What is it?
It’s the new version of the Fabia, the car that’s done more than any other model to sweep away Skoda's image as an Iron Curtain joke. The previous model won the What Car? Car of the Year award straight after launch and went to the top of its hard-fought class.
The new edition draws heavily on the outgoing car (including an identical wheelbase, very similar dimensions and some closely related engines), but packages them into a taller, roomier, bolder body style reminiscent of the Suzuki Swift from some angles. Like the original Fabia, the 2007 edition is first in the VW supermini family to adopt a platform which will go under a yet-to-be launched, new-generation VW Polo.
The ’07 Fabia’s basic structure has been re-engineered in key areas for better crash performance and to support a new body whose main dimensional difference is another 50mm (two inches) of overall height. Launch cars are five-door hatchbacks, but a five-door estate is due in a year’s time.
Most of the new Fabia’s seven-engine range is familiar, though the majority of units have improved power outputs. The petrol line-up starts with the humble six-valve, 60bhp, 1.2-litre triple and progresses through a 12-valve 1.2 triple with 70bhp to a pair of 16-valve fours, a 1.4-litre with 86bhp and a 105bhp 1.6-litre.