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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

 

The Fabia has always been one of the larger superminis and has often been styled in such a way as to make that pretty evident from the kerb. The memory of the first-generation car’s slightly dumpling-like looks were at least partly banished when the third-generation version appeared in 2014, though, and they’ve now given way to an even more sharply drawn design in this fourth-generation model.

Some of the car’s soft-jawed, friendly old visual charm has certainly gone, too. It could be argued that the Fabia is now like a car that, without its glossy wide radiator grille, could be inserted into the current VW, Audi or Skoda showroom line-up without anyone really noticing. But the car nonetheless looks very smart, modern and presentable – if a bit modern-VW-Group-generic.

It has grown more than any Fabia iteration before it: by 111mm in overall length, in fact, to 4108mm. That makes it the biggest car in its class and the only one longer than 4.1m – the kind of length you generally need a Nissan Juke-sized crossover to breach. Indeed, Skoda reckons those who need more space will opt for a crossover, so the estate version will not return for this generation of the Fabia.

The car’s wheelbase has also grown and is some 120mm longer than that of the closely related Seat Ibiza, but in this respect, one or two rivals (Kia Rio, Renault Clio) go even larger.

The car’s width (without mirrors) is 1780mm, making it slightly wider than Britain’s best-selling Vauxhall Corsa (1765mm), but quite a bit wider than Europe’s best-selling Renault Clio (1728mm). It’s still easy enough to squeeze into the average parking bay, though.

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The MQB-A0 platform has made for plenty of higher-strength steels in the new chassis, though, so the weight gain of the new bigger model, Skoda claims, is negligible. Suspension still comprises steel coil springs, with MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. For brakes, the car uses ventilated discs at the front and drums at the rear, although rear discs are an option.

Skoda offers a choice of five petrol engines in the Fabia: two normally aspirated MPI 1.0-litre triples (64bhp and 79bhp); two 1.0-litre TSI turbocharged triples (94bhp, as tested here, and 108bhp); and one 1.5-litre four-cylinder TSI turbo with 148bhp and 184lb ft of torque (which will be branded Monte Carlo rather than vRS). There will be no mild hybrids or diesels.

Our mid-spec 94bhp 1.0-litre TSI weighed 1117kg on Millbrook’s scales, against an official claimed kerb weight of 1067kg. Not the lightest car in the class, clearly, but neither is it the heaviest – and considering the Fabia’s size, that’s no bad start.