1 Sep 2011
FOUR years after it first appeared in Europe, the second-generation Fabia from Czech brand Skoda launched in Australia, armed with an array of standard features and a highly competitive price aimed right at the heart of the bustling light car segment.
With only one engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission available at launch, the little Skoda relied on the 77kW of its diminutive 1.2-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine to place it close to the top of its class.
Peak torque of 175Nm (achieved between 1500 and 4100rpm) was substantially higher than all rivals bar the Volkswagen Polo, with which the drivetrain was shared.
Claimed fuel consumption of 5.5 litres per 100km was enough to eclipse all bar the Suzuki Swift – which it equalled – and its 315 litres of boot space made it as commodious as many members of the bigger small-car segment.
The car’s 45-litre fuel tank also meant it had – on paper at least – a combined-cycle driving range of 800km, while the gutsy little engine caould haul the 1120kg Fabia to 100km/h in a claimed 10.1 seconds, while CO2 emissions were a low 128 grams per kilometre.
The base variant's standard equipment list included 15-inch steel wheels, eight-speaker MP3 compatible sound system with auxiliary input, tinted windows, air-conditioning, leather multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, trip computer, front foglights, height- and reach-adjustable steering wheel, movable centre front armrest and heated door mirrors.
Typically of the Volkswagen group there was also a choice of optional extras, including 15-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, an audio USB cable, electric sunroof and climate-control air-conditioning.
Meanwhile, the sportier Monte Carlo variant got standard 16-inch black alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, privacy glass, menacing black exterior highlights on the roof, wheel-arches, grille and foglight surrounds, sports seats with bigger bolsters and a sportier steering wheel (which deleted the audio and phone controls of the entry-level car).
Standard safety equipment across the range included six airbags, stability control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist. The Fabia achieved a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating when it was tested back in 2007.