Skoda has jumped the Geneva Motor Show gun and has revealed the new, facelifted 2018 Fabia supermini, complete with a minor design rethink, changes under the bonnet and new driver assistance and infotainment technology.
The updates come four years into the current third-generation model’s lifespan, but this facelift competes with some all-new, recent arrivals in the segment, including the latest Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo.
Alterations to the exterior design have been kept subtle though. New, slimmer headlights are the most obvious new feature at the front, and are joined by updated fog lights. Both LED headlights and taillights are now on the extras list, while the range of alloy wheels has been extended to include 18-inch options.
Skoda is keeping the interior under wraps for now, but promises a redesigned instrument cluster, plus new trim strips on the dashboard and two-tone finishes on the seats to liven things up. Skoda’s Swing 6.5-inch colour touchscreen is now available, complete with optional navigation and SmartLink+ connectivity for smartphones, enabling Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. In the back USB ports can now be equipped for rear seat passengers.
No new engines are found under the Fabia’s bonnet, but the biggest news is the removal of diesel options altogether.
Previously, Skoda’s supermini was available with a 1.4-litre TDI unit in three states of tune, ranging from 74bhp to 104bhp. Now the line-up will consist solely of 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol cars. A naturally aspirated MPI engine comes with either 59bhp or 74bhp, while a newer, turbocharged TSI is also offered with two power outputs – 94bhp or 108bhp.
The most powerful engine in the line-up is the only one available with an automatic gearbox, being a typical Volkswagen Group seven-speed DSG. Skoda claims that the engines are now a smidgen more economical than before too, while both TSI units are fitted with a particulate filter.
Blind spot detection is now available, while rear cross traffic alert, which monitors crossing traffic behind the vehicle while reversing, also makes its debut. Finally, automatic high beam assist has been added to the Fabia’s box of tricks. A new ‘Simply Clever’ feature has been bundled in too – the ice scraper hidden in the fuel filler cap now incorporates a gauge for measuring tyre tread depth.
With the car to make its complete public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, it’ll go on sale in Britain this summer with prices to stay similar to that of the current model, meaning a tag of around £10,500 for the basic 1.0-litre MPI car in S trim.