Riverdance? Try Driverdance
* Our man hits the rally circuit * In a 265bhp 2.0-litre Skoda Fabia * Read his story here...
The Fabia s a tidy handler, too, if not quite as sharp as major rivals such as the Renault Clio Renaultsport and Volkswagen Polo GTI (with which it shares its engine and gearbox). It has decent space for four people, or five at a pinch, and the boots easily big enough for your weekly shopping.
Bargain pricing has long been one of Skodas big selling points, and the Fabia vRS is no exception with its list price of 15,700, although our Target Price shoppers reckon you can get a couple of thousand off that, which makes the Fabia a serious bargain. Whether such low pricing is enough to get you past an appearance that can best be described as unobtrusive is another thing, but at least you cant see what it looks like when youre inside it. That said, the inside is pretty dour, too.
One thing you wont see the inside of terribly often is a petrol station, because the Fabia vRS will average 45.6mpg.
Jan and I are most definitely not doing 45.6mpg; were probably doing closer to 4.56mpg because the accelerator spends a lot of time pushed down as far as itll go. Its utterly mind-boggling to watch a rally driver doing his thing. Jans limbs move quickly and economically, always ahead of the cars movements, rarely having to react to something untoward, always making the car dance. Talking of dancing, Jans feet are in constant motion, his left foot on the brake and his right on the throttle - he could teach that Michael Flatley a thing or two. This isnt Riverdance, this is Driverdance, and the car is his willing partner.
All too soon, were at the end of the stage, so Jan handbrakes the car round and heads back the other way, getting some big air over a couple of serious jumps in the process. I am stunned, shocked, and more than a little in awe. You cant do my job if youre not reasonable behind the wheel, but Jan and his compatriots take bravery and the skill of driving to another level altogether. Ill stick to driving road cars from now on. A Skoda Fabia vRS should be a good place to start.