When we think of the Austrian car-makers Skoda our mind automatically jumps to the Superb, a sort of upper middle class vehicle. But, not much hype or fan-fare follows their lower models like the Fabia. The topic for discussion here is the “Skoda Fabia vRS”, Skoda’s latest attempt at introducing a rally car on the roads.
Let’s start off with the most important part of the vehicle, the engine. This particular engine has been used in everything from the Golf to the A6 and is, to be fair, far better than anything else it has ever produced in this class. The 1.9 liter, 4 cylinder, OHC, turbo charged diesel engine might not be the fastest car around but it sure does try really hard.
130 bhp at 4000 rpm doesn’t sound like much, but keep the car between 1500 and 2700 rpm and you feel the full effect of the 310 nM of torque under the hood. It does 0-60 mph in approximately 9.6 seconds. Quite normal for this class of vehicle but the crucial pick up from 50 to 75 mph can be achieved in around 10 seconds in 5th gear which sounds very contenting when you think of the vehicle class. It tops out at a maximum speed of 127 mph which isn’t very fast, but, it is good for its class. This car can easily complete 40 mpg, but, hit the motorway and you will be touching 60 miles to the gallon. The steering wheel (a three spoke sports steering wheel) gives terrific feedback and the performance of the car is far superior to any other ones in its class. The vRS moves on 16 inch aluminium alloy wheels through which you can spot green brake calipers.
When it comes to looks, the Fabia, has very little on offer whether it is on the inside or the outside. Skoda’s chief designer, Thomas Ingenlath was in charge of designing the vRS and he has done a decent job in raising the bar for its down-market siblings. The front has been equipped with a pleasant front bumper, encasing the usual mesh-vent between two fog lamps. Around the back, you will find a deeper bumper with a chromed tail pipe which is a little off-centre, a boot spoiler and some discreet badging. This all sounds real nice, but, it is not even close to the stunningly fashionable World Rally Car.
The interiors have the same feeling as most of the cars from the Volkswagen group. The switch gear (made of aluminium) is well laid out and the dials are clear and easily readable. The seats (monogrammed RS grey and black fabric sports seats) are actually, very comfortable and move in every possible way which makes finding a comfortable position relatively easy. A couple of vRS logos on the dials complete the look.
Skoda has gone all out when it comes to specking the vRS. ABS, MSR and ASR all help with the handling while ESP can be added at an extra cost. On the comfort and safety front, air-conditioner, electric front windows, single-slot CD player, alarm, remote central locking and driver and passenger airbags all come as standard.
Now that everything has been discussed let’s come down to the price. At £12000 it is far better priced than any of its rivals and it has a good re-sale value as well.
All-in-all, this car is good without being great. It is very reliable, economical too and it can still turn heads. Really. .
For more reviews, images and videos on the Skoda Fabia vRS visit http://www.skodafabiavrs.com