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In-depth reviews

Skoda Fabia - Engines, performance and drive

Although it doesn’t offer blistering performance, the 1.0-litre TSI engine in the Skoda Fabia is capable enough

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.2 out of 5

Price
£19,700 to £25,600
  • Interior space
  • Decent on-board tech
  • Comfortable
  • No hybrid model
  • Road noise at higher speed
  • Not particularly fun to drive
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The previous generation Fabia was a decent car to drive, although it didn’t offer much entertainment once out of town and tackling the twisty stuff. The latest model utilises the VW Group’s MQB-A0 platform, which offers increased rigidity and less weight than the old PQ26 architecture, helping to improve handling and make the Fabia a little more fun.

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Ultimately, though, the Fabia focuses on comfort rather than performance and delivers an easy, relaxing drive. The soft suspension results in more body roll while cornering than expected, but the suspension in the Fabia maintains a smooth low-speed ride. It's quiet in the cabin most of the time, although we did notice some tyre roar when we were travelling at motorway speeds.

Buyers may be disappointed with Skoda’s decision not to offer a sporty vRS model, but the three-cylinder turbocharged engines that make up the core of the range will be strong enough for most buyers needs. The ubiquitous 1.5-litre TSI unit that’s used across various VW Group brands, is also available from Colour Edition trim and above.

We’re yet to try the revised 114bhp 1.0 TSI petrol engine, but we anticipate it’ll be similarly smooth as its 108bhp 1.0-litre TSI predecessor. We believe it should be a good match for the Fabia, providing sufficient extra power and torque over the 94bhp version so that you won’t have to work it quite so hard to make decent progress. Its extra gear ratio should help make it quieter on longer motorway trips by keeping the revs lower.

The five- and six-speed manual gearboxes are typically light, but remain reassuringly accurate and precise when shifting.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

You probably won’t be buying a Fabia for its sprinting ability. The basic 79bhp MPI powerplant takes 15.7 seconds to get from 0 to 62mph, which should be fine around town but it will struggle to reach motorway speeds swiftly.

The turbocharged TSI engines are worth the extra outlay if you can afford it. The 94bhp variant brings an increased torque figure of 175Nm (compared to 93Nm for the MPI), with acceleration from 0-62mph improving to a much more respectable 10.7 seconds.

Opting for the 114bhp car increases torque to 200Nm and reduces the sprint time to 9.3 seconds flat for the six-speed manual and 9.7 seconds for the DSG automatic version. Meanwhile, the 148bhp 1.5-litre model benefits from 250Nm of torque and manages 0-62mph in 8.0 seconds.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 MPI S 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £14,460

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 MPI S 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £14,460

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5 TSI 150 Colour Edition 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £23,410
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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