Skoda Fabia vRS driven

* Composed handling * Drab cabin and boomy exhaust * On sale in July, from £15,700...

Skoda Fabia vRS driven

As a diesel hot hatch, the old Fabia vRS was a bit of a Marmite car. However, with the new version Skoda is attempting to attract a wider audience by using a petrol engine instead. Is the result tastier?

Well, if you think a hot hatch should have in-your-face looks then its probably not for you. The vRS gets bespoke alloys and swollen bumpers, but its still easy to mistake it for more humdrum Fabias, and the cabin is desperately dull.

Strong performance

Fortunately, performance is anything but. The engine is only a 1.4, but thanks to a turbocharger and a supercharger it delivers electric pace and impressive flexibility. Okay, the exhaust is more loud than tuneful, but the standard paddle-shift gearbox whips from ratio to ratio with barely any hesitancy.

The ride is firm but well controlled, too, and the handling composed, even if the vRS doesnt offer the lightning steering reactions of a Clio Cup. Still, its cheaper than the Renault and Skoda is offering an estate version as well as a hatch. You might not love the new vRS, then, but its impossible to hate.