2019 Skoda Fabia Facelift Review – Performance, Interior, Fuel Economy
Launched in 2014, the third generation of Skoda Fabia receives in 2018 its first facelift. Discreet in appearance, it brings together the evolutions already operated by the 2019 Skoda Fabia in recent months.
Never before, in the automotive history, the segment of versatile city cars had renewed so quickly: Citroen C3, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, Nissan Micra, Seat Ibiza, Suzuki Swift, Volkswagen Polo, all have changed generation in 2017 ( end of 2016 for the C3), without forgetting the Toyota Yaris, deeply reworked.
What motivated the Skoda Fabia to operate its first facelift, four years after its launch in France. In the program? Very little: a front face dusted here, the final abandonment of diesel there. But do not throw the stone to the Fabia, who had not waited for this official restyling to evolve. Explanations.
2019 Skoda Fabia Redesign
In May 2017, the Fabia had traded its 1.2 TSI four-cylinder (90 and 110 hp) against this 1.0 TSI three-cylinder (95 hp or 110 hp). The endowment was also enriched in mid-2016, welcoming a practical reversing camera and a rare adaptive cruise control option.
Today, the real novelties can be counted on the fingers of one hand: touch screen of 6.5 ” instead of 5 ” in entry-level, two rear USB plugs from the finish Clever, 100% LED lights and new driving aids (Blind Spot Monitoring, Reverse Traffic Alert and Adaptive Highbeam) in a High Style finish. At the expense of tariffs?
Features and Price
Let’s take a break from the entry-level Fabia Active (from € 12,990), reserved for the modest 1.0 MPI 60 or 75 hp, which barely accounts for 4% of sales in France. With the 1.0 TSI 95, the 2019 Skoda Fabia starts in Clever level much more interesting: at 16 490 €, this special “permanent” series (like finishing match at Volkswagen) adds the indispensable claim ‘manual and split bench, but also the key hands- free, backup camera, and the famous 6.5-inch touchscreen compatible Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Fabia Monte-Carlo (17 480 €) boosts its presentation (shields and bottom of specific cases, seats and steering wheel Sport, saddlery and bicolor body), while the Fabia Style less than 18 000 € lacks nothing ( see equipment cascade detailed on next page ). Compared to the old Fabia, the rates increase a little (+ € 190 in Clever, + € 650 in Active and Style), but the Skoda remains very well positioned against its rivals, as detailed in the chapter Competition.
We have not had the opportunity to renew the 2019 Skoda Fabia since the arrival, in 2017, of the 1.0 TSI 95 in place of the 1.2 TSI 90. A passage of four to three cylinders rather well managed in terms of smooth running: except for the slight jolt felt when restarting the engine at the green light, the TSI 95 contains its vibrations, at slow speed as at low revolutions.
The reduction of cubic capacity also does not handicap acceleration, sufficient in the flow of traffic and accompanied by a sympathetic sound but never invasive. Pleasant on a daily basis, the TSI 95 simply lacks consistent recovery: light through 1,800 rpm and box 5 long reports still require to go down one or two speeds when a need for power.
This engine seemed to us more vivid in Volkswagen Polo, strong with an additional 15 Nm of torque (175 Nm against 160 Nm at Skoda) and then devoid of the particulate filter that today imposes compliance with Euro6.d-Temp standards. In the absence of developments on its running gear this said (the Skoda does not take advantage of the last platform of the Polo and Ibiza), the Fabia prefers quiet driving.
Its front end does not show the incisive side of a Ford Fiesta or a Renault Clio entering cornering, while its suspension generates light pumping movements on the degraded road. Its filtration of bumps at low speed remains correct, provided to avoid the new pneumatic rise of 18 inches (!), Available optional at 590 € on the Fabia Monte Carlo.
ur dynamic test ended with a portion of the highway, far from rejecting this aptly named city “versatile”: sufficient sound insulation of air noise, optional adaptive cruise control, and reasonable consumption , despite the relief that solicited the TSI 95 in the ramps: 6.8 l per 100 km measured at 130 km / h. In the absence of diesel anyway, the big rollers will have to do it.
2019 Skoda Fabia Interior
- The color of the central strip changes according to the finishes and/or options, but the materials remain exclusively rigid, even in the upper part.
- The graphics of the counters are changing slightly. But here, no optional digital slab like Polo and Ibiza.
- All multimedia systems (Swing, Swing Plus and Amundsen) adopt a 6.5 “touchscreen. The interface remains intuitive.
- Comfortable, the front seats reinforce their lateral support and integrate their headrest to the back in Monte Carlo finish.
- If the rear space is no longer the best of the segment, the side seats take care of the comfort of the seats, long and dug.
- Reversible carpet, luggage compartment, removable LED lamp, the trunk of the Fabia is full of optional tricks and reaches 330 l including lower storage.
- Folded backs, the loading space is unfortunately far from flat, and only the version Combi break offers an optionally removable floor to 140 €.
Quoted at the beginning of the test, the rivals of the 2019 Skoda Fabia abound and prevent us from being exhaustive here ( read our versatile buying guide ). But compared to competitors in general, the Fabia presents a ratio between price and equipment systematically more favorable: € 16,490 in TSI 95 Clever, against € 17,250 for a Citroën C3 PureTech 82 Shine, € 17,300 for a Peugeot 208 PureTech 82 Signature (both without rear-view camera, hands-free key and alloy wheels), and € 17,100 for a Renault Clio TCe 90 Limited (with alloy wheels but without Android Auto / Apple CarPlay).
The cousin Seat Ibiza is certainly not much cheaper (16 700 € in TSI 95 Style, without the aforementioned equipment) but its more recent design allows it to offer better benefits in terms of presentation, comfort, and rear space and in the trunk (355 l volume in 5 seats!). The Volkswagen Polo has the same qualities but logically goes higher: € 18,530 in TSI 95 Connect, without a backup camera or a hands-free key.
2019 Skoda Fabia Review; Verdict
This restyling is a bit short to allow the Fabia to worry other versatile city cars, recently renewed and today more comfortable, more dynamic and better presented on board. Even its rear space and trunk, formerly a reference, is now challenged by its own cousins Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo.
The Fabia, however, remains one of the best-priced city cars in terms of price/equipment (including the Clever finish, affordable and well-endowed), and the only one, with the Clio Estate, to keep a break proposal on this segment: for € 600 more than the sedan, the Fabia Combi stretches its boot volume from 330 liters to 530 liters in five places. An unequaled reference!