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Old 21st May 2024, 02:26   #1
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2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

Even though I visit Team-BHP almost everyday, I haven't really posted any reviews and would love to start by sharing the ownership review of my VRS with you all. The desire to own a Skoda Octavia VRS started when Skoda India officially launched the MK1 VRS in India. My father was fascinated by that car and wanted to own it at that point but unfortunately did not buy it due to budget constraints. We skipped the MK2 VRS (a.k.a Skoda Laura VRS) as we personally did not see it much of an upgrade over a regular Laura TSI.
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsfrontbayleaf.jpg

Pros:

  • Practicality
  • A generous boot space
  • Alcantara seats
  • Simple and elegant design
  • Good low end torque
  • Tuning Potential

Cons:

  • Skoda 24x7 roadside assistance isn’t reliable (the local dealer, Gurudev, has provided good service. Touchwood!)
  • Tall floor hump making it uncomfortable for three people at the back
  • Scrapes on most of the toll gate speed breakers when fully loaded. There is no space to take the car in a different angle most of the time at toll booths.
  • Road noise at higher speeds
  • Sometimes if unaware the boot lid can hit the ceiling of the parking lot while fully opening it, one needs to be careful when opening it
  • Sunroof rattle noise, a lot of VRS owners experienced this. However, I am fortunate to have not had this experience in my car.

Buying Experience:


After waiting so long for the car to launch in India, I woke up in the morning of August 15th, 2017 to news of the VRS being launched in India. Was super excited and elated! We went to the showroom later in the evening to enquire more about this. The sales advisor confirmed that the car would be coming this year but other than that had no information regarding its price, spec or colour options.

Since there was no MK3 VRS at the moment, a test drive for the 1.8 TSI Lauren & Klement was organised. The car was super smooth compared to my Corolla and I really enjoyed driving it within the city. I began to wonder if the 1.8 TSI was so much fun then the 2.0 TSI in the VRS would definitely be crazy!

Paid the advance booking fee and went ahead with the “race blue” colour. Later the sales assistant called and said the race blue would take an additional 2 months to come. However, Steel Grey (similar to Nardo Grey) and Candy White would be delivered on the promised time. Finally, we decided to go ahead with Candy White as White was our favourite colour.

Skoda India organised a launch event at Raymond Race Track, Thane for the Octavia VRS to which we were invited. Being only 1 ticket, it was obviously best for dad to go ahead. I am not able to recollect exactly but I believe Skoda India took care of the expenses for this trip.

Got a call a week later from the sales advisor stating that there was a VRS in the showroom and to come have a look. Went and saw the car, was impressed with the interiors especially the bucket seats and ambient lighting.

Delivery Experience:


It was a simple handover experience, and we collected the car on 24th September, 2017. I was surprised by how fast and efficient the entire process was after reading some horror stories with Skoda India. Only thing that was initially missing was the SD card for navigation and I got it the next week.
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrssideprofileservicelane.jpg

Driving Experience:


Spent the first weekend exploring various features (explained in official review (Skoda Octavia vRS : Official Review)) in the car. The first thousand kilometres were hard as I had to baby the car, however post that the real fun started. The car was a hoot to drive and it was a completely different experience to what I had earlier as it was the first time I was driving a performance oriented car.

While driving the car in normal drive mode it feels tame, smooth and cruises effortlessly. However, put it in sport mode it feels like a completely different car. The VRS does not see much city driving; it's usually highway driving or shuffling between ECR and Central Chennai. The mileage is good as well, with a light foot on the highway I can easily manage 14 km/l and with a heavy foot it drops to 6 km/l. In the city I average around 9 km/l.

Have done numerous road trips and made a lot of beautiful memories with it. Particularly to Kerala, on an impromptu trip with my friends. All was going well, till we had a flat tire in Nagercoil at 1:00 am right outside an abandoned house. Luckily we had another car and were calling Skoda 24x7 roadside assistance. I would not have called them but just a few kilometres back I crossed a Skoda Showroom and decided to give it a try. I was put on hold for most of the time and we gave up with Skoda roadside assistance. We changed the tire ourselves and reached Trivandrum by 3:30 am. It was a fun trip and we laugh about this incident to date.
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrssideprofileflowers.jpg
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrseucalyptus.jpg
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsbackyercaurd.jpg
My favourite picture of the VRS

Wheels & Tires:


The car comes with 17” Hawk Anthracite rims. I was considering initially upgrading it to something better but then the design of the stock alloys grew on me. It came with Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 2 tyres. Used these tyres till 22k km and then upgraded to Michelin Pilot Sport 4. The Pilot Sport 4 tyres were the best in the segment and I could notice a massive difference as there was less wheel spin. Even on wet roads the performance and grip were way better.
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrswheel.jpg
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsbacktyreshop.jpg

Tuning the VRS:


The MK3 Octavia VRS shares the same engine as a MK7 Golf GTI, the 2.0 litre EA888 turbo. This engine has a lot of tuning options from various tuners. I was more keen on the Revo and APR tunes. Having looked up various forums online and comparing between both, I was more inclined towards APR.

I was super happy with my VRS and had no intention of tuning it within the warranty period. I used to wonder what I would do with the additional power when stock was more than enough for my driving style. It all changed one day when I drove my friend’s APR stage 1 tuned VRS. It was a lot of fun driving the car in sports mode, especially the pops and bangs coming out the exhaust. After enjoying my friend’s VRS, I got back to my car and it felt like a completely different car. I was not at all enjoying the transition from stage 1 to stock. I decided then and there that I am going to upgrade to APR stage 1, it includes an ECU and TCU tune. At the time, APR had some discounts going on and it was the last day. Got the car tuned by Rahul from Harmonixx Tuning. The claimed figures were 305HP and 505Nm of torque for stage 1 remap.

