Review

Skoda Fabia hatchback

Price  £10,600 - £17,875

Skoda Fabia hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Very spacious for a supermini
  • Large, well-shaped boot
Cons
  • No longer as good value as it was
  • 1.0-litre engine not strong enough
  • Some rivals are better to drive

At a glance

The greenest
SE L 1.4 TDI 90PS 5dr £16,240
The cheapest
S 1.0 MPI 60PS 5dr £10,600
The fastest
SE L 1.2 TSI 110PS 5dr £14,890
Top of the range
Monte Carlo 1.4 TDI 105PS 5dr £17,875

“Like many of the brand’s cars, the Skoda Fabia puts practicality and space ahead of all other considerations. It’s comfortable, too, but not as good to drive as some rivals.”

In recent times, the Skoda Fabia has been carving out its own niche as the car in the supermini class that puts space, practicality and comfort above all else. While the Ford Fiesta prioritises a fantastic driving experience, the Audi A1 dominates the upmarket end of the class, the Renault Clio majors on style and the Kia Rio focuses on value choice, the Skoda continues to go its own way. 

Yet although the Fabia isn’t the top-value choice it once was, it's hardly overpriced. And when you consider the quality of the interior, the ever-improving image of the Skoda badge and the generous standard equipment, you shouldn’t feel short-changed.

The Fabia benefits from a wide range of efficient and powerful engines that are shared across the Volkswagen Group, also being used in the Volkswagen Polo and SEAT Ibiza. We’d avoid the underpowered 59 and 73bhp 1.0-litre petrols, as they just aren’t powerful enough for a car this size car. 

Our pick of the range is the 90bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre. It has a good spread of power across the rev range, while also being smooth and economical. It’ll return 60.1mpg fuel economy and emits just 107g/km of CO2, resulting in a tax bill of £20 a year. 

If you’d prefer a diesel, our recommendation is the 104bhp 1.4-litre. It's easily quick enough to keep up with traffic – both in and out of town – and will return 70.8mpg. This means CO2 emissions of 95g/km, exempting it from road tax and putting it in the 17% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax band.

Our favourite trim level is the mid-range SE, which gives you alloy wheels, a multifunction leather steering wheel and air-conditioning. It also boasts an upgraded stereo and MirrorLink (a system that allows you to control your mobile phone's apps – including navigation – from the car's touchscreen). 

As is becoming the norm in this class, the Fabia scored the maximum five stars when Euro NCAP crash-tested it. It gets plenty of standard safety kit, including a plethora of airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, two rear ISOFIX child-seat mounts and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.2 / 5

Every Skoda Fabia model is cheap to run, with the fuel-efficient GreenLine returning more than 90mpg

Engines, drive & performance

3.4 / 5

The Skoda Fabia still trails the Ford Fiesta for outright driver enjoyment, but it feels stable at high speeds and quiet around town

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

There’s no denying the new Skoda Fabia is a step up from its predecessor, but it lacks some of the soft-touch plastic seen in rivals

Practicality & boot space

4.4 / 5

The Skoda Fabia is an extremely practical supermini, offering more boot space than a Ford Focus

Reliability & safety

4.5 / 5

The new Skoda Fabia should follow in the footsteps of the rest of the range, with top-notch owner satisfaction and a five-star safety rating

What the others say

4.4 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"All-new Skoda Fabia cuts a dashing new look with sharper styling. It's more practical than ever, with more space and clever features."
8 / 10
"Highly commendable in nearly every way, but the lack of pizzazz means it's not our class leader."
5 / 5
"The Skoda Fabia is supremely spacious for a small car, plus it's well equipped, good to drive and undercuts its main rivals on price."
4.5 / 5
"Bigger, loaded with more equipment and better to drive, the new Skoda Fabia is also a few kilos lighter, making the baby Skoda even more efficient. Perfect for the newly cost-conscious world we live in."
What owners say 
5
5 /5 based on 1 reviews
100%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend

Owner rating:

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Last updated 
4 Dec 2015
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