Three-cylinder engines are all the rage in supermini land, so not wanting to miss out, Skoda has slipped the 1.0-litre motor that does such good service in the Citigo city car under the bonnet of the new Fabia. Surely it’s a recipe for success?

Er, no. While it has a certain charm in the smaller car, it’s not so successful in the supermini. The lack of power is more apparent – especially if you take advantage of the excellent space in the Fabia and get the family (and plenty of luggage) on board. You’ll find yourself urging the car forward on inclines as you swap for a lower gear... again.

And when you eventually get up to 70mph on the motorway, the engine drones endlessly – it’ll remind you of that annoying throbbing noise you get on a plane that never disappears.

The ride’s not great, either – a bit too bouncy for our liking. It’s reasonably cheap to run, though, with a claimed average of 58.8mpg. Sadly, it’s not cheap to buy – most buyers will go for the nicely equipped SE model, but you’ll have to find £12,760 for that – making a Peugeot 208 look like sensational value.

Yes, we did say it was nicely equipped and you do get plenty of luxury kit, but you don’t get much in the way of luxury feel. The interior may look smart enough until you touch it – it doesn’t exactly shout high quality.

There are some clever touches, though, as you’d expect from Skoda. There are lots of places to put things making this an easy car to live with.

What we’d struggle to live with is the lack of power and refinement of this particular model. We’d juggle the finance to get the 1.2-litre car that costs just £630 more – worth stretching to.

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