?koda Fabia vRS TDI PD - mfarrow

What does everyone think of this motor? A friend of mine just wrote off his HDI Xsara and is now looking at something a bit more powerful.

Does anyone own one, and how good do they compare to say a Seat Ibiza 130 Sport.

Any comments would be appreciated,


Mike Farrow
Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - bradgate
I drove the Ibiza TDI sport and was hugely impressed.

These 2 are the smallest, lightest cars in which the TDI 130 is fitted, an engine which is man enough to lug the vast Skoda Superb around at a respectable rate.

Mid range performance is, therefore, astonishing. In gear acceleration felt as quick as my Impreza, believe it or not. The Ibiza also gripped & handled very well and the t/c coped with the torque impressively in the dry. The only real downside was a very firm ride, but it's supposed to be a hot hatch, so this is to be expected.

Add low insurance and 50mpg+ ino the eqution and the Ibiza made me think twice about buying my Scooby......

Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - paulb {P}
I used to own an Ibiza Sport TDI 130. Agree with bradgate re acceleration - they have very enjoyable Mini Cooper S-eating poke in a straight line, and I averaged 49-53 mpg on every fill, but my own example (which was one of the first available) had rather sloppy steering (presumably to prevent torque steer) and a suicidal tendency to understeer at surprisingly low speeds, which eventually ended up with me biffing a roundabout and doing £2.5k of damage to the front suspension.

Various people have since told me that this happened because I obviously can't drive properly, but all I would say in 10 years and several hundred thousand miles of motoring in a variety of cars I have never had one that misbehaved as badly round corners. Possibly the wheel alignment was a bit off or something, or maybe it wasn't set up correctly in the first place - I don't know & frankly don't care much any more, but certainly mine was never even in the same county as a Scooby in terms of grip and handling. I have to say my experience is borne out by what the Autocar road test said about the Ibiza's handling. Possibly it has been quietly tweaked since.

In summary: very enjoyable poke but watch out round corners...
Skoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - Wilco {P}
I think Autocar has got a Fabia on long term test at the moment - seem to recall there was a progress report recently.

Summary, IIRC, was that it doesn't have quite the same "hot" image that the Ibiza has - presume this is down to weight?

I've had a test drive in an Ibiza as I'm contemplating one as a replacement for the Punto - very impressed and the handling seemed better than the Fiat (not saying much I appreciate - they both share the same rock hard ride) . But the Skoda also seems to be rather cheaper than the Ibiza - best price I've been quoted on Ibiza was £12,250 or thereabouts. Haven't looked at discounts on the Fabia but the list price seems to be around £12,000.
Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - bradgate
Interesting comments re the handling. Obviously paulb's experience of the car is much greater than my brief test drive on a dry summer's day.

I'm not saying the Ibiza that i drove gripped and handled as well as an Impreza - just that i found the one i drove to be good fun in the dry.

I wonder if tyres had anything to do with it. My Scooby is very tyre sensitive, particularly in the wet. Was it the same with the Ibiza?
Skoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - Wilco {P}
Have a look at the site roadtest of the Ibiza and you'll see that the Main Man had some reservations about the "toe-in" on a petrol car driven at launch.

I'm sure someone can explain what such a setting might do to the handling characteristics?
Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - paulb {P}
You're right, I think tyres may well have something to do with it. Certainly when the repair people had screwed it all back together again & had replaced the front tyres it felt a lot more stable. This also made me wonder whether the wheel alignment was as perfect as the garage had previously assured me it was.

I have heard that tyres can go "off" in terms of grip some time before the tread wears down and I have a feeling this may have been what happended to mine. They all seem to come with 205/45 Bridgestone Turanza SR30s on 16" rims and mine, although not badly worn, had lasted 13,500 miles of not especially hard driving.

Perhaps I should qualify what I said about cornering - on level or slightly banked curves it went round as if on rails, but was very easily upset by the slightest change in camber or surface quality. It was a fun car but could go from being rock-solid to all over the place alarmingly suddenly. Again, I'm quite prepared to believe that mine was not a representative example

As I say, I was rather put off by my little incident but they are nicely made cars and I do still miss the way it went in 3rd gear from 35 mph upwards.... :-)
Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - tunacat
I drove an Ibiza 130 tdi recently and would agree that its acceleration stands up well in comparison with an Impreza turbo for overtakes and going uphill. As a relatively tall and narrow car with a diesel up front, it's ultimately unlikely to handle and grip as well as something with 4WD and an alloy boxer engine, nevertheless it handled and gripped fine (not taking it to 10 tenths), and the ride was firm but not 'uncomfortable' - certainly not as hard as I was expecting from what I'd read.

The Fabia might be a tad slower than the Ibiza due to it weighing more, but IIRC it's cheaper, and for better or worse you get 4 doors. In my opinion it's also quite a lot better-looking, both inside and out.

Group 7 insurance and the promise of 50+ mpg when just 'driving normally'... -only in an Impreza owner's wildest dreams!

How I really wish Subaru would hurry up and get that rumoured turbodiesel developed, or Skoda offer the 4x4 Octavia with the 150 hp tdi...

Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - paulb {P}
I have heard that it is possible to import a 4WD Seat Leon Cupra TDI 150.......
Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - tunacat
Would it be right-hand-drive though?
Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - paulb {P}
Now of that I'm not sure. I do remmeber seeing them offered in an ad for a firm of importers, AIR in Diesel Car magazine, some time ago. I wouldn't have thought they'd bother advertising left-hookers given that so few buy them over here.

One place where they might know more would be www.seatcupra.net - there are some guys on there who have contacts with the manufacturer.
Škoda Fabia vRS TDI PD - AlanGowdy
Pretty fair comment chaps. I love my Ibiza 130 but was a little concerned about cornering and braking stability at first. Either I've grown used to it or things have bedded down but my concerns have gone away.
Trouble is, at 80 mph in sixth gear the engine is only purring along at about 2100 rpm so you get fooled into thinking you're actually travelling rather more slowly - until the roundabout looms and you have to hit the anchors a bit hard!!!
It has Pirelli tyres which are about 40% worn on the driven wheels after 11,000 miles which I think is pretty good for such a torquey machine.
It does indeed go like the clappers in the mid range - you just have to hang onto the steering wheel.
You can get the 3-door for about £11,500 if you shop around which is pretty fantastic for what you get. My 5-door set me back £11,995 and I'd be hard pushed to find a comparable other-make competitor for anything like that.
?koda Fabia vRS TDI PD - mfarrow

OK, thanks for the replies everyone. He did test drive the ?koda and was very impressed. However, a gem in the form of an S-reg Golf TDi was spotted by him on a dealer website so he bought that for £7000. Do you think this was a good deal? It's got Aircon, ABS, and is an Automatic, with 46k on the clock.

He's now thinking about getting it chipped, now he's replaced the dodgy Air Mass Flow Sensor. He's also had the kick-down retuned so the engine doesn't rev to the red line before changing gear, as this isn't where peak power is.


Mike Farrow

Value my car