Skoda Fabia vRS review

Our Rating: 
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Skoda Fabia vRS is a fun, reliable and practical hot hatch, that's powered by a 178bhp 1.4 TSI

Smooth-shifting DSG gearbox, flexible engine, safe
No manual, slightly numb handling, surprisingly costly

The first generation Skoda Fabia vRS stood out from the hot hatch crowd with its diesel engine and with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine that has a super and turbo charger, plus a twin clutch DSG gearbox, the current petrol powered car continues to offer something different. With 178bhp and a paddle shift operated transmission the Skoda brings hi-tech to the world of hot hatches.

Our choice: vRS 1.4 TSI 180PS DSG



With its narrow body and upright stance the Fabia isn’t naturally sporty and despite the vRS’ bodykit it still doesn’t look particularly dynamic. Tinted indicators, smoked rear glass, black mirrors and stylish 17-inch alloys help somewhat and there’s the option to go for black or white wheels, while the roof can also be specified in black or white. Inside, you get a leather wheel, sports seats and stainless steel pedals, while vRS badges feature inside and out.



At the heart of the Fabia vRS is a 178bhp 1.4-litre engine that has a supercharger and a turbocharger. Combined with the standard-fit seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, it serves up decent acceleration but frustratingly the transmission often kicks down ratios when you accelerate. The chassis delivers reassuring grip but there’s plenty of body movement and slightly numb reactions mean the vRS lacks the fun factor of cars like the Renaultsport Clio. The stability control is a little intrusive, too, while a firm ride takes the edge off comfort.



Skoda owners tell us that the Fabia is a reliable car and the company dominates our Driver Power satisfaction survey. Safety is decent, too. The vRS gets front, side and curtain airbags, plus ISOFIX. While stability control, LED running lights and tyre pressure monitoring is standard. It’s worth noting you have to pay extra for a third rear headrest.



The Skoda Fabia isn’t the biggest supermini in the market so rear passenger space is not class leading. But the 315-litre boot is good for a small hot hatch and with the seats folded maximum load capacity is 1,180 litres. An air-conditioned glove box is standard and cabin stowage is decent. Storage boxes for under the front seats are on the options list, as are electric rear windows and a front armrest. You get a spacesaver spare wheel as standard.

Running Costs


Helped by its DSG gearbox and small engine the Fabia vRS is fairly efficient for a hot hatch. The official combined consumption is 45.6mpg, while emissions of 148g/km are lower than bigger capacity rivals with similar power outputs. Skoda dealers have a strong reputation for great customer care, although servicing costs are a little expensive. Insurance costs will be an issue for younger drivers.

Disqus - noscript

How can a car that scores over 3 in every sub category be a 3 overall? It even has a 4.5 for reliability!

Skoda CEO has announced( via TOP GEAR MAG) the death of the Fabia vRS IN THE MK3 FORM. Due in 2014 /15.
He blames Customers for not buying the High Tech Auto box mistake the company launched in 2010.
Say that UK cutomers wanted the Monte-Carlo version.
How wrong he is .
Just listen to your Customer CEO AND USE THE NICHE POWERED Diesel mated to the 6 speed manual.
Skoda could have used the 150 bhp VW diesel if the Parent wouldn't let you have the 170 now 184 version.
Come on Skoda have some balls and Make the mk3 version a high powered diesel with manual and K.I.S.S..

Last updated: 5 May, 2012
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