For the most part, the facelifted Octavia RS doesn’t appear to be too different from its predecessor, but there are a few small visual changes to distinguish it as a new model.
The clearest change is the headlights’ shape, which is divisive in more than just the physical sense. From the driver’s seat is where you’ll notice the key differences. Most of the top-spec kit from the previous-gen RS230 has now trickled down to be available on every RS model.
A new infotainment system is more immediately obvious thanks to the new 9.2-inch touch screen. There’s also an extra 7kW. But what it still lacks when compared to the top RS, now called the RS245, is an LSD. This means front-wheel slip is still an issue if you get too friendly with the throttle.
It does, however, become more liveable due to the addition of some well-calibrated adaptive dampers, something the last generation was lacking. In addition, the dampers (as with everything from steering to exhaust sound) can be adjusted individually thanks to VW’s customisation system, which Skoda now uses.
On its own merits, the Octavia RS would make a fun daily driver, especially with the rorty turbo four soundtrack it provides. It becomes even better value if you opt for the easy to live with and cheaper manual ’box. Our test car is fitted with a DSG auto, but the manual is light and smooth.
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It also means you save $2500. There’s a lot to like about the updated Octavia, but if you’re looking for something to take hunting out twisty roads each Sunday, it’s worth waiting to see how the more powerful, LSD-equipped RS245 compares.
2018 Skoda Octavia RS Liftback Specs:
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo four
Weight: 1350kg (EST.)