Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI - long-term review - Report No:2 2023 | Top Gear
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Thursday 5th October
Long-term review

Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI - long-term review

£19,400 / £21,925 / £273pcm
Published: 02 Aug 2022


  • SPEC

    1.0 TSO Colour Edition



  • BHP


The 2022 Skoda Fabia: in praise of real buttons

Alluded to last time around, extrapolated here because it’s worthy of mention: Top Gear’s long-term Skoda Fabia deploys real-life, physical rotary controls configured for human use at the bottom of the centre console, and this is good.

It appears that in the great Volkswagen Group battle to Rid Cars Of All Buttons, resistance has come from the unexpected corner of a humble supermini. Yes, there’s a lovely 8in colour display perched atop the dashboard, but underneath that sit…actually some vents. But underneath that sit three dials.

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Proving that not all heroes wear capes, these small plastic additions control the temperature, fan speed and direction. Rather than burying these in a menu or sub-menu in that admittedly quick-responding touchscreen, it’s possible to adjust the temperature without taking your eyes off the road.

There are more buttons on the steering wheel, too, a pair of scroll/clickwheels on either side of the steering wheel that fall to thumb easily enough and with their faux-metallic sheen, are a nice touch.

Elsewhere on this Colour Edition, it’s fairly straightforward. A retro-ish two-spoke leather steering wheel, some USB-C connections, grey fabric seats, parking sensors and other assorted assistance systems. There’s a bit of chrome here, a bit of leather trim there, but on the whole, it’s very sensible and professional, though dour, and it rings the ‘airport rental’ bell a little.

Which means it’s probably one of the fastest cars in the world, right? We’ve noted previously how the 1.0-litre triple isn’t the most engaging powerplant, but there is pace to be found when you really wring it out, accompanied by a cheery little buzz from the engine bay. You won’t be hitting those heady heights many times over – it’s sensible, remember – but it’s there should you need it.

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This vein of sensibility has thrown up one annoying thing thus far. The lane assist. It quite aggressively forces you into the middle of the lane, irrespective of the fact you have eyes and are concentrating on the swaying lorry to your left. To turn it off, you can dive into a sub-menu, which is fine, but then every time you turn the ignition off and on, there it is, pulling at your nerves.

Luckily, there's a big fat button for that one.

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