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