1.0 TSO Colour Edition
Life with a Skoda Fabia: a welcome dose of competence
Throughout the course of your life, there will almost certainly have been those friends to whom you turned to when life got a bit chaotic; the dependable and trustworthy aides who’d always have a kind word and a cup of tea ready to soothe your ailments.
Surprise: the Skoda Fabia is that friend. And throughout the course of our time with the Czech company’s humble little supermini, we’ve warmed to its alms. Took a bit of time to warm, mind.
Because at first, despite being a ‘Colour Edition’, it wasn’t exactly shooting out rainbows. Ours came with the chirpy little 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo matched to a six-speed manual gearbox. While at first it felt a little characterless, over time we got used to its buzzy note and intriguing power delivery (nothing, nothing, lots, then nothing).
Handled itself decently too, if not a sparkling setup like the Fiesta (RIP). Grip and body control remain good, and there’s some measure of interest to be pulled from a series of nice, sweeping corners taken together.
When you’re not deliberately trying to set it on fire, its parsimony was a proper boon. Here’s where its nature began to leak through: we had it during rising fuel prices, so to be able to squeeze nearly 500 miles out of a single tank felt like a victory. Having adjusted the lens through which we judged the Fabia, it just continually delivered. Holiday road trip? No problem – it offered a great deal of space and never once complained, barring the odd squeak that’s now become part of its DNA.
It helped me move out of my London flat, suddenly transforming itself into a Tardis by swallowing up a number of huge boxes and assorted stuff (mainly cushions with dog pictures on them). It helped me move into my house, taking onboard Bigger Boxes, suitcases, yet more dog-related cushions (must be breeding), repeated trips to the DIY shop and so on, and again, not once was a problem encountered.
Sensible isn’t sexy, true, but 55mpg-ish speaks for itself. And while it’s not the most striking of exteriors, there’s a certain sharpness about its flanks that exudes a quiet sort of confidence; it’s not ostentatious, nor is it a wallflower. Our car was a little drab inside, though – grey fabric with a dark grey dash isn’t the most inspiring of interiors, and there were definite whiffs of ‘rental car’ about it. Our advice? Try and choose something with a little more… Colour.
We’d recommend one of these things in a heartbeat. Whenever life got a bit chaotic, the dependable and trustworthy Fabia was always there with a buzzy engine note and dashboard squeak to soothe our ailments. Good car, this.