Skoda Fabia and Roomster

Small is beautiful for Skoda. Well everything but small sales, which is why it has just padded out its Fabia mini-car range with a bunch of new models including the RS hot-hatch and wagon.

Fabia was launched here as a five-door late in 2011 with the 77 TSI turbo-petrol engine and a five-speed manual transmission for $18,990, but now gains the $2300 option of seven-speed DSG, and the $2000 option of a wagon body.

The RS, powered by VW Group’s 132kW 1.4-litre Twincharger petrol-turbo engine mated standard to the seven-speed DSG, is priced at $27,990 for the five-door and $29,990 for the wagon.

The hatch is the same price as the three-door version of its non-identical technical twin, the Polo GTI, and undercuts the five-door VeeDub by $1000.

Unsurprisingly the Fabia RS – be it hatch or wagon - drives a lot like the Poli GTI, offering solid power over a wide range, solid handling, solid steering and, erm, a solid ride – but not too uncomfortable really considering the lowered sports suspension and 40 aspect tyres.

And the Fabia 77 TSI? Well it drives a lot like a Polo 77 TSI Comfortline. The word is… you guessed it… solid (but also more compliant and quieter than RS).

For something slightly different, Skoda also reintroduced the Roomster to Australia this week, refurbished with a new nose, the 77 TSI engine and a price thousands of dollars cheaper than the old model at $22,490.

It’s lost none of the charm and functionality that made it a surprise contender at Wheels COTY back in 2007, just a pity that a diesel-DSG combination isn’t available, as that would make the most sense for this efficient little load lugger.

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