The Skoda Fabia, a relative of the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza, has always been the most logical choice of the lot. Low costs, functional features, a rustic finish. Skoda aims to throw away the Volkswagen Group's low-cost reputation. And so it begins with Fabia's fourth generation: larger, more luxurious, and more pricey.
While the Skoda Fabia was formerly one of the market's smallest city vehicles, a growing dilemma has occurred! The Skoda Fabia has grown by 11 cm, including 9.5 cm in the wheelbase, and is now one of the biggest in the market. And, while the outside appearance hasn't changed much, the interior has been substantially remodeled. The rather gloomy mood has vanished, and the dashboard is quite attractive, with this bar that across it in its breadth and reaches into the aerators. The steering wheel is likewise influenced by the brand's higher-end models, and it works. There are some harsh plastics, but they are nicely camouflaged and of high quality on our sample version in the High Style finish.
The level of equipment is also up to date, with a digital 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit instrument cluster that is highly customizable and easy to read. Finally, we have the Skoda-specific minor functional gadgets: the umbrella in the door, the storage box with a garbage bag, and the retractable cup holder.
The metamorphosis is visible from behind. While the previous Fabia was intended for youngsters, any adult will be at ease in this modern version. The leg space is more than adequate (it is almost the same space as in the new Skoda Kodiaq SUV), and the seat is also rather lengthy, providing good support for the thighs. Side trunk inflation is also noticeable: it is now one of the largest in the category, with Skoda announcing 380 liters. When loading large things, a pad that deploys protects the bumper. Clever!
The new Skoda Fabia borrows heavily from the Volkswagen Polo in terms of dynamics, which is a good thing. The three-cylinder TSI "Evo" turbo is a particular standout. With 110 horsepower, our trial version is the most powerful. Later, a 150-hp four-cylinder engine will be offered.
It is not only pleasant to drive around the towers, but it also understands how to be discrete in terms of parasitic vibrations and noise, unlike many rival three-cylinders. However, we will not remark on the consumption until it has gone into the hands of Labo Auto Plus. Its sole shortcoming is a lack of progressiveness at 2,000 rpm, resulting in a reasonably abrupt power entrance.
It's also a pleasant surprise on the chassis. The overall design is relatively strict, yet it is not unpleasant to drive dynamically. Although some road irregularities reach the passengers, the 16-inch rims on our test model are reasonably comfy.
So, is the new Skoda Fabia ideal? On paper, it is excellent: more practical, more spacious, enjoyable to drive on the road in current times. However, we are far from Skoda, which distinguished out with lower prices than its competitors. Worse, the costs have risen above the level of direct competition: a comparable Renault Clio (TCe 100 hp GPL, premium finish) is about 1,500euros cheaper! As a result, it will need to attract a slightly different customer. However, if you're a Skoda fan, you won't be disappointed. The Skoda Fabia does not dispute Skoda's long-standing strength despite its much greater promises: a well-thought-out design with several valuable features.