Ever since Czech car maker Skoda teamed up with the VW group back in the early 90s the company has gone from strength to strength. Now its range of family friendly cars offer a blend of excellent practicality as well as affordable pricing and solid build quality and the Fabia is testament to this.
The Fabia supermini has become a stable favourite for the Czech brand and while the latest incarnation isnít built on the same platform as the newer version of its sister cars the SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo it still remains a highly desirable car.
As well as a nip and tuck here and there one of the biggest differences is the equipment levels across the range. Itís so much more improved on before and includes all important safety equipment. We all know that the supermini class is one of the most highly contested on the market. Therefore, the question that has to be asked is if the Fabiaís facelift is enough to make it stand out against its rivals.
At first glance the updated Fabia might not look radically different to the previous car but the subtle tweaks are just enough to keep it looking fresh. It has a more premium and grown-up look with new headlights, a larger grille and revised front and rear bumpers. LED daytime running lights are also a standard feature across the range. The Monte Carlo trim is certainly the one to go for if you value styling as its subtle hot hatch looks give it a sportier edge. This is mainly thanks to the gloss black accents, black wheels and spoiler.
If youíre familiar with the VW Groupís interiors then the Fabiaís cabin wonít come as much of a surprise. New models benefit from some different dashboard trims while itís largely full of good material and feels remarkably well built for its price point. Even entry level models feature a 6.5 inch touchscreen with sharp graphics and itís very well laid out inside and easy to use. The higher spec models get smartphone connectivity though the carís Smart-Link entertainment system.
Space is certainly where the Fabia comes up trumps as its interior space exceeds the best-selling Ford Fiesta. The Fabiaís functional looks means that unlike in rivals cars you donít have a sleek roofline to contend with so you get more headroom while legroom is good too. As for the boot space the Fabia offers 330 litres which is pretty much comparable with a lot of cars in its class. It has a wide opening and has a big square shape allowing for easy access if you happen to be carrying anything bulky. Skoda also offers the Fabia in estate guise which retains all of the hatchbackís positives but offers more legroom and a 530 litre boot. It doesnít cost a lot more money either.
Very little has changed when it comes to how the Fabia drives and it still delivers a very pleasing experience behind the wheel. The Fabia is paired with steering which has just the right amount of weight. This makes it better suited to town driving where the Fabia feels a lot sprightlier. It has to be said that this car really does handle well and thereís little roll in the corners too. The ride is comfortable for the most part with only large deep potholes ruffling the Fabiaís feathers. That said, if ride comfort is a priority then the sporty suspension setup on the Monte Carlo can be a little firm so therefore it might be a wiser choice to look at SE or SEL trim models.
Skoda has simplified the Fabiaís engine line-up and has decided to abandon diesel powertrain options. What this does is leaves just a 1.0 litre petrol engine for you to choose from. In its standard guise this engine is naturally aspirated with 74 break horse power (bhp). Thereís also the peppier turbocharged 1.0 litre three cylinder which you can have with either 94 bhp or 108 bhp. The more powerful engine is offered with a DGS automatic gearbox alongside the standard 6-speed manual transmission. All other engines are paired with a manual 5-speed gearbox only. In its quickest guise the Fabia can get you from 0 to 60 miles per hour (mph) in a respectable 9.4 seconds while delivering excellent fuel economy in the process.
Skoda has purposely kept the Fabia low in price which has helped it to undercut rivals from Ford, SEAT and Volkswagen. All models are well equipped with standard models coming with a trip computer, remote locking, LED daytime running lights and emergency braking. The SE trim adds 15-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and DAB radio. Jump up to the SEL trim and you can expect to get satellite navigation, larger alloys, climate control and cruise control. The range topping Monte Carlo trim brings you black alloys, a sportier body-kit, LED rear lights and a black roof. Unfortunately, it does miss out on some of the SELís luxuries though.
While the latest Fabia might not have received the hefty updates and modern tech which you can find on rival cars the light facelift really has breathed a pleasant dose of fresh air into Skodaís popular supermini. Itís well equipped, pleasant to drive and is very practical for its size and ticks all of the boxes a small hatchback needs. If you add in the Fabiaís affordability then itís a car thatís hard to look past in this competitive class. If youíre interested in looking at some used Skoda Fabia cars for sale then DesperateSeller.co.uk is the first place you should start.