The new Skoda Fabia and why it should be on your shortlist
Stylish, spacious, well built and great value... The new Skoda Fabia is a supermini that deserves to be on every buyer’s shortlist
When it comes to small cars, Skoda has a rich pedigree – and the company has moved the game on again with its exciting all-new version of the Fabia supermini. The latest Fabia showcases all the talents buyers have come to expect of a Skoda, with superb build quality, generous space and an affordable price tag – and it’s all wrapped up in a truly stylish package.
Lower and wider than the previous model, the new car pulls off the impressive trick of being instantly recognisable as a Fabia, but widening its appeal to a whole new customer base with its more purposeful, sportier stance. Of course, it owes a lot to the Vision C concept that the brand unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last year, which was a great showcase of the cutting-edge design that Skoda is capable of.
Bootspace is one of the new Fabia’s trump cards, with a generous capacity of 330 litres expanding to 1,150 with the rear seats folded
The contoured bonnet and chrome-framed grille are direct nods to the Vision C, and help create a more classy look, while low-set foglights in the bumper accentuate the broader stance.
And a sharp waistline, which stretches from the tail-lamps to the headlamps, highlights the car’s length.
As you’d expect, the change in dimensions has in no way compromised the car’s practicality. Providing plenty of space has always been key for the Fabia, and with a slightly longer wheelbase than on the previous model, there is more room than ever for passengers. Six-footers can get into the back – even if there is a fellow six-footer behind the steering wheel – and the rear doors open wide, too, which is great news for parents with toddlers to lift into child seats.
Amid an array of impressive tech features, MirrorLink stands out. It shows the display on your phone on the Fabia’s central screen
Carrying capacity will also be an essential consideration for many buyers, and the Fabia leaves its rivals trailing in this area, with a 330-litre boot – the biggest of any supermini, and 15 litres greater than on the last Fabia. Folding the rear seats down increases this to 1,150 litres. And if that’s not enough? Well, there’s always the Estate version, which offers 530 and 1,395 litres respectively.
On the road, the Fabia displays all the attributes Skoda buyers have come to know and love – it’s easy to drive, with light steering, and comfortable on the motorway. The use of some elements of the established ‘MQB’ technology means the Fabia is lighter than before, too – important given how crucial fuel consumption is for most buyers these days.
There’s an engine for everybody, with petrols ranging from a 59bhp 1.0 three-cyl to a 109bhp 1.2 and a 1.4 diesel offered with 89 or 103bhp
A wide choice of engines is available, with the petrol options kicking off with 59bhp and 74bhp 1.0-litre three cylinders, which have also been used to great effect in Skoda’s multi-award-winning Citigo city car. Higher up the range, 89bhp and 109bhp 1.2-litre TSI units are offered. Prefer the idea of a diesel? Again, you’re well catered for. There are two different versions of the 1.4-litre TDI – with 89bhp or 103bhp – and significantly, both emit less than 90g/km of CO2 to ensure tax-free motoring.
And if maximum efficiency is the priority, how about the forthcoming GreenLine version of the 1.4-litre TDI? With a compelling claimed fuel economy figure of 91mpg and CO2 emissions of 82g/km, it’s the perfect fit for those buyers who like to keep a keen eye on what they’re spending when they’re motoring. Arguably of even more importance to many when buying a car, though, is the ability to create a model that reflects their personality with a specific look and generous equipment tally. And the Fabia offers a multitude of options here.
Firstly, it heralds the introduction of Skoda’s Colour Concept programme, which allows customers to become the designer of their car. The idea is simple – they choose the roof colour (including the A-pillar and side mirrors) plus 16-inch Beam alloys from a selection of either white, silver or black, and match their selection to one of the 14 body colours available.
Upmarket cabin is well built and stylish, with some top-quality features. It’s spacious, too, with six-footers comfortable in front and back
Then, of course, there’s the dilemma of which trim to go for – well equipped S is the entry point, with SE the next step up and top-line SE-L offering tech that would have been unthinkable in a supermini a few years ago. Among the highlights is MirrorLink, which is standard on SE models and above.
Given how integral smartphones are to everyone’s lives, it allows you to display selected approved apps on the central infotainment screen on the dashboard. This allows you to access weather, navigation and parking info stored on your mobile – a brilliantly simple idea, well executed. Android phones are compatible at the moment, with iPhone compatibility coming later.
Other standout features include keyless entry, Front Assist, stop-start and DAB radio (standard on all cars), and an Arkamys surround sound system and air-con (both SE and above). It all adds up to a big car feel in a small car package that is true to the Fabia’s heritage, but moves the game on significantly.
Skoda was named top manufacturer in the Auto Express Driver Power owner survey in 2014, so you know the Fabia will be reliable
And the best bit? You know owning and running the Fabia will be problem-free and won’t break the bank. Skoda is always a star performer in Auto Express’s Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, being crowned best manufacturer in 2014, with its dealer network voted the fourth best in Britain.
And with all-new Fabia prices starting from £10,600, it of course provides the great value for money that the firm has become renowned for.
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