This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Skoda Fabia vRS (10-14) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The vRS is most appealing in town - no-one expects to be beaten off the lights by a Fabia. The 130bhp 1.9 TDi unit gets to 60mph in 9.3 seconds. Not a particularly impressive figure on paper, but the fun of the vRS is that the power comes in the middle of the rev range, making it ideal for overtaking. There is a bit of turbo lag, but it's still more than enjoyable to drive.

On A and B roads the vRS covers ground quickly, but fails to really excite, as the traction control, which prevents you from eating your front tyres, constantly reigns the car in, preventing full power from getting to the tarmac in the bends. Motorway slogs are easier, thanks to plenty of mid-range pull, although its discreet looks don't have lane clearing potential.

For a sports chassis, the ride is surprisingly comfortable, but potholes do upset its composure. Discs all round and a relatively light body mean stopping is not a problem.