Practical and well-priced, but the 1.6 TDI is a similarly priced and more usable option

What is it?

The new and improved Skoda Fabia Greenline, which gets the 74bhp 1.2-litre, three cylinder turbodiesel motor and five-speed ‘box that is also fitted to the VW Polo Bluemotion but putting out marginally better figures than the VW at 89g/km and 83.1mpg combined.

As with all the other new generation Skoda Greenline models, the Fabia gets stop-start as standard, plus aerodynamic tweaks and an energy-saving alternator to reduce load on the engine when possible.

See pics of the Skoda Fabia Greenline II in action

What’s it like?

It’s certainly not the no-compromise motoring that some may hope for. The 1.2-litre three pot needs working hard if you’re to keep up with normal fast moving traffic, and so if you actually want to get anywhere near the claimed figures you must accept that you cannot drive in a normal fashion. Refinement is also quite poor, with a lot of engine noise intruding into the cabin even under light load, and though stop-start is a worthwhile addition there’s noticeable vibration under the gruff re-start.

Despite all this the Fabia Greenline is not without merit. It’s spacious and it will be economical when driven in a realistic fashion. But to buy a car with a claimed combined economy of more than 80mpg and then achieve a real-world figure in the 50s is disappointing and for many you could actually achieve very similar results in a more powerful diesel car that wouldn’t need to be worked so hard and which doesn’t suffer the same compromises in comfort and usability.

Should I buy one?

If you live in London and are looking for a car to get you out of paying the congestion charge then this is a reasonable choice. It’s one of the cheaper options available beneath the 100g/km barrier and it’s usefully compact and easy to drive. But it is only really the central London excuse that justifies the Fabia Greenline, and even then there are others that qualify for free entry and offer better refinement.

The Fabia itself is still a practical and well-priced hatch, but if you want that teamed with the best possible economy the 104bhp 1.6 TDI is almost identically priced and would likely result in similar real-world economy (claimed figures of 109g/km and 67.3mpg) in a more flexible and usable car.

Skoda Fabia Greenline II

Price: £13,685; Top speed: 107mph; 0-62mph: 12.6sec; Economy: 83.1mpg; Co2: 89g/km; Kerbweight: 1203kg; Engine type: 3cyl, 1199cc, turbodiesel; Power: 74bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 133lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual


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Maxycat 14 March 2011

Re: Skoda Fabia Greenline II

Old Toad wrote:
I still think Skoda would have more success doing the same as surely the 1.2 turbo petrol is an ideal engine to slot into this car rather than an underpowered diesel .
The Fabia is available with a 60 hp and 70 hp normally aspirated petrol engines also the 1.2 TSI in 85 hp and 105 hp. The 85 hp is slightly cheaper than the diesel and the 105 hp dearer. I assume the 75 hp diesel is the nearest equivalent to the 85 hp TSI in performance as the diesel has less power but more torque. I think if you were used to driving the 60 or 70 hp petrol model Fabia the 1.2 diesel would not feel underpowered. If you want good economy you need to drive gently regardless of engine size, if rapid acceleration is important for you then it will cost you at the fuel pump.

Rich boy spanners 14 March 2011

Re: Skoda Fabia Greenline II

I get mid 50's MPG from a 130 BHP MK1 Fabia vRS - irrespective of how I drive it. Reminds me of when I also had the 75BHP Polo 1.4 TDi also, and it only beat the almost twice as powerful (and heavier) Fabia if you drove like Miss Daisy was in the back, or, slow enough to annoy everyone else.

They don't really work in the real world - London charge excepted.

Old Toad 14 March 2011

Re: Skoda Fabia Greenline II

I think the only manufacturer of realistic " economy models " is BMW . They fit efficient dynamics to just about all their models for a start and surely there is a common theme here .

ie intelligent alternator low rolling resistance tyres decent power and torque to a well matched gearbox .

I still think Skoda would have more success doing the same as surely the 1.2 turbo petrol is an ideal engine to slot into this car rather than an underpowered diesel .

All seems to be a gimmick at the moment albeit an expensive one .