Skoda Fabia hatchback

Price  £10,600 - £17,875

Skoda Fabia hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • More space than most rivals
  • Good standard equipment
  • Strong, efficient engines
  • Not as good value compared to rivals as before
  • Sluggish 1.0-litre engine is disappointing
  • Volkswagen Polo feels more upmarket

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

"The new Skoda Fabia offers loads of kit and plenty of space, but isn’t quite as cheap to buy as the old model."

The Skoda Fabia is a five-door supermini with many rivals, including the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Hyundai i20. It's based on the Volkswagen Polo, which means it feels well built and should prove reliable. It's slightly cheaper than the Polo, too, while its resale value (the money you can expect to get for it when you sell it) is equally strong.

In a class that can sometimes put style ahead of substance, the Fabia has carved out a reputation as a no-nonsense, practical yet comfortable choice. Prices are a little higher than before, but perhaps that's inevitable given Skoda's improving image and the current Fabia's extensive standard equipment and technology.

There's a wide range of very efficient petrol and diesel engines to choose from, some of them paired with the VW Group's equally efficient DSG automatic gearbox. The two 1.0-litre petrols that open the line-up are frugal enough, but it's the more rounded 1.2-litre petrols that we prefer. They’re economical and nippy around town but the more powerful 108bhp version has enough performance in reserve for longer journeys with a full load of passengers and luggage on board.

Of the two 1.4-litre diesels on offer, our vote goes to the 104bhp. It's sprightly enough but will return 80mpg. It's certainly the right choice for high-mileage drivers. All the engines are generally smooth and refined, while the car itself is comfortable and feels sure-footed in corners, although it's not what you’d call exciting.

Cabin space is excellent, with plenty of head and shoulder room for all occupants and easily enough space for two six-foot adults in the back. The boot is the biggest in the class, too.

The Fabia is available in four trim levels: S, SE, SE L and Monte Carlo. The model's hard plastics can make the car feel a little basic inside, so spoil yourself by choosing our recommended trim level: the mid-range SE. To the height-adjustable driver's seat, electric mirrors and DAB digital radio you get in the S, it adds alloy wheels, a multifunction leather steering wheel and manual air-conditioning. It also has a surround-sound system, rear parking sensors and a system that can project your phone's display onto the car's touchscreen. SE L adds more luxuries and the Monte Carlo adds some sporty style, but SE gets it just about right.

The Fabia is a safe car with the maximum five-star score from Euro NCAP to prove it. It packs a lot of safety technology, including curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, braking assistance and tyre pressure monitoring.

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 based on 1 reviews
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Last updated 
11 Aug 2015
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