Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart

Published:01 July 2022

Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

► Entirely new Fabia hatch driven
► Huge tech upgrades, more space inside
► Is it the better buy than a Polo or Ibiza?

If you’re looking for a cheap way into the VW Group, look no further than the Skoda Fabia. Priced at the lowest end of the already good value Skoda range, it aims to give you most of the group’s quality at the lowest possible price. On this page you’ll find our review of the new 2022 Skoda Fabia – including the recently released Monte Carlo trim. 

What’s new? 

All Fabias have grown to 4108mm in length, with a new 380-litre best in-class boot, and the improved looks also come with more efficiency; the updated Fabia now has a drag coefficient of just 0.28Cd. On the outside at least, the Fabia punches well above its weight class: it’s clean and unfussy, yet still has just enough bits of design to mark it out as a new-gen Skoda. 

The looks only get better with the Monte Carlo trom, which adds a black grille, rear diffuser and black 17- or 18-inch alloys. Specific front and rear aprons complete the look, and legitimately elevate the Fabia to an even more premium-looking car. 

What’s it like inside? 

Unlike his colleagues working for other brands of the group, Skoda chief designer Oliver Stefani avoided controversial idiosyncrasies like cryptic touch sliders, obscure ergonomic push zones and hidden puzzle corners inside. Instead, his team created a cockpit which is self-explanatory, free of pointless redundancies as well as logically structured.

This approach probably gets a less premium label within the VW Group, but in the real-world we found it superior to its more premium siblings. Functions and clearly labelled and easily toggled, so the innate stress caused by modern VAG simply isn’t here. This straightforward approach was particularly useful when driving the Fabia Monte Carlo around the pretty dense, confusing streets of Monte Carlo. 

Elsewhere you’ll find comfy, and the build quality gives third-world materials a wide berth. The Monte Carlo steps things up further, with red accents and carbon-look detailing on the armrests and dashboard. When combined with the solid infotainment, the Fabia does the job inside. 

So far, so good – what engines can I have?

The range originally kicked off with two naturally aspirated three-cylinders (64bhp and 79bhp) and one turbo’d three-cylinder (108bhp) TSI. With a paltry 69lb ft, the two weakest units need to be worked hard to deliver a lethargic rate of progress.

The TSI unit musters a much more useful 148lb ft of torque, and it can be paired with a six-speed manual or a seven speed DSG box.

We also drove a 1.5-litre TSI with 148bhp and 184lb ft. Its four cylinder lump is connected only to a seven-speed DSG, and gets from 0-62mph in 8.0seconds before topping out at 141mph. More relevant to the current climate, however, is its impressive 50.4mpg fuel consumption.

How does the new Fabia drive?

Whichever Fabia you go for, you’ll find a thoroughly chuckable hatch with a surprising amount of feel for the driver. Happy around the streets of Monte Carlo, but equally settled in the mountains above, we noted the Fabia’s impeccable directional stability, failsafe handling and neatly weighted controls. 

The most dramatic improvement over the stiff and brittle previous model is the almost cushy suspension which balances out the worst vagaries with the nonchalant perfection of an Oktoberfest waitress juggling a dozen steins of beer. Praise is also due to the markedly reduced overall noise level which muffles the coarse engine, the part-time drummer inside the rear axle and the wind playing catch and release with wipers, mirrors and door handles. 

Just how much you enjoy the Fabia, however, will depend on the engine you go for. The 1.5-litre TSI is fine in around town, though comes to life when used in a semi-automatic mode – either through optional paddles or the gear selector. Rely on the DSG, and you’ll find the box struggling to pull you out of corners – particularly annoying when negotiating numerous Monaco hairpins. 

The smaller engines, such as the 1.0-litre fair better, and are pretty punchy when paired with a manual box – provided you’re aggressive with gearing. 

Skoda Fabia: verdict

On paper, the latest Fabia is another Skoda which beats its VW and Seat stablemates at their own game. It’s roomy, handsome, well-built, easy to use and should be cheap to run. The dynamics aren’t game-changing, but the refined go-kart handling it offers should be more than enough for most people. It’s already a compelling package – particularly in the value stakes – though the Monte Carlo adds a dose of premium if you really want it. It’s tough to recommend though

Read more Skoda reviews here

Specs are for a 1.0 TSI DSG

Specs

Price when new: £18,000
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 999cc turbocharged three-cylinder, 108bhp @ 5500rpm, 148lb ft @ 2000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, front-wheel drive
Performance: 9.0sec 0-62mph (est), 127mph, 43.5mpg, 124-136g/km
Weight / material: 1187kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4108/1780/1459mm

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  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart
  • Skoda Fabia (2022) range review: head trumps heart

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

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