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The latest Fabia will leave many with a difficult decision to make

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I think a lot of people will look at this week’s test car, the Skoda Fabia, and realize they have one of two choices to make.

You’ll be going for it, even though it comes with quite a price bump – it’s a brand new, bigger car, so there’s bound to be a premium.

God be with the times when Skoda was cheap and cheerful. What a distance the brand has traveled in a relatively short period of time.

Who would have thought that for them, and virtually every other brand, there would be a scenario where a potential buyer risks having to wait quite a while for another buying opportunity if they don’t take up the offer.

That’s the reality behind the incredible demand for new and used cars in a tight market.

On the other side of the equation for anyone considering buying a small car is the decision of whether to jump on the electric train now and look elsewhere to begin that journey.

I am aware that a decision of this nature was recently made and it felt like a weight was lifted from the buyer’s shoulders. A corner was bent.

Let’s not forget that we are talking about an investment of at least €20,000 for anything with decent equipment in this segment, be it ICE (internal combustion engine), electric, plug-in or conventional hybrid – the Toyota Yaris is the king of this jungle. That’s a lot of money for a small car.

Anyhow, I think the vast majority of people – and I do this anecdotally from conversations and questions I’ve had – will consider this purchase their last fossil-fuelled new car.

Your next one will surely have some sort of electrification.

So those are some of the concerns when buying new.

I’m not going to look into any crystal ball, but I do know there’s a lot of interest in the whole electrified side of the business.

And the sales numbers are there to show the shift.

Nevertheless, people still turn to cars like the Fabia for practical reasons – competitors are Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, Hyundai i20, Toyota Yaris.

You’ve always liked the extra space in the cabin and a large trunk in the Skoda.

According to the carmaker, it is the most spacious car in its class.

I’m happy to report that there has been some real world testing on this front and I think it’s fair to say that tall men and their international luggage were accommodated fairly well.

The memorable element is certainly the propriety of the rear seat space. The passenger had to move up a little to make room for the long legs in the back, but I had plenty of room behind the wheel. And the trunk has increased by 50 liters to 380.

The 95 hp one-liter brought a quickness to rides, but the fuel gauge switched on a little quicker than I expected.

I guess I was overly optimistic that loading passengers and luggage wouldn’t use as much energy as it so often does when there are only two or three on board with no equipment. I could have taken it more moderately, I’ll admit, but like I said, the engine liked being pushed a bit and I enjoyed that a bit.

It also looks a lot sharper. I really liked the bold blue color – there’s a black roof for contrast – while the front headlights and sculpted rear look give it a contrasting style that elevates it to smarter outlines than its predecessor.

This fourth-generation Fabia is built on Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB-A0 platform, and that means that while it’s by no means award-winning, it’s a more dynamic force to be reckoned with.

I definitely think the car benefits a lot from that overall.

And it results in an exceptionally quiet car, even on rougher and harder surfaces. I’ve driven bigger cars that had more tire noise in their cabins.

The cabin in my Style version was typical modern-day Skoda – clean lines, durable materials, although one or two areas suffered a bit from hard plastic.

The seats were excellent and decent on the old back.

So would I buy it? There is a difficult question.

Skoda has done a lot to make this an impressive package.

There’s a real sense of greater sophistication.

The price is a bit of a concern, as is the lack of any sort of hybrid. If there was one I would jump on it. I still think it’s a strong argument. In the current climate, it’s a good suggestion.

Time isn’t on the petrol side, but there’s still a jig or two in the Fabia.

https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-reviews/latest-fabia-will-leave-many-with-tough-decision-to-make-41541996.html The latest Fabia will leave many with a difficult decision to make

Fry Electronics Team

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