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The Top Gear car review:Skoda Fabia
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Not especially interesting in here, but big, with 1,150 litres of space with the rear-seats folded or 350 with them upright. About the same as the current VW Polo (which is on a new platform, remember), and more than the Ford Fiesta, which only manages 1093/292 litres. And that’s just the Fabia Hatchback – the Estate is bigger still, and quite unique insofar as it doesn’t really have any rivals. Ford doesn’t do a Fiesta Estate, nor do any of the French manufacturers or indeed anyone else within the VW Group. There’s enough head- and leg-room in the back for two adults to sit comfortably, if not three, but it does get a bit dark if you haven’t chosen the glass panoramic roof.
The fake carbon fibre trim and upholstery of the ‘Monte Carlo’ is a bit much, and not entirely in-keeping with the Fabia’s way of going about its business. Plainer trims suit this cabin, which is otherwise well-built (if a bit brittle in places), well-equipped and chocked-full of those little details that make Skodas easy and satisfying to own. Details like the umbrella under the passenger seat, ice scraper and tread-depth gauge in the fuel-filler cap, waste bin in the passenger’s door pocket and nets on the sides of the front seats. As someone once said, it’s the little things. Pity the class really has moved on in terms of interior style. The design and layout of the Fabia’s cabin is where it really feels its age.
The range-topping ‘Amundsen’ infotainment system is the only one we’ve tried. The screen is a bit small at 6.5-inches and the graphics are a bit low-res, but it’s as easy to use as any other VWG system (and will be familiar to those who’ve used them) and feature-rich.