New 2021 Skoda Fabia: more details revealed

Next Skoda Fabia will have reworked styling, new technology and a range of economical petrol engines

  • Virtual Cockpit available for the first time
  • Will only get petrol engines
  • Due to be revealed in spring

The new Skoda Fabia is nearing launch and Skoda has released a set of lightly camouflaged images that show the car during winter testing. Moving onto a new platform, the Fabia will be more spacious and feature a wider array of safety technology. The car will be revealed in spring and will go on sale shortly after.

With the discontinuation of the Skoda Citigo, the new Fabia will be the brand’s smallest and cheapest car. Prices are likely to rise slightly over the current car, which starts at under £15,000.

2021 Skoda Fabia practicality

While the proportions look fairly similar, the new Fabia is 11cm longer than its predecessor and the wheelbase has grown by a similar amount. That should improve passenger space, while we know the boot will grow by 50 litres. As a result, its 380-litre space exactly matches the SEAT Leon, Ford Focus and Audi A3 from the class above, and means the Fabia will be more practical than nearly all its main rivals, including the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and Vauxhall Corsa.

Skoda has become known for its ‘Simply Clever’ features, like an ice scraper hidden in the fuel filler cap and umbrellas in the front seats. The new Fabia will benefit from many more of these innovations (up to 43, we’re told); 13 are new to the Fabia and five of those are Skoda firsts. You can opt for a USB-C socket mounted on the rear-view mirror - to plug a dashcam in - or specify a folding front passenger seat in order to carry long items. There are also phone holders in the seatbacks and a storage pocket underneath the boot cover.

Design

At first glance the styling looks very similar to the current Fabia but Skoda’s engineers have disguised some of the styling changes - like the reshaped tail-lights. The light clusters are split across the boot shutline, similar to the new Skoda Enyaq, and the angled LED elements are similar too. The rear windscreen will be more steeply angled than the current car, and there’ll be block ‘Skoda’ lettering across the tailgate.

The front end will be similar, albeit with a bolder grille and tweaked headlights, which will be LEDs even on the base model. It’ll look similar to the new Skoda Octavia, and will be smart enough to draw some buyers away from the Volkswagen Polo. We can see several new body creases as well, giving the supermini a fresh look.

Engines and chassis

Like the current Polo and the SEAT Ibiza, the new Fabia will sit on VW’s MQB A0 platform, and the three cars will share several key components including engines, technology and switchgear.

The entry-level 64bhp naturally aspirated MPI petrol engine gains 5bhp over its predecessor, and there’s a 79bhp version too. A familiar and much punchier turbocharged TSI 1.0-litre unit available with a choice of 94bhp or 108bhp. A dual-clutch DSG automatic gearbox will be available for extra cost on the latter, but it’s fitted as standard on the new range-topping engine - VW’s 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The 108bhp engine gets a six-speed manual; anything below that makes do with a new five-speed gearbox.

Skoda says the new Fabia will be very aerodynamic, helped by active cooling shutters in the grille and the option of new aero wheels. It’s up to 10% more economical than before, and all five petrol engines should offer 50-55mpg.

Interior and technology

Switching to the new MQB A0 platform should make the new Fabia more refined with improved soundproofing and noise isolation. It’ll still be one of the most spacious superminis on sale, though, with seating for four adults.

New technology will be introduced as well, in the form of Skoda’s MIB 3.0 infotainment system. This was first seen in the Skoda Kamiq SUV, with the new Fabia likely to get an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard, with higher spec models getting a larger 9.2-inch version. Smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is likely to be standard on all trim levels.

The dashboard will be brightened up by coloured decorative trim strips (depending on trim level), while Skoda’s digital instrument cluster will be available for the first time on the Fabia. There’s extra safety technology, too - parking assistance and Travel Assist (combining adaptive cruise control and a lane-keeping aid) can be ordered, and you can choose to have top and bottom ISOFIX child seat mountings on the front passenger seat.

Read our guides to the best small cars, best cars for £15,000 and best used small cars.

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