TEST DRIVE: Skoda Fabia RS - hot stuff
I was genuinely intrigued to get behind the wheel of the Skoda Fabia RS hot hatchback.
The segment is jammed full of models internationally, however, given the UAE’s love of all things big, we don’t see that many arrive on our shores.
And I had heard very good things about the RS edition of the Fabia, not least of which was the price – from Dhs82,500.
So, when I picked it up from Ali & Sons in Dubai, I quickly set about giving it a thorough test drive – round town, Abu Dhabi and back and even the daily commute from Arabian Ranches to 7DAYS’ offices in Al Garhoud.
Now, some of you many be expecting this to be the big build up ahead of the fall.
However, nothing could be farther from the truth as I was extremely impressed with the RS.
There were a few niggles, for example I found the red-and-black interior a little bland and the ride to Abu Dhabi and back in sports seats was a rough on the posterior.
However, this is not a grand tourer and, therefore, should not be compared as such in terms of luxury and comfort.
Instead, the Fabia RS is a hot hatch through and through. It looks good, has buckets of zip and is light and agile.
It is powered by a 178bhp turbo and supercharged 1.4 TSI engine, which, combined with the seven-speed automatic dual-clutch DSG gearbox, offers up serious acceleration.
Sadly, my test drive was not equipped with paddle shifts so I couldn’t put the engine truly to the test, however I was assured they would be available to buyers.
The sportiness continues on the exterior, which features a stylised radiator grille, black-set headlights and 17ins alloy wheels with red brake calipers. Meanwhile, poking out the back are twin exhausts.
Interestingly for a hot hatch, you also get five doors, which makes it much more practical than some of its competitors. Indeed, you might just be able to convince yourself that you are buying a family car. Just, mind you.
Other bells and whistles include parking sensors and bluetooth.
For an extra Dhs3,000, you can get the Dynamic package, which includes LED daytime driving lights, multi-function three-spoke sports steering wheel with the paddle shifts and an AMUNDSEN touch-screen with CD player and SD card reader.
Overall the Skoda Fabia RS is well-put together, well-priced hatchback that, with it’s five doors, offers an interesting alternative to those looking for a saloon but not wanting to compromise on performance.
MODEL: Skoda Fabia RS
ENGINE: 1.4 TSI
PRICE: From Dhs82,500