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17 Sep 2010 | Text and Photos by Benjamin G, Kline
The Volkswagen group it seems is chucking their excellent 1.2-litre TSI engine into everything they can find. So does the new engine agree with the Fabia? Oh yes...
Skoda has been making great leaps and bounds in its popularity (over in Europe at least) the past couple of years thanks to the infusion of fastidious German efficiency and excellence into their product lines. The current Octavia and Superb models have received raving reviews from journalists over in UK for their incredible value for money.
The first generation Fabia was launched in 1999. The car shared its Volkswagen Group A04 platform with the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza. The Fabia was successful in no small part due to most of its running gear being designed or derived from Volkswagen models. Furthermore they were marketed to customers with better options as a package that undercut other models within the Volkswagen Group. This business model has helped Skoda gain a significant amount of sales in the UK with the Fabia even receiving the 'Car of the Year' award in 2000.
In 2007 Skoda launched the current Fabia model that shares a significant portion of its DNA with the parent group's Polo. Having just received a facelift this year, the latest Fabia also comes with the Volkswagen Group's impressive little 1.2-litre TSI that's being independently produced by the Czech company at their historic plant in Mladá Boleslav.
On first impressions, the Fabia's understated and neutral design stance won't set hearts racing. The unassuming front end closely parallels the lines on the Roomster. The front fascia possesses the same vertically slatted corporate grille that's shared with its siblings in the product line.
Oddly once you get to the A-pillars, things start to look a little reminiscent of the Suzuki Swift. The rake of the blacked out A-pillars, roofline and blacked out B-pillars closely resembles that on the Swift. Even the placement of the radio antennae is similar. The similarity continues to spill to the rear of the car right down to the tailgate where the only discernable difference comes from the taillights.
Volkswagen Polo GTI 1.4 TSI 5dr (A) vs Skoda Fabia 1.4 RS (A)