Skoda Fabia simply

fabulous

Skoda Fabia Colour Edition, front, action
Skoda Fabia Colour Edition, overhead
Skoda Fabia Colour Edition, side, action
Skoda Fabia Colour Edition, interior
Skoda Fabia Colour Edition, front
Skoda Fabia Colour Edition, rear

A NUMBER of the latest small cars have recently impressed by the wide range of abilities.

But now I've found the best all-rounder of them all - a car that betters the comfort of cars two sizes larger, is beautifully agile and safe and offers decent performance and economy.

It even comes with a very reasonable insurance rating.

What is this paragon? None other than the Skoda Fabia. It's a car that would suit anyone downsizing from something larger, families of four, singles - just about anybody.

I drove the SE-L near the top of the range, which would only need a couple of extras to bring it up to the spec of more expensive and larger cars.

It was powered by the latest version of the VW group 1.2 TSi turbo petrol engine with 110bhp on tap, and believe me, that's enough for plenty of fun.

The acceleration from standstill is marvellous, and in the gears, it pulls hard immediately to give safe and swift overtaking.

It is smooth and quiet until revved, and even then, the sound is pleasant and never intrusive.

It's front wheel drive of course, putting the power through a six-speed manual gearbox with a lovely slick change and a light clutch.

The combination is pure joy, with enough performance even for an enthusiast like me to use every day and 45 miles per gallon real economy driven carefully.

The level of ride comfort is superb by any standards, and it even takes lumpy country lanes and rough surfaces in town with great ease.

This is really unusual in a small car and marks it out as something very special indeed.

If that was where the excellence stopped, many owners would be more than happy, but the road holding is also fantastic with tremendous grip even though there is a little roll.

It takes speed humps with ease and a tight turning circle, shortish length and parking sensors make it so, so easy to manoeuvre and park.

This latest Fabia has more room inside thanks to greater width, so there's enough space for four adults to travel in comfort.

The boot is also larger than most in the supermini class and some cars in the next class up would have trouble matching it.

Equipment in the SE-L includes Bluetooth, DAB stereo with remote control on the wheel, USB and SD card input, auto phone link, excellent start stop, keyless entry and starting and loads of airbags.

It also has heated mirrors and door handles, traction and stability control, alarm, climate, cruise and parking sensors.

The Skoda Fabia is a superb all rounder and for me, it is the best supermini on the market, beating the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and all the rest.

FAST FACTS

Price: £15,440

Mechanical: 110bhp, 1,197cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 122mph

0-62mph: 9.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 58

Insurance Group: 12

C02 emissions: 110g/km

Bik rating: 19%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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