Fabia Colour Edition 1.0 TSI 110PS DSG
big cars and SUVs get ever
bigger; but small cars keep growing
too. Take Skodas
the Fabia. Despite its compact
footprint, this latest version comes
with more than enough space for
bodies and bags...
THIS LATEST FABIA is the fourth-gen version and it has a lot more sparkle
than its predecessors aside from new eye-catching Colour Edition body
colours, it makes good use of some styling links to the brand's cutting-edge
Enyaq models. Where this likeable five-door hatchback hasn't changed is that
it continues to offer an easy driving package that delivers spacious and cost-effective
motoring without needing a second mortgage to park one on your driveway. Prices
kick off from a realistic £17K.
This past week we've been zipping around Devon's convoluted country lanes in
the one-litre (999cc) turbocharged three-cylinder model. This unleaded-drinking
combustion engine comes either with a manual six-speed 'box or, as fitted to
our test car, a seven-ratio DSG autobox. It has a three-pot's usual eagerness
and punches out 109bhp backed up by a useful 148lb ft of torque
enough to get off the line and hit the benchmark 62mph in a sparky 9.9 seconds;
keep going and it won't stop until it reaches 126mph.
in an everyday manner it's an affable unit to live with; wind it up and it responds
gamely, singing its uniquely warbly three-cylinder song as it works. That said,
most of the time you'll barely hear it and, thanks to wind noise and road roar
both being banished from the cabin, it's agreeably hushed when cruising motorways.
youd be expecting,
fuel economy is a strong
point with 50.3mpg the
official combined figure.
A weeks hard driving,
mostly weaving through
rural Devons tortuous
and hilly back roads
saw us record a very
Its worth pointing out
that these roads demand
frequent runs up and
down the gearboxs
ratios, mostly in the 2-4
bracket where theres
always a satisfying slug
of grunt to be had.
Once we escaped the
narrow hedge-lined lanes
and found ourselves
back on the aptly named
52mpg quickly became
Even drivers who usually favour a manual shift will find the seven-speed DSG
autobox an effective pairing with the turboed three-pot; there's a manual mode
(simply flick it to the right and nudge the lever north and south to travel
up and down the ratios) and an instant switch in-and-out of the Sport setting
via a minimal tap-back on the selector lever.
As you'd be expecting, fuel economy is a strong point with 50.3mpg being the
official combined figure. A week's hard driving, mostly weaving through rural
Devon's tortuous and hilly back roads saw us record a very good 46.4mpg.
It's worth pointing out that these roads demand frequent runs up and down the
gearbox's ratios, mostly in the 2-4 bracket where there's always a satisfying
slug of grunt to be had. Once we escaped the narrow hedge-lined lanes and found
ourselves back on the aptly named Devon Expressway, 52mpg quickly became the
Climb aboard and you'll find shapely seats in the roomy interior. The effectively
bolstered two-tone items are upholstered in a tactile fabric that will help
keep you cool in summer and cosy in winter without seat warming. Shoulder and
lower back support is good too. And thanks to the plentiful width between the
Fabia's doors, there's room for elbows too; plus tall drivers need never worry
about banging their heads or six-footers complain about any lack of leg room.
The driver gets seat height adjustment and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering
wheel with a thicker rim that feels nice to grip; he or she will also enjoy
a first-rate driving position, one that, courtesy of slim screen pillars, guarantees
clear views when joining roundabouts and turning across traffic. You also get
an uncluttered view of what's happening behind as the rear screen is also pretty
generous a big help when parking, though you do get reversing
sensors at the rear and on-screen positional graphics. Parking-phobes can always
tick the options box to add front sensors and a proper reversing camera.
It's a smart-looking cabin too, with decorative trim well fitted, and straightforward
trad-style controls for the AirCon safer and so much easier to
adjust while you're driving than screen-stabbing with a fingertip. Detailing
includes knurled Audi-esque collars on the special Colour Edition air vents
to adjust the air flow. All the switchgear is quickly identified and easy to
use and the pull-up style handbrake will raise a cheer from traditionalists.
Skoda make it easy for drivers to decant their personal baggage around the cabin
with real-world, bottle-holding, door-length door bins, a good-sized glovebox,
a very handy large oddments cubby set in the lower offside fascia that's ideal
for everything from coins to a compact camera, siamesed triple cupholders and
various useful trays. And your shades haven't been overlooked: there's a drop-down
overhead case for them. And you need never worry about forgetting to bring an
umbrella either because the Fabia already has one, holstered in the driver's
door ready for that out-of-the-blue cloudburst.
centre of the clean-cut dash sits a mid-sized infotainment touchscreen and while
it doesn't come with built-in SatNav you do get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
so there's no problem mirroring your smartphone and using your own apps
something more and more drivers seem to prefer doing.
addition you also get a DAB radio with six speakers, Bluetooth, a socket for
an external MP3 player, Smartlink, Skoda's Connect software, and the brand's
assistance-summoning SOS e-Call+ feature. The pair of USB ports in the front
are the latest 'C' type and are good for both data transmission and charging;
and you do get a converter lead for using the older-style USBs. More are optional:
one fitted by the rearview mirror (serving windscreen-mounted devices); another
two in the back cabin. You can also request wireless phone-charging.
motorway speeds the
Fabia cruises fluently
and quietly, the three-pot
in its happy spot.
It helps that its chassis
is designed to keep all
especially when given
the major downside of
smaller cars is their ride,
which in many can turn
every molehill into
Thankfully this new
Fabia rides agreeably
well, but then it does
share its underpinnings
with its cousin,
the VW Polo, which
has one of the nicest
rides in the class...
