If you want a small wagon, a light wagon to be precise, there's only one choice and that is Skoda's Fabia. They have two available, a red hot 132kW RS model and the garden variety 77TSi version subject of this yarn.
It adds a few grand to the bottom line selling for $23,290 nut the DSG is a worthwhile investment if you want your cake and eat it too. Around town, it's an auto, out on some country road, it's a manual. But there aren't any paddles here, it's stick shift only for the manual mode.
The povvo pack spec' means no alloys and a fairly basic features inventory but the necessities are there including aircon', power windows, cruise, heated mirrors and extensive multimedia connectivity. There's Bluetooth phone and a multi function wheel to make you happy.
No looker, the rather gawky Fabia wagon does have quite a few redeeming features apart from being the only light wagon currently available in this country. We used the little wagon to transport four tyres and wheels and they fitted no problem once the 60/40 rear seats were folded.
The engine we have seen before in numerous VW products but in this instance and because of the size and weight of the car, there's no performance cringe. In fact, there's a fuel economy bonus with the Fabia wagon as it can sip at a rate of just 5.5-litres/100km.
And because the 1.2-litre four cylinder engine is turbocharged and has direct injection, there's plenty of kick from this tiddler when you need it. Skoda only had a five-speed manual at launch but now there's a seven-speed DSG dual clutch manumatic and it makes a world of difference, contributing to the rather sporty flavour of this tiddler size carry-all.
The DSG not only delivers fuel efficiency gains it makes the car seriously more driveable because of the speed of the gear changes. We couldn't detect any jerkiness at idle speeds alleged by other drivers. It was all plain sailing as long as you are judicious with your right foot and didn't show any symptoms of St Vitus Dance. It's a handy little bugger that's for sure and easy to park too.
Guess we could get used to that kooky face if we needed wagon practicality in a compact, affordable and economical vehicle.
Skoda Fabia 77TSI
Price: from $23,290
Engine: 1.2-litre 4-cyl, 77kW/175Nm
Transmission: 7-speed auto, FWD
Thirst: 5.3L/100Km, COS 124g/km