What is this?
The fourth generation of Skoda’s urban rascal. For those who wouldn’t have noticed: the smallest of the family since the Citigo was thanked for services rendered.
With which the Fabia is suddenly sent into the field with the necessary pressure on his new shoulders. Because not only does it serve as an introduction to the brand, sturm and urge towards premium regions of Skoda, the Fabia should also stretch the boundaries of the B-segment. If possible on and in the middle class.
A pretty difficult job for which the Fabia was fortunately given the necessary tools. Most notable:
- the large wheelbase. At 2,564 mm, it is even longer than that of the very first Octavia
- the increased luxury. Especially the digital kind. A technological upgrade made possible thanks to the MQB A0 platform
- Sophisticated aeordynamics. With its Cx of 0.28, the Fabia would even be the best air splitter in its class.
- A spacious suitcase. He already had the largest body, one that grew another 50 liters with the generation change
- The Simply Clever solutions. The Fabia also gets the right to his umbrella in the door. Finally.
- In the first place, it comes from within the family with the equally new-fangled Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza, although the necessary resistance may also be expected from the French corner, with the Peugeot 208 and Citroën C3 in the lead.
- We were given the Fabia on the Polish Riviera. Unfortunately, that sounds as cheap as it actually is.
- Color: Phoenix Orange
- Options: too many to list
- Tires: 16 inches, but we forgot to note the size
- whoever closely observes the flanks should be able to observe the Czech flag in the lines. Yes, it does indeed require some imagination.
Can we say that the Skoda Fabia is quite similar to the Octavia?
We live in a free country, so let yourself go. We also see where you get that comparison. Full face-down, where the radiator grille and headlights (which always shine through LED technology) seem to have run straight from Skoda’s large mid-sized car, the Fabia is indeed at risk of being worn out for an Octavia.
A resemblance that doesn’t stop there. Thanks to the MQB structure (note, for the Fabia an A0 suffix is added), the electronic architecture could also be hoisted into the current century.
From the 10.1-inch counter to the 9.2-inch central touch screen to the various driving assistants and safety gadgets (with the option of installing 9 airbags for the first time), just like with the Octavia, among others. it can now also be ordered on the smallest of the Skodas.
Strangely enough, the two-zone air conditioning, the heated windscreen and the ditto steering wheel are also unique. Luxury that has been available for a while with the competition and which we honestly thought Skoda already had on offer at the Fabia. Not so.
The Fabia will also be more spacious, surely? With such a wheelbase…
Yes definitely. Although this immediately includes the comment that the Ibiza has exactly the same distance between the axles.
That said, at 4.1 meters in length, the Fabia is the largest of the family – giving both the Ibiza and the Polo a run for their money. Extra length that has probably also ensured that it can present the most spacious cargo capacity of the VW Group trio.
The 380 liters that you now find between the valve and the rear seat is 50 liters more than before. With which the Fabia simply extended the volume record in its class. It’s even enough to keep up with the middle class!
It goes without saying that that conclusion can simply be extended to the back seat. We hoisted our 1m80 behind ourselves and it must be said, we never really ran out of space.
Is that Fabia also something fun to drive?
Gosh, yes and no. Of course it is what it is. They indicate at Skoda itself that they have adjusted the dampers slightly softer compared to those with the Polo, mainly because that would fit better with the approach that the Czechs have put forward in the development. Read: Skoda wants to keep the Fabia especially comfortable.
Which doesn’t mean he wouldn’t know anything about it. The so-called body-in-white became a lot stiffer, which, in combination with the fairly clearly communicating electrical power, still manages to put a fairly dynamic whole on the asphalt.
The Fabia can therefore have something, although he will indicate fairly quickly during the occasional roast – via very gradually built up understeer – that you are looking for the limits of good decency.
You could possibly adjust a sleeve there with the 15 millimeter lower sports chassis (which promises greater resilience), but then you are forced to give in to the very solid suspension compromise that the standard setup has to offer.
In the same way, we would also stay away from the 18-inchers. They signal the irregularities just a little too eagerly.
And what about that 1.0 MPI? Isn’t it too light?
Surprisingly not. At least, as long as you stay away from the highway. The mill needs more than 15 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill. It probably doesn’t have to be said that you will have to seriously pear if you want to get the Fabia along with the pace of faster traffic.
But we also liked the atmospheric three-cylinder very well. Quiet, smooth and sufficiently alert, it delivers just enough swing with its 80 hp and 93 Nm to switch gears around the church tower in comfort.
The only drawback is that you are always condemned to the somewhat old-fashioned five-speed gearbox. Those who want a sixth resistance will therefore have to move on to the 1.0 TSI. Ditto by the way for those who want to leave the switching to the 7-DSG.
What about financially? Because ‘upgrade’ that mainly sounds like more expensive, doesn’t it?
If we knew, we’d tell you. But since Skoda only plans to commercialize the Fabia in September, there are no prices for the time being.
The only thing we can somewhat rely on for budgetary statements is the 14,000 euros that the entry-level model would cost (yep, again conditionally). That is most likely with the even weaker MPI of 65 hp, a version that we have not tested and of which it is also not certain whether it will reach our country.
Anyway, you can probably expect a higher bill. Not only because you get more car (literally), but also because Skoda aims higher and just as much hopes to appeal to middle-class customers.
As already said, Skoda provides everything to serve that more demanding audience, albeit with the caveat that this luxury is not provided for free.
We also drove a fully upgraded 1.0 TSI Style with 110 hp and a robotized seven-speed, a Fabia version that wouldn’t surprise us if it reached the 30,000 euro mark.
The AutoWorld verdict?
This Fabia confirms two things. First, that Skoda knows best how to blend style and flair through a practical base. The Fabia is therefore as pleasant to look at as it is to drive.
Second, that we understand the strategy of the VW Group less and less. Mainly then the place of Volkswagen in the whole story. Because when it comes to cars for the masses, the Fabia proves once again that you have to be at Skoda for that these days.