1.0 TSO Colour Edition
Skoda Fabia 1.0: nearly 500 miles out of one tank?
Top Gear’s long-term Skoda Fabia is a humble three-cylinder supermini with five doors, a manual gearbox, some red paint and a rather annoying lane assistance system that you must turn off Every. Single. Time.
But not all heroes wear capes, and in times of crisis they rise from the most unexpected places. Places like the bowels of a 1.0-litre, 108bhp engine. Yes, these days sneezes hold more power than the VW Group triple nestled up front, but sneezes don’t regularly return upwards of 50mpg, and also we’ve stretched this analogy way beyond comprehension.
So. While we’re still struggling to find a personality underneath the Fabia’s sensible flanks, its frugal nature has been a welcome boon during the recent spike in fuel prices. At the time of writing, the little Fabia’s clocked just over 400 miles since I last filled it up to full, and there’s an eighth of a tank left.
Admittedly, at least 200 of those miles were conducted on motorway slogs, but that doesn’t automatically grant it an easy pass. Because the engine has such a narrow power band, any time you have to interrupt your consistent progress – say if some berk decides to cut you up, or another berk sits in the middle lane at 15mph, or another berk… maybe we just accept there are plenty of berks on the road – means you have to row down the gears, floor it, wait a bit, and then continue.
This, as you can imagine, burns through petrol. And yet despite all this flustered rowing and accelerating and swearing at berks on the road, we’re seeing 50mpg easily. Without even trying. The Fabia’s got a 42-litre tank, and so if we’re averaging 50mpg, my potentially entirely incorrect maths puts that at a theoretical range of 450 miles from one filling.
So, there are an estimated 90 miles of range remaining from my current tankful, and the target is to go over and above to 500. Game on…