Given the rising recognition of crossovers and compact SUVs, you may suppose that conventional hatchbacks have gotten considerably redundant. Nonetheless, these value-focused fashions proceed to supply the spine of many producer line-ups and are a standard sight in month-to-month best-seller lists as effectively.
So you possibly can perceive why corporations like Skoda aren’t content material with simply making crossovers and SUVs, however wish to make hatchbacks that match the invoice for patrons as effectively – like the brand new Fabia we’re seeing in the present day.
The Fabia has been a mainstay within the koda vary for a few years and this new one – which enters the automobile’s fourth technology – is greater than ever because of the longer wheelbase and extra beneficiant dimensions. In reality, there’s 50 liters extra boot area than earlier than and a powerful 380 liters is now being provided.
Elsewhere, we have a revised exterior with extra premium touches and a cabin with the newest Volkswagen Group expertise – however extra on that in a bit.
Our unique Fabia is powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 108bhp. There is a extra highly effective 1.5-litre, you want a bit of further punch, but it surely seems to be like this engine holds an actual candy spot within the vary on account of its nice mid-gear acceleration and good gasoline consumption. Skoda claims emissions of as much as 54.3mpg and between 117 and 128g/km relying on wheel dimension. There’s additionally the choice of a non-turbocharged 1.0-liter engine, however except you are after the bottom doable insurance coverage, we might trump this for this turbocharged model given its added versatility and refinement at excessive speeds.
We additionally get a six-speed handbook gearbox right here, although there’s an choice for a seven-speed DSG computerized on some fashions as effectively.
The Fabia is the right instance of what a no-frills driving expertise ought to be like. The engine is responsive and punchy whereas the six-speed gearbox is exact and light-weight. The brakes are good and quick too, whereas good visibility and a snug seating place imply that newbies to the Fabia will have the ability to get acquainted with the automobile rapidly.
The journey can be good and may very well be additional improved by choosing smaller alloy wheels versus the 17-inch variations fitted in our check automobile. We want there was much less street noise – which is sort of noticeable on the motorway – however this, once more, might be helped by becoming a smaller wheel. Total, the Fabia appears like a a lot larger automobile than it really is by way of driving really feel.
The look of this new Fabia is a really nice growth like its predecessor. That is consistent with the remainder of Skoda’s newest line-up, which has a big entrance grille near the design on the newest Octavia. Once more, the outside has a very ‘grown-up’ really feel, with LED headlights on the entrance and rear giving it a extra state-of-the-art look than earlier than.
The incorporation of extra chrome additionally provides to a premium really feel, however fortunately, good entry to the rear of the cabin and a light-weight, easy-to-operate boot imply that sensible options have been missed as a lot because the styling ones.
As we already talked about, a brand new platform implies that the brand new Fabia will get much more expertise than earlier than. All vehicles include a 6.5-inch central infotainment display as commonplace, however our automobile got here with an upgraded 9.2-inch model. It is clear and easy-to-use, whereas it stalled a bit when linked to Apple CarPlay—requiring a fast reset—it was pretty dependable.
However you possibly can’t blame the situation on provide. There may be loads of room for the entrance occupants, whereas the rear occupants get ample leg and headroom. Our automobile additionally had a panoramic glass roof—historically a headspace-reducing choice—however that additionally could not cut back the quantity of area on provide.
Skoda has established a status for making vehicles that supply a very good quantity of worth for cash and the Fabia isn’t any totally different. Costs for the Fabia line-up begin at £14,905 and even the entry-level S mannequin will get LED headlights, a 6.5-inch infotainment display and air-con.
In the meantime, our check automobile got here in SE L trim. These begin at £18,980 and embrace a bigger infotainment display with in-built navigation in addition to upgraded inside upholstery. That stated, choices like 17-inch wheels (£470), a park and package deal with entrance and rear parking sensors (£700) and that panoramic glass roof (£745) raised the Fabia’s value to £23,695 . At this value, you are fairly near an entry-level Octavia that provides considerably extra space.
The Fabia appears like a automobile which exhibits why the crossover isn’t the entire and the top of recent motoring. It’s compact but spacious, simple to drive but environment friendly and with out the nice wanting ‘take a look at me’ options. Just like the Fabias of outdated, it nonetheless has practicality on its aspect, with the elevated boot dimension positive to be a success for individuals who could have discovered the outdated automobile a contact too slender.
To maintain the Fabia’s value in that preferrred window we might simply say go simple with the non-compulsory extras. Try this and there is little cause why this little koda will not be enticing to all sorts of drivers.