Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The much anticipated Skoda Fabia finally hit our shores in September 2011. The funky looking Supermini definitely fits in well with its Superb and Octavia siblings, its bold grille, slim headlights and strong vertical crease lines that form across the bonnet and into the nose make it at home in the Skoda stables. It wasn't until June 2012 Skoda released it's even hotter version of it's hatch, the Fabia marked with the pulse raising, high-performance 'RS' badge. The somewhat trade mark wraparound windscreen blends seamlessly into the gloss black A-pillars. Depending on taste and model grade, customers can choose between a white, silver, black or body colour matched roof. The Skoda Fabia offers customers a good level of customisation for their vehicle, similar to that of a Mini but without the price tag. On the entry 77TSI model you get a set of 15-inch ‘Satellite’ steel wheels as standard while the mid spec Monte Carlo gets a set of 16-inch ‘Comet’ black alloy wheels. The black design theme of Monte Carlo also includes a front grille and frame, black-tinted main headlamps, black external rear-view mirrors, black roof with spoiler, black plastic guards with a glossy finish lining the lower part of the vehicle and tinted windows complete the look. The RS steps it up a notch with sports seats, high-line instrument panel, Tempo design interior, 17" Gigaro alloy wheels, chrome dual exhaust, LED daytime running lights and a rear spoiler.
Not so good The entry 77TSI model looks a little bland and dated without the cool black detailing that features on the Monte Carlo.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The Monte Carlo comes with a three-spoke steering wheel in black perforated leather with red stitching while the gear knob and sleeve of the manual transmission and handbrake handle also come in black leather with red stitching. Stainless steel foot pedals add a little extra touch of sportiness. Meanwhile, the sports front seats come in grey or red in combination with a black headrest and backrest sides. The roof, columns, floor lining and door trim are always in black for both variants. The RS features a Tempo design that has a sense of urgency, the thick three-spoke steering wheel feels great underhand and also wears the RS badge while the sports buckets really hug the body for maximum comfort while corning hard.
Not so good The 77TSI interior styling is quite conservative; there are a lot of dark tones throughout the cabin that make the interior quite boring and dated. The quality of fit and finish is also questionable; there are rather large gaps between the centre console and dash that look unsightly.
Performance

Performance

Good The Fabia entry and mid spec model is powered by a 1.2-litre TSI, supercharged, eight-valve four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 77kW of power and 175Nm of torque. Power is transferred to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual or an optional 7-speed DSG transmission. 77kW and 175Nm might not sound like much, but once the supercharger gets going, it is more than adequate to get the Fabia around. There is also plenty of torque on offer even when you find yourself in the wrong gear. The 5-speed manual is a slick shifter and the clutch is light enough for the daily commute. Sitting under the bonnet of the Fabia RS is a 1.4-litre TSI Twincharged petrol engine that manages 132kW of power and 250Nm of torque when matched to a 7-speed DSG as standard. The Fabia RS feels lightning quick off the line and the 7-speed DSG dispels gears like they are going out of fashion - it's seriously quick.
Not so good When you start to really push the car and the supercharger kicks in, the Skoda Fabia can get a little thirsty for a Supermini. For the driving enthusiast that prefer a manual box the RS only comes with a 7-speed DSG.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The Fabia has excellent body control and feels quite solid through corners. The suspension has been tuned to deliver a smooth ride without compromising handling ability. As a result, the Fabia tackles ruff and pot holed surfaces with minimal fuss. In combination to the sweet suspension setup, all Fabia models are equipped with electrohydraulic power steering as standard, this set up offers up a solid steering response and good driver feedback.
Not so good While the Skoda Fabia is a solid performer it doesn’t seem to quite trump its not-to-distant cousin – the Volkswagen Polo.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good The Skoda Fabia is a nice alternative to most vehicles in its segment; it has a good level of customisation for customers who want something other than the norm. There is also the benefit of knowing that the Fabia shares many of the same component’s that are used in Volkswagen’s cars. For thrill seekers the RS is definitely worth a look.
Not so good Because Skoda shares some of the same components as Volkswagen, it also means it shares simular servicing costs.