Czech yourself before you wreck yourself
If you've never heard of Skoda, they are a car company based in the Czech Republic, owned by Volkswagen. This means that you will get a more affordable car than a similar Volkswagen with real Czech charm, more value, and some clever features like rubbish bins in the doors with liners, a basket holder in the boot and some nifty cupholders.
Its colour range has been designed to reflect the Eastern European landscape, with Magic Black Pearl, Race Blue, Rallye Green, Quartz Grey, Corrinda Red and Candy White. Whatever shade tickles your fancy, the Fabia's crisp lines and expert styling make it look far more expensive than it is.
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As the Fabia bursts into life, you can really feel the sophistication of its European engineering. As soon as you set off, it feels smooth and refined like treacle, offering immediate response and a surprising amount of power. The gearbox and engine are a match made in heaven, even firing up hills with plucky determination. Pull the lever into 'S' mode and you have yourself a fiery little overtaking monster.
The Fabia features lots of delightful touches throughout though, such as under-seat storage compartments, a lined rubbish bin in the driver’s door pocket, a cargo blind, and an array of nets and load-securing fixtures. Best of all, you are greeted by a full-size spare tyre under the boot floor. It all fits with Skoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ philosophy to a tee.
The interior layout is similar to other cars from the Volkswagen family, such as the Golf or Polo, only with way more character. The precision instrument binnacle and gorgeous steering wheel are seen in other models, but some brand-unique touches such as the cruise control layout and green backlighting really set the car apart as a unique little guy. Must-have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are superbly integrated into its beautiful touch-screen.
A 5 star ANCAP crash rating is standard too, with autonomous emergency braking keeping an eye on the road, even when yours wander.
By now you’ve probably figured we like the Fabia a lot. The infotainment, driving experience, refinement, cute yet classy styling, and powertrain might be best in the class, if not very close.
It’s very hard to fault the Fabia. It’s loaded with character and value. Whether you go for the hatchback or wagon, you’re getting a great package. The wagon is particularly unique and we wish other carmakers got on board the micro-wagon express. Because let’s face it, wagons are awesome and SUVs have had more than their fair share of time in the sun lately.
5 specs you need to know:
- Engine: 1.2-litre turbo four-cylinder
- Transmission and drive: Seven-speed dual clutch auto, front-wheel drive
- ANCAP safety rating: Five stars
- Official fuel economy: 4.8L/100km (7.1L/100km tested)
- Tested time from 0-100km/h: 10.23 seconds
- Comfortable, classy, quiet and spacious interior
- Infotainment system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto
- Zingy, refined engine and gearbox combination
- Practical; clever storage options, easy to park
- Full-size spare wheel
- Only wagon in the class
- Slightly awkward load area
- Premium fuel only
- Considerable premium for automatic