First drive: Skoda Fabia GreenLine II


The Fabia GreenLine earnt its tag as Skoda's greenest car when it was launched last year. Now there's a second instalment to the story - and it's greener than ever.

Biggest news is the fact that the previous 1.4 TDi has been replaced by a new 75PS 1.2 TDi engine - it positively sips fuel with a Combined consumption figure of 83.1mpg and clean CO2 emissions of just 89 g/km.

The new engine is also fitted with a host of other fuel-saving, green technology and includes Stop/Start, which switches off the engine when the clutch is engaged and Energy Recovery that harvests usually wasted technology when the car slows down. The two technologies work together to reduce C02 emission by 2-4 g/km.

You'll also be paying less in running costs as the GreenLine II is exempt from road tax and congestion charges.

Again it's the badges that give the game away that this is no ordinary Fabia although it follows the same lowering formula as other GreenLine models. Go for a hatchback version of the Fabia GreenLine and it's fitted with a less than subtle Aero rear spoiler to make it more slippery.

There's the usual grown-up feel to the interior and it is well-made but the plastic feels low-rent. The GreenLine II Fabia is well-equipped and includes electric windows, mirrors, manual air conditioning and 15-inch alloy wheels.

From behind the wheel, despite the environmental kit, the GreenLine drives like any other Fabia. Even with the lowered suspension, the ride is comfortable and the supple suspension irons out rough surfaces with ease. Sadly, the GreenLine isn't that much fun to drive with excessive body roll through corners and lifeless steering, but it always feels safe and composed.

Many green cars usually prove difficult to reach their claimed consumption figures, but this is not true of the Fabia. On our test route, we saw over 70mpg without really trying.

It may not be much fun to drive, but if you're looking to downsize or just want a small green car, the Fabia GreenLine II could be all the car you need.