8

10

Model

RS sedan

Price

$36,490

The Numbers

2.0-litre petrol, 162kW, 350Nm, 0-100km/h in 6.8secs, 248km/h max

The Topgear Verdict

An alternative sports sedan that deserves its place competing with the established players.

2013 Skoda Octavia RS sedan

So it's just a quick version of the new Octavia, right?

That is a simple way of looking at it, yes. It's the quickest Octavia ever actually: with a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine that produces 162kW and 350Nm it'll do 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds and a maximum of 248km/h. But it also has a stronger road presence, too, with a tweaked front, subtle rear spoiler, all-black interior, sports seats and alloy wheels that can be had from 17- up to 19-inches. And the interior also feels much more solid and better put together.

Any other differences to the standard models?

Launch control! Which is always good. Plus bigger front brakes and a 13mm lower chassis, which firms the ride slightly for flatter cornering but doesn't make the RS uncomfy. And the exhaust pipes, which make a glorious note in Sport mode (but a bit artificial sounding inside the cabin) aren't hidden. They make a sweet bark on the auto-blip downshifts that the DSG offers, too.

What if I like diesel?

That'll be an option, too. It's also a 2.0-litre unit that puts out 135kW and 380Nm. Skoda didn't mention any acceleration figures, but the oiler is supposedly about two seconds slower than the petrol. However that handy extra lump of torque makes them feel pretty similar in speed. Rest assured both are as quick as you'll ever need from a family sedan and pull in a very swift and satisfying manner. A bit more life in the steering is needed, though.

So which one's the pick?

Hmm, that's a tough call at the moment as they're both excellent, and will ultimately depend on doing the fuel consumption sums when pricing is announced at the local launch. The diesel will likely be a bit more than the petrol's starting price (est $40k), so if it isn't much more efficient it may not be worth it.

And when's the big day?

Sometime in March, where there'll be the choice of the petrol or diesel, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox, and sedan or wagon body styles. Pricing will also depend on standard equipment levels, but not much can stop this from being a truly great car.

Reviewed by: Tim Booth

Driven: February 03, 2014