Skoda Fabia - 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.
Ultimately, though, the Fabia is focused towards comfort rather than performance and it delivers an easy, relaxing drive. The soft suspension results in more body roll while cornering than you might expect, but the Fabia remains a smooth operator to drive, especially at lower urban speeds. It's pretty quiet in the cabin most of the time, too, 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. 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. 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, 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 no longer available which is perhaps for the best as it was woefully slow, taking almost 16 seconds from 0-62mph. Opting for the 79bhp MPI powerplant only results in a minimal gain in performance, with just 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 10.7 seconds.
Opting for the 108bhp car brings another rise in torque to 200Nm and a sprint time of 9.9 seconds flat for the six-speed manual, and 9.8 seconds for the DSG automatic version, while the 148bhp 1.5-litre model benefits from 250Nm of torque and manages 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds.
In this review
- 1VerdictIf you’re after an affordable supermini that delivers plenty of space, comfort and on-board technology, then the Skoda Fabia won’t disappoint
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingAlthough it doesn’t offer blistering performance, the Fabia’s 1.0-litre TSI engine is capable enough
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsKeen pricing and strong fuel economy mean that the Skoda Fabia should prove reasonable to run
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Skoda Fabia has sharper exterior styling, a quality feel to the cabin and plenty of standard kit
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWith tremendous boot space and plenty of room for passengers, the Fabia supermini offers a level of practicality from a class above
- 6Reliability and safetySafety kit is good, plus reliability shouldn’t be an issue for the fourth-generation Fabia