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| First Drive | Oxfordshire, England | Skoda Fabia Greenline II |
Jack Carfrae - 18 Feb 2011
Along with the rest of the Czech firm's range, the Skoda Fabia hatchback is now cleaner and more economical than ever in Greenline II guise.
In the Metal
It may be modified for economy purposes, but changes to the Skoda Fabia's interior and exterior are slim to none. A lower ride height, Greenline badges and low rolling resistance tyres are the only real differences.
What you get for your Money
As usual, Skoda is hot on the value side of things, and the Fabia Greenline II won't break the bank. The hatchback starts at £13,685 and the estate costs £14,300 - hardly expensive, especially when you consider the fantastic economy and emissions.
As small cars go, it isn't badly kitted out, either. Cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights are on the cards, as well as an extensive amount of gear that helps to reduce fuel usage and cut emissions, including a rear spoiler, a stop-start system and energy recovery.
It's pretty much the same deal as the standard car, but what sets the Fabia apart from Skoda's other Greenline II models is its conventional gearing. While the company's larger cars require taller gears to get their economy and emissions down, the Fabia does so with its lower weight and engine alone, so the transmission is less leggy than that of the other Skodas and hence it doesn't require you to adapt your driving style as much.
The 1.6-litre 104bhp TDI engine has sufficient poke to get the Fabia moving when you need it to. It's not exactly swift, but that's hardly the point. It does the job perfectly well.
If Skoda's figures are to be believed, then the Fabia Greenline II is pretty much unbeatable when it comes to economy and emissions. A quoted 83.1mpg and 89g/km are among the lowest such figures of any car on sale today. Free road tax and no obligation to pay the London Congestion Charge are a given.
When it comes to value and running costs, Skoda has the competition licked with the Fabia. Market topping efficiency figures aside, the Fabia is a classy, well-rounded and practical little car, so it makes a good case for itself without the eco tweaks. It's also worth remembering Skoda's reputation for reliability and customer service. Don't expect big thrills here, but do expect a well-rounded, sensible and very affordable package.