Test Skoda Spaceback 1.0 TSI 95 HP DSG Ambition
When talking about the Skoda Spaceback It is common to hear: "Oh, that's the long Fabia is not it?". An understandable confusion considering that both the Spaceback and the Fabia Combi have almost identical measurements and compact family proportions . However, although both seem to fight for the same gap within the Skoda range, their origins are diametrically opposed. The Spaceback is a trimmed version of the Skoda Rapid , while the Combi is the elongated version of the Fabia .
Leaving aside the internal decisions that led to the brand to do this, in fact both vehicles have a series of significant differences that can make us end up choosing one or the other. In this Skoda Spaceback test you can see the pros and cons of this car, when compared to the competitor you have in your own home and also the ones you have outside it.
Sober and functional, but with original details
The Skoda Spaceback was updated last year to acquire the look you see in the photos. Its front bumper has simple and smooth shapes, on which they are placed headlights of almost rectangular shapes reminiscent of those of Karoq and the grill with the upper ends in the form of a peak. A few details that differentiate visually from the new Skoda Combi that we have also had the opportunity to try.
But where this car differs most from the Fabia, and from any other model of Skoda, it's in the back. Its designers have allowed themselves the license to extend the back glass to the edge that has on the license plate to give it a more original and modern look . In addition, thanks to the fact that the entire glazed area around the window is black, it gives a bicolor touch to the body which, according to the chosen tone, makes it stand out more.
An interior without luxuries but well finished
The interior of the Skoda Spaceback is sober both in its design and in the materials that have been used for its construction. It does not have soft plastics like those we could see in the Skoda Karoq, but they have a good feel and are reasonably resistant to chafing.
The assembly of each of the pieces it is well taken care of and we have not detected anomalous noises , not even when traveling on uneven terrains such as roads or cobbled roads. Keep in mind that the Spaceback leaves Mladá Boleslav, the same factory where the Karoq is built . A car with a price range higher than the one required for higher qualities and which, as we could see in the test, has fulfilled so much.
The layout of the center console buttons is very simple and intuitive and the touch screen is very easy to use .We were surprised by the speed with which you connect and the ease with which it worked with all the mobile phones that we have used.
Habitability: your strong point despite being a compact
As we told you at the beginning of this test, the Spaceback and the Fabia Combi are very similar cars but they have several significant differences . Habitability is one of them. If the space in the rear seats is important to you, the Spaceback is a better option , since with the regulated driver's seat for a person of 1.86, it fits comfortably another sitting in the back. We would dare to say that this size can be stretched up to 1.91 meters in height for both occupants, since both height and length are very generous in front and behind.
To the extent that there is not so much space left is in the width . The Spaceback measures 4,304 meters long and 1,459 meters high. Averages in the average of its competition. However, it measures only 1,706 meters wide, something that is slightly noticeable inside. To give you an idea, is closer to B-segment cars such as the Fabia, the Seat Ibiza, the Volkswagen Polo or the Peugeot 208, that of cars more similar in length such as the Seat León, the Volkswagen Golf or the Peugeot 308, that is, the C segment.
In the trunk is where we find another important difference with his twin brother, but this time it is the Fabia Combi that wins with quite slack While Spaceback is able to store 415 liters of cargo , a pretty good capacity inside cars of this length, the Combi increases that figure to 530 liters. Of course, at the expense of a smaller rear seats.
The standard equipment of the Skoda Spaceback is fair, although you can add some extras like the rear parking sensors, the hill start assistant and the front armrest. All of them within the functional package that costs 350 euros . In addition, this car also has some details called by the Simply Clever brand, such as the passenger seat umbrella, the ice scraper or the space for the reflective vest of the driver's seat.
Inside the standard equipment of the Ambition finish include the rear view camera and the SmartLink mobile connectivity mentioned above. Although they can be completed with extras such as the panoramic roof , which costs 765 euros, and the heated front seats for 230 euros. In addition to these two, the unit we have tested includes the entry, start and exit without keys (420 euros), bi-xenon headlights (535 euros), sport seats in tela-sport (290 euros), the central armrest rear (165 euros), passenger seat adjustable in height (65 euros), the leather package (110 euros) that affects the sports steering wheel, the knob of the shift lever and the handle of the handbrake.
Anyway, if you have a limited budget, the extras that we think are most worthwhile are driving aids . Like the help of start on slopes, the automatic emergency braking system, the fatigue detection system or the automatic lights.If it does not react, the system brakes on its own to minimize or prevent damage.
Like Other cars of the Czech brand, the balance between comfort and dynamic ability of the car is very good. The Spaceback absorbs road imperfections well enough and reacts with some agility between curves. In addition, the passenger compartment is well insulated from both rolling and aerodynamic noise.
Of course, being built on the same Rapid platform is practically the same as this in the section dynamic. Precisely for that, despite its good balance, we liked it less than the Fabia, although the differences should not be noted with a normal driving style.
Engine and change
The 95 HP and 160 Nm of maximum torque of the 1.0 TSI engine move the Skoda Spaceback with agility , because it is a light car and has a gearbox with short ratios. If it is true that when it is loaded with four adults and the trunk full, conditions in which we toured part of the test, the capabilities of the engine are somewhat scarce and we must change the way of driving slightly. If you are going to use this car with a lot of cargo frequently, it is recommended that you opt for the engine 1.0 TSI of 110 HP and 200 Nm of torque . It can only be chosen with the automatic change we have tried and, despite having more torque, maintains the same relationships as the 95 HP. The result is that, with such short gears for that power, it is able to move the car with ease.
The DSG automatic transmission is smooth and fast , although it calls the attention that has 7 gears when the longest that has keeps the car quite revolutionized. To give you an idea, at 120 km/h real the engine turns at 2,800 rpm, which causes the steps between gears are very short. Even so, this does not affect the driver's comfort, since this change is programmed to be smoother than fast , and the transitions do not get too noticeable.
What we do not find Differences between these engines of 95 and 110 HP is in the vibrations . Which is because the 1.0-liter block has three cylinders , instead of the four that had the 1.2 engine. This is evident in the vibrations at low turns and at the sound of the motor. Although as a counterpart have managed to homologate a lower consumption with the three-cylinder engine in the NEDC cycles (for the WLTP will have to wait a bit still). An advance that is due to the reduction of displacement and the higher pressure at which the injectors spray the fuel.
The real consumption that we have registered with the Skoda Spaceback of 95 CV and the change DSG is 6.4 liters per 100 km going by highway at 120 km/h, 5.1 liters on roads of 90 km/h and 8.1 liters in city. All the routes in moderate traffic conditions, in which we had to make changes of pace and overtaking with some frequency.
The Skoda Spaceback is a very good option if you need a car with contained dimensions , spacious rear seats and a good boot .The difference of external dimensions does not reach 4 cm in any of the dimensions.
It is in the interior where the most significant difference that can help us make the decision is found. The Skoda Spaceback has more generous rear seats thanks to its longer wheelbase. In contrast, in the Fabia Combi the strong point is the trunk , which covers 115 liters more. If these differences do not help you to choose one or the other, it is probably the economic factor, in which the Fabia takes the cake normally.