Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSi


Having owned one in the past, I’ve always had a bit of a soft-spot for Skoda’s Fabia. Not only has the Fabia always offered surprising levels of comfort and economy, it’s also always offered a way to into Volkswagen Polo ownership; the reliability, the build quality, the know-how, without commanding the associated VW price tags. I had a 1.4 16 valve petrol Mk1 Fabia in Elegance spec - heated seats and all… With hindsight perhaps I should’ve hung on it longer than I did.

       The reasons for such reminiscence has been brought about because I’ve just spent a week in the company of the new Skoda Fabia. And although it’s very much a different car to the Fabia that was once my daily transport, its ethos appears to remain the same.

     As always the Fabia is sits on the same floor-pan as both SEAT’s Ibiza, and Volkswagen’s Polo; this time around it’s the MQB-A0 platform that has been utilised. As a result of such underpinnings the Fabia has grown to 4108mm in length, and in the process gained a new 380-litre boot – the best in-class no less. The new Fabia is also now more rigid – thus refinement, road holding and safety and are all improved. Weight, apparently remains roughly the same.

    As for the bits you can see, new, unfussy some might say, yet nonetheless stylish and instantly recognisable as a Fabia bodywork, lowers the drag coefficient down to a very slippery 0.28 Cd. (The lower that number the better). Skoda’s trademark vertical slatted grilled sits proudly upfront, as do LED headlamps, while chrome lettering across the rear hatch completes the new look.

    Inside, it’s Skoda business as usual. You could argue there’s little sparkle and everything is perhaps a bit grey; elsewhere in the VW portfolio you’d certainly get more colour, a bit more glitter maybe. However, what the Fabia’s cabin really delivers on is clarity. What you actually need is all within easy reach and it all works with well-oiled precision, the digital dashboard (once fathomed) is wonderfully clear and displays all the information you’ll ever need, and in nearly every configuration you’ll ever think of (hence the once fathomed comment). And praise the Lord! Skoda have fitted proper knobs and dials to control the heating and ventilation. Thankfully, the frankly awful touch-sensitive slider controls and haptic switches that have blighted so many a modern Volkswagen cabin of late didn’t make the edit. Hoorah, hoorah, and hoorah again. And where else this side of a Rolls Royce would you find an umbrella in the driver’s arm-rest? There’s also an ice scraper hidden behind the fuel filler-flap.

    Engine-wise, pick of the bunch is probably the 108bhp (110PS) 3-cylinder turbo, which can be paired with a six-speed manual, or in the case of our press-demonstrator a seven speed DSG box. It’s smooth around town, quiet once out in the open, and returns the best-part of 50mpg with ease. With 148lbft of torque, it feels pretty punchy as well.

    Well, punchy enough for what is essentially a somewhat relaxing feeling car – Fabias aren’t famed for sharp handling or dazzling dynamism. Nevertheless, overall comfort can’t be faulted. Although if I’m being really picky, road noise is perhaps a little high.

     But as always where the Fabia really trumps its rivals is in what it offers for its price. You’ll pay significantly more for a Polo or an Ibiza than you will a Fabia, and the Fabia still gets all the essential kit. Our Colour Edition spec example came with ABS, MSR, ASR, EDS, HBA, XDS and host of other safety systems with equally confusing abbreviations. There was Front Assist, Bluetooth, Keyless entry, Start-Stop, Tyre pressure monitoring, Lane Assist, e-Call… The list goes on. The list price incidentally, £22,510 (as tested).

      Granted, you may still buy a Fabia with your head rather than your heart, but given the opportunity I’d have happily held on to this particular Fabia for a lot longer too.




Skoda Fabia Hatch Colour Edition 1.0 TSi 110 PS

Engine: 999cc 3-Cyl Petrol turbo

Transmission: 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. Front wheel drive

Power: 108 bhp @ 5,000 - 5,500pm

Torque:  148 lbft @ 1,600 – 3,500 rpm

0-62mph: 9.9 sec

Max Speed: 127 mph

MPG: 50.4 – 47.9(WLTP combined).

CO2: 128-136g/km

Price: from £20.400 (as tested £22,510).


Many thanks to Clare at Skoda’s UK press office for the loan of the Fabia




Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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