We drive What Car’s 2015 Car of the Year and find out just how good the New Skoda Fabia is writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? Now in its third generation the new Fabia is sleeker looking and comes with improved cabin space and fuel economy.
Who is it aimed at? While the sharper styling is squarely aimed at younger buyers the bold new design is likely also to appeal to a broader age group than previous models.
Styling? With wheel arch flares and crisper lines the new Fabia is cleaner and more dynamic looking and now shares a strong resemblance to its big brother, the Octavia.
Under the Bonnet? Powering our test car is a diminutive 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and despite its size, it packs plenty of punch. There is also a 1.0 litre petrol or a 1.4 diesel option.
What about inside? If you hate clutter you will love the functional cabin though it may be a little dull for some tastes. Space throughout is good as this new version is now slightly longer and larger. There is decent head and legroom, enough space for four adults and the seats can be folded to create flexible space for luggage space.
On the Road? On the road the Fabia is smooth and very grown up, turn it into a bend and it behaves impeccably and the nicely weighted steering is spot on. It’s also very comfortable, and there’s more than enough grip if the roads are wet or icy. In bumper to bumper commuting traffic the smooth gearshift and light pedals are ideal.
And Safety? The Fabia did very well in NCAP crash tests and there’s no shortage of things to keep you safe: all models come with Six airbags (front, curtain and side) and two rear ISOFIX fittings and ESC electronic stability control.
Options? There are three trim levels to choose from, the entry-level Active, Ambition and Style. You’ll get plenty of extras, whichever you choose: basic models have electric windows and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Climb one rung to Ambition and you get front fog lights, heated electric door mirrors, front LED lights and with the range-toppers, you get air con, rear electric windows, parking sensors and 16” alloy wheels.
Will it break the bank? Reliability has always been a selling point for Skoda so it’s unlikely you’ll end up stranded; the Fabia feels reassuringly well built and fixtures and fitting are all good quality. The Fabia range starts at €13,895 for the 1.0-litre, 60bhp Active.
Economy?Our test car delivers a combined fuel economy of 4.7 litres/100km or 60.1mpg with Co2 emissions of 107g/km.
Verdict? The Fabia is the perfect eco-warrior, as fuel consumption and emissions are both low. It handles really well and you’ll always feel in control. Smart, chic and affordable the New Fabia will brighten up the dullest of days.
Why you’ll buy one? Reliability; Economy; Spacious
Why you won’t? Dull Styling; Pricey as you progress through the range; Combi Estate version on the way
Opel Corsa – prices starting from €14,895
Ford Fiesta– prices starting from €15,740
Skoda Fabia Style 1.2TSI 90BHP
Engine: 1,197cc, 90bhp @ 4,400 to 5,400rpm, 160 Nm @ 1,400 – 3,500rpm
Max speed: 196km/h
0-100 kph: 10.9 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 107g/km ( €190)
Model range: €13,895 (€18,195 as tested)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.7 litres/100km (60 mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 330 litres (1,150)
Wheelbase: 2,470 mm
21st January, 2015