Adding to the Comfort Edition's 'tech' appeal is the standard-fit Virtual Cockpit
set-up which replaces the analogue instrument panel with a superb 10.25-inch
colour display directly ahead of the driver. Choose (and change it in an instant
while driving) from five different layouts: from a minimalist digital speed
readout to a full overview of all driving data everything as crystal
clear on a glittering sunny day as it is on the blackest night.
Our Colour Edition Fabia looked the cat's whiskers finished in its striking
Race Blue metallic pearl effect paintwork, capped off as it was by a contrasting
glistening black roof, and rolling on some very nifty metallic black 17-inch
'Proxima' design alloy wheels (upgrading from the standard-fit 16-inchers costs
a very reasonable £485). You also get plenty of must-have features such as keyless
entry/locking and keyless engine Start/Stop, AirCon, the black glass-faced 8-inch
colour touchscreen for the infotainment system and 12-inch digital driver's
instrument panel mentioned earlier, electrically adjustable and heated door
mirrors, one-shot powered windows, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and privacy
When it comes to safety, the Fabia's five-stars-out-of-five Euro NCAP safety
rating makes it a winner (it was recently named Best in Class for safety). It
backs this up with Front Assist with automatic emergency braking, Lane assist
(that also provides road edge detection warnings), a comprehensive Electronic
Stability Control system, and the very useful automatic manoeuvre braking. There's
also a full suite of airbags (front, side, and head), LED headlights, LED daytime
running lights, front fog lights, auto lights and wipes, a driver alert system,
hill hold control, speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring, and a rear window
Kitted out with nicely plumped cushions and relaxing backrest angles, the Fabia's
rear cabin is comfortably accommodating in fact, it's one of the
most spacious in its class: with average-sized occupants up front, a pair of
tall adults sitting behind won't find any reasons to complain. Likewise, three
youngsters side-by-side can travel with room to wriggle.
touches include dedicated rear air vents (you don't often find these in superminis),
pouches on both front seatbacks with integrated mini-me pockets for smartphones,
and bottle-holding door bins along with ISOFIX and TopTether anchorage points
to the outer rear seats and, something else you don't always get,
the same on the front passenger seat.
motorway speeds the Fabia cruises fluently and quietly, the three-pot in its
happy spot. It helps that its chassis is designed to keep all aboard comfortable,
especially when given that the major downside of smaller cars is their ride,
which in many can turn every molehill into a mountain.
this new Fabia rides agreeably well, but then it does share its underpinnings
with its cousin, the VW Polo, which has one of the nicest rides in the class.
with a socially
length, the Fabia hatch
manages to provide
space for both people
and whatever it is they
need to take with them.
The 380-litre boot
(thats as big as some
from the class above)
will swallow six carry-on
cases under the
lightweight parcel shelf
load-cover, which lifts
high with the tailgate
But drop down the
60:40-split folding rear
seats and youll find
a lot more space
1,190 litres of it...
a car likely to spend much of its working life in cityscapes, the Fabia's ability
to deal harmoniously with poor quality urban blacktop is especially good news.
The Fabia hatch is softer and more forgiving than most small cars and makes
a better fist of smoothing over imperfect blacktop than many of the breed.
Nowadays, everybody is in on the Czech carmaker's secret which
is that beneath those Skoda-tailored clothes you'll find one of parent company
Volkswagen's platforms. Underpinning this next generation Fabia are the bits
and bobs you'll also find under the more expensive skin of the latest Audi A1
or VW Polo. Which is a very good start indeed.
The Fabia is a front-wheel driver which, combined with plenty of grip and lightly
weighted electromechanical power steering makes it an easy car to point and
place with precision. But despite the softish suspension the Fabia hatch feels
agile and will hold its line; enough that you can punt it confidently through
the twisties and press on along faster A-roads outside the city limits.
The brakes (vented discs at the front; solid discs at the rear) are reliably
smooth, so when you're back in town stop-starting in edgy traffic, it's still
an effortless drive.
Even with a socially acceptable 4.1-metre length, the Fabia manages to provide
decent space for both people and whatever it is they need to take with them.
The 380-litre boot (that's as big as some from the class above) will swallow
six carry-on cases under the lightweight parcel shelf load-cover, which lifts
high with the tailgate when opened.
But drop down the 60:40-split folding rear seats and you'll find a lot more
space 1,190 litres of it. Furthermore, there's a variable height
boot floor which means easy loading of heavier items and a minimal lip when
you're in loadbay mode. Alternatively, you can prioritise the lower setting
and gain a four-inch deeper boot for those times you have rear seat passengers
Boot accessories are practical and include a flexible and adjustable 'fence'
that corrals smaller items and keeps them from flying all over the place, along
with sturdy bag hooks. You might also be surprised at how much the Fabia supermini
can tow a braked 1,100kg. Yet another string to its bow.
Skoda's fourth-gen Fabia hatch is better than ever and drivers on the hunt for
a supermini that ticks all the boxes (for practicality, space, and low running
costs combined with usable real-world performance) will find the sensible but
sassy Fabia the go-to choice for all kinds of driving with or
without the family. Why settle for anything less! ~ MotorBar
Skoda Fabia Colour Edition 1.0 TSI 110 DSG
Maximum speed: 126mph | 0-62mph: 9.9 seconds | Test Average: 46.4mpg
Power: 109bhp | Torque: 148lb ft | CO2: 128g/km