This Polo is absolutely fabulous
Skoda’s cousin is a rival for VW’s hot hatch
A FIERY Czech, with links to Volkswagen’s top-rated Polo GTI, is joining Skoda’s smallcar invasion.
The Fabia RS shares the Polo’s underpinnings and the maker aims to broaden its appeal with hatch and wagon versions. A fresh face in Australia, the 132kW RS is due in February. Like the Polo GTI, it will be available only with the slick dual-clutch transmission. In September, however, Skoda is bringing in cheaper, 77kW versions of the Fabia: the base hatch for about $18,000 and a special edition RS-lookalike Monte Carlo for about $22,000.
VALUE Skoda Australia claims its models will be up to 10 per cent cheaper than the Volkswagen counterparts. Given the Polo GTI’s $28,990 base price, the Fabia RS five-door hatch could hit Australian showrooms for $26,000, and less than $28,000 for the roomier wagon.
That’s good buying for a four-seater that goes like stink and looks the part. It may be a GTI under the skin, which those in the know will appreciate, but long-term the question remains whether the near-identical Polo will retain higher value. Regardless, the Fabia has all the features and is a great drive for the price.
DESIGN Skoda claims an edge in delivering the RS in two body styles. The wagon, with its extra cargo space, will mix it in the wild world of family duties quite well. The wagon also looks less blunt in styling. The wheelbase is the same as the hatch but extra length at the rear deftly smooths out the shape of the tail.
Inside, cabin treatment is very good, although the hard plastic dash top dazzles in