This may be a large hatchback, but there is a cheeky cuteness about the design of the Fabia. Its tight-fitting roof, friendly smile and large headlamps are cleverly designed and make the car look far more compact and agile than it is. Bare statistics, however, show that this car is almost four metres long, longer than even the Ford Fusion, and that’s really saying something. It’s the brightwork that grabs your eye first however.
The large, attractive- looking headlamps are mounted high, straddling the bumpers and bonnet, and Skoda’s chrome bar above the grille works fabulously. Look closer and you’ll see that the chrome reflects the car’s unimpeachable quality and projector headlamps tell you that the cost accountant’s scalpel has not cut in here. Like the new Mini, the cabin is inset from the flanks of the car and the roof tapers towards the back. The styling of the rear is quite conservative.
Under the skin, the Fabia is built on an updated and largely new platform that will be shared between other Volkswagen Group companies. The new Volkswagen Polo will also be built on this PQ25 platform, but Skoda, part of the VW Group, get use of it first. The highlights of this chassis include a very sophisticated front MacPherson strut suspension, a stoutly-built lower A-arm and a non-independent rear. The three-part sub-frame at the front of the car decouples the suspension noise and vibration from the body of the car, and the electric steering uniquely uses hydraulic assistance when needed.
For India, Skoda has raised the suspension and retuned the springs and dampers in what it refers to as its ‘rough road’ package. Ground clearance is up to 146mm, and Skoda has also provided a three-part metal plate underneath the car for protection. The car we tested came with ABS and airbags too.