The gearshift is faster, the suspension stiffens and the car behaves like a sports car

Paul Mallos, via Email

Okay, I have been purchasing your fine mag for more than 20 years and this is the first time something has happened to make me write in and share a recent motoring experience of mine.

I had, due to extenuating circumstances, the need to purchase a small SUV to replace our current Land Rover Discovery 4. All very boring and non sporty alternatives were around and I had managed to secure a new 2015 Skoda Yeti TDI , which had been quarantined due to ‘dieselgate’. However, now in 2017 it’s offered for sale as new vehicle with a five-year warranty.

On the day of delivery, some 200km from home, a faulty battery had stopped me taking delivery of the vehicle. A suitable alternative car was quickly arranged for me to use whilst the specific battery would need to be ordered and fitted within a few days. Not the greatest start to new vehicle ownership, but I understand things happen, and it’s situations like this one can make or break a future vehicle relationship.

The ‘loan’ car was a brand new Skoda Octavia RS 169TSI wagon. Whilst I understand that Skoda is part VAG and a bit of an ugly duckling brand, this car was the furthest thing from that ‘truth’.

What an awesome, amazingly understated bit of kit it is. With the RS button engaging Sport mode, a throaty WRX induction warble resonates through the car. The gearshift is also faster and firmer, the suspension stiffens and the whole car behaves like a proper sports car.

The beautiful diamond stitched suede interior held all the occupants in a truly memorable drive from Canberra to Batemans Bay. It’s astonishing how good the car response is to throttle inputs and perfect DSG gear changes have a rev-matching blip.

The biggest problem I now face is to give it back and take delivery of my Yeti – with impossibly big shoes to fill.

The Skoda brand still needs work to get punters backsides into a car, that quite frankly, I now lust after. Thanks Skoda for providing a solution to a problem, then creating an even bigger problem of how to justify the possibility of owning an RS.

The gearshift is faster, the suspension stiffens and the car behaves like a sports car

We agree with you, Paul, and so do plenty of other Australians, as there’s usually a lengthy wait list for Octavia RS models in this country. As a do-everything performance car, it really is hard to beat and the day our RS230 wagon disappeared is still a sore memory.