Skoda Fabia SE

Comfort

Skoda Fabia, 2022, nose
Skoda Fabia, 2022, front
Skoda Fabia, 2022, side
Skoda Fabia, 2022, rear
Skoda Fabia, 2022, interior
Skoda Fabia, 2021, instrument panel

WITH the launch of the fourth generation Fabia Czech car maker Skoda has taken its popular small car to a whole new level.

It's a real class act in terms of build quality, refinement and handling.

But most importantly it's a family hatchbacks that's really enjoyable to drive thanks to its lightweight handling, ease of manoeuvrability and busy little engine which punches well above its weight.

When it stopped producing its Citygo model - the sister car to the Volkswagen Up - the Fabia became Skoda's smallest car.

But the new Fabia - which is now built on a Volkswagen platform - is anything but small and exceeds four metres in length for the first time as well as being wider.

That not only means more space for passengers but a big increase in luggage room in a car that already offered the most luggage space of any model in its class.

In fact at 380 litres with the rear seatbacks upright and 1,190 litres with them folded down there's now 50 litres more space beneath the tailgate than on the previous generation Fabia. That's more luggage space than with the VW Polo or even the Ford Fiesta.

Cosmetically the new four-door, five-seater Fabia is far sharper, far more dynamic than its predecessor with distinctive cuts in the metal of the doors and a striking "face" characterised by new narrow headlights and an imposing grille .

Step inside and it's all change here too with a smart, intuitive layout which means you spend less time taking your eyes off the road.

The traditional two-dial instrument binnacle with gloss black panels on each side bearing the name Fabia is complimented by a 6.5-inch centre-set touch screen for the radio and onboard settings.

On the SE Comfort spec model, driven here, there is no satellite navigation as standard but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard so there is no problem setting your destination via your smart phone.

In many ways the Fabia excels because of its sensible simplicity.

There's a manual rather than the now ubiquitous electric handbrake, five rather than six gears and dials rather than on-screen symbols for the heating system.

In fact it's a car which proves that less is more.

On the road this new supermini is well balanced and highly manoeuvrable. The suspension is compliant enough to smooth out our potholed roads but firm enough to ensure excellent road holding and with barely any body roll, its a delight to drive.

The slick five-speed is one of smoothest of any car today and if you wind up the revs in each gear this little car really does buzz.

It always feels much quicker than its official 0-62 mph time of 10.6 seconds and is a real keen mover.

Stability at speed is impressive too with the car always feeling as well planted as its larger siblings at speeds of 70+mph.

At the same time over a week with the Fabia my average fuel consumption never dropped below 53mpg.

As with all Skodas this one comes with the company's "Simply Clever" features like a reversible rubber boot mat, ice scraper in the fuel filler cover and a parking ticket clip on the inside of the windscreen.

Since the launch of the original Fabia in 1999 more than 4.5 million have been sold.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Fabia SE Comfort

Price: £17,745

Mechanical: 95ps from 1.0-litre, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via five speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 119 mph

0-62mph: 10.6 secs

Combined MPG: 55.4

Insurance Group: 10

C02 emissions: 115 g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles.

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