Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty

What is it?

Remember the Fabia Greenline? It was the fuel-sipping eco-friendly version of the Fabia with tweaked aerodynamics, low-friction tyres and an aerodynamic undertray. 

It was an altogether sensible proposition, just as the regular Skoda Fabia was and continues to be. So, if the Greenline was the sensible option, what’s the Redline?

Far from the opposite. It’s powered by the Volkswagen Group’s three-cylinder 1.0 TSI petrol engine with 109bhp and 148lb ft and based on the mid-range SE-spec car, with a few additional extras to make it a little special. Primary among them are two stripes running the length of the car, red door mirror caps and black alloy wheels, while inside, there are figure-hugging sports seats. Heavens.

What's it like?

So all those sporty additions mean it’s the closest thing to a small hot hatch that Skoda is doing at the moment, right? 

Kind of. It’s the joint-quickest in the Fabia range, yes – as with the regular 1.0 TSI SE, 0-62mph takes 9.5sec and top speed is 122mph. It has plenty of power for a fairly light supermini and pulls well from any speed. Don’t expect vRS-level torque and it’ll be more than enough.

The Fabia corners nicely, being decent over big bumps and only a little fidgety at low speeds. Its cornering is a little soft, but the seats hold you in place exactly as they’re supposed to. 

That rolliness is where the hot hatch stripes begin to peel away, though. The 1.0 TSI is a torquey little wasp, and under quicker acceleration, the Fabia’s body takes a nanosecond to catch up with the wheels, so you bob your head up the gears. That's the opposite of what a hot hatch should do, so it kills the illusion pretty quickly.

The Redline isn't a hot hatch, though, and driven more smoothly, it's as comfortable and refined as the Fabia with the old 1.2 TSI powerplant and even quieter under most circumstances. There’s the added bonus of a few extra miles per gallon, too, although most drivers will get a few less than Skoda’s official claim of 64.2mpg.

Inside, it’s almost exactly the same as the SE, even down to annoyingly stingy details such as the lack of one-touch electric front windows (even a mid-spec Dacia Sandero gets those), although the multi-function steering wheel is a new addition. 

Should I buy one?

If you’re after a Skoda hot hatch, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re after a comfortable small hatchback that can be called upon to muster up some zip, you’ll be pleased. 

The Redline isn't a cheap option, at £15,995, but it makes more power than the similarly-priced Ford Fiesta Zetec. You’ll get more kit with the Fiesta but residual values won’t be as robust. 

With a facelifted Fabia on the way at the end of the year, stiffened suspension on models such as this would improve the overall package. For now, though, the Redline is as hot as it gets. 

Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline

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Where Hampshire On sale Now Price £15,995 Engine 3cyls, 999cc, turbocharged petrol Power 109bhp at 5000rpm Torque 148lb ft at 2000rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1055kg Top speed 122mph 0-62mph 9.5sec Fuel economy 64.2mpg CO2 103g/km Rivals Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza

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db 21 January 2018

Demograph ?

Who exactly is this car aimed at with the go faster stripe ...... I see these cars being driven by the over 80's predominently in my local area. Skoda is missing a even better model which could be called the yellow line which allows your disabled badged car to recognise deisgnated parking slots and self park within the lines so helping your cataracts out!

Realy £16000 for a car with a red stripe scratchy plastic not even relived by fabric innserts on door cards and wind up windows in the back........ whats happened to the value brand the over 80's will be running to their nearest Dacia show room!


si73 19 January 2018


Is the weight correct? Its a lot bigger than the up which in the gti review has a weight of 1040kg

si73 19 January 2018

si73 wrote:

si73 wrote:

Is the weight correct? Its a lot bigger than the up which in the gti review has a weight of 1040kg

Sorry up gti 1070kg

LP in Brighton 20 January 2018

Weight figures

I think we've got to the point where we can't trust manufacturers' published weight figures any more - and magazines need to publish actual "as tested" figures.

Manufacturers have different methods of measurement often constrained by homologation requirements in different countries and there is usually some incentive to quote a high or low figure. eg Skoda might want a low figure to benefit fuel consumption / CO2 testing, while for the up, VW might want a high figure to understate the 0 to 62mph time to achieve a low insurance group rating. Basically there are a lot of fiddles going on to suit various agendas, just as there were/are with fuel consumption and emissions testing! 

si73 20 January 2018

Fair enough, I knew that

Fair enough, I knew that manufacturers weights differ, some including a driver and fuel etc, some being dry but as these are both vag, I assumed they'd use the same method/procedure.

Jeremy 18 January 2018

4 Stars?

A pretty average car, at best, judging by the review. So why 4 stars?

Oh, of course. It's a Vollswagen, big advertisers in Autocar!

Leslie Brook 19 January 2018

Autocar wrote:

Autocar wrote:

stiffened suspension on models such as this would improve the overall package

Why is making it less comfortable improving it?

abkq 19 January 2018

Leslie Brook wrote:

Leslie Brook wrote:

Autocar wrote:

stiffened suspension on models such as this would improve the overall package

Why is making it less comfortable improving it?

Because one of the mottos of motoring magazines is 'handling uber alles'