Should it still be considered a city car, which it was when it debuted 23 years ago, or a compact all-rounder? On the edge of the two categories, the Fabia does not depart from the codes of the brand by offering, in a comparable segment, more space. Taking over the VW Polo’s MQB A0 platform, it stretches to 4.11m, 11 centimeters longer than the previous version while being 5 centimeters wider and slightly lower (0.8 mm) . This is enough to give it a stature quite different from the design, sober and licked, the optional two-tone color and the enlarged grille come to enhance under an effective Cx of 0.28.
This more virile side is reinforced inside by a design of the dashboard, richer to the eye than to the touch where the rigid plastics are flush. Even if the adjustments are neat, the Volkswagen group is no longer in the lead on this point where the French in particular have taken care of the materials used. Yielding to digital, the instrumentation is configurable in five different styles – but it always comes back to the same – with the digital cockpit (430 euros option) in the center. Many items of equipment are combined in the style finish, recognizable by its bronze-coloured inserts in the passenger compartment.
As an option, a large central screen offers intuitive multimedia functions, even going from 8 to 9.2 inches to obtain 3D navigation (800 euros). Highlight the dedicated storage: phone with USB-C, pens, can, front and rear, removable cup holders for easy cleaning, a card and coin holder in the glove box or still the ice scraper in the fuel hatch and the famous umbrella housed in the thickness of the door. They show that the engineers came out of their offices and imagined what everyday life could be like with a car.
This will be made pleasant by these details but also by the promised space, the 5 centimeters gained in wheelbase benefiting the legs of the rear passengers. This did not sacrifice trunk space, a record in the category with its 380 liters and a trick, a reversible and reflectorized carpet to serve as washable protection of the loading sill. Another detail, the windscreen washer cap takes the form, when opened, of a funnel! Simple, but you had to think about it.
One thing that the VW group did not think about is the availability of hybrid versions, which are probably not considered strategic enough at this level of the range. No diesel either, the choice being between the 3-cylinder 1.0 l of 65 or 80 hp or the TSI Turbo in 95 or 110 hp. It’s the latter that we tried, with a robotic DSG box that masks the lack of spirit of this 3-cylinder below 2,000 rpm. Past this course, the old-fashioned engine is unrecognizable, driving and playful even if it requires driving “in the towers” out of fashion.
Communicative, the precise direction and the robust braking identify a character that one could qualify as sporty but which is not. Indeed, the suspension, very comfortable on perfect roads, falls apart elsewhere, letting the firmness of the springs pierce associated with a little loose damping, a very German combination, unlike what the French do. This does not affect the relative sobriety of this Fabia, a small one capable of carrying five passengers and their luggage like few, if any, of its rivals.
– Well-tempered Skoda styling
– Amazing roominess
– Clever layouts
– Large trunk
– Price up
– Many options
– Comfort on bad roads
– Hard Fillings
Engine: 3 cyl. turbo gasoline
Displacement: 999 cc
Power: 110 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 200 Nm at 2000 rpm
Drivetrain: front wheels
Box: BVM6 (DSG7 option)
Dimensions L x l x h : 4,11 x 1,78 x 1,46 m
Trunk: 380 l
0 to 100 km / h: 9.7 s (9.6 s) record
Vitesse : 205 km/h
Consumption: 4.6 – 4.8 l (4.6 – 4.7 l)
CO2 : 116 – 117 g/km (126 – 128 g/km lower)
Poids : 1 170 kg (1 192 kg)
Price: €20,670-23,170 (€21,870-24,370)