Skoda Octavia RS vs Volkswagen GTI
- Published On: 20 December 2017
- 6 min read
The Polo GTI is the king of the hill but the stakes are now higher with the newest entrant, the Skoda Octavia RS.
Rising fuel prices have reduced the demand for higher performing cars, but there is still a segment of buyers who are looking for performance over everything else. For these buyers, we have the Polo GTI and Skoda’s New Octavia RS is a strong contender. But, it costs around ₹6 lakh more than the Polo. Both cars are powered by turbocharged-petrol motors, which get stiffer performance orientated suspension and exhaust notes. Even though the RS is more powerful, the GTI takes it on with its lighter weight, which also makes it more nimble. Interestingly, the 0-100kph times are separated by just 0.1sec.
How do They Drive?
The Skoda Octavia RS feels extremely impressively, the 230hp turbo-petrol motor moves the sedan really quickly. In the normal ‘D’ mode, the RS feels exciting, but it is in the sportier ‘S’ mode that changes everything and brings out the car’s real character. In this mode the engine response increases, the gearshifts are faster, and the car will hold each right upto the 6,800 redline. During this time the car also makes nice raspy noises from the exhaust. This motor has a wide powerband which results to easy overtaking on the highway. The paddle shifters on the RS are also well calibrated with shifts coming instantly with a minimal flex of the finger. Handling on the sedan is also impressive, with its stiffer suspension and high grip levels form the Pilot Sport tyres. The Skoda is also equipped with an electronic differential which reduces the understeer. This results to flat cornering with good grip from all four tyres. The car does feel a bit long but shrinks around you as the speed increases. This impressive handling does come at a price, it makes the ride jarring over rough patches and mid-corer bumps.
The GTI might not have the impressive looks, but it is too has a burly exhaust sound. It is powered by a 190hp turbo-petrol motor with a seven-speed DSG. It may be down on power but with a weight advantage of around 150kg, the acceleration feels impressive. The gearshifts in the Polo feel a bit harsh, your head tends to jerk around a bit. The Polo lacks the impressive grip of the RS but it still attacks corners impressively. Overall, the compact dimensions, stiff ride, sharp steering and e-diff is very impressive, so much so that you forget that Polo lacks rigidity in its chassis.
On the Inside
‘Racy’ seems like the best word to describe the Octavia’s interiors. They largely comprise of black surfaces with hints of red stitching and carbon-fibre. The sporty seats on the inside are covered in Alcantara with neat-looking ‘RS’ logos on the headrests. These seats are very comfortable and supportive, a bit firm but needed with all the performance the car has to offer. Other than this, everything else is shared directly with the top-end model. This means the car comes with decent build, high-quality interior and tactile buttons. The rear seat in the sedan is a bit low and lacks under thigh support. However, it does have a lot of room even for larger-frame people.
The GTI is on lacks in terms of interior in comparison, with the dashboard being similar to the regular polo. The hatchback does good build quality and unique tartan fabric on the seats. However, the car doesn’t feel as special as the RS on the inside. The biggest changes over the regular Polo on the GTI are the steering wheel, speedo and rotary adjuster for the back rest. To add to that, access to the rear seats are limited and cramped for adults.
Cost of Ownership
Both, the Polo GTI and the Octavia RS are available in one single trim. The Volkswagen is available as a full CBU. There are no optional extras on these models, it’s similar with the RS. The only thing separating the two is the ₹5 lakh deficit.
The RS priced at ₹25.48 lakh is on the higher side, but with it one gets the company’s impressive warranty of 1 year or 1 lakh km. In comparison, the GTI has a huge advantage with an ex-showroom price of ₹20.69 lakh (all-prices, ex-showroom). The GTI comes standard with a 2 years/unlimited km warranty. However, it can be extended for 1 year/80,0e00kms or 2 years/1,00,000kms. This extension is highly advisable since spares will be expensive.
Which one Should I Buy?
Both, the Skoda and the VW provide those who love driving with a good dose of performance and sportiness. The VW costs ₹11.5 lakh more than the Polo GT TSI while, but the RS is only ₹3.5 lakh more expensive than a regular petrol Octavia. If this is considered, the RS is better value. The VW GTI’s dimensions may appeal to hot hatchback enthusiasts. On the outside, the GTI’s overall styling does very little to distinguish it from a regular Polo, and considering you’re spending about ₹20 lakh, this can be a deal breaker. Moreover, the small cabin and limited practicality only reduces its chances against the RS, and that’s why the Octavia RS wins. It comes with a good 230hp motor with impressive handling, to add to that, it is even the better car to drive. The car has been given the styling it deserves on the outside while keeping the practicality of the regular Octavia. The RS is a comfortable and sedan that can satisfy your need for speed and is the car of choice.