Car producers are continuously striving to make their cars sexier than their rivals’ motors. To be honest, keeping up with the Jones’ can be boring, so Skoda’s simple take on making its latest Fabia stand out is refreshing.
The Czech company, under the parentage of the Germans, has made a colourful version of its popular Fabia supermini. Guess what the automaker called it? That’s right, the Fabia Colour Edition.
No prizes go to Skoda for imagination, but that’s the point. Overmarketing cars can become so arty-farty that it goes over the heads of many people. Let’s face it, not all of us are car buffs. Many of us just want a set of reliable wheels to get us from A to B.
And the Fabia does just that. All the Colour Edition does is inject some, well, colour into the black and white monotony that life can be behind the wheel on a drizzly Monday morning. This special edition also packs a bit of extra kit inside. More on that later.
So, what’s the Skoda Fabia like to drive? Well, the 90PS 1.2-litre TSI, on test here, is a hoot to steer around town and it’s a commendable commuter, too. The powerplant, although small, doesn’t feel it. If anything, you bond with the Czech car quickly because it’s so darned easy to pilot.
The gears are smooth – it’s just a shame there are only five cogs – and the flexible engine is zippy enough to make winding rural routes entertaining. Zero to 62mph is reached in 10.9 seconds and the top speed is 113mph. It sounds snail-paced, but in the driver’s seat, the Fabia feels far from sluggish.
The five-door hatchback is principally designed for urban motoring, as it’s hooked up to light steering and sits on pleasingly pliant suspension. However, because of its peppy power unit and low posture, the supermini does a good job zooming around other environments.
It’s even fairly hushed at motorway speeds, with road rumble and wind-whistle well suppressed. The only irritant is how harsh the petrol engine sounds at 70mph. Without the stereo on it can become wearing after the first 50 miles or so.
The Fabia Colour Edition is based on Skoda’s SE trim, with some additional equipment and added stylishness. This comes in the shape of different alloy wheel shades and two-tone paint jobs. For example, my test car came in Rallye Green with a glossy black roof and shadowy alloy wheels.
The small Skoda is certainly crammed with lots of essential supermini paraphernalia. A lot of the gear is taken straight from the SE trim, including air-conditioning, DAB radio and rear parking sensors. But the Colour Edition’s plusses comprise cruise control and upscale LED daytime running lights.
The Czech car’s less-than-luxurious plastics rain on the parade a little, but even though they feel abrasive, they are tough, and will stand the test of time. What’s more, a metal-effect veneer on the dashboard is a nice visual touch, and helps to break up the sea of plastic.
The Skoda Fabia is a practical supermini, too. There’s ample room in the front and, in the rear, there’s enough head and legroom for two adults, or three small children on booster seats.
The load area is the jewel in the Fabia’s practicality crown – measuring 330 litres. This is bigger than the average supermini’s boot, including VW’s Polo and Ford’s Fiesta. You can expand this space if you’re not carrying rear passengers by folding the seats. Collapse them and room balloons to 1,150 litres. No excuses when it comes to a tip run at the weekend, then!
The 1.2-litre TSI Skoda Fabia Colour Edition costs around £540 more than the SE. But it’s more than worth it for the looks and the added equipment. The Fabia, fitted with the 1.2 TSI 90PS unit, will do 60mpg on average and it emits 107g/km of CO2. It’s not the most frugal of engines, but it’s still not bad for a petrol engine with a teaspoon of turbocharging.
Overall, the sensible Skoda Fabia might seem a bit too conservative for some, but dress it up in Colour Edition trim and suddenly it’s a whole different story – for not a lot of extra cash.
PROS ‘N’ CONS
Cost Effective √
No Sixth Gear X
Max speed: 113 mph
0-62 mph: 10.9 secs
Combined mpg: 60.1
Engine: 1197cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo petrol
Max. power (PS): 90
CO2: 107 g/km