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Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 116 SE L 5dr DSG

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 53.5 mpg
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 120 g/km CO2
  • 120 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 53.5 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 9.7 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 116 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Skoda's fourth generation Fabia makes up in sense and practicality for anything it might lack in dynamic looks and pin-sharp handling. All the latest VW Group chassis technology has finally made it to this supermini model line and the result is a very complete product indeed.

Background

Skoda's modern day renaissance can broadly be traced to one model, this one, the Fabia supermini. The design we look at here is the fourth generation Type PJ version, launched in 2021 and building on a heritage stretching back to 1999 when the MK1 Fabia arrived to replace the old-fashioned Felicia model. That all seems very long time ago now. Today, the Skoda brand is so in tune with the times that the Volkswagen Group has chosen it to develop its forthcoming range of small electric cars. But for the time being anyway, in the Czech maker's line-up, there still a place for a conventional combustion supermini like the Fabia. This MK4 version was the last of the VW Group superminis to get the brand's MQB-A0 chassis, a platform that by 2021 had already been in use in cars like Volkswagen's Polo, SEAT's Ibiza and Audi's A1 for half a generation. It was certainly needed for this Fabia, the previous car having been based on elderly PQ35 underpinnings dating all the way back to a turn-of-the-century MK5 Golf. It should make this fourth generation Fabia bigger. But has it made it better?

Driving Experience

Most Fabias are sold with the brand's 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine and Skoda has taken the opportunity of updating the more powerful version of it with a unit from the brand's EVO2 generation. That's increased power output from 110PS to 116PS; as before, a 6-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, with a 7-speed DSG auto optional. As before, the range also offers two more affordable 1.0-litre units; the older-spec 1.0 TSI unit in 95PS form (which can't be had with the auto option); and a normally aspirated MPI 1.0-litre engine with 80PS that's mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and is offered for budget minded folk. We'd avoid it unless you particularly need the cheap insurance ratings that come with that engine. At the other end of the range, there's still a larger 1.5-litre TSI four-cylinder petrol unit with 150PS, paired non-negotiably with the DSG auto 'box. Expect solid rather than engaging roadgoing drive dynamics - in other words, tuned for comfort rather than engaging handling. Skoda has made the damping noticeably softer than, say, SEAT Ibiza and more like a Volkswagen Polo, which shares this Czech model's conventional torsion beam rear suspension set-up. There are no mild hybrid or plug-in powertrain options - they'd push the price too much.

Design and Build

Visually, this fourth generation Fabia is clearly an evolution of what went before. It looks noticeably bigger than the old pre-2021-era NJ-series MK3 version and is, 11cm longer than that older model. The headlights feature part-LED technology as standard and the sharply drawn crystalline tail lights can also be had with LED tech on request. There are sleek aerodynamics too - the Cd factor is rated at 0.28. The biggest changes for modern-era Fabias though, are found inside, where mid and high-spec models feature a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel; an 8-inch display features further down the range. The centre stack screen offers further sophistication, available in a choice of 8.25 or 9.2-inch sizes. Soft plastics are noticeable by their absence, but there's a strip of fabric along the middle of the fascia to break things up. As usual with Skoda, the cabin features a range of 'Simply Clever' touches - a possible 42 in all - like an umbrella in the door armrest, smart phone holders in the front seatbacks and rubbish containers in the door cards. Rear seat space, aided by the 94mm wheelbase increase, is near class-leading, as is leg room. There's a big boot (for a supermini) too; it's 380-litres in capacity - as big as you get from a Volkswagen Golf from the next class up. And it's full of various nets and partitions, plus a hammock for loose items.

Market and Model

Skoda no longer feels the need to price the Fabia way below its Volkswagen Polo and SEAT Ibiza VW Group supermini cousins, so pricing (as with those cars) sees prices pitched in the £20,000-£26,000 bracket. There's a choice of four trim levels - 'SE Comfort', 'SE L', 'Colour Edition' and the 'Monte Carlo' version we tried. All models now feature Traffic sign recognition, Wireless Smartlink and Care Connect (a 3-year subscription) as standard. Quite a few spec enhancements have been added in recent times. 'SE Comfort' models gain an 8-inch digital display which replaces the previous analogue unit, along with a larger 8.25-inch infotainment screen. A front centre armrest, textile floor mats and two additional rear speakers complete the specification upgrade. 'Colour Edition' models gain a larger 8.25-inch infotainment screen and add cruise control with speedlimiter, rear electric windows and rear LED lights to the standard specification. 'SE L' versions now come with a 10.25-inch virtual cockpit digital display, Hill hold, rear LED lights, privacy glass on the rear side windows and door sills with Fabia badging. Range-topping 'Monte Carlo' models now feature a larger 8.25-inch infotainment display that replaces the previous 8.0-inch Bolero unit, plus there's front seat lumbar support and cruise control with a speedlimiter. 'Monte Carlo' models also benefit from LED rear lights, updated interior inserts and Hill hold. Fabia customers in the entry-level 'SE Comfort' trim have the brand's 'Studio' interior as standard which features a grey fabric cabin. 'SE L'-spec comes with the 'Lodge' interior package, while the 'Colour Edition' features a 'Loft' interior as standard that includes grey fabric with grey stitching and added metallic touches. The 'Monte Carlo' comes with the specially designed 'Monte Carlo' interior that has black fabric and artificial leather seats with red metallic design elements and carbon effect on the dash.

