It is no secret that the Skoda Fabia sits in one of the most fiercly contested sectors in the car industry. In the UK, small hatchbacks outsell every other type of car, and to help the Fabia stand out in the market, Skoda have offered a large range of engine and trim levels to the 2016 model to compete with the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa – which it also competes with on price.
There are a choice of petrol and diesel engines, the test car being the excellent 1.2 TSI 90, which is adequate for pretty much all the driving you’ll need – and certainly keeps up with motorway driving if long distances are your game, as well as being perfectly nippy around town. The lower powered diesels also all seem to be perfectly adequate.
Despite being small, it seems the 2016 Fabia is as practical as ever – with the car easily swallowing whole the camping gear we loaded it up with on our trip down to Cornwall. Inside is a comfortable place to be too, and it felt roomy and well designed, with an excellent amount of front space and headroom, thanks to the car’s high roofline. Same applies to the back…it’s a relatively wide car so the Fabia does a very good job of feeling like a much bigger car than it really is.
I predominantly drove the car on the motorway, and here road and wind noise is well contained. However, suspension noise is a bit alarming around town, and the car suffers from a booming and jostling that you’d struggle to find from the car’s closest competitors, which is a bit of a shame.
The car for my Cornwall camping adventure was a a Monte Carlo edition of the Fabia, a motorsport inspired design that – however it looks – is a long way from a quick, sporty hatch. It’s available in mind-range SE spec, with the aforementioned 1.2 engine, and alongside black painted alloy wheels and tinted windows, one of the positives of this edition is a nice uprated interior – with bolstered seats and sporadic injections of colour sprucing the place up a bit. The Monte Carlo is in no way a substitute for the now defunct Fabia vRS, but it makes a good attempt to look like one, at least, and does add some visual appeal.
As a small car, despite the competition, the Skoda Fabia is perhaps as good as it ever has been. Yes, it has got some very competent rivals, but there is an all-round feeling of quality, consideration and stress-free motoring about this car. It won’t set your pulse racing, but it does exactly what it’s supposed to be and like many of the cars reviewed on Car Scribbler, there’s something really positive about that. It’s roomier than it deserves to be inside, has an excellent interior layout and the boot will swallow a hell of a lot due to the car’s wide stance. It was a comfortable cruiser on my motorway drive and the Monte Carlo edition, despite really being visual only, does add something that makes the car attractive to look at. If you’re the market, this is really recommended. Visit Skoda online for more information.