If you were shocked by the high pricing of the new-generation Skoda Fabia, then we have some good news.
A cheaper version of the Toyota Yaris rival will almost certainly be added to the range, making the Fabia more competitive.
Skoda Australia shocked observers when it announced pricing for its fourth-generation Fabia hatchback earlier this year.
The single-grade Fabia Monte Carlo is priced at $37,990 drive-away. The flagship variant is more expensive than all of its perceived mainstream-branded rivals like the Mazda2, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift, and it’s double the price of an MG3.
Even its twin under the skin, the Volkswagen Polo, is more affordable, although the Polo GTI is the priciest member of the sub-$25,000 light car category at $38,750 before on-road costs.
Granted the Fabia Monte Carlo is incredibly well specified, but anyone after an affordable European hatch now has fewer options.
However, Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer confessed to CarsGuide at the Fabia launch that the company is considering another model grade, although timing remains unclear.
“So it’s not in the immediate future,” he said. “But absolutely when the supply frees up for the Fabia we would also consider a lower grade. Though we probably wouldn’t go to low grade as we had in the previous gen, but a lower grade with the smaller three-cylinder engine is well possible, but it’s not unfortunately in the short term.”
The variant most likely to be added to the local roster is the Fabia 81TSI that uses a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine pumping out 81kW, matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
When asked if the new lower-grade variant could start from less than $30,000, Mr Irmer said Skoda Australia “would aim for that”.
“Time will tell when we go to market with it and how much spec is going to be in it in the end, but it would make sense.”
The Fabia Monte Carlo has a more powerful 110kW four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, a sporty body kit and a loaded standard features list.
One Skoda model range that won’t be expanding is the Karoq SUV. Despite the existence of five different engine variants in Europe, Mr Irmer said Skoda Australia was satisfied with the two grades currently on offer to reduce complexity in the model line-up.
Mr Irmner acknowledged that the Karoq could be selling better, adding that “the potential of the car is higher than what you would see in the deliveries”.
The Karoq has been hampered since its 2018 launch by low supply from the Czech plant, and the issues caused by the pandemic, such as parts shortages, have only exacerbated that. However, Karoq supply is expected to improve next year.
The Karoq is currently sitting at the back of the pack when it comes to sales in Australia. To the end of July this year, Skoda has sold 416 units, representing a 60.9 per cent decline over the same period in 2021.
That’s well behind the big hitters in the segment like the Toyota RAV4 (22,810) and Mazda CX-5 (16,360), but but also off the pace of newcomers like the GWM Haval H6 (3176) and slower sellers including the Ford Escape (1131).
Keyword: Cheaper Skoda Fabia on the way! Mazda2, Toyota Yaris and Volkswagen Polo rival to gain a more affordable variant that could cost less than $30k