The new Skoda Fabia 2022 test: a city car endowed with wealth and pleasant to drive

The new Skoda Fabia 2022 test: a city car endowed with wealth and pleasant to drive


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TEST // Skoda presents the fourth generation of its Fabia, the best seller in the city car segment. It’s becoming more and more popular with technology, but is it enough to challenge the market leaders?

With more than 4.5 million copies sold worldwide since the start of its sale, the Skoda Fabia is the best-selling city car segment. This fourth iteration, launching a new platform, is intended to be more versatile, more technological, and based on a more stable design to win against its eternal rivals, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. Are these arguments enough? Did he know how to seduce us? Go to La Rochelle and its surroundings to experience its depth!

Longer, wider, lower

Skoda has revised the dimensions of its small Fabia to now offer one of the largest city cars on the market. We go to a length of 4.10 m, a gain of 11 cm, a width of 1.78 m, an increase of 48 mm, and above all the wheelbase that increases by 94 mm to reach 2.56 m. These data have a direct impact on occupancy. There is a little more comfort and the width at the elbows has increased by 3 cm, while at the back there is more room for the knees (an additional 5 cm). The trunk will be the largest in the category, according to Skoda – it all depends on the calculation method – with 380 l, an advantage of 50 l.

This first overview allows us to discover the redesigned Skoda Fabia which is now dressed in standard LED or Full LED lights, 16 or 17 inch alloy wheels and air intakes, but also a wider grille and a more marked shield front. At the rear, the lights extend from the fenders to the trunk and the length of the car is reduced by 8 mm to reach a peak of 1.45 m. This reduction in height, together with the new design of the exterior mirrors, the revised bonnet and the active cooling covers at the level of the grille, makes it possible to reduce Cd to 0.28, a record for the category. According to the manufacturer, the assembly would reduce drag and significantly reduce fuel consumption and aerodynamic noise. We will return to this point a little later.

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Say goodbye fiercely

For its interior, Skoda has given a lot of effort to the style and the dashboard is more in line with the times. A colored strip that crosses the air vents and runs behind the main screen gives an overall modern touch, enhanced by the ambient LED lighting. The finish is excellent, but we regret the heavy use of hard plastics, even on high-end versions like the Style. The Fabia marks the time on this point against the Clio, for example, but the boldness of the line makes it possible to forget the historical severity of the manufacturer.

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To spoil anything, the Skoda Fabia benefits only from Clever Solutions (optional), and we are happy to find an umbrella hidden in the thickness of the driver’s door, portable bins on the front door panels, a folding rear part for long objects. , wallets for storing passenger smartphones. A card holder, pen holder, coin holder and cup holder decorate the passenger compartment with various storage spaces. Ditto when you discover the abundance of nets available in the trunk, bag holder or, better yet, the protection of the loading edges. Skoda clearly cares about its residents, and if this solution is perhaps not decisive in the act of purchase, it allows residents to feel interested.

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It is full of technology

This feeling will not be spoiled by the discovery of the 10.5-inch Digital Cockpit. In addition to several customization options (up to five displays), it provides a good reading of driving information. In terms of reading, we salute the ergonomics of the steering wheel that falls well in the hands, but also provides shortcut keys, as well as adjustment wheels that allow you to go through different options or even increase the volume. To argue, we find these wheels very sensitive, and it is possible to accidentally disturb the sound by driving the steering wheel during the slot, for example, but their handling remains normal. On the other hand, there is a small black point regarding the ventilation adjustment which actually offers two-zone temperature adjustment through physical knobs, but requires entering the main screen menus to adjust the power of said ventilation.

However, this won’t be too daunting a step, because the (optional) 9.2-inch touchscreen gives access to the responsive, customizable and generally intuitive MIB 3 interface. The same is true for GPS navigation, which allows accurate guidance and quick access to addresses. We always appreciate the possibility of having a navigation solution from the center screen to the instrument cluster. This will leave room to access, for example, Android Auto. The Smartlink connection to the smartphone can be wireless or via USB. The Fabia also has five USB-C ports, including one at the level of the interior mirror to charge the dashcam, for example. The infotainment system will also provide access to radio, media, user manuals, audio settings, as well as personalization of the vehicle and driving aids.

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In this regard, Fabia is not missing. There will be, among other things, the detection of road signs, an assistant to change and stay in the lane, Front Assistance for emergency braking or even cruise control that allows you to drive freely. The final actuation usually goes through the stalk to the left of the steering wheel and its handling is natural. Together with the DSG7 automatic gearbox, it allows for quiet and safe driving on the fast lane. On the other hand, we will see a very intrusive maintenance on the line if the indicator is triggered with a slight delay. Once disconnected, it is restarted on every reboot.

The Skoda Fabia also benefits from Park Assistant which finds a parking space easily and is activated with one click. Alas, the image quality of the rear camera is disappointing and inconsistent with others. Certain safety features, which are generally found on high-end models, such as a fatigue detector that “analyzes” the driver’s behavior and can recommend a break, blind spot warning, automatic roadside lighting below 40 km/h at. night or anti-multicollision braking, is also part of the range. In the end, all these accessories make the Skoda a rich and comfortable city car to live in.

Fabia for all?

This feeling is immediately confirmed on the road. We tested the 1.0 TSI EVO 110 hp version in DSG7 and BVM6 box (automatic and manual, therefore). This little three cylinder is amazing, firstly because unlike most three cylinders that vibrate and can be a bit noisy at rev, this one surprisingly works. In addition, its amazing flexibility makes it possible to twist the torque at 50 km / h in the last gear as well as enjoy the red zone in the middle gears. There is no game here, but optional mechanics that are comfortable on any type of road. In addition, the chassis strikes a very good compromise between comfort and driving precision. Of course, the French do better, above all in terms of comfort, but we had 17-inch rims as an option.

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Below 2000 rpm, the response time of the turbo is however slightly marked, and when started it lacks a little development, which can be annoying in the city. But the overall driving experience is satisfying and the Fabia enjoys many uses that we didn’t suspect.

This driving pleasure is untainted by overuse. On the contrary, the efforts made by the manufacturer in terms of engine efficiency, together with the good management of the box and maybe even a little aerodynamics, since the manufacturer claims to get at least 0.2 l per 100 km only with the management of intelligent cooling flaps, allowed us on a mixed course including city, highway and expressways to get an average consumption of 5.5 l/100 km. This seems to us to be a good result and would tend to confirm Skoda’s desire not to go hybrid for now. According to the final version, this represents an additional cost that cannot guarantee profitability at the moment and which should be passed on to the sales price. Therefore, Skoda is wondering about the importance of this technology as long as its three cylinder meets the standards.

It remains to be seen if this new version of the Skoda Fabia will finally find its audience, knowing that the price is now more salty, but that the equipment should be the same. Still, this new Fabia is a very attractive proposition.

The appeal version of the Skoda Fabia starts at €16,730 in the 1.0 MPI 65 hp BVM5 version. It rises to €23,170 in the 1.0 TSI 110 hp BVM6 version of our test, to which another €1,200 must be added for the DSG7 box.

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