The previous generation Fabia sold well over 1.5 million worldwide, collected countless awards and achieved cult status with the vRS. How does the new Sport 1.9 TDI fare?
The Fabia vRS did wonders for Skoda’s image, gaining the company new customers with its blend of punchy acceleration and excellent fuel economy. On the back of that car came the Sport models which combined the racy looks of the vRS with tamer engines, which would appeal to a younger generation.
Skoda has decided to do things in reverse order with the latest generation Fabia. The vRS may not arrive until next year (Skoda aren’t saying much) but for now this is the halo model in the Fabia range. Outputs of 105bhp and 177lb ft of torque are not a lot for a 1.9 these days, but the engine pulls strongly and consistently and has an unburstable feel to it. It doesn’t hurl you up the road like the old vRS, but in many ways the power delivery is better, as it is smoother and more measured throughout the rev range. It isn’t a fast car, but feels brisk and willing. The fluent delivery, along with good grip made it good fun to hustle along the Suffolk B roads of my test route. Body control could be tauter, as hard cornering induces some roll.
The Fabia is great on a long motorway run, feeling well planted with a pliant ride and plenty of response, while the rev counter indicates 2,500rpm at the legal limit. It could use a sixth gear though, as a fair bit of engine drone is apparent at motorway speeds. Cruising economy is impressive with the trip computer averaging 58.6 mpg on my initial 120 mile test route, and I wasn’t hanging around. I wasn’t keen on the design of the fuel gauge in the instrument binnacle (like that on top of a Brita filter) and the lack of a temperature gauge is an annoying omission, but I can find very little else wrong with the car.
It has the sort of quality feel that makes you think it could go twice round the clock with a little care and attention. Would I buy one though? No. And the only reason for this is that I would save some money and plump for the cheaper Fabia 2. I can do without the cosmetic embellishments of the Sport model and save the best part of a grand.
ON SALE: Now RANGE STARTS AT: £12,120 FOR SPORT 1.4 TDI PD
- Price: £12,805
- Engine: 1896cc, 4 cylinder turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 5 speed manual
- Max Power: 105bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 177lb ft at 1,800rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 1,200kg
- Combined Consumption: 57.6mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 129g/km (C)
- 0-62mph: 10.8secs
- Max speed: 118mph
- Insurance group: 4
Build quality, willing performance, economy, supple ride
Getting expensive, motorway drone, body roll