You pay a premium of £2,410 for one of these 245s compared with a standard vRS. So is it worth it? For the power increase alone probably not, because despite a three-tenths reduction in the 0-62mph time to 6.6 seconds you notice the extra grunt like you notice a new series of Big Brother. But viewed as a package the 245 becomes significantly more compelling.
On a long run, it is comfortable and quiet, not to mention surprisingly economical. With the gearbox in sixth (seventh if you opt for a DSG automatic) you’ll see more than 40mpg. However, it’s when you tip this car into a roundabout or find a quiet country road that its competence comes to light. To get the best from it requires driving in ‘Sport’ mode which gives an artificially enhanced (but still pleasurable) engine sound and a more aggressive setting for the differential. All of a sudden you’re in an Octavia that wants to dig and haul you out of corners where the standard car simply flashes a stability control light.
The steering is meaty, the gearshift firm and the engine all but faultless. True, overall the vRS 245 is still nowhere near as aggressive as most other hot hatches, but for normal roads and normal people that’s possibly a good thing.