In-depth reviews

Skoda Fabia - Interior, design and technology

The Skoda Fabia has sharper exterior styling, a quality feel to the cabin and plenty of standard kit

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.5 out of 5

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The fourth-gen Fabia is a bigger car than its predecessor and, with its sharper exterior styling, cuts a more modern shape on the road. The front-end includes Skoda’s latest grille and swept-back headlights, along with active cooling vents in the lower bumper that can shut to improve efficiency when travelling at cruising speeds.

At the rear, Skoda has included wider light clusters, a tailgate spoiler and new brand script across the boot lid which helps inject some much needed flair to the Fabia’s appearance. The stylish theme continues inside, with the cabin finished in surprisingly high-quality materials and a clear, well-organised dash layout. It all combines to deliver an appealing package, although we feel the Peugeot 208 still just about edges the Fabia for interior charm.

Standard kit is a highlight with the Fabia; the previous entry S trim has been discontinued, but if you track down a used example you'll have a supermini that includes LED headlights, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch colour media display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and manual air-conditioning.

The SE Comfort specification brings 15-inch alloy wheels, a multi-function steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats and rear parking sensors.

If you’re after improved tech, then the SE L has the answer in the form of a bigger 9.2-inch touchscreen, while the Colour Edition model adds the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display. The top-spec Monte Carlo version includes metallic or pearl effect paint as standard, along with 17-inch alloys, black exterior trim, sports seats and aluminium pedals.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Fabia gets the most up-to-date infotainment technology used across other VW Group brands. The touchscreen controlling the in-car media looks smart, with sharp graphics, although it could be quicker to load certain functions. SE L models and above feature the Amundsen infotainment set-up, with a large 9.2-inch display (pictured above) that makes things easier to read, while large on-screen tiles help you navigate the car’s assorted settings.

Colour Edition and Monte Carlo versions add a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display, with a variety of useful screen layouts and information that is easy to read on the move. We think it’s the best set-up available compared to any of the systems you'll find in the Fabia's closest rivals.

However, while the two temperature dials are fine below the touchscreen, if you want to adjust the fan or the direction of airflow, you need to do this via the touchscreen which to use seems needlessly complicated when you consider Skoda’s ethos of functionality.

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