The benchmark for handling in this class is the Ford Fiesta and, like so many of its rivals, the Fabia can’t match it. The Seat Ibiza handles quite a bit better, too. That said, the Fabia is far from boring; its steering is light but reasonably communicative, so you always know what the front tyres are up to.
There's also plenty of grip and, while the Fabia tends to lean a little when you start to press on, you can still corner quickly without worrying about sliding off the road. Sports suspension is an option on Monte Carlo models, but this is best avoided because it does little to improve the handling and makes the ride firmer.
The Fabia also impresses for low-speed manoeuvrability. Its light steering makes stationary, lock-to-lock turns a breeze, and the turning circle is tight enough to make it easy to squeeze into tight parking spaces.