First Drive: Skoda Fabia

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In a growing Skoda line-up, does the familiar Fabia still impress? Alex Grant finds out.

Skoda Fabia

SECTOR Supermini  PRICE €13,500-€23,000  FUEL 4.6-4.9l/100km  CO2 105-111g/km

With its fleet-staple Octavia now joined by the Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs, and the Superb quickly becoming its sector’s benchmark product, Skoda’s business sales are booming. Record ‘true fleet’ registrations show it’s resonating with end-users, with even established names such as the Fabia continuing to grow.

For now, anyway. Skoda has a compact SUV en route which could nibble away at the Fabia’s traditional customers, particularly as it gets the technological advantages of the new Group platform. The Fabia doesn’t get that new platform yet, though there’s a standard-fit AEB system and trip computer available behind this year’s subtle styling update. Most other new technology is optional.

The range is simple, comprising three mainline trims, with the sporty Monte Carlo above them. Mid-spec versions tend to be the best-sellers, which is where must-haves such as air conditioning, reversing sensors and a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay become standard equipment. These also get the full engine line-up; 1.0-litre petrols, producing 75hp, 95hp and 110hp. Again, most opt for mid-spec, and it’s lively enough that the most powerful engine is unnecessary, though the 110hp engine add a highway-friendly sixth gear, or the option of a seven-speed DSG.

Skoda’s USP is storage. The Fabia is packed full of cubby holes, hooks, nets and dividers, and a parcel shelf that fixes at two levels. Unusually, given customer migration to small SUVs, the Fabia is also offered as a wagon – a good one, too, with almost a metre square load space behind the rear bench and a higher fleet sales mix than the hatch. New launches might be helping Skoda to grow, but the familiar names still impress.

IFW Rating: 4 out of 5

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.