Skoda’s Fabia appeared first on the market in 1999. Now it’s into its third generation. What have they done? What have they done?
This is the new Skoda Fabia. The previous two generations have been rather good interpretations of a difficult genre, the conservative but attractive small car. The first version displayed some nice automotive design tropes: the smooth flowing bonnet to a-pillar and neatly shaped vestigial boot. The rear graphics and sculpture worked very harmoniously, very much the work of designers who were unafraid to make their car look unlike a VW-group product yet adhere to their rigorous standards of detail design.
The lamps had simple but characterful outlines and the car did without the deep sculpting that is either a) robbing interior room or b) making small cars wider. I think it still looks fresh in a Mercedes W-126 kind of way.
The 2007 version (below) added subtle surface richness and the grille lent the vehicle an aristocratic demeanour entirely unusual in this class which lately has been dominated by various interpretations of fun and funky. If you like your small cars stately, the 2007 Fabia could provide just that. Again, the headlamp design stood out as being distinct but not contrived (Peugeot are particularly prone to this). The black a-pillars worked well,
even if others had tried this schtick before. The Fabia offered a little car you could take seriously, less of a car for Gabriella from Milan (Fiesta) or Johanne from Dortmund (Polo) than one for Dr. Stephan Dallmayr (retired) or Henry and Helen Chobham (retired).
The new car suggests its Polo roots much more strongly than the previous cars but a side to side comparison shows the VW is more rounded while the Skoda has shades of Lamborghini angularity. Alas, the Polo and new Fabia have very similar sideglass graphics, with upkicks at the front and back ends. What it isn’t is sober or grown-up and it has lost the sensible but elegant feel of the previous cars.
Automotive News describes the car as being lower, wider and sportier than the previous model; isn’t this true of every new car? Skoda’s pretty little Fabia has done very well by not being a Polo or Fiesta or Ibiza. Presumably the product planners at VAG know what they are doing, though in this case it looks like they don’t.
Technical data is scant but we can expect some three cylinder engines and an overworked 1.4 to be part of the line-up.
8 thoughts on “2015 Skoda Fabia: Oh Dear.”
I’m all for subjective reporting but:
“If you like your small cars stately, the 2007 Fabia could provide just that” – actually for most people it was too tall and narrow to be taken seriously
“the headlamp design stood out as being distinct but not contrived (Peugeot are particularly prone to this)” – To what? Distinct or contrived? In what way?
“The Fabia offered a little car you could take seriously, less of a car for Gabriella from Milan (Fiesta) or Johanne from Dortmund (Polo) than one for Dr. Stephan Dallmayr (retired) or Henry and Helen Chobham (retired)” – pleeeeease…..
“What it isn´t is sober or grown-up” – Really? So it’s childish and over-the-top then?
“Automotive News describes the car as being lower, wider and sportier than the previous model; isn´t this true of every new car?” – No it isn’t.
“Presumably the product planners at VAG know what they are doing though in this case it looks like they don´t” – That is just a crass comment. The real question is whether it makes sense to have solid but generic looks, or try to do ‘different’ and accept the consequences.
(Plus there’s a comma missing between ‘doing’ and ‘though’)
Sorry that was a bit flippant, but I still feel the article is way over the top.
My Dear Laurent. I feel sure that you woke up this morning and, in that mist that exists between sleep and the working day, assumed that you had logged in to a web-based organ that styles itself ‘The World’s Best Car Magazine’. As such, I excuse your rather antagonistic tone – this once!
My editorial policy is that both posts and responses can be as robust as desired, but that one always criticises the opinion, not the perpetrator. I feel that you have offered us a critique of Richard’s piece but have failed to ‘bring anything to the table yourself’ to use an unfortunate phrase.I have a ‘bucket list’ (another unfortunate phrase) of these odious modern usages and have promised myself that I will use every one at least once before I retire.
Speaking as someone who might be of the old Fabia’s demographic, I find this version rather disappointing. If VAG wish to have their confusingly overlapping marques taken seriously, then I believe they should differentiate clearly between them. Until recently they have succeeded with the Fabia, but this just looks like a less attractive Polo.
I delved into the aforementioned website the other day and read a poster claiming that the old Fabia’s lack of classical proportions scored against it. Personally, I find the classical is hugely over-rated. Classical proportions are those that one feels comfortable with. Easy chairs are comfortable too, but does one really want to spend one’s whole life sitting on one? Live dangerously! I know I would if my landlady wasn’t listening
Fair enough and yes I clearly thought I was somewhere else. My apologies to Richard and everyone at DTW.
My Dear Laurent. Thank you for your gracious reply. I must admit that no-one knows better than I the way the red mist can take one over! Thank you also for giving me the opportunity to restate our editorial policy, in the hope that at least some members of our ever growing number of viewers will decide to join in and comment – or even submit a piece!
While the only part of Sam’s comment I agree with is the bit about punctuation, I respect his forthright approach. He’s usually bang on target as well. This time we’ll have to agree to differ. The second Fabia looked properly mature and classy. I just can’t see the problem. A lot of other people seemed happy enough too as lots of them can be seen where I live. Perhaps the Lancia Y Mk2 is the only small, regal car I can think of to try the same thing in recent years.
The new Fabia is vin ordinaire, at least on the visual front.
Skoda has considerably tweaked the 2015 Fabia and has crafted it into a much improved model than its predecessor. The company has also revealed its interiors now that does also look mature and more appealing than the before. The new model will be powered by a series of new engines.
They’ve tweaked a Polo, you mean. I doubt you’ll find the interior better, merely different.