Categories: Tests

Skoda Fabia test: move upmarket, but at what price?

A cousin of the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza, the Skoda Fabia has always been the most rational of the bunch. Tight prices, practical aspects, rustic finish… This low-cost image of the group Volkswagen, Skoda wants to get rid of it. And so it starts with this fourth generation of the Fabia : bigger, more premium, and more expensive. Winning bet? The answer in our video essay:

Honey, I made the Fabia bigger!

While the Skoda Fabia was until then one of the smallest city cars on the market, a growth crisis has happened! With 11 cm won, including 9.5 cm in the wheelbase, the Fabia is now one of the largest in the segment. And if the style does not change much on the outside, the interior has been completely redesigned. No more dull atmosphere, the dashboard is very drawn, with this bar which crosses it in its width and extends into the aerators. The steering wheel is also inspired by the brand’s more upscale models, and it’s successful. There are still hard plastics, but on our trial version in High Style finish, they are well hidden and of good quality.

The level of equipment is also up to date, including a digital instrument cluster Digital Cockpit de 10,25″, widely customizable and very readable. Finally, we still find the small practical gadgets specific to Skoda: the umbrella in the door, the storage compartment with trash bag, the removable cup holder …

Behind, the transformation is obvious. While the old Fabia was reserved for children, any adult will be comfortably installed in this new version. The leg space is more than sufficient, and the seat is also quite long and therefore supports the thighs well. Side trunk also, inflation is well felt: it is now one of the largest in the category, with 380 liters announced by Skoda. It is also covered with nets and storage of all kinds. Better : a carpet unfolds to protect the bumper when loading bulky items. Smart!

At the wheel of the Skoda Fabia: mini Polo!

Dynamically, the new Skoda Fabia inherits a lot from the Volkswagen Polo, and that’s quite a good thing. In particular, the 3 cylinder turbo TSI «Evo» is a real success. Our trial version is the most powerful, with 110 ch. A four-cylinder 150 hp will be available later.

Pleasant to take in the towers, it also knows how to be discreet both in terms of parasitic vibrations and noise, unlike many competing 3-cylinder cylinders. However, we will not comment on the consumption before it has passed into the hands of Labo Auto Plus. Its only apparent flaw: a lack of progressiveness around 2,000 rpm, with the somewhat sudden arrival of power.

Chassis side, it’s also a good surprise. The whole is very rigorous and is not not unpleasant in dynamic driving. The “small” 16-inch rims on our test model are still quite comfortable, although some road imperfections sometimes reach the occupants.

Watch out for prices …

So, is this new Skoda Fabia perfect? On paper, the copy is very good : more practical, more roomy, pleasant to drive on the road, in the modern day … But all that has to be paid for. We are far from the Skoda which stood out with more friendly prices than its cousins. Worse : prices go up beyond direct competition: a comparable Renault Clio (TCe 100 hp GPL, high finish) is almost € 1,500 cheaper! It will therefore have to attract a slightly different clientele. But if you’re loyal to Skoda, you won’t be disappointed. Despite its much higher claims, this Fabia does not deny what has always been the strength of Skoda: a well thought out design and many practical aspects.

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