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.