Small cars have a lot to prove, but it was Skoda’s diminutive Fabia that emerged from the pack to become our Best First Car in 2016.
Placing the pint-sized hatch in good stead against much larger and more expensive competition, Skoda's smallest model delivers on the Czech-based Volkswagen brand's promise of latest German tech at an affordable price.
Once again this year, our judges were glowing in their praise of the Fabia’s clever and innovative packaging, generous accommodation, impressive fuel economy and sound dynamics. The inclusion of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard was also noted as commendable, as was its outstanding build quality and sophisticated infotainment and driver assistance systems.
The panel found little to criticise in the Fabia, citing only road noise levels on coarse-chip roads and expectedly limited space from the rear centre seat as negatives. It was felt Skoda could have offered stronger after-sales support, too, while poor resale value also hurt the model’s standing.
Otherwise the Fabia shone brightly and, with a price range ($15,990-$24,640) comparable to rivals including those from Japan and Korea, easily justified its title as our Best First Car again this year.