Over the years the Skoda has grown in stature as well as popularity and the latest iteration shows how far the brand has come under VW ownership. The latest generation Fabia is a full 22 years on from its originator and offers premium features in a small and relatively inexpensive package.
Starting at just under £16,000 in the UK and about to be put on sale, with deliveries starting in 2022, the new Czech model has a selection of engines ranging from the 1.0L revised 65 horsepower 3-cylinder petrol, right up to the 1.5L TSI unit found across many of the VW groups platforms and carlines, boasting a respectable 148 horsepower. These units are available as either a 6-speed manual or the 7-speed DSG Auto we are all familiar with by now.
The basic Fabia will only come with an analogue instrument cluster, and a measly 3.5inch infotainment screen, a postage stamp in comparison with its higher trim levels. With this, the no frills 6 speed manual gearbox and a petty 65 horsepower 1.0L unit. Perhaps not the option that stands out to most buyers, but there if you need a cheaper run around town.
The trim levels are yet to be fully announced, but the higher spec models will include a 9.2” centre touch screen display and all the apps and driver assist features. Adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and road sign recognition are a but a few. A lot of the equipment is taken from the Octavia, a much pricier car overall, therefore the new Fabia is excellent value for money on paper.
With this, the 1.0L, 109hp engine has enough grunt to overtake and cope with motorway driving but lacks excitement and true sportiness which comes to light in the 1.5 TSI 4cylinder model and would be the choice if you want to spend that little extra for more refinement.
The vRS is Skoda’s flagship sporty name badge. However, the directors and board members have not seen a strong enough business case to develop such a model. Even though the predicted demand and previous success proves a strong argument, the emissions standards and new electric models means Skoda need to allocate resources elsewhere.
The new platform the Fabia sits on really makes the most of interior space, the boot is so large it beats its bigger rivals the Ford Focus and matches that of the Golf at 380 Litres. With this the premium looking bronze stitching and new two-spoke steering wheel makes it stand out above some of its rivals such as the Fiesta and Polo.
The suspension offers no trouble in cities or low speed scenarios but struggles in holding its ground when rolling through country B roads and swaying mountain passes, of course the car was never intended for these situations. With its lightweight city steering and quiet interior, it proves a quality small hatchback and punches well above its weight here.
The well-established name plate has finally stood out above its rivals in recent years, with modern styling, technology, and a roomy interior. The new Fabia is an excellent vehicle of choice with its latest model and is ideal for roaming around towns and busy cities.
However, be warned about the most basic models and engines as there is a lot left to be desired, the more expensive higher spec and that 1.5L TSI engine would be the combo of choice, be prepared to fork out a little more for that as prices are estimated to be closer to the £20,000 mark.
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