The engineers have opted for a remarkably supple set-up, one that makes the Fabia one of the best-riding cars in its class. Of course, that does mean the handling suffers, but not excessively so.
The Fabia exhibits a fair bit of body roll in corners and lacks the precision that characterises a driver’s car. Because of the 185-section ContiEcoContact 6 tyres, ultimate adhesion is also limited.
At 2.7 turns lock to lock, the steering is neither particularly quick nor particularly slow. It offers a touch more weight for the driver to push against than some of the over-assisted racks found in small cars and it further weights up a little in corners, too. However, to say there’s genuine feedback would be an exaggeration.
When pushed on the Millbrook Hill Route, the stability control turned out to be quite clever in some ways and a little crude in others. Traction control can be disabled, but the stability systems always remain on and they deal with the beginnings of lift-off oversteer in a slightly heavy- handed manner, with brusque brake applications. It gets the job done, but it’s not as refined as some.
The computers are more adept at dealing with understeer. From the moment the front axle starts to wash wide, the system very gradually limits power to bring the nose back into line. In other words, even if the driver misjudges a tight, slippery corner, the Fabia will try its hardest to round the corner with as little drama as possible.