From £9,380
Cracking fun to drive when you’re in the mood, and agreeable when you're not

Our Verdict

Skoda Fabia 2007-2014
It would be a major upset if the new Fabia wasn’t a thoroughly decent car

Is the Skoda Fabia good enough to challenge for top slot in a sector packed with talented competition?

17 May 2010

What is it?

Well, it’s the new Fabia vRS, the latest incarnation of Skoda’s likeable pint-sized hot hatch. What it isn’t, however, is a diesel. Unlike the previous version, which was powered by a 130bhp 1.9 TDI unit, the new version gets the Volkswagen Group’s 1.4 TSI turbo and supercharged engine producing 178bhp and 184lb ft.

Watch the Skoda Fabia vRS 90-second video review

If that sounds familiar, it’s the same engine used in the new – and considerably more expensive – Polo GTI. The Fabia vRS also gets a seven-speed DSG 'box as standard (there’s no manual option), LED running lights and smart 17-inch alloys.

What’s it like?

See the Skoda Fabia vRS pictures

Lots of fun. The 178bhp twincharged TSI motor is feisty but refined, if a little vocal at times, with a healthy wallop in the midrange and a decent kick up at the top. The 0-62mph sprint takes just 7.3sec, and it will push on to 139mph should the need arise.

The Fabia is agile and steers and grips well, aided by ESP and the XDS electronic differential system, which operates for the most part quite unobtrusively. As a pure driver’s machine the lack of a manual gearbox option may put some potential buyers off, for the most part it’s an engaging and highly entertaining drive.

The cabin isn’t luxurious but its vRS sports seats are comfortable, while the interior is smartly finished with decent plastics and tasteful, if a touch understated, trim. The ride is surprisingly good, too, for a car with such sporting pretensions, with firm but well damped suspension coping exceptionally with all but the worst of potholes and irregular surfaces.

Should I buy one?

We can’t think of many reasons why not. At a £15,700 the Fabia vRS isn’t quite being given away, but you get a lot of car, and a lot of performance, for the money.

It’s well built, well equipped as standard, stylish (in its own boxy kind of way) and a hefty chunk of cash less than a Polo GTI, although to be fair Skoda and VW proabably aren’t chasing quiten the same customers with their respective offerings.

But most of all the Fabia is cracking fun to drive when you’re in the mood, and an entirely agreeable – not to mention practical – mode of transport when you’re not.

See all the latest Skoda Fabia reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
60

17 May 2010

I don't know how VW wants to convince us that ibiza cupra, polo gti and fabia vRS are different cars. I see the point of badge engineering but when it is applied to special editions makes the cars not so special, anonymous i would dare to say.

Anyway if i had to choose between the 3, skoda all the way!

P.S. Audi S1 anyone?

17 May 2010

I must agree. These three cars aren´t so different. All of them are looking good and they have quite same topspeeds etc. But every car has another efect on me. For example Ibiza looks more stylish then other cars to me, but also little bit crappy. Polo is the best way. It´s a compromise between Ibiza and Fabia. And Fabia looks like a tank next to the Polo and Ibiza... I´m from the Czech republic and I´m proud of Skoda. But if I have to choose I would go for the Polo GTI. By the way. Here´s the amateur onboard video showing the new Skoda Fabia vRS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa2RctK3_cA&feature=related

18 May 2010

skoda interiors are not as good as the polo/ibiza cars.

although different the skoda shape is not as nice as the others and is not suited to a sporty model, as proven by the stats, its slower due to its size/shape/weight

vrs 0-62mph 7.3 1318kgs

cupra 0-62mph 7.2 1172kgs

146kgs heavier, thats 2 adult passengers worth.

max speed 140mph cupra

max speed 139mph vrs

but its mpg is better for some reason. 44.1mpg cupra, 45.6mpg vrs

have to see what the polo gti specs are, so they are not all the same....

according to SEAT the engine is 1390cc, but the skoda vrs is 1397cc.

Autocars figures have been used for the skods vrs, so maybe autocar can explain...

18 May 2010

parkers is giving the polo gti as the best with 142mph top speed and 139g/km compared to the 148g/km of the others. also 3 tenths quicker to 62mph.

also 1390cc like the cupra, not 1397cc of the skoda.

you get what you pay for, its never badge snobbery.

18 May 2010

[quote beachland2]

vrs 0-62mph 7.3 1318kgs

cupra 0-62mph 7.2 1172kgs

[/quote] It´s interesting, that there´s no diference in the bhb between Skoda and Seat. But with 146kgs more is Fabia only one tenth slower then Ibiza.

18 May 2010

i like this car alot

18 May 2010

I don't trust manufacturer's kerb weight figures. Wouldn't mind betting that the Skoda figure includes all fluids plus driver weight, whereas the SEAT figure could be a "dry" weight - or without "accessories" such as air-con, spare wheel, electric windows etc. I suspect that the real difference in weight is minimal. Same goes for acceleration figures - I believe that some makes understate the figures in order to secure less punitive insurance ratings. Maybe a thorough group test would reveal all - although I suspect that Autocar simply quotes the manufacturer's weight figures these days...

18 May 2010

Isn't the weight difference due to the Fab being on the PQ24 platform and the Ibiza and Polo having the newer PQ25?

18 May 2010

[quote beachland2]

skoda interiors are not as good as the polo/ibiza cars.

although different the skoda shape is not as nice as the others and is not suited to a sporty model, as proven by the stats, its slower due to its size/shape/weight

vrs 0-62mph 7.3 1318kgs

cupra 0-62mph 7.2 1172kgs

146kgs heavier, thats 2 adult passengers worth.

max speed 140mph cupra

max speed 139mph vrs

but its mpg is better for some reason. 44.1mpg cupra, 45.6mpg vrs

have to see what the polo gti specs are, so they are not all the same....

according to SEAT the engine is 1390cc, but the skoda vrs is 1397cc.

Autocars figures have been used for the skods vrs, so maybe autocar can explain...

[/quote]Beachland, hardly telling figures really, they are so close that you would not be able to tell the difference.

The real eye opener to me is when I got my Octavia vRS (02 plate) it was listed as £15320 on road, this Fabia vRS is listed as £15700 on road. Now I know inflation etc. takes it's toll but are Skoda really the bargain basement brand that VW set them out o be?

Of the 3 the Skoda is the one i'd choose on many fronts including looks and dealer back up.

18 May 2010

well, the seven-speed dsg could add some weight over cupra with manual,polo i much smaller. Choosing between this 3 cars is a matter of reason and money, as I´m Czech, everybody told me buy Škoda it´s cheap to repair and cheaper to buy it . But i´m not thinking about car which is about to get broken, and then jump high because i saved some change on parts. So I bought Golf. Škoda is better manufactured than Seat also the brand gives a buyer more confidence about the product, however fockers in Germany use more expensive parts and might be better matched together. The unit is build under one roof for all of them.

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