The car has always puffed out a bit of black smoke. My boyfriend had an '06 vRS that put out the occasional puff of black smoke, but not as much as mine.
It broke down last week - lost all power, lots of black smoke and engine management light came on. I limped into the local Travel Inn car park and the nice man from the AA said that a pipe had come off the intercooler. He said that it didn't look like it had been fitted properly, and that a seal appeared to be missing - both at time of manufacture. Maybe that explains why my car has always smoked more.
The OSF suspension knocks when turning sharp right (so does my colleague's, but on the other side!).
The brakes sometimes stick and grind (and no, the pads are not worn out).
The air-con has lost its chill, but hopefully, most of the above should be sorted at its 20k service, which it is booked in for this week
The paint appears quite soft and car now has millions of tiny scratches running from front to back from the handful of times it's been through the local car-wash. I know I should hand wash it, but I'm lazy. Besides, my previous Mazda didn't suffer so badly, despite it having black paint and going through the car wash most weeks.
I think the Japanese manufacturers have a deserved reputation for build quality, but Skoda/VW/Audi is hype, as my car is not remotely close in build quality or reliability to my Mazda.
Not impressed. I chose it as a company car, having had a couple of drives of my boyfriend's vRS. Initially I wasn't going to choose a vRS as I hated the horrible two-tone interior, but the leasing company offered me the later special edition with a leather interior, CD multichanger etc, so I went for it.
I liked it for the first few weeks, but it then became tiresome. The ride isn't relaxed, the cruise control is very basic and annoying, and not really worth having in its current form, and I wish I still had my old Mazda 3.
I'm disappointed, as I loved this car when I drove it the first few times, but it's a novelty that wore off quickly. Other than some good pull for overtaking, I could be driving any other basic supermini. I now realise why my boyfriend sold his after 9 months. Unfortunately mine is a company car, which unless I change jobs, I am stuck with it for another year & 9 months :( Judging by the gawps from some of the local boy racers, the Fabia might appeal to them, but it does nothing for me.