An all-new Skoda Fabia will reach the UK before the end of this year, marking a major step forward for a model previously best known for its value-for-money.
Visually, the new fourth-generation model looks sleeker than its rather utilitarian predecessor, which has been on sale in the UK since 2015. It’s also a lot more aerodynamic, according to Skoda, which should make it both quieter and more fuel efficient.
It’s bigger, too. This is the first Fabia to exceed four metres in length, being 11cm longer than the outgoing model as well as 5cm wider. This is all made possible by the use of the group’s latest platform, also under such cars as the Volkswagen Polo supermini and T-Cross small SUV.
The biggest changes, however, are to the interior. Almost all that extra length has gone into the interior space, particularly freeing up more room in the rear seats. The boot is now a generous 380 litres in capacity, 50 litres more than the old Fabia and even larger than the boot of the much larger Ford Focus.
The driver’s surroundings have also been totally redesigned and upgraded in line with the sleeker exterior. While entry-level models retain traditional analogue dials for speed and revs, higher-spec versions can optionally be ordered with a digital instrument display (as shown in the image below) alongside the central touchscreen.
The new Fabia will be offered with a choice of five petrol engines, ranging from 65 to 150hp. There are no diesels, which is not surprising, but also no sign of any electrification – even mild hybrid options – which is rather more surprising.
Skoda describes the new Fabia as one of the safest vehicles in its segment, although the car has yet to be independently tested by Euro NCAP so we’ll await their impartial verdict. Up to nine airbags will be available depending on model specified, as well as a comprehensive package of driver assistance systems to help avoid accidents in the first place.
As well as the standard-fit autonomous emergency braking, among the new active safety systems available is Travel Assist. This encompasses a number of systems including adaptive cruise control, lane guidance and traffic sign recognition.
The new Skoda Fabia will launch in four trim options late in 2021, with a sports-pitched Monte Carlo variant following later. Prices have yet to be announced.