By Maggie Barry on 2018-12-31 - Experienced car journalist.
Skoda Fabia range
UNBELIEVABLY Skoda's Fabia has been with us for almost 20 years and if you haven't looked recently, then now's the time because this compact family car is all grown up.
It's peppy and stylish from the entry level to the top of the range Monte Carlo and Colour editions.
The latest version has been tweaked for a much more youthful look with a 3D grille now and foglights in the honeycomb lower grille.
The head turning Monte Carlo edition comes with a black roof, black door mirrors and a black front spoiler which contrasts beautifully with the Corrida Red paint.
It's smart and perky with upgraded 17-inch black alloy wheels (Â£350) andspecial Monte Carlo logos on the middle pillars for a real bit of pzazz.
Inside the black and red seats continue the theme and the red stitching on the doors echoes this. There are aluminium sports pedals and a small leather-clad steering wheel and gearstick.
All Fabias come with 1.0-litre petrol engines delivering from 75ps to 110ps with either a manual or automatic gearbox and five trim grades in hatch or estate versions - which is quite a lot of choice for a car at this price.
The Monte Carlo starts at Â£16,785 - and that's for the top of the range. For Â£12,840 you can get the entry level S version and, as is the case these days, it comes with a decent load of systems and features onboard like Bluetooth, a touchscreen,rear fog lights, ISOFIX child seat fittings. Upgrade to SE L and it alsocomes with sat nav.
I drove the 95ps manual in the Monte Carlo which is the middle-powered engine in any other version but the lower of only two offered in Monte Carlo guise.
It was smart and willing on the road and came with sports suspension (£125)as well as a winter package (£250) which included heated seats and heated washer nozzles.
I also drove the Estate version of the Fabia with 110ps and the seven-speed automatic gearbox which was a revelation - first of all because it looks nothing like the traditional version of an estate, indeed it looks nothing like an estate at all.
It is also very silent, smooth and agile and of course, if you want, you can get this engine in all the hatches from SE upwards.
And while it doesn't look like an estate, it does have all that extra room which you would expect in this style of car.
This engine gives you a top speed of 121mph and an average of 58.9mpg. It does the 0-62mph dash in 10.2 seconds with CO2 coming in at 10g/km.
The Monte Carlo with 95ps has a top speed of 114mph and in manual will give you 61.4mpg. It goes from 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds with a CO2 level of 106g/km.
The entry S level has a top speed of 104mph and cover the 0-62mph sprint in 14.9 seconds with an average of 57.7mpg and 113g/km of CO2.
In the 20 years since the Fabia first ventured onto our roads Skoda have sold nearly 4.2 million of these lovely little cars. This is the fourth generation and the new styling gives the car a much more youthful look.
And of course no new Skoda would be complete without their ‘Simply Clever' feature - now upgraded too.The ice scraper hidden under the fuel flap of the Fabia incorporates a handy gauge for measuring tyre depth. Very practical - very Skoda.
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