The Skoda Fabia Estate or Combi is one of those compact cars which are true champions in offering space. Mind you, this car offers with its 530 liters even more standard boot space than a Mercedes B Class for instance. But there is more: premium level mechanical refinement, excellent workmanship and build quality are also yours to enjoy, together with excellent performance and economy offered by its impressive 3 cylinder 1.0 liter TSI engine. Our test car had the Style equipment level to please us even more, and show us how compact cars like the Fabia have come off age. Just read further…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
This Fabia Estate has been face-lifted in the midst of last year, and the Fabia is now offered with interesting petrol engines, all based on the well proven 3 cylinder 1.0 liter unit, which is found in many models and versions in the VW Group cars.
Our test car came with the turbocharged TSI version of this state of the art engine, and this offers a healthy 110 HP, which altogether makes this Fabia a quite brisk performer. Indeed, 0 to 100 km/h is reached in a very creditable 9,6 seconds, with the top speed being a whopping 196 km/h. We drove the 6 speed manual version, and this well pulling engine proved a very good match to the chosen gear ratios, where it can show its excellent torque characteristics and economy. The ratios of the bottom and second gear are rather long, and this helps economy in urban driving conditions, which is however sometimes at the expense of drive-ability.
Driving smoothly away from standstill at smaller throttle openings requires some training, but soon one gets the hang of it. The gearbox changes precise and swift, and altogether the box is a true (sporting) pleasure to use, with the engine note emitting a pleasant staccato when revving higher.
As said, economy is excellent, with an average consumption between 5 and 6 liters/100 km easily achievable. The manufacturer quotes a combined consumption of 4.7 l/100 km. With some restraint and anticipation, a consumption of around 5 l/100 km is quite realistic. CO2 emissions are well down too with merely 107 g/km.
The Fabia is also an excellent motorway cruiser, and indeed its Gran Turismo qualities are impressive. Wind and road noise are quite reasonable at higher speeds, and the refinement of the drivetrain warrants vibration free and silent progress.
The chassis and suspension is shared with the VW Polo/Seat Ibiza/Audi A1 and of course inherits its excellent qualities. Road holding and handling are without any reproach, and altogether the Fabia offers good driving pleasure and feels quite at home when driven with spirit on winding roads.
The precise steering and powerful braking add to the positive picture. Indeed, the Fabia reveals its true handling qualities when used with verve, and amply shows its high- tech pedigree. We already told you about its impressive performance, and indeed where this Skoda seduces even more is in the effortless and pleasant manner it achieves these excellent figures.
Making Skoda cars very roomy is something what the VW group finds of strategic importance, and also when designing this Fabia in both the sedan and the combi versions, this brief was again fully respected. What the engineers have achieved is quite impressive, as this compact Fabia Estate offers adequate head- and legroom also at the rear, and as we said, boot space is nothing short of stunning. To add to the pleasure, our test car was equipped with a special luggage pack with a separate holder to prevent sundry and smaller items to be tossed around in the half empty boot under spirited driving. With both backrests folded down, available space is a massive 1395 liter.
Our test car came also with a panoramic roof, and the driver is spoilt with blind spot detection, a rear view camera, rear traffic alert and last but not least an excellent and intuitive to use Amundsen navigation and infotainment system, packed together with a centrally placed touchscreen.
Of course, phone connectivity is a breeze, and the usual USB connectivity is also provided for.
The Skoda Fabia in its third generation has grown to very impressive maturity, being an all rounder offering lots of space, comfort, performance and economy. Add to this the excellent finish, workmanship and proven reliability, and one can easily understand that this Fabia really stands out in its class, last but not least in this Estate or Combi version. Just take this 110 HP TSI for a drive, and try also the excellent DSG version, which we are keen to test soon for you too in these columns…
Hans Knol ten Bensel