In 2014 Skoda introduced the new Fabia and it was a much more interesting package than before. This car is against the likes of the Ford Fiesta and the Mazda2. It’s trailing on the coat tails of both of these cars in terms of fun and doesn’t have far to go to meet the same levels. The Fabia is a small car but Skoda does an excellent job in making it feel bigger and some people may wonder why it isn’t sitting in the same category as the Golf.
Our test model was the 1.2 TSI engine that offers 90 bhp. The car does not feel slow or sluggish and the TSI engine is well suited for the weight of the vehicle. This engine has a maximum speed of 182 km/h and will bring you from 0-100 km/h in 10.9 seconds. The same engine is also available with 110 bhp and it will give you 0-100 km/h in 9.4 seconds. The other petrol engine is a 1.0 litre MPI that offers a choice of 60 bhp or 75 bhp. On the diesel side they offer a 1.4 litre TDI engine offering 90 bhp or 105 bhp. The 105 bhp TDI engine offers a maximum torque of 250Nm at between 1,750 and 2,500rpm and we are told that it will bring the vehicle from 0-100 km/h in 10.1 seconds.
The Fabia doesn’t deal brilliantly with bumps in the road and is firm. On the motorway the Fabia offers a smooth drive. The steering is well weighted & responsive and it takes turns and corners with ease.
The TSI petrol engine is very quiet under all conditions. We believe that the diesel options are louder, especially when building to motorway speeds. Like other superminis in its class the Fabia tends to suffer from wind and road noise.
There are four trims available with the Fabia - ACTIVE, AMBITION, STYLE and MONTE CARLO. We drove the STYLE version and it was presented excellently. There are plenty of plastics inside but they are not at all cheap in appearance. Like most other Skodas, the infotainment set-up is clever and easy to use. However, the touch screen is very small. Most vehicles offer USB and Bluetooth connectivity as standard.
The Fabia scored five stars in the Euro NCAP. It scored 81% for both adult and child occupancy and 69% for pedestrian safety. The car is equipped with six airbags as standard. The vehicle is available with a system called “Front Assist”. This warns the driver of the threat of a collision if it senses one and if a crash in unavoidable it applies the brakes to minimize the consequences. The Fabia also comes with fatigue detection.
As previously mentioned, it will surprise some people that the Fabia is not in the same class as bigger cars like the Golf. This is a very roomy supermini and it overshadows what’s on offer in the Mazda2 and the Fiesta. Even the boot space offers 40 litres more than the Fiesta. Leg and head room should not be an issue for the majority of passengers. According to Skoda the diesel engines can achieve a combined fuel economy of as little as 3.4 litres per 100 km. In the 1.2 TSI we achieved 6.8 litres per 100 km without focusing on fuel economy for our test.