Skoda Fabia Hatch

Colour Edition 1.0

TSI

Skoda Fabia, Colour Edition, front
Skoda Fabia, Colour Edition, profile
Skoda Fabia, Colour Edition, rear
Skoda Fabia, Colour Edition, interior, rear
Skoda Fabia, Colour Edition, boot
Skoda Fabia, Colour Edition, interior

THE Fabia has been a mainstay of the Skoda range for nearly 20 years, selling more than four million units worldwide as the Czech brand transformed itself from being the but of countless jokes into a global heavyweight.

British car buyers have certainly taken the supermini to their hearts and in 2017 only the Germans, the Czechs themselves and the Poles bought more, with 19,400 being registered in the UK.

The current third generation model was refreshed late last summer, gaining a new all-petrol engine line-up and boosted equipment levels in an effort to maintain that popularity.

As is the wont of car makers these days, Skoda now refers to it as the ‘new' Fabia - although in truth the changes, certainly in design, were pretty subtle. That's not a bad thing, though, as there wasn't much wrong with the outgoing car.

A bolder grille and reworked front and rear bumpers and light clusters, now with the option of LED technology, help keep the look up to date but the sharp, clean lines are, typically of Skoda and its VW Group relatives, more about restrained style than in-your-face brashness.

That said, the Colour Edition model I drove adds a sporty flavour thanks to its contrasting roof with matching wing mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels - available in black, silver or white depending upon the colour of the rest of the car.

Range-topping Monte Carlo trim offers even more sporty flourishes while equally familiar S, SE and SE L grades complete the range.

All cars get a 6.5-inch touchscreen, digital radio, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors and a trip computer but you have to step up from the entry-level to get alloy wheels, air-conditioning and rear parking sensors.

All versions but the base model also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, however, only SE L models come with integrated navigation.

Beneath the bonnet power comes from a range of four 1.0-litre, three-cylinder units, either with or without turbocharging, depending upon the spec chosen. Skoda has ditched diesel options altogether.

The higher-powered turbo comes with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed, double clutch automatic, while all others make do with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The lower-powered turbo, kicking out 95ps, is likely to prove the popular choice, though, thanks to its combination of perky performance and claimed fuel economy of more than 60 miles per gallon.

Although acceleration is modest, 0-62mph coming up in 10.8 seconds, it proves punchy and responsive in the mid-range and is ideal for zipping around town while also proving game on the open road.

The three-pot is also more refined than some others on the market and a chassis set up for comfort irons out imperfections in the road pretty well and doesn't roll too much in bends.

The steering is light but accurate, weighting up nicely when turning at pace and, although not overly engaging, the Fabia is enjoyable and uncomplicated to drive.

It is also still one of the roomiest and practical superminis around, with good head and decent leg room for four adults, five at a push on shorter journeys; decent storage around the cabin and a 330-litre boot - rising to 1,150 with the split rear seats folded down - which also includes convenient luggage hooks.

As we've come to expect from Skoda, a rang of the brand's ‘Simply Clever' features are also included, such as an ice scraper secured in the fuel cap, an umbrella under the front passenger seat (SE trim upwards) and the familiar clip on the windscreen for your parking tickets.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Fabia Hatch Colour Edition 1.0 TSI

Price:£15,705

Mechanical: 95ps, 999cc 3-cylinder petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual transmission

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph:10.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group:9

C02 emissions:106g/km

Bik rating:22%

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