacked-out badging, including the massive “Skoda” lettering spelled out across the tailgate.
You get some awesome-looking 3D tail lights, with a slim, sequential indicator.
At the bottom, you get a, yet again, blacked-out diffuser with some chrome-tipped exhausts that don’t sound the best while stationary.
You’ll also notice the large “7 year warranty” sticker on the rear windshield, because Skoda have increased their warranty from 5 to 7 years.
What’s the interior and connectivity like of the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS?
We were pleasantly surprised with the quality and layout of the cabin in the Skoda Octavia RS. If you have sat in any of the Volkswagen group cars in the last couple of years, things will feel very familiar, including some of the things we don’t like, but overall it is a very premium place to be.
Starting with the seats, courtesy of the $6,600 “Premium pack RS” - they feel SO good with their fake “Suedia” material that honestly fooled us, offering plenty of support, power adjustment, and a massage function. We’d recommend that option pack purely for the seats alone.
Continuing the suede-like Alcantara theme, the dash is covered in it, with sporty red stitching and an interesting carbon pattern that makes you feel like you are in a hot hatch. Materials are soft-touch for the most part, including across the doors and central armrest.
The steering wheel is another classic VW feeling unit, we aren’t huge fans controls on it, they aren’t the most intuitive to use.
Up ahead of the driver, you get a sharp 10.25-inch “Virtual Cockpit” digital instrument cluster, it offers some customisation with a full-screen map view as well and generally serves its purpose without being the best system we’ve seen.
Coming to the rest of the technology, the infotainment display is a 10-inch touchscreen with some touch capacitive buttons beneath it which have been the subject of some severe criticism in some recent VW models, *cough* MK8 Golf GTI. Given that we have used these controls in a fair amount of press cars by this point, we are becoming accustomed to using them, though it is still frustrating and inconsistent in responsiveness.
You do get wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto which works flawlessly, with some quick temperature controls displayed at all times at the bottom of the screen.
You can also press the “Clima” button to quickly access the rest of your climate functionality, and it works well enough.
Connectivity in the front is great, you get a wireless phone charger and two USB-C ports.
Of course we can’t review a Skoda without mentioning it’s “simply clever” ergonomic quirks; you get a phone holder slot that is stored within one of the cup holders, a ticket-holder clip on the windscreen, and a door bin within your… door bin. Very nice!
There is also an umbrella within the driver’s door! Simply push it and it pops out, very useful if you remember it’s existence on a rainy day.
Speaking of ergonomics, the Skoda Octavia has good storage space, as mentioned before you get a couple of cupholders, a nice leather centre armrest with the classic VW ratchet mechanism, and a large glove compartment.
What about the Back seats of the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS?
Space in the rear of the Skoda Octavia RS is quite good! Leg room is ample, with great headroom and toe room, you definitely wouldn’t expect it, given how low this thing is.
Amenities in the back are also quite nice - given that our test model has the Premium Pack RS, there is a third zone of climate controls, and the outboard seats are heated.
Connectivity is also good in the rear with two more USB-C ports.
The seats are the same “Suedia” material as up front, they feel great, with plenty of support and the seating angle is good.
Rear passengers get sunshades on the windows too, though the materials on the doors do feel like they’ve taken a hit in quality.
That being said, it’s difficult to fault the Skoda Octavia Wagon in any way when it comes to rear occupant comfort and space, you even get a fold-down pass-through for access to the boot, and storing longer items.
How much can it fit in the boot of the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS?
Honestly, I’d pay the extra $1,500 just for the extra boot space the Wagon body affords you. You get a monstrous 640L of capacity, with a very usable loading floor.
Since it’s a Skoda, you can also expect some “simply clever” features, and the boot space certainly delivers on this. You get a cargo net to secure smaller items, a reversible mat/carpet thing, and some side storage bins.
Putting down the back seats is an incredibly simple process, you pull a tab from the boot and the second row folds nearly flat, expanding your storage capacity to 1700L.
You also get a space-saver spare wheel beneath the floor.
What’s under the bonnet of the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS?
The Skoda Octavia RS is powered by - at this point - a legendary Volkswagen Group engine, found on some of its most beloved hot hatches.
We are of course talking about the EA888 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine, which is found on both the VW Golf GTI and Golf R, as well as other cars such as the Audi S3.
