Skoda Fabia III, the official women’s and ladies car and driving instructors go-to-trolley, returns again to the urban jungle. Is the compact Skoda ready to face a climate hostile to the classic hatchback?
The Skoda Fabia III was launched in 2015 to continue the tradition rather than to continue the evolution of one of the best city cars all-around. But does the Skoda Fabia III still have a place in a world full of crossovers? And if the assault on mini-status cars wasn’t enough, Skoda also launched a Skoda Rapid in 2012, an Octavia mini or a Fabia with a boot, depending on how you look at it. A dangerous car for Skoda Fabia III, especially in the lands where the car must be a proper car – 4 doors and boot.
Still, the Skoda Fabia III remains a city compact for the sort of people who do not have very high car standards but who still do not want a Sandero that costs almost half the price but also do not have money for a VW Polo. The problem is that a Skoda Fabia III is over 2000 euros more expensive than a Renault Clio IV. Indeed, the Fabia comes with more standard features than the Clio and more power, but what’s the point of power for an owner who only cares for the color of the car and isn’t interested in other details? And the worst part is that a Fabia costs as much as a Polo, possibly more. If until now VW Polo was the rural, forgotten cousing of the VW, family now Fabia takes his place and is the forgotten cousin. With a keen interest in cross-over in the car market, cars such as the Rapid, Octavia, and the Skoda Fabia III remains a car for the nostalgic and for those who were happy with the Skoda Fabia II and now want the new model. And sales figures show that.
Skoda Fabia III Engines
- 1.0 MPI of 60 and 75 horsepower – It looks like the old 1.0 MPI on the Skoda Fabia I has not disappearedbut it even has returned spectacularly. I hoped it stood there there, in the graveyard of history but here we are. Most likely it is an engine put on Skoda Fabia III just to get the lowest possible price on a brochure that says “Skoda Fabia, with prices starting from….”
- 1.0 TSI of 95 and 110 horsepower – Arriving in 2017 to retire the old 1.2 TSI, this 1.0 TSI unit seems to be the new workhorse of VW city cars. Excellent for Fabia, disastrous for Octavia and Golf. Excellent for the city, sensitive to the constant stress of the country’s roads. Too bad it’s plagued by oil consumption issues.
- 1.2 TSI of 90 and 110 horsepower – The timing chain issue has finally been solved, moving from chain to belt. An excellent engine for a city Fabia, its natural place. Occasionally the turbo kicks the bucket, but the cases are quite rare.
1.4 TDI of 90 and 105 horsepower – As I said, the Skoda Fabia III was forgotten by Skoda. So it did not receive any of the new diesel engines and continues to use the old 1.4 TDI launched in the 13th century with the espadrilles. Not that there is anything wrong with the legendary 1.4 TDI, only that it would have been nice if Fabia had received newer technology. Pay attention instead to DPF, as to any modern diesel.
Skoda Fabia III General Issues
- Besides the fact that it was launched 5 minutes ago and serious issues have not yet appeared, Skoda Fabia III wanted to return to its origins and compensate for the lack of technology with reliability. That’s why the list of problems is shorter than the queue to vote, the Skoda Fabia III is really a reliable car.
- Mentions should be made instead of the DSG automatic transmission that wreaked havoc throughout the VW range. It needs oil and filter changed every 60,000km and a lot of attention to the Mechatronic unit that has the habit of breaking down. It is crucial to do a test drive with the engine cold, so that you can check if the gearbox has any jerkings or stutters.
Skoda Fabia III Verdict
I just hope it won’t walk the path of the Polo 6R and become the new company’s forgotten car. Skoda Fabia II did not sell so well because it came up with a funk idea that would appeal to the youth. But young people today cannot afford to spend 15,000 euros on a new car, no matter which country they come from. So they decided to go back to the origins and address people who want something small, practical and reliable. Yes, it doesn’t look as good as a Renault Clio IV. Yes, it’s not as dynamic as a Fiesta. Yes, it’s not as respectable as a Polo. And yes, Fabia is more expensive than all that. But at least it’s a simple and reliable car. All VW has to do is drop the price even more, and you have a great city car.
Which engines do I recommend? For petrol, clearly the 1.2 TSI 90 horsepower unit. And for diesel, you will never guess which engine I recommend. And yes, the old 1.4 TDI still has a say. 1.4 TDI, a blackberry phone in a smartphone world.