Mutton. Lamb Skoda Fabia SE 1.0 TSI 95PS £14,845 WE SAY: OLD UNDERNEATH BUT DRESSED IN LOVELY NEW CLOTHES
Doesn’t look new
That’s because it isn’t. In the last couple of years, its three siblings – first the Seat Ibiza, then the Volkswagen Polo and just recently the Audi A1 – have been given all-new platforms (the same one, obviously, called MQB A0) and complete redesigns. But not the Skoda Fabia. This is just a facelift, which means the Czech supermini rides on an older, less-sophisticated ted VW Group platform, and is therefore effectively vely a generation back when it comes to engines, es, technology and so on.
So what is different?
New front and rear fascias (both featuring LED lighting for the first time), better standard rd equipment across all grades, additional active ctive safety technology and an engine line-up that hat does entirely without diesels.
No diesels? Bold
Not really. Nobody wants a supermini with a diesel engine. The old TDI only accounted for five per cent of Fabia sales, so Skoda’s killed ed it dead. We will not mourn its passing. Instead d you can have any one of four 1.0-litre, three-cylinder jobs. Two with turbos, and two without. All are slow and frugal, but the turbo cars are faster, more economical and only marginally more expensive. So get one of those.
What’s it like?
We’re driving the lesser of the two turbo engines, Britain’s biggest seller, which has 94bhp and hits 62mph in a shade under 11 seconds. This is at least as smooth and refined an engine as Ford and PSA’s triples, but it’s not as involving as either. Same goes for the chassis. Fine, but you won’t have as much fun driving a Fabia as you might a Fiesta.
Fair. Where the Fabia excels is in the details. The interior might look a bit dated, but it’s full of those clever little features Skoda does so well. Like the umbrella under the passenger seat, the ice scraper and tread-depth gauge in the fuel-filler cap, waste bin in the passenger’s passenger s door pocket and nets on the sides of the front seats. Few manufacturers live up to their taglines. Skoda does – ‘Simply Clever’, innit.