Took the car to the Madras Motor Race Track the next day. Now keep in mind that I am an amateur driver on the track and have no prior racing experience. Everything I learnt about following the rules and racing lines were from YouTube. Before this I took the car in its stock form to the track once and noticed the difference between the stage 1 and stock tune. The first obvious difference was that I was able to go faster in the straight lines and shifts were much better.
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsfrontmmrt.jpg
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsemblemgt3.jpg
The VRS with the Porsche GT3, will definitely own a Porsche someday .
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsmemmrt.jpg

Mid 2020 got news that APR would be shutting down their stage 2 tunes and downpipes due to it not complying with the USA emission regulations. With the borders closed and lockdown curfews in place at the time, the OBD dongle was couriered to my place. Plugged it in and installed the stage 2 tune to the ECU and then remapped it back to stage 1. Now that the stage 2 tune was saved in the ECU, I just had to wait for the downpipe, air intake and intercooler to arrive.

I decided to go with the catted downpipe as I was not interested in going for the decat downpipe even though the catted downpipe had a longer waiting time. I went ahead with the Armytrix catted downpipe, APR MQB intercooler and Racingline R600 cold air intake. I would have preferred the APR downpipe but they stopped making it by then.

Drove down to Bangalore and got all the above mentioned parts except the air intake fit at Harmonixx Tuning. The car was now tuned to stage 2 with claimed figures of 334HP and 535Nm of torque. I did not dyno the car yet, hopefully get it done whenever I get the time.

The air intake took some time to arrive and once it came I got it fit at Motopit Chennai. The guys did a good job!

2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsarmytrixdownpipe.jpg
Armytrix Catted Downpipe
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-racingliner600.jpg
RacingLine R600 with the cotton filter
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-racingliner600-fitted.jpg
Filling in the Motul 300v 5W40 and the air intake fitted
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsintercooler1.jpg
APR Intercooler VS Stock Intercooler
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsintercooler2.jpg
Just look at how thick the APR Intercooler is
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsdownpipefitted.jpg
Checked if the downpipe had any leak
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrslift.jpg


The exterior of the car had been detailed by Ceramic Pro Chennai for the first 3 years. Post that the car is being detailed with regular maintenance by Baran Sir from Drive Clean. He does a splendid job and would recommend him to anyone looking to wax/ceramic/graphene coat their car in Chennai.

There have been no regrets with our purchase. Compared to the previous cars that we owned, this car has brought in a lot of like-minded friends and enriched our car community circle. The car is at ≅48k km and this September the VRS is going to be 7 years and looking forward to more. Adding some more pictures for the viewing pleasure.

2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrskiranshell.jpg
With a tastefully modified VRS
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsx2-marinabeach.jpg
2 Stage 1 VRS's
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsfrontcoonoor.jpg
2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review-vrsbackcoonoor.jpg
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Old 21st May 2024, 05:25   #2
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re: 2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st May 2024, 10:54   #3
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Re: 2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

The car looks spectacular and spotless for a 7 year old one. Congratulations on the Stage 2.
No upgrade on the stopping power ?
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:01   #4
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Re: 2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

Sunroof rattling, and door beading rattling are a Vw /Skoda thing, it can be easily arrested temporarily by spraying WD40, sometime lasts for months.

Last edited by Eddy : 21st May 2024 at 11:12. Reason: Please do not quote a long post. It hampers readability. Thanks
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:01   #5
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Re: 2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

Every member here would remember the section Which Indian Car? while doing the registration for TeamBHP. I was trying for team BHP registration since 2012 but I only got through in 2019. And guess what? My response to the above question was- OCTAVIA VRS 230, its one such car that I would love to nurse till it’s extinction. Octavia VRS has been lucky for me, and genuinely, if I were to pick my all time favourite car in the automotive history of India, it would be this- the VRS 230. And getting such a car for 25 ex-showroom back then was bonkers, what do we get today for 25L which is anything close to this monster.

Last edited by sachin_cs : 21st May 2024 at 11:03.
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:50   #6
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Re: 2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvk1991 View Post
The car looks spectacular and spotless for a 7 year old one. Congratulations on the Stage 2.
Thank you, initially for the first 3 years apart from detailers the car was only washed by my dad and me. We give our best towards maintaining this car.

Quote:
No upgrade on the stopping power ?
Currently the car is on stock brakes and it is okay. I will be upgrading the brake pads when I visit Chennai next month, more likely to Ferrodo DS performance brake pads. No plans for big brake kit in this car unless I go stage 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thegreyghost006 View Post
Sunroof rattling, and door beading rattling are a Vw /Skoda thing, it can be easily arrested temporarily by spraying WD40, sometime lasts for months.
Thanks for sharing, will make a note of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachin_cs View Post
Octavia VRS has been lucky for me, and genuinely, if I were to pick my all time favourite car in the automotive history of India, it would be this- the VRS 230. And getting such a car for 25 ex-showroom back then was bonkers, what do we get today for 25L which is anything close to this monster.
True, I believe this car was well priced when it was launched. Got it onroad for around 28lacs.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 09:04   #7
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Re: 2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

The pictures looks spectacular. Love the white exterior, just sparkles in good lighting conditions.
True sleeper car.
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Old 24th May 2024, 03:50   #8
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Re: 2017 Modified Skoda Octavia vRS 230 | Long-term ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutl View Post
The pictures looks spectacular. Love the white exterior, just sparkles in good lighting conditions.
True sleeper car.
Thank you! Yes, the VRS has aged well with white. The best thing about this colour is that it usually looks good even in bright sunlight or night.
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