The Škoda Fabia is a super-mini class car that has been in production for 20 years. It started with three variants: the Fabia Combi estate version, Fabia Sedan saloon, and hatchback, but discontinuing the saloon version with the second generation. All Fabia models come in front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. Through the generations, they were recognised as a more affordable and robust alternative to the competitors.
First Generation (1999-2007)
The first generation, which was codenamed 6Y, was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1999, later introducing the estate and saloon versions. Unlike its predecessor, Škoda Felicia, Fabia was built on the Volkswagen's A04 platform, sharing it with fourth-generation VW Polo and Seat Ibiza.
This trend is evident in almost every vehicle Škoda produced, and it's what made Škodas competitive, along with the significantly lower price compared to its German counterpart. All mechanical parts were either developed or made in collaboration with Volkswagen, except for two of their petrol engine variants.
Fabia received a facelift in 2004, which changed the look of the front mask, rear lights, steering wheel and revised specifications. In 2006, it received slight updates in four additional body colours, centre rear headrest, and central three-point seatbelt.
The VRS model was revealed in 2003, becoming the first exclusively-diesel hot hatch, without a petrol counterpart. Fitted with Volkswagen's 1.9L turbocharged, Pumpe-Düse (pump-nozzle) engine and six-speed manual gearbox, Fabia created a true competitor in the sub-category.
The engine produced 96kW (129hp) and 310Nm of torque at 1900rpm, and it has a top speed of 206km/h. Interestingly, official 0-100km/h in 9.6 seconds is considerably slower than what several motoring magazines measured, their values being in between 7.0 to 8.5 seconds. Its in-gear acceleration is a class above its competition, and best of all it has a fuel consumption of only 6.2L/100km combined drive. At the end of its lifespan, Škoda manufactured 1000 Special Edition Fabia VRS SE models. The trims featured leather seats with an individual production number, cruise control, tinted rear windows and a CD auto-changer.
Fabia rolled out with three trim levels: Classic, Comfort, and Elegance, but rebranded the Comfort level into Ambiente at a later date. Through its production, it received Ambiente SE, Blackline, Silverline, Sport, Bohemia and VRS packages.
Škoda released the Junior and Easy models in the Eastern European markets. These variants came with bare minimum features, bumpers, rearview mirrors, unpainted glove boxes, and without power steering.
Overall, first-generation Fabia has had remarkable success, selling 1,788,063 units.
Second Generation (2007-2014)
Codenamed 5J, the second generation was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show in 2007, featuring hatchback and estate versions. While still using the same A04 Volkswagen platform, it was slightly larger than the first model, with design influences taken from Škoda Roomster.
Petrol engines are a combination of existing models and ones from Audi. Models used in the first generation gained 4kW, while the largest petrol variant is a 1.6L I4 16V engine producing 77kW, which came with a 6-speed Tiptronic transmission as an option.
Diesel engines share the same story, with the most powerful model being a 1.9L I4 engine, producing 77kw.
Trim levels available originally were Classic, Ambiente, Sport and Elegance. Models sold in EU came with ABS, driver, passenger and side airbags as standard, and curtain airbags and ESC as an available addition. A design innovation included a choice of roof colour as an option.
Facelift variants were revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, with visual changes to the shape of the front bumper and fog lights on the exterior and a new steering wheel on the interior. Engines also saw improvements: 1.2L TSI turbocharged petrol engine replaced the previous 1.4L and 1.6L MPI engines, with better fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. A 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox replaced the earlier automatic transmission, further reducing emissions. Diesel engines saw redesign into a common rail and four-valve system.
VRS version saw a comeback in both estate and hatchback variants. This time it came fitted with a 1.4L twin-charged petrol engine, same as in the fifth generation VW Polo GTI. It produced 132kW, and with a top speed of 226 km/h, it is the fastest production Fabia ever.
- 1.2L I4 TSI 8V OHC turbocharged petrol engine, producing 77kW (103hp) at 5000rpm and 175Nm of torque at 1500-4100rpm, a top speed of 191km/h and 0-100km/h in 10.1 seconds, 5-speed manual transmission
- 1.2L I4 TSI 8V OHC turbocharged petrol engine, producing 77kW (103hp) at 5000rpm and 175Nm of torque at 1500-4100rpm, a top speed of 189km/h and 0-100km/h in 10.2 seconds, 7-speed automatic transmission
- 1.4L I4 TSI 16V DOHC twin-charged petrol engine (VRS), producing 132kW (176hp) at 6200rpm and 250Nm of torque at 2000-4500rpm, a top speed of 224km/h and 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds, 7-speed automatic transmission
- 1.4L I4 16V DOHC MPI naturally aspirated petrol engine, producing 63kW (85hp) at 5000rpm and 132Nm of torque at 3800rpm, a top speed of 175km/h and 0-100km/h in 12.2 seconds, 5-speed manual transmission
Third Generation (2014-present)
Codenamed NJ, the current generation was revealed at the Paris Motor Show in 2014, in hatchback and estate variants. Based on the updated A06 platform from Volkswagen, Fabia went through significant changes, the most notable being increased boot and interior space. It weighed 65kg lighter and came with an extended wheelbase. Both the interior and exterior follow the trend of German competitors, especially with the sharp lines on the body. The new Fabia came equipped with a Front Assist safety system, and it scored five stars in the 2014 Euro NCAP crash test.
Standard equipment includes options like ABS, passenger and side airbags, and traction control.
- S Plus adds alloy wheels and air conditioning
- SE adds an alarm, remote locking, audio remote on top
- SE L adds climate control, cruise control, front fog lights and parking sensors on top
- The Colour Edition is a mix of SE with the inclusion of Metallic paint
- Monte Carlo and Redline feature options from the SE L package and add sports seats
- 1.0L I3 12V DOHC turbocharged engine, producing 70kW (94hp) at 5000-5500rpm and 160Nm of torque at 1500-3500rpm, a top speed of 183km/h and 0-100km/h in 10.6 seconds, 5-speed manual transmission
- 1.0L I3 12V DOHC turbocharged engine, producing 81kW (108hp) at 5000-5500rpm and 200Nm of torque at 2000-3500rpm, a top speed of 196km/h and 0-100km/h in 9.5 seconds, 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission
- 1.2L I4 16V DOHC turbocharged engine, producing 66kW (89hp) at 4400-5400rpm and 160Nm of torque at 1400-3500rpm, a top speed of 182km/h and 0-100km/h in 10.9 seconds, 5-speed manual transmission
- 1.2L I4 16V DOHC turbocharged engine, producing 81kW (108hp) at 4600-5600rpm and 175Nm of torque at 1400-4000rpm, a top speed of 196km/h and 0-100km/h in 9.4 seconds, 7-speed automatic transmission