Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ab Fab, the New Fabia

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ab Fab, the New Fabia

Article excerpt

Byline: By Chris Russon

It's a bigger, better and cheaper Skoda than it was in 2000

If ever a car can lay claim to being Bargain of the Year it has to be Skoda's new Fabia. Not only is it bigger and better in every way than the original, it's also cheaper.

When it goes on sale on May 17 the new Fabia will be available from pounds 7,990 ( and that's pounds 9 less than the price of the first Fabia back in 2000.

Couple that to group one car insurance and low exhaust emissions and the entry-level Fabia 1.2 is set to become the cost-conscious driver's dream.

It's going to compete against the likes of the Peugeot 207, Toyota Yaris and Fiat Punto ( not to mention the Ford Fiesta ( and that is extreme competition.

The Skoda is not the cheapest ( the Punto can be had for some pounds 400 less ( but it has more room inside and, perhaps, most importantly of all, it has the largest boot at 300 litres.

That's several shopping bags more than anything else in the supermini class and when it comes to all-round comfort the Fabia excels.

A fully adjustable steering wheel and driver's seat are standard across the range. So are electric front windows, central locking and four airbags.

It handles as well. The three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine is not going to set the world alight in straight-line performance but when it comes to suspension and steering this is a little car which feels great.

The new Fabia is based on the same platform as the original ( and that's shared with the VW Polo ( but tweaked to ensure it meets all standards up to 2010.

The result is a solid and sturdy car which belies the price and size. However, go up the range and the competitive edge of the entry-level Fabia loses some bite. There are going to be three trim levels ( Fabia 1, 2 and 3 ( and while air conditioning is standard on the Fabia 2, that's priced from pounds 9,720.

Fabia 3 comes with the likes of cruise and climate control, parking sensors and some styling enhancements among its standard fit and costs from pounds 11,455 with the range topping 1. …

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