The new Skoda Fabia just made choosing a new small car even more tricky – it’s funky too…
Originally launched in 1999, the Fabia has proved itself to be a popular, well-built, reliable small car.
Now in its third generation, it looks like it’s going to sell in even bigger numbers – adding good looks, gadgets and character to the successful mix.
The 2015 Skoda Fabia is up against the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and its cousin, the VW Polo, so it has to be good.
Sharp lines, a big grille, distinctive headlights and a tidy rear end give the new Fabia a sportier look than its predecessor. Inside, it’s roomy, well designed and smart.
Available as a five-door hatchback and estate with a range of petrol and diesel engines, there are initially three trim levels to choose from – S, SE and SE L.
I drove the 1.2 TSI (petrol) and 1.4 TDI (diesel) versions. The former capable of a claimed 60.1mpg, though expect it to be nearer 40mpg in real world driving, while the diesel has an official mpg of 83.1. I achieved closer to 60mpg, but with a little restraint I’m sure 70mpg+ is possible.
The Fabia is no hot hatch, but it doesn’t disgrace itself either with a 0-60mph time of around 11 seconds.
So, if you’re driving mainly in the city, the 1.0 or 1.2 petrol is probably your best bet, but on longer runs the diesel is the more relaxed performer.
The spacious, bright interior has a premium feel, while the seats are comfortable and even the basic S spec has DAB radio, electric windows and remote central locking. Rear seat and boot space is competitive and there are plenty of storage places.
The instruments all fall to hand and the central infotainment screen is easy to use. Sadly no sat nav, but it’s assumed that buyers have a smartphone which can be connected, effectively mirroring its apps on the car’s multimedia screen.
The Fabia drives well with light steering and good gearboxes – just don’t expect a sporty experience.
The range starts at £10,600, rising to £17,240. An estate is now available too, while a sportier Monte Carlo version is expected to follow later in 2015.
Summary: The new Skoda Fabia is a great looking car, especially if you opt for a funky colour or contrasting roof and door mirrors. It’s well put together, safe, spacious and should offer reliable, value for money motoring.