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Skoda Fabia (2007 - 2010)

FAB-TASTIC? (some text hidden)

By Steve Walker

Introductionword count: 109

By the time the second generation Skoda Fabia arrived on the scene, the joke wasn't funny anymore. Skoda had successfully completed its transformation from Eastern block launching stock to serious mainstream manufacturer - shortening the stand-up routines of some journeyman comedians by up to ten minutes. You might think that this rejuvenation under Volkswagen Group stewardship meant it was all plain sailing for Skoda. Not a bit of it. The brand's new found equality meant that the Fabia couldn't merely be good 'for a Skoda'. It needed to be good full stop. With a whole cluster of superminis bidding for the public's attention, the hard work was just beginning.

Modelsword count: 22

Models Covered: 5dr Supermini and Estate: 1.2, 1.2 12v, 1.4 16v, 1.6 16v petrol,1.4, 1.9 diesel [1, 2, 3, Scout, Sport, GreenLine].

Historyword count: 247

With strangers no longer inclined to wrinkle their noses in derision as Skoda owners revealed what they had lurking in the car park, Skoda needed to find a voice for itself that said something more than "we used to be rubbish but now we're surprisingly competent". The Fabia was one of the first cars that this onus fell upon and it showed Skoda pursuing a more individual styling direction while attempting to carve a place in the market based on simple quality and value. The car launched in May 2007 with a fully-developed engine and trim level range. The engines were predominantly the less exciting units from the Volkswagen Group warehouse chosen predominantly to keep asking prices and running costs down. The trim level structure set out to eliminate any possible scope for customer confusion, the entry level car called Fabia 1, the range-topper badged Fabia 3 and the name of the popular mid-range version well within the guessing capacity of most punters. The Fabia was launched exclusively in the five-door hatchback bodystyle but an Estate version showed up late in 2007 offering extra practicality. Further developments saw the Sport models added a few months later with their styling accessories bringing a little more excitement to the car's looks and the economy-focused GreenLine models show up in Spring 2008. A little later, the Fabia Estate range was enhanced by a Scout version which has mild styling tweaks designed to make it look a bit rugged and 4x4-like.

What You Getword count: 319

The Fabia is a nice enough car to look at and its blacked out pillars even serve to differentiate it from other superminis - with the exception of the MINI and Suzuki Swift of this era which employ the same stylistic device. Although it's small in the grand scheme of things, the Fabia is quite a size by supermini standards. Skoda claimed more rear knee and headroom than any rival at the time of launch, helped by the fact that this Fabia is 22mm longer and 47mm taller than the model it replaced. Boot capacity stands at an impressive 300 litres with the seats in place or a massive 1,163 litres when they're folded. In the Estate, the extended dimensions have helped Skoda engineers achieve a 480-litre boot capacity with the seats up. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats flat (a less than straightforward operation that involves removing the headrests) and there's an Albert Hall-esque 1,460 litres. That's 297 litres up on the hatchback. The Fabia definitely has space on its side but the interior itself is less impressive. We're not talking from a build quality standpoint here as the fascia and the whole of the interior generally seems soildly screwed together. The problem is the materials themselves with the Fabia employing a plethora of uninviting hard plastics that do little for the ambience. They're likely to wear well but a little more quality in the materials could have brought the best out of what is an attractive and functional design. Equipment levels were not a strong point of the old Fabia, that car relying instead on solid no-nonsense build quality. This time round, there were items like electronically-controlled Climatronic air-conditioning and an MP3/iPod compatible stereo but if you're expecting to be granted a view of the state-of-the-art in small car electronics, you're likely to be disappointed. Unimpeachable build quality, on the other hand, you can take for granted.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-60 mph (s):

10.1

0

Boot capacity min (litres):

300

1163

Combined mpg:

49.6

67.3

CO2 (g/km):

109

Extra urban mpg:

60.1

78.5

Height (mm):

1498

... and 8 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Small Runabouts

Performance
60%
Handling
70%
Comfort
70%
Space
90%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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