It is tuned to output 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque to the front wheels only via a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
Despite the obvious performance capabilities of the EA888, a great aspect is its efficiency - Skoda claims a combined fuel consumption of 6.8L/100km, and we saw pretty close to this in our week of testing.
How does the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS drive?
Straight away, after hopping behind the wheel of the Skoda Octavia RS, that familiar EA888 engine roars to life and you truly feel like you are in a hot hatch. It is a pretty distinct experience from something like a Golf GTI on the road however, which feels strictly sporty, this on the other hand has a more mature, grand tourer demeanour.
This is partly due to the increased size compared to a hatchback, which actually makes the Octavia feel a touch more sophisticated.
Under the hood that 2.0-litre turbo engine has great low-end torque, and paired up with the classic Volkswagen DSG dual-clutch transmission you get quick, effortless shifts; in fact, we didn’t experience any of that typical low-speed lag or jittering that you would expect from a dual-clutch automatic.
On the back roads, the Octavia RS demonstrates strong performance throughout the entirety of its rev-range, despite slightly losing some steam close to the red line. While the engine sound is mostly fake and is piped through the speakers, it generally adds to the driving experience as without it that stealthy 4-cylinder engine would barely be whispering thanks to Euro emissions laws.
The handling also deserves some praise. In Sport mode, the car becomes very responsive on the twisties, and while it may fall down in this area slightly compared to it’s hot hatch rivals, such as the Cupra Leon, it does a commendable job. It is larger, with a softer suspension setup but does have adaptive dampers, so those drive modes change it’s character significantly.
On the highway, in comfort mode, you barely get any noise from the engine, though we were a little surprised at the amount of road noise you get from the tyres, with wind noise low for the most part. I wouldn’t describe it as loud, but far from luxury.
Given that we have - literally - the most expensive Skoda Octavia money can buy, the driver assistance systems are top-notch. It will basically drive itself on the freeway thanks to adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, and comes equipped with all the safety features you’d expect of a $60,000 family wagon. The entry model, Style, still gets adaptive cruise control but lacks many of the driving comfort features you get on this grade, so keep that in mind.
We also tested it's 0-100km/h launch time, and clocked it at 6.89 seconds, which is decent for a front-wheel drive in damp conditions.
In conclusion, the Skoda Octavia RS carves out its own little niche in this segment because you really can’t get many “Hot Wagons” anymore. It nicely blends GT-like attributes with sporty performance, and while it’s not as aggressive as some of its competitors, I’d say it’s more than enough for the average enthusiast who also wants to be able to drive his family around.
Is the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS Safe?
The Skoda Octavia achieved a 5-star ANCAP and Euro NCAP safety rating in 2019.
It comes with the following standard safety equipment:
Adaptive Cruise control
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
Driver fatigue warning
Lane keep assist
Lane departure warning
Front and rear parking sensors
8 airbags (includes front centre airbag)
The Luxury Pack on the Style grade adds:
Blind spot assist
Adaptive lane guidance
Rear cross-traffic alert
The RS grade adds (on top of standard and Luxury Pack on Style grade):
Rear side thorax airbags
Traffic Jam assist with stop-and-go
Crew protect assist
How much does the 2024 Skoda Octavia RS cost to service?
The Skoda Octavia is covered by Skoda’s new 7-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. Logbook servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first.
Skoda dealers offer a five-year service package for $2,450 MRDP or a seven-year package for $2,750 MRDP.
Final thoughts - should you buy a 2024 Skoda Octavia RS?
So you want a practical, family-friendly car that feels premium but also offers hot hatch levels of performance? I mean, where else do you look? The Skoda Octavia RS is one of the only cars left that does it, it looks gorgeous in wagon form, with a well-equipped interior, and spacious rear seats and cargo area.
But it’s almost $60,000 before you start factoring in the extra option packs, and that complicates the decision. Despite this car ticking all the boxes, there are still some areas where it feels let down and a little less premium than expected, given the price point. I mean, where are the 360-degree cameras?
Overall, if you are in the market for a high-performance wagon, and don’t want to spend over $80,000 on an Audi A4 which still has the same EA888 engine and a marginally nicer interior, the Skoda Octavia RS may just be a default choice for you.
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.