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First drive: Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.

First drive: Skoda Fabia
Skoda's Fabia has grown up and dimensionally. Can it beat the best?

 



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Skoda Fabia

4 4 4 4 4

Skoda's new Fabia looks better, feels better and is better than before. It might not be a Fiesta or Polo beater, but it's a great all-rounder.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90hp
Pricing: starts at 10,600
Engine: 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: front-wheel drive, five-speed manual
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 107g/km (Band B, 20 per year)
Combined fuel economy: 60.1mpg
Top speed: 106mph
0-62mph: 10.9 seconds
Power: 90hp at 4,400- to 5,400rpm
Torque: 160Nm at 1,400- to 3,500rpm

What's this?

It's Skoda's new B-segment challenger - a Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo challenger in other words. This latest generation Fabia is new from the wheels up and borrows bits from the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform to create a car that is now lighter in weight, wider and, crucially for the aesthetics, lower. So that awkward stance of the last generation car is now gone.

How does it drive?

With the previous Fabia being one of the elder statesmen of the segment prior to this new model arriving, any changes were going to be easily noticed. That said, Skoda's engineers have done a pretty comprehensive job in making the new Fabia feel right up to date. Of the range of engines offered by Skoda, the 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder tested here is probably one of the sweeter choices, though if most of your driving is simply short runs around town the smaller 1.0-litre MPI engine is certainly worth considering.

For a small car it does still feel solid and surefooted on the road. The electrically-assisted power steering doesn't give tremendous levels of feedback to the driver but that isn't one of the main priorities with this car. What will be of more interest to many are the increased levels of space inside. The extended wheelbase gives more legroom and even though the car is lower than before, there is more headroom for front passengers. Boot space has grown by 15 litres to a useful 330 litres, which can of course be extended - to 1,150 litres - by lowering the rear seats, which feature a 60:40 split. The interior is more stylish than before and feels of good quality, though lower-spec models feel a little bare.

Out of town and at higher speeds the refinement in the Fabia is pretty good, helped by MacPherson suspension, which includes a torsion stabiliser in the front and a compound link crank-axle at the rear. There's unlikely to be a new vRS variant sadly.

Verdict

The new Skoda Fabia might not have the driving dynamics of the Ford Fiesta, nor does it have the superior quality feeling that the Volkswagen Polo offers, but on the whole it is a good, well-rounded car that makes for a sensible purchase - and it now looks as good as any other model in the company's line-up.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Dave Humphreys - 20 Nov 2014









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2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Paddy McGrath.



2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 

2015 Skoda Fabia. Image by Skoda.
 






 

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