We got up close and personal with Skoda's improved fab third generation of their iconic Fabia to see just exactly why our customers are choosing the Fabia en-mass ahead of other rival manufacturers cars in the same family friendly hatchback range.
Just like many of our customers, they choose not to tell the neighbours it’s a Skoda - and they didn't ask. Nor would they. Who would guess this smartly-styled little car is from a Czech manufacturer once known for cheap and cheerful cars. This new third generation Fabia is much, much more sophisticated than any compact car Skoda has ever produced before!
Most families think large cars but we would consider this surprising Skoda, for five can be seated in reasonable comfort. In our week with the car, space was never an issue! Getting child seats in and out wasn’t a problem! Inside you’ll find it’s slightly larger than most rival cars and provides decent headroom. The boot is one of the largest within the hatchback market at 330-litres. With the rear seats down, loading capacity increases to over 1,100 litres! The loading area is 960mm wide, which was welcome during a trip to the tip!
Base models can feel a little sparse and that is the only real criticism we would make of an interior that is otherwise a class above many other rivals! Forget the plasticky feel: the materials used are of really good quality. The upper ranges have lovely Audi-esque touches. Remember, the Fabia is designed to be practical.
The BIG news here is the mobile online services available from 'Skoda Connect'. The 'Connect' package consists of two things; 'Infotainment Online' giving online traffic information and updates on things like fuel prices, parking spaces and weather. Then there are the 'CareConnect Services' which allow you to monitor your car from your smartphone and includes a breakdown call function that automatically alerts the emergency services if your airbags go off in an accident!
You're unlikely to impress your youngsters buying a Skoda Fabia but they'll probably be a little shocked if you were to toss them the keys for a quick go! We wouldn't have encouraged that with previous Fabias, but this one's a bit different thanks to major advances under the bonnet!
All of the ranges we offer are three-cylinder petrol-powered engines, Skoda decided that the market for diesels amongst supermini’s are now defunct. There are 60 and 75PS 1.0-litre MPI powerplants, but the engine to have, is the 1.0-litre TSI turbo, available with 95 or 110PS which can be matched with 7-speed DSG auto transmission.
Prices start at just over £11,000 here and this Fabia provides you with the option of five familiar trim levels; 'S', 'SE', 'SE L', 'Monte Carlo’ and 'Colour Edition'. Whilst no longer a bargain-bin car, this Fabia is still very well priced. For an extra £1,000 if you can even have an Estate version!
A key improvement made to this revised model is the addition of the brand's 'Swing' centre-dash infotainment monitor, a 6.5-inch display that also allows drivers to use the full range of mobile online services. Further up the Fabia range, buyers are offered the more sophisticated navigation systems, featuring real-time Online Traffic Information services. Meanwhile, innovative SmartLink+ technology makes it possible to enjoy all the benefits of the Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirrorLink and SmartGate as standard.
The 1.0-litre engine turns in some excellent economy figures. The 95PS 1.0-litre TSI variant means you're good for 65.7mpg with emissions dropping to just 99g/km. Go for the 110PS unit and you're looking at 64.2mpg and 101g/km or 62.8mpg and 104g/km for a DSG auto model.
In the real world this means, a 1.0-litre TSI petrol-powered Fabia could be easier and end up being more economic overall than some similar diesel models!
Fabias have always held firm when it comes to residual values, with used buyers valuing the Volkswagen Group input and great build quality. Insurance has also been cheap, reflecting the mature owner profile. Will that change now that Skoda is aiming at a younger demographic? We'll see on that one.
In summary, this third generation Fabia is not a small Skoda of the past but it's still cheaper than nearly all its main rivals AND is better in many ways, with space, safety and build quality all leading in it’s class.
So, where’s the issue? There isn’t one…you could say…Czech mate.
Speak to a member of the team today on 0333 222 4380 for a price personal to you or email; firstname.lastname@example.org
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