Road Test: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE 5dr Reviews 2023 | Top Gear
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First Drive

Road Test: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE 5dr

£13,390 when new
Published: 01 Dec 2014


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A mere nine per cent of the old Skoda Fabia has been carried over for this new version, which goes some way to show just how new the Czech supermini really is.

It uses the VW Group's flexible MQB architecture, but only for the engines, infotainment system, sensors and electrics. We're told it's 41 per cent MQB, so more semi-skimmed VW, as opposed to full-fat.

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That said, the Fabia's body structure is new, it's shed 65kg over its predecessor, and is longer and wider too (by 5mm and 30mm respectively). There is a new generation of engines and a sizeable boot. Good things. It looks sharp, too, with notes of the cool Vision C concept about its design.

The likely best-selling engines in Blighty will be the 1.0-litre triple taken from the Skoda Citigo, and the 1.2-litre TSI with a sprightlier 88bhp. That diddy 1.0-litre felt like it had too big a job on its hands: around town it's fine, refined and quiet, but boy does it take a while to get anywhere.

Better, then, to plump for the 1.2, which feels more eager and enjoys a bit of gentle abuse. Zero to 62mph takes 10.9secs, so it's pokey rather than prodigious. There's a higher-powered version of this engine too, which could be a better shout for the more active baby boomers and Generation X-ers among you. It'll be the fastest one, seeing as Skoda admitted to TG there will be no vRS edition of this new Fabia. Boo.

Which makes sense, considering it all feels very comfortable and safe. Skoda's engineers have reworked the power steering and added lightness, so it's gentle enough to whip around easily enough. The ride too, engenders a nice, easy pace, though it can get a touch fidgety at times. It felt stable, solid, the body control isn't too shabby and overall it's a pleasant thing.

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It's also good inside, too. There's a decent level of kit in the base model, while moving to the mid-spec SE trim brings in the cool MirrorLink, which syncs to your Android operating system and allows you to navigate your phone through the Fabia's central touchscreen. It works a treat. Apple users need not fret: an iOS compatible version will arrive next year.

With prices starting at £10,600, it's a good-looking, solid little supermini. The Fiesta shades it for outright sparkle, but the Fabia's interior quality and overall comfort are highly commendable.


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