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

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 Skoda 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

Add a comment…
vRS FAB. 26 August 2013

Autocar: follow up THE Skoda vRS Mk2 for a used motor??????

Some how I don't think you will.

Check out the comments on and others relating the customer issues of : replacement engines, DSG issues .

Don't see that on the Customer satisfaction surveys.

VW group are not very good at responding to Customer issues,when relating to their high tech products problems.

Because of the low volume, vRS, POLO gti,SEAT models, VW HAVE ESCAPED A PROPER RECALL PROCESS.

Your magazine and others have done a dis-service to Motor Mag buyers by not raising such issuse.

Residual value through the floor on these prestige models.



vRS FAB. 15 November 2012

On going high oil consumption with the Fabia vRS


Lastest Fix appears to be the installation of  a crankcase breather.

Haven't heard of VW DOING THE SAME WITH THE POLO Gti or Seat.

Anybody any futher knowledges?

No real knowledge if the Catalytic converter is contaminated or a check therein possible

vRS FAB. 26 August 2013

Check out statement from Skoda CEO in top gear article.Fabia vRS

Note! The CEO of Skoda blames Customers for not buying the vRS AS THE REASONING.

He doesn't relate too the isues surrounding the Prize winning Engine- not these issues never followed up by Autocar, Autoexpress etc. I wonder why.

Skoda never listen to their Customers about the ideal replacement for the MK 1.

INSTEAD  they went down the VW high tech route rather than K.I.S.S.

COULD HAVE OFFERED THE 150 BHP Diesel with six speed manual rather than the additional Monte -Carlo option Skoda went for to boost it's flagging sales.

Fabia vRS NEED NOT BE DROPPED IN MK3 just give the engine gearbox option the Cutomers want.

180 BHP Diesel with a 6 speed box.

Come on Skoda Sales and Maarketing get your act together.

Take you 3 years and still you can't own up to making a mistake.!! 


vRS FAB. 10 April 2012

Re: Skoda Fabia vRS 1.4 TSI

theadamh1234 wrote:
Well it happens to all the car makes, my friend had a Toyota rav4 over 4 years the key went wrong, heating broke and then the head gasket blew!

Appreciate that all is not perfect in the motor industry.

VW/AUDI Group pride themselves on their advance tried and test technology.

The 1.4TSI ENGINE RECEIVED prestigous awards on it introduction.Autocar also published a rumour that the unit would be phase out as it was" to expensive to continue economic manufacture" or were there other reasons,s yet unknown to Joe public-owners?