Cost of Ownership

Expect very class competitive efficiency showings - as usual from a VW Group-engineered supermini. The base 1.0 MPI EVO three cylinder petrol engine in 80PS form manages 53.9mpg on the combined cycle and up to 119g/km of CO2. The 1.0-litre TSI EVO engine that most will choose in 95PS form does better - 55.8mpg and 115g/km in manual form. The EVO2 1.0-litre TSI engine in 116PS form records up to 55.6mpg and 115g/km in manual form - or up to 53.8mpg and up to 120g/km as an automatic. For the four cylinder 1.5 TSI EVO 150PS petrol unit with DSG auto transmission, the figures are 52.1mpg and up to 122g/km. This latter engine benefits from active cylinder technology which shuts down two cylinders under light-to-medium throttle loads. Less impressive than all the engineering on offer here is the three year/60,000 mile warranty cover. We can't see why Skoda couldn't extend that mileage limit to 100,000 miles, since that's what you get on mechanically very similar VW Group vans. Doing that though, wouldn't give Skoda dealers so much of an opportunity to sell extended four or five year warranty packages. Insurance is 4E for the 1.0 MPI and 11E for the 1.0 TSI 95PS.

Summary

It took some time for the Skoda Fabia to get up-to-date with the latest VW Group supermini chassis technology but now that it has, there's a lot to like here. Not least the fact that what you're getting is a car with the footprint of the small hatch but pretty near the interior space of a much pricier Focus or Golf-sized model from the next class up. You'd certainly struggle to find another supermini with more rear seat space and a larger boot than this one. It's true that quite a few rivals have more dynamic styling and more engaging drive dynamics. But the sort of folk who'll like the Fabia will be more interested in the cabin's many 'Simply Clever' practical features which make everyday life just that little bit easier. Which is what owning this Skoda is all about. If what you want is ultimately the most sensible car in the sector, you might just be looking at it right here.

  • 6 Speakers (4 in front and 2 in rear)
  • 9.2" Skoda navigation system with voice control and web radio
  • Auxiliary socket for external MP3 player
  • DAB digital radio reception
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Chrome window surround
  • Ice scraper in fuel cap
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Roof mounted spoiler
  • SKODA tailgate lettering in chrome
  • Central console with removable cup holder and storage box
  • Chrome handbrake release button
  • Door sills with fabia badging
  • Fabric upholstery
  • Front centre armrest
  • Gearshift knob/handle in leather
  • Hand brake lever handle in leather
  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Metallic grey interior door handles
  • Storm grey headlining
  • Ticket holder
  • Umbrella in drivers door
  • 3-point height adjustable front seats belts with pretensioner and force limiter
  • Automatic warning lights in case of crash
  • Driver and passengers airbag with switch off function
  • e-Call+
  • Front and rear seat belt warning
  • Front side airbags
  • Head airbags
  • One tone horn
  • Pedestrian protection
  • Three rear 3-points safety seat belts with pretensioner and force limiter including stop function for outer rear seat belts
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Anti-theft alarm system including immobiliser, interior monitoring, backup horn, and towing protection
  • Central locking with radio remote control, interior controls, SAFE function and 2 foldable keys
  • NOx: 0.019
  • Particles: 0.0001
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 120
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 129
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 119
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEH: 133
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEL: 122
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEH: 111
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEL: 102
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEH: 164
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEL: 154
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEH: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEL: 116
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 999
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 76.4
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 5.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 4.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 4.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 5.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 53.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 49.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 54.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 48.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 52.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 57.7
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 62.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 39.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 41.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 55.5
  • AdBlue: N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.0
  • Badge Power: 116
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: TSI DSG
  • Coin Series: SE L
  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 14E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.7
  • Engine Power - BHP: 116
  • Engine Power - KW: 85
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 148
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 20.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 200
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2000
  • Top Speed: 125
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 195/55 R16
  • Wheel Style: PROXIMA BLACK
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Height: 1459
  • Length: 4108
  • Wheelbase: 2564
  • Width: 1780
  • Width (including mirrors): 1954
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 42.5
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1650
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1190
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 380
  • Max. Loading Weight: 521
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 580
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1129
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 9.9