MANY people agree with me that the Skoda Fabia is better to drive than some much later superminis and more comfortable than most of them.
It’s also much bigger than it looks from the outside and, with the more powerful engines, it’s a brilliant car to drive.
Engines are petrol 1.2-litre with 60, 70, 85 or 105bhp, 1.2-litre diesel with 75bhp, and 1.6-litre diesel with 75, 90 or 105bhp.
The 60 and 70bhp cars are pretty slow – but all others are good to excellent. The top VRS has a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 180bhp and the VW group’s marvellously quick changing DSG gearbox – the best gearbox in the world.
The handling is safe and great fun, with very tactile and informative power steering, and very sticky grip helps towards strong road holding.
As well as the standard five door hatch, there is also a practical estate that must be just about the biggest load lugger in the supermini class.
The hatch is one of the biggest in the class too and, although the dash is quite plain, everything works well and build quality is right up with the best.
Seats and adjustment are excellent and equipment is good in all except the base models – including everything most people would want.
Skoda Fabia 1.2 petrol 70bhp
Price: Pay about £4,100 for an ’08 08-reg ‘2’, £7,400 for a ’10 10-reg Elegance
Mechanical: 70bhp, 1,198cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 101mph
0-62mph: 14.9 seconds
Combined mpg: 51
Insurance group: 5
CO2 emissions: 128g/km
Main rival: Ford Fiesta
Motors.co.uk value verdict: