Long-term report: Our Skoda Fabia’s colour proves divisive

By Ted Welford

What’s in a colour these days? Is it really that important when buying a new car?

I thought not, and that we might have got past the stage of people criticising a car purely for whatever shade it’s in. But, as I found out this month, it turns out we haven’t.

Our long-term Fabia is painted in a rather unusual shade of grey – sitting on the ultra-light end of the grey spectrum. And, dare I say it, it looks a bit like primer.

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It appears others agree with that logic, as on two separate occasions I’ve had people shout at me when getting into the Fabia. “Why didn’t they paint it for you”, bellowed one bloke, while in Asda supermarket another shouted, “All that money and you couldn’t afford to have it painted”. Harsh, given it’s a £420 optional extra.

It’s the first time I’ve ever been shouted at a car before, and the fact it has been directed at a small, affordable and placid supermini makes it all the more surprising. Had the Fabia been painted in black, white or red, they probably wouldn’t have even noticed it.

But anyway, back to the colour. Skoda calls it Meteor Grey and it’s a shade that’s meant to be suited to Skoda’s performance models – such as the Octavia vRS. It’s gradually trickling down to other models – crossovers et al – but the only Fabia you can have it on is the Monte Carlo.

Paired with our Fabia’s black styling kit – including its 17-inch alloys, roof, side sills etc – it looks rather good. And the other thing I love about the colour is how clean it always appears. You would think such a light colour would look filthy at the earliest opportunity, but it’s the opposite, and blends in with grime exceptionally well.

After a month of use by me and a couple of colleagues, it could still pass as clean(ish). Albeit a good Sunday afternoon washing session has it looking its true self again.

I’ve come to like the colour’s divisive nature – and because of that, it’s probably the colour I’d choose with my own money.

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But, what about the rest of the car? It’s safe to say I’m impressed.

Sure, its 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine needs a bit of encouragement to get up to speed, but once you get there, it’s remarkably refined for such a small car. It’s just missing out on cruise control, though I know I’m far from the first in the office to moan about this.

It’s also surprisingly good on fuel. A 180-mile round trip to Heathrow and back costs just £20 at the pump, which is identical to that of diesel models claiming so much more in the way of efficiency.

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So, it’s colour won’t suit all, but what’s hard to deny is how competent KY68 WXB is. More of the same would be great. Just no more of the abuse in Asda car parks, thanks.

  • Model: Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
  • Price: £20,065
  • Engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol
  • Power (bhp): 94
  • Torque (Nm): 160
  • Top speed (mph): 114
  • 0-60mph: 10.6 seconds
  • MPG (Combined): 61.4
  • Emissions (g/km): 106
  • Mileage: 5,760