TopGear Singapore Everyday Specials Awards : Skoda Octavia Combi RS Crowned Overall Winner!
Singapore - We congratulate Skoda Singapore on emerging the overall winner of TopGear Everyday Specials. The Octavia Combi RS came out tops, trumping 48 entrants, in the very first volume of our ‘Everyday Specials’ awards.
The Czech automobile brand is well known for its Simply Clever approach to building sensible automobiles, enjoyed by many the world over. From self-draining umbrella storage within the driver’s door, to mechanical door protectors (on the Kodiaq) which extend when a door is opened; Skoda is the embodiment of Czech ingenuity.
The Octavia Combi RS takes this ingenuity, and pairs it with the kind of performance and driving accuracy you would expect from a hot compact.
The Octavia is available in two body styles - a liftback, which we spent our last Christmas with, and the Combi. Both C Segment vehicles excel when it comes to outright passenger comfort, boasting legroom almost rivalling what you ought to find, in cars a class-above.
Both the Octavia RS and Octavia Combi RS, deliver a fine balance between outright versatility, and the promise and excitement of an engaging drive.
It was such a difficult decision to pick an Everyday Specials winner between the two, as both are excellent offerings. But a performance Combi? Now that is a difficult thing to resist. Especially when one in its class is a rarity.
A rarity, yet… the Combi RS still flies under the radar, like how a Q car should.
It may begin life as a “bread-and-butter” Combi. But just to let the world know that you are in an RS-badged Skoda, there are some tasteful touches to its exterior which include, gloss black trim, reworked bumpers and sporty 19-inch Altair anthracite wheels.
Red callipers peering out from behind those rims, tell of superior stopping power, to help cope with the added grunt from the engine.
We take you to the inside, where there is a customisable 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit, all the clairity you would need. To keep you in-place and focused, sports seats in-front are standard… powered, and with memory of-course.
When we compare the generation IV Octavia RS to the previous car, there are many positive changes to the interior too. The 10-inch Columbus Navigation System, now sits almost at eye-level for easier reference, and wirelessly supports both Apple and Android mobile devices. The infotainment system also includes a touch slider at the base of the screen, for improved flexibility in operation.
For the first time, the Octavia range is fitted with a stubby shift-by-wire gear selector, which frees up space, and neatens the interior. All Octavia cars are also equipped with a wireless mobile phone charger, so that you can Spotify yourself silly, without ever running out of juice.
But also remember that the Octavia is built to be practical - because it is a Skoda. While we already mentioned excellent leg space for its class, there is also a good scatter of compartments around the interior for added storage. Even for the small things, like an additional pocket each, behind the front seats to stow mobile devices. And oh… did we mention that signature self-draining umbrella holder in the driver’s door, to help keep water out of the way?
And also because it is a Skoda, the liftback variant of the Octavia RS already promises impressive hauling capabilities. The Octavia Combi RS raises this cargo-carrying might from 600 litres, to 640 litres. And for longer items, you can expand its stowage to a whopping 1700 litres! Couple this with a hidden boot floor for discrete storage space, a touch-operated retractable cargo cover, and a boot lid with Tip-To-Close function and virtual pedal.
Now that really is versatility for you!
And then, there is that driving bit!
The turbocharged 2.0 litre EA888 which puts out 245hp and 370Nm, which drives through a seven-speed DSG, is already heavily proven in many of the group’s applications. Over in the RS-badged Combi, it takes 6.7 seconds to reach 100km/h; which is in hot hatch territory. Oh yes, there is also the launch control function… because why not?
It also cuts around corners with near-surgical accuracy, thanks to a VAQ limited-slip differential (LSD), which manages the split between both driving front wheels. Upon leaving a bend, the LSD is even able to send an additional push to the outer driving wheel, for an even quicker exit. Also, for the first time in a Skoda, the Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) features fifteen stages of adjustable bump-damping intensity, which allows you to tune the suspension to be stiffer than the car’s default ‘Sport’ mode stiffness; or as more comfortable than in default ‘Comfort’ drive mode.
But beyond being a driver’s car, the Octavia Combi RS is also loaded with a Superb (pun intended) list of convenience and safety elements, which improve the quality of your drive. Features like Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which adjusts the speed of the car, is an ideal complement to Singapore’s varying traffic speeds. And for that added touch of safety, the Octavia Combi RS is equipped with 8 airbags, including one between the driver and front passenger. Just two of the many cool things which you may not actually see, but which work for you.
So, if you could own just one car… the Skoda Octavia Combi RS would be that exemplary Everyday Special.
TopGear Singapore Everyday Specials
The Skoda Octavia Combi RS may be the overall winner. But find out who else won in their respective categories, in our very first instalment of TopGear Singapore Everyday Specials!
PHOTOS Clifford Chow
2022 Skoda Octavia Combi RS 2.0 TSI
Engine 1984cc, inline4, turbo
Transmission 7spd dual-clutch DSG
Top Speed 250km/h
Fuel Consumption 6.6l/100km (combined)