Skoda Fabia vRS (2010 – 2013) Review

Skoda Fabia vRS (2010 – 2013) At A Glance

2/5

+Great performance from buzzy 1.4 TSI engine. Very precise in corners. Firm but forgiving ride. Nicely weighted steering. Impressively economical.

-Not available with a manual gearbox. Interior nothing special. Dropped from range late 2013 due to severe oil consumption problems. Many engines have had to be replaced. Brilliant technology that didn't work.

Insurance Group 27
On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure

It was a long time coming - the standard Skoda Fabia was launched in 2007 - but after quite a wait, in 2010 the eagerly anticipated Skoda Fabia vRS was finally launched. The big news is that unlike the old Fabia vRS, this version doesn't use a diesel engine, something which made its predecessor unique. Instead it's powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine. This may sound far too small for what's supposed to be a 'hot hatch' but thanks to both a turbocharger and supercharger, it offers an impressive 180PS and 250Nm torque.

This is the same engine that's used in the SEAT Ibiza Cupra and it gives the Fabia vRS a rapid 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds. It's a very impressive unit that's happy to be revved and delivers plenty of pace from low down, so doesn't always need to be worked hard to tap into the power. Unusually, it doesn't come with a manual gearbox though - instead it has a seven-speed DQ200 DSG twin-clutch transmission as standard that comes complete with steering wheel-mounted paddleshifts.

Available as both a five-door hatchback and - for the first time - as an estate, the Skoda Fabia vRS certainly looks the part from the outside with understated but sporty styling, plus there's plenty of scope for personalisation with different coloured roofs, door mirrors and alloy wheels. It's quite disappointing that the interior is so drab, it doesn't have many of the sporting touches you'd expect in a hot hatch like this.

It's a very civilised car though, with a smooth ride on all but the roughest road surfaces while at motorway speeds it's quiet and refined. Other hot hatches may be more driver-focussed, but the vRS is still keen and agile in corners, helped by good feel through the steering and well controlled body roll. But perhaps the biggest selling point for the Fabia vRS is the high level of standard equipment you get along with impressive average fuel economy of more than 45mpg.

Real MPG average for a Skoda Fabia vRS (2010 – 2013)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

82%

Real MPG

30–46 mpg

MPGs submitted

97

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Are there any small hot estates?
"I am currently driving a Skoda Fabia 62-plate 1.4 TSI vRS Estate with the CTHE engine that I have had for about a year. It has done about 30k miles from new. I am looking to replace it with something that has similar engine size and performance and I cannot find anything to match it in today's market (sub £15k). Do you have any recommendations with similar performance, preferably an estate?"
My recommendation about this car is to get shot of it as fast as you can before the engine fails. Replace with a Fiesta ST or the not-quite-as-good Polo 1.8 GTi. No hot little estates.
Answered by Honest John
Skoda Fabia 1.4 TSI vRS - cam belt or chain?
"I have just purchased a 2012 Skoda Fabia 1.4 TSI vRS Estate. Please can you tell me if this is cam belt or chain?"
Chain cam, but a potential disaster zone. See: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/skoda/fabia-vrs-2010/?section=good/
Answered by Honest John
Should I keep my BMW E90 or get rid?
"My 2006 BMW E90 320i has developed a fault with both rear drive shafts. To fix this, I have been quoted £800. This is only three months since another fairly major fault with the head gasket and timing chain. Would you recommend fixing the car and sticking with it or getting rid and starting again? I am looking into a 2012 Skoda vRS. Any information would be greatly appreciated. "
The car is telling you to let it go. But don;t think Skoda Octavias are problem free. See the entries in http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar
Answered by Honest John
Why is my Skoda Fabia vRS making a buzzing noise?
"I own a 2012 Skoda Fabia vRS. Further to engine replacement due to high oil consumption, my engine has made a metallic buzzing chain like noise when I accelerate in second and third gears, up to say 4500 revs then lift of the accelerator to and allow the car to slow down on its own. I have demonstrated it to the dealership technicians and been told it sounds transmission related. However, all they are prepared to do is plug the car into a diagnostic machine and tell me there are no faults logged. My issue is that they are not willing or prepared to check the mechanical workings of the gearbox. I am sick of the car now as it has been completely unreliable and in and out of the dealers since I bought it six months ago. I just want it working properly or a full refund. What should I do?"
This isn't a universal problem. Another reader is delighted with his Polo GTI (same thing underneath) and has had no problems in 35,000 miles. You can't reject a car just for a buzzing noise. All you can do is express your disquiet in a letter sent by post office special delivery to the dealer principal of the supplying dealer. Then it becomes a matter of record if a failure later occurs.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Skoda Fabia vRS (2010 – 2013) cost?

Buy new from £11,124 (list price from £14,620)