Skoda Fabia Sport

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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

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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.

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