2004 Skoda Fabia vRS 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Rare combination of performance and economy


Tracking was slightly out, requiring adjustment at a garage.

Headlight bulbs blew quite often, especially during winter.

Slight wear on drivers seat hip support.

General Comments:

I bought this car to make my long commute more enjoyable, and although I paid out more than I usually do at the time, I've not regretted it one bit.

Performance is excellent, with loads of low-end torque, which is great for overtaking, yet will also happily cruise at 70mph in sixth gear and the engine sounds perfectly happy.

Economy is fantastic, with the car averaging 59mpg over a long period with a mix of motorway and urban miles.

Inside trim is fine, seats are comfy and very supportive, but no electric windows in the back.

The car is very solidly built, something that I was very appreciative of recently when a lorry rear-ended me at reasonably high speed whilst I was stationary. Car got written off, but damage to me was limited to whiplash, and as soon as the insurance comes through, I'll be buying another one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2009

2004 Skoda Fabia vRS 1.9 130 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


This is a great car, with fantastic performance, and all for a small price


Door carriers leaking.

Creaking drivers seat.

General Comments:

This is a quick car.

Torque is out of this world.

Reliability is even better.

The only downside to this car that I have found has been when traveling in its sister car, the VW Polo; the build quality is not as good as the VW, this becomes apparent when hitting a speed bump etc.

I haven't had any real issues other than mentioned above.

I can't wait for the mk 2 VRS to come out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2008

15th Oct 2008, 05:52

'the build quality is not as good as the VW, this becomes apparent when hitting a speed bump etc.'

That's nothing to do with build quality, it just has harder suspension and lower profile tyres.

As for the MK2 VRS... it's not going to happen!

15th Oct 2008, 07:00

Mk2 VRS due October 2009.

2004 Skoda Fabia vRS 1.9 TDI 130 from UK and Ireland


Type R performance with double the economy



General Comments:

This car is a delight to own. It is effortless to drive with maximum torque at 1800 rpm (310Nm); you can briskly travel across town or down country roads without effort.

When deciding upon the Fabia, I did consider a Honda Civic Type R. These behave like the base model 1.4 until the V-Tec kicks in and then it roars like a blood thirsty Tyrannosaurus. - Attracting the attention of passing 5'0 like a 2 for 1 special at Greg's.

Again if you need to hustle along a back road with your mum as a passenger, the Type R is hardly discreet. When the V-Tec kicks in your mum'll stop talking about drapes, start screaming, and you'll have to slow down unless you want to be written out of a will.

In the vRS you have a strong undramatic surge of power up to about 3,500 rpm where after it gradually tails off, mother will babble on unsuspecting.

The Skoda's TDI130 has been proven as a faultless engine in many other VAG cars, but diesel engines in general are far superior to petrol. Diesel units are made of more robust cast iron to deal with the higher compression needed for diesel combustion. They don't need to be revved hard to get the power, so the pistons simply don't travel up and down as many times, resulting in less wear. Diesel is a lubricant, lubricating the engine, resulting in less wear. As diesels are more efficient, they run cooler, thus the turbos last as long as the engine, unlike petrols.

Another added benefit to opting for the oil burner is 68mpg is attainable at a constant 50mph; you'll struggle to get half that in an equivalent petrol.

I must say, the engine note isn't the greatest, it has a purposeful mechanical noise at idle but it's hardly going to have you stamping on the small pedal as though it were a cockroach.

Other downsides are the door pockets are thin & shallow, so you can't store your CD wallets anywhere. The standard CD player has to be pressed for 4 seconds before it'll pop out a CD. Particularly annoying when a gear change is imminent.

The windscreen washer fluid reservoir is the size of a pipette.

Unless you by one with leather, the light grey velour seats stain very easily will take several applications of upholstery cleaner to remove a stain completely.

The car handles well, it has the same chassis as the VW Polo so it has that safe new-car under steer when the limit has been crossed, and there is no spooky lift off over steer.

However, I've heard that if you replace the rear anti-roll bar for a stiffer one, this will bring back lift off over steer and make the car even more of a chuckle to drive.

When you tell the car illiterate you drive a Skoda Fabia vRS they tend to hang on the word Skoda and say, "oh, I thought you'd have something sporty." But to be truthful, I've had a Porsche 944 and when you tell this to the car illiterate, they tend to hang on the word Porsche and secretly hate you.

In summary, it's fast, it's powerful, it's economical, and people who know about cars will respect you for it. Even though it is small you can do large mileages in comfort, yet have fun at the same time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2008

18th Aug 2008, 13:25

By the by, CTR's aren't actually much quicker, they just feel like it because they're essentially an economy tuned 2.0 until the V-Tec changes the timing. This sudden change gives you a sudden thunk of Torque and Power making it feel fast. When this happens it screams like the pistons are about to fly through the bonnet which gives you a greater sensation of speed. The vRS is very fast but it doesn't give you a sudden shot of power right at the very end of the rev range from 6,000 to 8,000 revs. You can only really tell how fast it's going by looking at the speedo shoot up. So I'm not surprised you don't think it's fast. Also something most people don't realise is that performance figures look hugely different on paper but in reality, there's not much in it.

0-60 is hard on the car which is why I don't really care about the stats. You could always compare the two cars on average speed per tank of fuel, the vRS would probably be 2 and a half times faster.

The vRS has max torque from just above tick over which means you can just plant it in 6th and it just surges away, leaving the CTR driver like an Oxford rower on the gear box searching for that elusive 2,000rpm powerband.

The CTR does sound beautiful though it must be said, and the vRS will is not even in the same league with sound, but is that worth paying double everywhere you drive, I think not.