Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Classic

An entry-level supermini is ideal for buzzing around town, and Skoda's cheapest Fabia is better than most. But stray out of the city and it can feel underpowered. That's where this car comes in. For an extra £700 over the £6,995 base model's price, you get a new injection system, which gives the three-cylinder 1.2-litre engine an additional 10bhp.

Skoda has scored a winner by coming up with a more powerful 1.2-litre engine for the Fabia, but the supermini needs to be driven gently in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Nevertheless, the 64bhp powerplant is worth paying the extra money for because it delivers much more driver enjoyment and increased flexibility.

An entry-level supermini is ideal for buzzing around town, and Skoda's cheapest Fabia is better than most. But stray out of the city and it can feel underpowered. That's where this car comes in. For an extra £700 over the £6,995 base model's price, you get a new injection system, which gives the three-cylinder 1.2-litre engine an additional 10bhp.

It might not sound that impressive, but it does make a real difference. No longer do you have to hit the red line to keep pace with traffic, and the new unit comes into its own on the motorway. Whereas owners of the 54bhp entry-level version will be changing down between fifth and fourth gear to overtake, the extra torque means the newcomer is much more responsive and refined in the highest ratio. That said, the increased performance does result in some disadvantages.

While Skoda claims 47.1mpg economy, we struggled to return more than 35mpg on an 80-mile motorway trip.

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