Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Skoda Fabia's entry-level 1.0 MPI 80 engine does without a turbocharger. We haven't tried it yet, but the official stats say it takes more than 15 seconds to get from 0-62mph, so expect seriously weedy real-world performance. We'd only consider this engine if you're a dedicated town driver.
Our advice is to go for the turbocharged 94bhp 1.0 TSI 95, which can do 0-60mph in around 10.5sec. Okay, even that's not quite as zesty as an equivalent Seat Ibiza, but acceleration is perfectly adequate for all types of driving.
The Fabia’s steering is usefully light for city driving and tough to fault for accuracy, but it's worth using the Sport driving mode (on versions that have it) for more reassuring weighting when driving along faster, winding roads.
Either way, there’s plenty of grip but also a fair amount of body roll. The Fiesta and Ibiza are better choices if you want a taut, agile small car that will put a smile on your face.