Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • All-petrol line-up to choose from
  • Diesels dropped in 2018
  • DSG automatic gearbox available

Since September 2018, the Fabia’s engine line-up is comprised entirely of three-cylinder petrol engines available in 60hp, 95hp and 110hp form. Five- or six-speed manual gearboxes are standard across the range, but there's no DSG automatic anymore.

Skoda Fabia petrol engines

The entry-level 1.0-litre MPI version produces 60hp and 95Nm of torque, good for 0-62mph in 16.4 seconds and a top speed of 98mph. It's cheap to buy and run but quite slow in most situations.

It’s unlikely to delight more enthusiastic drivers and we’d consider either the more powerful 95hp 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol.

Upgrade to the TSI (turbocharged) motors and performance improves markedly. The 95hp iteration produces 160Nm of torque and is good for a 0-62mph time 10.7 seconds, while top speed comes in at 115mph.

While such figures aren’t ground-breaking, the 95hp 1.0-litre TSI Fabia offers usable real-world performance capable of comfortable motorway cruising should the need arise.

If that won’t do, there’s always the 110hp model that comes as standard with an extra gear (six-speed manual) and the extra power brings the 0-62mph time down to 9.7 seconds and top speed up to 122mph. Torque is 200Nm.

Discontinued Skoda Fabia petrol engines

Fabia customers have previously been able to order a number of petrol engines no longer available. These include:

  • A 90hp 1.2-litre four-cylinder TSI (similar performance to the 95hp three-cylinder – discontinued in May 2017)
  • A 110hp 1.2-litre four-cylinder TSI (similar performance to the 110hp three-cylinder – discontinued in May 2017)

Discontinued Skoda Fabia diesel engines

Despite offering two diesel engines from launch, the Fabia – like the vast majority of its rivals – is petrol power only.

The diesels that were on offer came in an unusual 1.4-litre three-cylinder configuration (modern diesels are usually four cylinders or more) with power outputs of 90 and 105hp. Both were relatively noisy but offered punchy performance thanks to a torque output of up to 250Nm at just 1,750rpm.

Killed off in line with the September 2018 facelift, diesel power is highly unlikely to return to the Fabia.

Handling

  • Lightweight and agile
  • Easy to drive around town
  • Sits on older platform than its VW Group siblings

The Skoda Fabia sits on the Volkswagen Group’s PQ26 platform and has done since launch. The reason that this is significant, is because it’s the last model in the Group’s quartet of superminis (also including the Audi A1, SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo) to use such a platform, with its siblings moving onto the newer MQB-A0 architecture.

However, despite the Fabia relying on older foundations you’d be hard pressed to feel any shortfalls on the road. Admittedly, it’s not quite as sharp to drive as the SEAT Ibiza (the steering in particular is devoid of feel), but the handling is agile and enjoyable nonetheless.

Significant bodyroll occurs if you pile into a corner with abandon, yet grip levels remain resolute with encouraging overall stability. Should you manage to lose grip going into a corner, the front wheels will almost always be the first to break traction, gradually displaying safe and predictable understeer (where the front wheels lose grip causing the car to push wide through a corner) that can be easily rectified.

City driving (and parking) is also a breeze thanks to good visibility, a tight turning circle and light steering, while motorway cruises benefit from the car’s overall stability. As we noted in the performance section, however, it’s best to stick with the more powerful engines if you plan to undertake lots of longer journeys.

Is the Skoda Fabia a good towing car?

The Fabia displays understandably limited towing capabilities. However, when fitted with the 110hp TSI engine, it’s good for a maximum braked towing weight of 1,100kg – perfect for lugging along a jet-ski or motorbike and trailer.

Opting for one of the now discontinued 105hp TDI diesel engines would net you a maximum braked towing weight of 1,200kg.