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by Matt Campbell

The 2016 Skoda Fabia hatchback and wagon models have been launched in Australia with new pricing and plenty of new equipment highlights.

The new Skoda Fabia range remains the only city car in Australia to be offered with a compact station wagon option, with that bodystyle adding extra boot space – 505 litres compared to 305L in the hatch with the seats up; 1125L and 1370L respectively with the seats folded down – and $1150 over the price of the respective hatchback models.

The pricing for the hatch starts from $15,990 for the five-speed manual 66TSI model and from $20,240 for the DSG auto-equipped 81TSI. Those prices are driveaway until the end of 2015.

Skoda Fabia wagon_10

That premium for the automatic version – $4250 – is well above average (usually between $2000 and $2500), and unlike its sister model, the Volkswagen Polo, the Fabia doesn’t have an automatic option for the base-model engine.

You do get more power though, as the model names suggest, and all Fabia engines are now Euro 6-compliant, featuring brake energy recuperation and stop-start.

The entry-level five-speed manual 66TSI is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 66kW of power (hence the name) between 4400-5400rpm and 160Nm of torque from 1400-3500rpm.

Skoda Fabia hatch_22

The new engine produces an extra 3kW and 28Nm compared to the previous model’s 1.4-litre MPI non-turbo engine, and also uses considerably less fuel: 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres, compared to the old MPI engine’s 6.1L/100km.

The more expensive seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic 81TSI model has a more powerful 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with, you guessed it, 81kW of power (at 4600-5600rpm) and 175Nm of torque (from 1400-4000rpm).

This engine produces an extra 4kW over its predecessor, and fuel use has dropped from 5.3L/100km to 4.8L/100km.

Skoda Fabia wagon_26

In terms of big-ticket equipment inclusions for the new Skoda Fabia there’s a standard autonomous emergency braking system that works between 5km/h and 30km/h, and the company claims the radar-based system can reduce rear end crashes by more than 50 per cent.

The Fabia has been granted a five-star ANCAP crash test rating partly as a result of offering the technology. It also gets rear parking sensors with visual readout as standard.

In-car tech has been greatly improved, too, with the brand’s Smartlink infotainment system that consists of a 6.5-inch touchscreen media unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration being offered as standard across the range.

Skoda Fabia wagon_36

The Skoda gets the new media unit even before the Polo, which will adopt the technology later this year.

In terms of equipment – in addition to the new media system and auto-braking function – there are a few things missing from the Fabia base model that you get in rivals such as the Honda Jazz VTi and Toyota Yaris Ascent, both of which start at $14,990 plus on-road costs: those being a reverse-view camera (which isn’t even available as an option) and cruise control (which is standard on the higher-spec model and can be optioned as part of a pack – more about that shortly).

The entry-level 66TSI variant has niceties such as a leather-lined steering wheel with audio and phone control buttons and a tyre pressure monitoring system. It rolls on 15-inch steel wheels as standard, and of course there are USB and auxiliary inputs, along with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. It also comes with a six-speaker Arkamys surround sound stereo as standard. (Note: image below doesn’t show the new media system).

Skoda Fabia wagon_28

The dearer 81TSI adds 15-inch alloy wheels, a front centre armrest with storage and the aforementioned cruise control.

There are multiple option packs available for the new Fabia, as the brand believes buyers of this car will customise their model to suit their individual personality.

The packs include:

  • For the 66TSI, there’s the Travel Pack, which incorporates 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, LED daytime running lights and projector headlights, and a fatigue detection system. It costs $1300.
  • Further to the Travel Pack for the 66TSI, buyers can choose the Colour Concept pack, a two-tone look that incorporates one body colour and another highlight colour on the roof, A-pillars and wheels. It adds $300 to the price (total: $1600).
  • For the 81TSI there’s the Sports Pack, which includes 17-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension (15mm lower), front fog-lights, LED daytime running lights and fatigue detection. It costs $1200 whether you choose the Colour Concept or not, because the Colour Concept pack deletes the 17s and replaces them with 16s.
  • For those who want a little more, there’s the Premium Sports Pack, which includes a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, climate control air conditioning, privacy glass, keyless entry and start, DAB+ digital radio, and automatic headlights and wipers. It costs $2600 and includes all of the stuff in the regular Sports Pack, too.

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Conscientious buyers may also wish to consider the Skoda Care Pack which costs $1799 for the Fabia. It adds two further years of roadside assistance (five years total), two extra years of warranty (five years total) with unlimited kilometres, a three-year/45,000 service plan (included in the package cost). The brand claims there is up to $1700 worth of savings, and that the pack can be combined with the vehicle financing to limit the wallet impact.

Buyers who wish to simply add the extra new car warranty (over the standard three-year/unlimited kilometre cover) can do so for $999.

2016 Skoda Fabia pricing, plus on-road costs (driveaway pricing in brackets, available until December 31, 2015)

66TSI manual hatch – $15,990 ($15,990 driveaway)
81TSI DSG hatch – $20,290 ($20,290 driveaway)

66TSI manual wagon –$17,140 ($17,490 driveaway)
81TSI DSG wagon – $21,440 ($21,790 driveaway)

2016 Skoda Fabia specifications by model:

66TSI hatch:

Five-speed manual transmission
15-inch steel wheels
Tyre pressure monitoring
Smartlink media interface with 6.5-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity
USB and auxiliary inputs
Bluetooth phone and audio streaming
Information screen for driver including digital speedometer
Leather-lined steering wheel with audio and phone controls
Six-speaker Arkamys stereo system with surround sound
Front Assist with City Emergency Brake
Six airbags (dual front, front-side and full length curtain)
Multi-Collision brake (which will brake the car following an impact to reduce further damage)
ISOFIX child seat anchor points
Simply Clever package (net system in boot, flexible storage compartment in luggage compartment, holder for multimedia devices and waste bin in door panel)
Full size steel spare wheel
Rear parking sensors with visual readout

66TSI wagon (adds over hatch):
Rolling cover of luggage compartment
Silver roof rails

81TSI hatch (adds over 66TSI):
Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
15-inch alloy wheels
Front centre armrest with storage
Cruise control with speed limiter

81TSI wagon (adds over hatch):
Rolling cover of luggage compartment
Silver roof rails

2016 Skoda Fabia options:
– Metallic/pearl effect paint $500
– Panoramic glass sunroof $1000
– Amundsen satellite navigation $950

2016 Skoda Fabia optional packages:
– Travel Pack (66TSI only)
 $1300
– Travel Pack with Colour Concept
 (66TSI only) $1600
– Sports Pack (81TSI only)
 $1200
– Premium Sports Pack (81TSI only) $2600
– Sport Pack with Colour Concept (81TSI only) 
$1200
– Premium Sports Pack with Colour Concept (81TSI only) $2600




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