Skoda Fabia SE L 1.0

TSI 110ps

Skoda Fabia, 2022, front
Skoda Fabia, 2022, side, static
Skoda Fabia, 2022, rear, action
Skoda Fabia, 2022, rear
Skoda Fabia, 2022, interior
Skoda Fabia, 2022, boot
Skoda Fabia, 2022, boot

SKODA has been making very good cars for more than two decades now so it's remarkable that some potential buyers still display ‘badge snobbery' about the brand, even when you point out its countless awards and VW Group underpinnings.

Arguably, the Czech manufacturers status has been rising since its Fabia supermini was launched in 1999 as a replacement for the out-dated Felicia. Since then, it has gone on to sell more than 4.5 million models worldwide.

Perhaps then, the naysayers could be persuaded by the latest, fourth-generation Fabia, which comes with sharper styling, improved practicality, more space for passengers and modern, up-to-date technology and a whole bunch of important safety kit.

It is the first Fabia to be based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB-A0 platform, which also underpins Skoda's impressive Scalafamily car and Kamiq small SUV.

It is noticeably bigger than its predecessor and 11cm longer making it the first Fabia to exceed the four-metre mark. It is also wider and has a longer wheelbase - longer than the first Skoda Octavia - giving passengers much more room.

Several engine choices are available including a79bhp MPI unit, along with a 1.0-litre TSI turbocharged engine offering a choice of 94bhp or 109bhp. A 148bhp 1.5-litre TSI petrol sits at the top of the range.

All Fabias use a five-speed manual gearbox, with the exception of the most powerful 108bhp model, which has a six-speed manual as standard or an optional DSG automatic transmission. The 148bhp model only comes with the DSG auto.

Four trims levels are available - SE Comfort, SE L, Colour Edition and Monte Carlo trim.

Even at entry level, standard kit is pretty generous with 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, aircon, a DAB radio, a 6.5-inch colour media display, and safety tech you'd expect to see on more expensive models.

The SE L trim featured here adds niceties such as ambient lighting, integrated sat-nav, cruise control, a bigger, 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, electric windows front and rear, and 16-inch alloys.

The 109bhp 1.0-litre TSIengine is smooth, quiet but punchy with 200Nm of torque, which is handy for overtaking. It's no hot hatch though with the damping and handling geared for comfort rather than rallycross.

The cabin is nicely finished in decent quality materials and the touchscreen is easy to navigate thanks to chunky on-screen tiles.

The Fabia's extra length means it's more spacious than ever. There's plenty of space upfront and rear seat space is near class-leading as is leg room. There's all the headroom you'll need too.

For a supermini, the Fabia has a capacious 380-litre boot - 50 litres more than its predecessor - and comes with handy luggage hooks, nets and useful compartments for assorted oddments. Fold the rear seats and luggage capacity leaps to 1,190 litres.

Safety kit for the SE L includes a Front Assist system which helps avoid potential collisions by automatically applying the brakes if it detects an impending collision with other cars, pedestrians or cyclists, lane keep assist with road edge detection, and a driver alert system.

Driver and front passenger airbags, curtain airbags and front side airbags are fitted as standard. And to safely secure child seats, ISOFIX anchors and top tether anchor points on the outer rear seats also come as standard.

As usual with Skoda, the Fabia features a range of 'Simply Clever' touches - a possible 42 in all - including the famous umbrella in the driver's door and ice scraper in the fuel filler cover.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Fabia SE L 1.0 TSI 110ps

Price:£18,885

Mechanical:109bhp, 999cc, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission

Max Speed:127mph

0-62mph:10 seconds

Combined MPG: 55.4

Insurance Group:11

C02 emissions:117g/km

Bik rating:28%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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