Skoda Fabia hatchback - Interior & comfort
The Fabia's interior is no-frills but has all the essential features
As it’s much larger than before, the Fabia's interior has been transformed. It now blurs the boundaries between supermini and family-sized hatchback, and could see some buyers reconsidering which model they need.
In keeping with its new grown-up personality, the Fabia is more refined than before too. Not only is its ability to soak up a rough road commendable, it's also good at keeping wind and tyre noise at a low hum.
Skoda Fabia dashboard
Moving to the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen Polo and SEAT Ibiza hasn't just increased space, it has also given Skoda's designers access to a new generation of technology. This means its infotainment is far more contemporary, with a central touchscreen measuring up to 9.2 inches in size. This setup looks modern and boasts slick graphics that are easy to read but it is slightly slower to load and less responsive than some rival systems. While analogue gauges are still standard, an optional digital instrument display is also available in the Fabia for the first time, and it feels a world away from the basic dials fitted into earlier generations of Skoda’s supermini. We’re not sure how much people will use some of its screen layouts, though, including one which just shows the car's speed and range in a large font – presumably to avoid other distractions on a long motorway drive at night.
The dashboard itself is also a new design, with a swish horizontal piece of body-coloured trim that intersects circular air vents. Another highlight is some fabric trim (from SE trim upwards), similar to the Octavia and Enyaq iV but overall materials are kept fairly simple.
A two-spoke steering wheel is a neat design touch and the rotary dials for the ventilation controls are easy to use while driving along a bumpy road. The extra width of the interior has also allowed for more plentiful storage and even a wireless smartphone charging tray.
Depending on which of the four trim levels you go for, features include some new arrivals for the Fabia range. A heated steering wheel, heated windscreen and wireless smartphone charging are offered, along with dual-zone climate control. There's even a panoramic roof to make the interior feel lighter and brighter, which is an item usually associated with bigger, more expensive cars.
SE Comfort is now the most basic trim, with surprisingly powerful LED headlights and several exterior additions including front front fog lights, 15-inch alloy wheels and rear parking sensors above the now discontinued S trim. Inside, upgrades include height adjustability for the front seats, a two-spoke leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel and matching trim on the gear lever and handbrake.
Colour Edition gets further styling enhancements including a contrasting roof colour, larger 16-inch aerodynamic alloys and rear privacy glass, and upgraded technology inside with a 10-inch digital dial cluster and keyless start. If you’re simply after an affordable supermini, this would be our pick of the range.
Next up, the SE L trim adds substantially to the equipment list. It gets a larger 9.2-inch infotainment screen, dual-zone air conditioning, ambient interior lighting, LED interior lights, a front armrest and all-round electric windows.
Topping the Fabia lineup is the new sporty Monte Carlo trim. To set it apart from the regular models, it gets several sporty design tweaks, including a gloss black front grille, redesigned bumpers, and model-specific 17-inch alloys. Other upgrades include special Monte Carlo badges, LED headlights and foglights, and tinted rear windows. Inside, sports seats are fitted along with red and black contrasting trim.
Which Is Best?
- Name1.0 MPI S 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.0 MPI S 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.5 TSI 150 Colour Edition 5dr DSG
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto