Nifty, thrifty and a pleasure to drive, I took up the opportunity for a week behind the wheel of the new Skoda Fabia, driving a 1.0 TSI model, and found it to be a truly strong contender in the highly competitive small hatchback sector.

Style file

The Czech Republic manufacturer’s five-door car has crisp, clean lines and a dynamic profile that gives it a lot of kerb appeal. Our road test car was part of the Colour Edition which focuses on style that can be personalised and the latest tech for gadget-focused buyers.

As part of the Colour Edition, metallic ‘graphite grey’ and pearl-effect ‘magic black’ can also be chosen as contrasting paintwork for the roof, wing mirror caps and alloy wheels. Our car sported the latter. There is a choice of nine body colours.

Sophisticated details, such as aerodynamically optimised wheels and actively adjustable cooling shutters in the front bumper’s lower air inlet, allow for a drag coefficient (cd) of 0.28, which whilst being a new record in the small car segment, importantly helps with fuel efficiency.

Inside, the new Fabia blends style and comfort, with a free-standing infotainment display (a 10.25-inch version in our model). Large circular air vents and the new Fabia lettering on the sides of the ‘virtual cockpit’ housing add further visual appeal.

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Equipment includes front fog lights, air conditioning, privacy glass, rear parking sensors, six-speaker audio system, leather trim for the multi-function steering wheel, height-adjustable driver’s seat, two USB sockets in the front of the cabin, sophisticated anti-theft alarm system, engine start/stop system, Bluetooth connection, and – displaying Skoda’s attention to detail - an umbrella in a door pocket and a window ice-scraper housed in the fuel filler cover.

Our car also had two optional packages – which added features including a variable boot floor, steel emergency spare wheel, wireless phone charging and a further USB port by the rear-view mirror for charging only.

A wealth of hi-tech safety kit includes ‘front assist’ with predictive pedestrian and cyclist protection, speed-limiter and tyre pressure monitoring and ‘e-call+’, a system that establishes an audio and data connection to a dedicated emergency call centre if sensors within the car detect a major accident.

Tech time

Buyers can choose between five petrol engine options that deliver outputs between 65PS (64bhp) and 110PS (108.5bhp), with a 150PS (148bhp) engine to follow.

All units come from the Volkswagen Group’s advanced EVO generation of engines that deliver improved efficiency and fulfil the Euro 6d emissions standard. 65PS, 80PS and 95PS engines are fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard.

Our car had the range-topping 110PS engine fitted with a seven-speed DSG as standard. There is also a six-speed manual gearbox, both being standard fitments.

On the road

The car has supermini verve, feeling nimble, manoeuvrable and comfortable. The seven-speed DSG transmission lays down the single-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-charged engine’s power smoothly, with well-chosen gear ratios. And the car feels at home in all conditions, from tootling around town to taking on twisting country roads and the motorway haul.

Performance figures are 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 127mph. Combined fuel consumption is 50.4mpg-47.9mpg, with a CO2 figure of 128-136g/km (manufacturer’s figures).

The new Fabia offers more passenger space than its predecessor and the largest boot capacity in the segment with 380 litres. With the rear seats folded down, the capacity rises to 1,190 litres.


With strong build quality, top tech, and ticking the boxes marked ‘comfort’ and ‘practicality’, the new Fabia delivers driving pleasure in style.

Price: £22,510 (inc options)