Skoda Octavia RS 2014 Review
Derek Ogden road tests and reviews the 2014 Skoda Octavia RS wagon.
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It's been five long years since Audi had an RS4 Avant in the arsenal. The new one carries on from the earlier car as a wicked compact carry-all with plenty of attitude and enough schtonk under the bonnet to keep Benz's C63 AMG wagon honest - at a saving of about six grand.
The $149,400 RS4 Avant might not have the cubes of the 6.2-litre Benz but it's nearly as fast thanks to a pearl of an engine beating under the sleek bodywork.
It's a 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 petrol unit with direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and the capacity to rev as high as 8250rpm. It means the Audi RS4 gives you gorgeous long runs through each of the seven cogs accompanied by one of the most stirring exhaust notes you'll hear this side of a V8 Supercar.
And, Audi provides a 'dynamic' mode with open exhaust to its drive select system just to make sure you get your full dollar's worth. Something else in the RS4's favour over the Benz is quattro all wheel drive and a seven speed dual clutch manumatic transmission called S-Tronic - with paddle shift of course.
The engine is good for 331kW/430Nm and a 0-100kmh sprint of 4.7 seconds. It consumes an average of 10.7 litres of 98 premium per 100km which is good all things considered. Some concession to the environment is made with the Audi RS4's regenerative energy harvesting from braking and deceleration but there's no stop/start plus the car weighs in at a portly 1800kg.
That's partly explained by the generous level of Audi RS4 Avant kit inside that features radar cruise control with braking, Nappa leather sports seats with power front adjustment, Bluetooth phone and audio, carbon dash inlays, a superb flat bottom wheel with multiple functions, park plus with reverse camera and an auto tail gate.
There's plenty of driver assist stuff including blind spot warning and cornering lights. The drive select system has four modes including `Individual' which allows drivers to choose precisely how they want their RS4 Avant to feel.
It's a striking looker too highlighted by big 19-inch alloys and recurved LED daytime driving lights in the current Audi idiom. Some undercar components are in aluminium to cut weight and the suspension is quite sophisticated with a type of double wishbone front and multi link trapezoidal at the rear.
Large brakes are fitted with six piston calipers up front. Plenty of options are available including three Dynamic Sports Packs selling for $7200.
The drive experience is impressive. We tried a number of settings and opted for auto mostly with dynamic when the mood took us. It gets out of the blocks rapidly hussling up through the gears with an exhaust burble on the up change, a throttle blip on down changes.
Ride quality is impressive even on the hardest setting. All dynamic functions including the brakes and steering are top shelf allowing experienced drivers room to explore when the opportunity arises.
It's low and lithe to look at but comfortable too with room for five at a pinch and a large load space down the back. The auto tailgate is handy as is the radar cruise control and convenience key that unlocks the car at a touch of the door handle. Start is by dash button. Keep the key on your pocket.
Superb package - practical, good looking, sexy, sporty, super performance and handling. Now, back to reality, where's that Corolla...
Audi RS4 Avant
Price: from $149,400
Warranty: 3 years
0-100Km/h: 4.7 sec
Engine: 4.2-litre 8-cylinder, 331kW/430Nm
Transmission: 7-speed S tronic, FWD
|Avant Quattro||4.2L, —, 7 SP AUTO||$35,640 – 42,460||2013 Audi RS4 2013 Avant Quattro Pricing and Specs|