Skoda know their market and their customers very well and they build excellent cars. The Fabia isn't trying to be a hot hatch or hipster, retro styled lifestyle accessory. It's a well engineered, safe, pretty & fun car that's packed with equipment.

★★★★☆ | 2019 Skoda Fabia

What Have We Got
The Fabia has been a mainstay of the ŠKODA range for nearly 20 years. It’s a very important model for the brand. We were lucky enough to get our mucky hands on a facelifted Fabia recently. The car comes in five trim grades & three engine options with hatch and estate variants. Interestingly, to push them along there is an all petrol, three- cylinder 1.0L engine range with outputs from 75PS to 110PS. No diesel for the new fabia. Our test car was one up from mid range, the SE L 5dr hatch with the 110PS engine, matched with a seven-speed DSG gearbox. No flappy paddles, just push the gear lever forward or backwards or better still, leave it in auto.



The Skoda Fabia looks subtle but classy. Outside it’s handsome but not eye catching. It’s very well built as you would expect and has that odd quality where you feel immediately at home, like it’s been yours for ages, familiar. The engine and gearbox are great. It’s hard to believe it’s only a 1.0L engine, it goes really well with plenty of torque, not laggy like you would expect from a small capacity turbocharged engine. Suspension is compliant but not soft. It rides very well and is way more fun than I expected.

The gearbox is very good, smooth and better than most and you can change gear by pushing the lever forward or backwards if you prefer but i didn’t feel like i gained anything so left it in auto.



It’s a classy affair in here. If your familiar with any other modern Skoda’s such as Kodiaq or Superb, you’ll feel at home with the Fabia. The dash is straight from its bigger siblings, and very nice. Fabia has plenty of kit too; Multifunction trip computer, Radio Swing Plus touchscreen infotainment unit with SmartLink+ and lots more.

You also have LED headlights, blind spot detection with Rear traffic alert, LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, Amundsen satellite navigation, Cruise control, tyre pressure monitor and the list goes on. It’s a very well engineered and well appointed car.


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Living with it

With 20 years of development under its belt, the Fabia was always going to be good. For those of us who mourn the passing of the Fabia vRS, there is no vRS in the new lineup. Saying that, it’s still loads of fun! The engine is surprisingly torquey and very tractable. The gearbox is very slick and the interior is in a different league from its competitors.

The Fabia is so easy to drive. From the first drive, it felt like we’d been together for ages, very familiar. It’s fun but not unnecessarily sporty, maintaining a nice comfortable ride. There’s plenty of room for 4 or even 5, with plenty of boot space… to boot.


The Verdict
Skoda know their market and their customers very well and they build excellent cars. The Fabia isn’t trying to be a hot hatch or hipster, retro styled lifestyle accessory. It’s a well engineered, safe, pretty & fun car that’s packed with equipment. Our choice would be the 110ps with the DSG gearbox. It’s so smooth and drives very well, particularly around town. They offer something for everyone, funky Colour edition, sporty Monte Carlo edition the elegant SE L model plus S and SE.

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Engine – Torquey, responsive, smooth.
DSG gearbox – Very smooth
Styling – Elegant

Economy – Couldn’t get anywhere near the recommended.
No Diesel – I’d like a 1.2 diesel
No vRS – I’d like a firebreathing version

Car – Skoda Fabia Hatch SE-L
Price – £18,155 (ours with options £19,120)
MPG – 60.1 mpg (combined)
0-62 – 10.1 seconds
Power – 110ps and 200nm torque
Top Speed – 120 mph
Co2 – 106 (g/km)

About the author: Mark Turner
Journo @ Blacktopmedia & freelance for various digital & print publications & some corporate mags. Big petrol head, particularly bikes!