does not have quite the verve of some rivals, but is very adequate for keenly priced car it is...
The Skoda Fabia is the stalwart of the Czech car maker’s range, a practical supermini that goes up against rivals like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Polo, and undercuts them on price. The Fabia won’t set any pulses racing, but it is a good quality, roomy for its size car and priced affordably. It is a very practical, user-friendly small family model, with five doors and seats for five.
The Fabia is a soundly engineered little car, based on a similar under-structure to the Volkswagen Polo. Although its external dimensions are modest, it packs in a decent amount of cabin space and a fair-sized boot. It has all the expected versatility of a hatchback supermini, with fold down rear seats that let you more than triple the boot capacity when the car is used as a load-carrying two-seater.
The latest Fabia, went on sale in November 2014 and is the third generation of a model that first appeared in 1999 and is manufactured at Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic. The Fabia has always been a strong seller for Skoda, and comes in a range of 18 versions. In addition there is a range of Fabia Estate cars that have even greater carrying capacity than the already commodious-for-its-size Fabia hatch.
The choice of engines available in the Fabia includes both petrol and diesel: 1.0, 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol units with power outputs from 59 to 108 bhp, and 1.4 diesels with 89 to 103 bhp. Transmissions offered are six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG auto. Trim levels are S, SE and Elegance. A higher-performance vRS version is expected to join the range later. The Fabia range is priced from £10,600 to £17,240.
The Fabia is a respectable performer which even in this latest model does not have quite the verve of some rivals, but is very adequate for keenly priced car it is. The lowest-powered Fabia is rather modestly powered, with a somewhat puny 59 bhp of power from its three-cylinder engine and quite leisurely acceleration, but the rest of the range is livelier.
The version tested here is one of the mid-range petrol cars, with a 108 bhp power output, a top speed of 122 mph and a sprint time of around 9.5 seconds to 62 mph, so it is no sluggard and delivers a decent amount of oomph for the money. The 110 g/km of CO2 puts it in band B for road tax at £20 a year.