EVEN IN A SECTOR bursting with common sense, neatly squared-away flair and everyday functionality, the Skoda Fabia is more sensible than most superminis.

No surprise that the recipe hasn’t changed much for this minor facelift: it’s still a rational choice, appealing for its space, proven VW underpinnings and sub-£13k entry price undercutting its closest in-house relatives, the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza. That it can offer this cost advantage is because the Fabia is based on older VW bits and bobs. But you’d barely know it from the drive – it still rides and steers with a pleasing maturity that belies its modest status.

The refresh has concentrated on details rather than engineering, though the up-to-date TSI three-cylinder engines gain a particulate filter.

Diesels have been dumped in this postemissions- crisis age, as only six per cent of Fabia buyers in the UK bought them anyway. We can see why: the petrol triples are well mannered and still return 50mpg-plus.

The two most powerful options, with 94bhp and 109bhp, both give adequate performance and there’s a refined three-cylinder thrum to proceedings. Gearing is long-legged, to the benefit of peace, frugality and blood pressure.

Inside, modest upgrading continues, with fresh instrument graphics, new safety tech including blindspot detection, reversible boot liners and suede-effect seat upholstery. It’s roomy, with decent space front and back, and the boot’s an impressive 330 litres. The highlight of the range? The estate, with an echoing 530 litres of loadbay – in a car just four metres long. What a very sensible choice, just like most Fabias.


> Price £15,495 > Engine 999cc 12v turbo 3-cyl, 109bhp @ 5000rpm, 148lb ft @ 2000rpm > Transmission 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive > Performance 9.6sec 0-62mph, 121mph, 61.4mpg, 105g/ km CO2 > Weight 1132kg > On sale October 2018
A supermini for Good Housekeeping types
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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