Skoda Fabia Sport

9 Jan, 2008 3:22am Ross Pinnock

Sport sells – and bosses at Skoda are hoping to cash in on that fact with their latest Fabia.

Verdict

4
The new Sport variant is more attractive than lesser models in the Fabia range, yet the cosmetic improvements come at a price. It’s also a shame Skoda hasn’t given its engineers the chance to improve the performance or tweak the suspension to sharpen the driving experience. Although the Fabia Sport is a talented all-rounder in 1.9-litre diesel guise, enthusiasts are better off waiting for the hot vRS version, which is expected to arrive later this year.

The all-new Sport trim is available across the line-up, and comes with a host of purposeful additions. Spoilers front and rear, smart 16-inch alloys and a chrome exhaust pipe all bring a touch of glamour to the sensible supermini. Buyers also get a diffuser-style rear bumper, as well as front foglamps and tinted windows.

Inside, supportive sports seats hold you firmly in position, and there is a handsome three-spoke leather steering wheel. The Sport is based on the Fabia 2 model, and the final piece of extra kit is a pair of curtain airbags.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Skoda Fabia

Skoda has left the four-strong line-up of engines unchanged – as well as the suspension and steering settings – and from behind the wheel, our 1.9-litre diesel variant felt exactly the same as the standard Fabia. The bigger wheels make a slight difference to ride comfort, but the Sport is no more dynamic or entertaining to drive than lesser cars in the range.

In a way, that’s no bad thing. The punchy oil-burner delivers a decent blend of power and economy, while high-speed refinement and comfort on long distances are impressive for a car in this class. However, buyers looking for an alternative to fun rivals such as the Ford Fiesta Zetec S and Vauxhall Corsa SXi might be disappointed by the cosseting driving experience.

In this model’s defence, the extra equipment is worth £1,825 if you buy it all individually, yet Sport trim only adds £940 to the price of a Fabia 2. And you also get to enjoy the same roomy cabin, practical 300-litre boot and classy finish as found in the rest of the range. As well as the 1.9 TDI in our car, buyers can choose a 1.4-litre diesel or 1.2 and 1.6 petrol engines.

If you want purposeful looks from your Fabia, the new Sport represents dec­ent value – just don’t expect it to serve up the kind of thrills you’d get from its warm hatch competitors.

Rival: Vauxhall Corsa SXi
The practical Corsa is a close match for the Fabia, but in five-door form the 88bhp 1.3 CDTI model starts at £12,815 – and that makes the more powerful Skoda look an even better bet.

Key specs

* Price: £12,795
* Engine: 1.9-litre 4cyl
* Power: 105bhp
* Torque: 240Nm
* 0-62mph: 10.8 seconds
* Top speed: 118mph
* Economy: 57.6mpg
* CO2: 129g/km
* Standard equipment: Body styling kit, 16-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, curtain airbags, front foglights, three-spoke leather steering wheel, remote central locking, air-conditioning
* On sale: Now

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