Skoda Fabia vRS TDI | Spotted -> Spotted Skoda Fabia vRS TDI

Home > Industry Analysis > Content

【Summary】Skoda's Fabia vRS, a diesel hot hatch from the early 2000s, is gaining cult classic status. With its real-world performance, low running costs, and easy tuning capabilities, the Fabia vRS established a reputation for itself. While the diesel version was later replaced by a petrol variant, the original diesel models are becoming rare and sought after. This particular Fabia vRS, with only 22,000 miles and some modifications, is up for sale for £8,995.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 17, 2023 5:15 AM PT
Skoda Fabia vRS TDI | Spotted -> Spotted Skoda Fabia vRS TDI

Cars like the Skoda Enyaq and Hyundai Ioniq 5 N have demonstrated that the future of the Skoda vRS and hot hatches, respectively, lies in battery-powered vehicles. While there may still be some combustion options available, such as hybrids, the shift towards electric vehicles is inevitable. However, for certain types of cars, especially hot hatches, the transition to EV raises concerns about the loss of sound and sensation. Nevertheless, this is not the first time that the hot hatch segment has explored alternatives to petrol-powered engines.

Back in the early 2000s, Skoda introduced the concept of a diesel hot hatch with the Octavia vRS. Encouraged by the positive response, Skoda followed up with the first Fabia vRS, which was exclusively available with a 1.9 TDI engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Initially, some people found it difficult to comprehend a five-door Skoda diesel as a pocket rocket, but the vRS quickly established a strong reputation for itself.

Although the Fabia vRS was not as agile or delicate as competitors like the Mini Cooper or Fiesta Zetec S, it offered impressive real-world performance at an affordable price, attractive looks, and low running costs. While diesel did not dominate the hot hatch market, it proved to be a somewhat viable alternative. Additionally, the venerable 1.9 PD engine could be easily tuned, further enhancing its appeal.

When the diesel engine was eventually replaced by a supercharged and turbocharged 1.4 petrol engine, similar to the ones used in the Polo GTI and Ibiza Cupra, some of the distinctive identity of the Fabia vRS was lost. As reliability issues plagued the petrol models, affection for the old diesel workhorses grew. With the likelihood of a new vRS Fabia slim, the original models are now considered cult classics.

While there are still some well-used Fabias out there due to their practicality, there are also cherished examples, particularly the blue Limited Edition cars from the end of the production run. Although this particular car is not a Limited Edition, it has incredibly low mileage (just 22,000) and features a Milltek exhaust, which demonstrates the owner's commitment. Some may argue that this modification is no stranger than artificial EV noises.

Despite being 17 years old, the Fabia has only had seven services, and it recently had a cambelt, water pump, and MOT. The car appears to be in excellent condition, with the red paint retaining its shine and the cloth upholstery free from any stains. Skoda deserves credit for producing vRS models that still look stylish even after 20 years.

The asking price for this Fabia vRS is £8,995, a significant portion of its original retail price. As these Fabias become increasingly rare due to their long lives of hard work and potential modifications, it is unlikely that many will be found in this condition. While the vRS models may have been inexpensive Skodas, they present a unique opportunity for fans. Furthermore, considering the prices of hot hatch curios from the 20th century, it's clear that the Fabia vRS offers good value for money. Even if it may not be everyone's cup of tea, there will certainly be someone interested in it.


  • Engine: 1,896cc, four-cylinder diesel
  • Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • Power (hp): 130@4,000rpm
  • Torque (lb ft): 229@1,900rpm
  • 0-62mph: 9.5 secs
  • Top speed: 128mph
  • MPG: 52.3
  • CO2: 140g/km
  • Year registered: 2006
  • Recorded mileage: 22,000
  • Price new: £12,380 (2005)
  • Yours for: £8,995
Prev                  Next
Writer's other posts
    Related Content