There seems little sense in resisting the familiar old connection in buyers’ brains that ‘a big car is a safe one’ – particularly if you’re launching the biggest car in its class. Suffice to say that Skoda hasn’t. The Fabia gets front, side and curtain airbags as standard and becomes a rarity in the supermini class by making rear-seat side airbags available as an option.
The car’s showroom fortunes are likely to hinge on competitive personal finance. Competitive list prices, equipment levels and residual value forecasts help there. Those don’t make the Fabia a bargain as such. Both a similarly specced Seat Ibiza and Renault Clio are slightly cheaper. A Kia Rio is cheaper still, but the Skoda’s practicality, maturity and safety credentials could easily make the small premium worth it.
With Skodas, it is worth taking care with the options. Lower trims, like SE Comfort, are reasonable value compared with rivals, even with a smattering of options, but it is mildly frustrating that some essentials, such as wireless phone mirroring and cruise control, are not standard.
At the higher end, with SE-L trim, it’s possible to option up a 95PS Fabia to well over £25,000. That’s a lot of money for a supermini, but not entirely unreasonable given features like adaptive cruise control, rear side airbags and matrix LED lights aren’t available on most rivals. You could also have a Skoda Octavia for that kind of cash, though.
Skoda is rightly proud of the 0.28 drag coefficient for the new Fabia and that appears to pay dividends in fuel consumption. Even including performance testing, we averaged 50.6mpg during our test. For a car with no hybrid assistance whatsoever, that’s very impressive.