In-depth reviews

Skoda Fabia review - Engines, performance and drive

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

The previous, third-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.

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. The ubiquitous 1.5-litre TSI unit, in use across various VW Group brands, is also available in combination with the top-spec Monte Carlo trim.

The 108bhp 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine is surprisingly smooth and is a good match for the Fabia. It’s quiet, too, with the extra power and torque over the 94bhp version meaning you don’t have to work it quite so hard to make decent progress.

Ultimately, though, the Fabia is focused towards comfort rather than performance and it delivers an easy, relaxing drive. The five- and six-speed manual gearboxes are typically light, but remain reassuringly accurate and precise when shifting.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

You probably won’t be buying a Fabia for its sprinting ability, although you will have to decide between the lower-powered, non-turbo MPI engines and the punchier TSI turbo units. The basic 64bhp version is woefully slow, taking almost 16 seconds from 0-62mph, but since it’s only available with the entry S trim-level it might stack up as a cheaper option for those taking on mostly urban commutes.

Upgrading to the 79bhp MPI powerplant costs around £2,000 extra, but the performance gains are minimal with only half a second shaved from the 0-62mph time.

If you can afford it, the turbocharged TSI engines are probably worth the extra outlay. 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 10.6 seconds.

Opting for the 108bhp car brings another torque rise to 200Nm and a sprint time of 10.0 seconds flat for the six-speed manual, and 9.9 seconds for the DSG automatic version, while the 148bhp 1.5-litre model benefits from 250Nm of torque and manages 0-62mph in 8.0 seconds.

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