What does £3000 buy these days? How about three Skoda Fabia 1.9 TDI vRS hot hatches?
They range in mileage from 162,000 to 175,000, so they’ve been around the world a few times. The first is a 2004/04-reg car with a fresh MOT and, according to the private seller, “starts and drives very well, and pulls like a train”.
The second is a 2007/07-reg vRS with, says its private seller, “lots of service history, a recent turbo and intercooler, and a new cambelt, water pump, and brake pads and discs”. The third is a 2004/54-reg part-ex to clear with a longish MOT. Each costs £995.
A deposit has been taken on the second (2007) car so someone knows a deal when they see one. It’s an interesting example because the turbo on the vRS is a rugged affair that rarely gives trouble. Why has it been replaced? Has the seller been hoofing his little Fabia? The fact that it has also had new brake pads and discs suggests so. Then again, he might just have a caring nature, which is nice. Changing the water pump with the new belt was a good idea and recommended.
Anyway, it makes you think: £995 for a giant killer, because that’s what the humble Fabia 1.9 TDI vRS of 2003-2007 was. It weighed just 1300kg, and although its high-pressure turbo diesel engine produced a modest 126bhp, it developed a much more impressive 229lb ft torque at only 1900rpm. The result was a car that from 50mph to 70mph could see off much more expensive and sportier fare.
As standard, it came with sports seats, traction control, alloy wheels and air conditioning. The run-out Special Edition version of 2007 (1000 were sold) added leather seats with blue piping to match the exterior Race Blue metallic paint job, red brake calipers, cruise control and privacy glass.
As this was written, there were a couple of SEs for sale at £4300, each with mileages approaching the ton. Talk of future classic status surrounds the Fabia vRS and the SE in particular. Be careful: nothing wipes the smile off a speculator’s face more than high mileage, and lots of standard and SE vRS Fabias are well north of 100k. If a modest investment return is your goal, a low-mileage car with full service history and few former keepers is where you want to look, and amazingly there are still a few of these knocking around the classifieds.