Skoda Fabia Review
The Skoda Fabia is up against some tough competition in its segment so we wanted to find out if it can take on its rivals.
- Class leading boot space
- Sprightly 1.0 110PS engine
- Really good drive
- Engine noise filters into the cabin
The market for superminis is a competitive one; there are so many to choose from including the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Citroen C3, Seat Ibiza, Peugeot 208...we could go on and list them all but buyers are looking not only for a supermini that has low running costs, but the practicality to go with it, so does the Skoda Fabia have enough to be up there amongst the popular models?
On the Road
The Skoda Fabia we tested came with a rather pokey 1.0 TSI petrol engine producing just 110PS but don’t be fooled by the 0-62mph time of just 9.2 seconds as it really does feel faster than that. With 200Nm of torque it has enough power for what it is and goes quicker than you think, the three-cylinder fools you into thinking it’s a larger engine a lot of the time.
Skoda reckon it can achieve a combined 64.2mpg and obviously we found the real world figures to be less but 40 mile trips produced nearly 50mpg without really trying.
Other engines available for the Fabia are a petrol 1.0 MPI with 60PS or 75PS, while diesel fans can choose from a 1.4 TDI with either 75PS, 90PS or 105PS so whichever you choose with really good fuel economy figures and CO2 emissions as low as 101g/km then running costs will be very good.
Where the Skoda Fabia is great is that if you’re using it simply as a getting from A to B car then it does exactly that very well.
The steering is well weighted and responsive, you’re not going to be throwing it into corners at speed because it isn’t a hot hatch but it really is a light and nimble car, that's been developed using the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform so the ride is really comfortable too. we went from motorway to country lanes where they really don’t keep them smooth and it was fine. Sure, it’s a bit of a rollerskate but we liked it because it was a back to basics car with fantastic fuel consumption.
The familiar Skoda grille dominates the quite angular looking third generation model, the chrome bits add that premium, well-finished element to a nicely designed exterior which also features Skoda’s distinctive ‘tornado line’ running along the side of the car to the rear.
The 1.0 sounds quite noisy at idle with noise filtering into the cabin much more than we liked so the cabin could do with a bit more insulating from the engine and wind noise but….that would add weight and take away the driving thrill from the car.
In the car
Jump into the Skoda Fabia and what is noticeable is how low key the interior is, no fancy buttons or dials here, it’s just very simple.
The SE trim Fabia does come with a 6.5 inch touchscreen display which sits recessed into the centre stack and features car information, radio, phone settings and also media. Smart phones can be linked up using Bluetooth or through the Aux and USB connections.
The driver also has plenty of information at their fingertips on a brightly lit dash that can be accessed via steering wheel mounted controls.
The Skoda Fabia is available in six trim levels: S, SE, SE L, Monte Carlo, Colour Edition and the new, limited edition, eye-catching Redline. The SE we tested came with plenty of standard equipment including DAB digital radio, air conditioning, rear parking sensors, body coloured door mirrors and door handles and Arkamys surround sound.
If you’re looking for a large boot in a supermini then look no further than the Skoda Fabia as it leads in this area, it holds 330 litres and is very deep and it can swallow two, large suitcases very easily. Fold the rear seats down and this increases to 1,150 litres.
The boot also has some extra space at the sides including a handy, yet simple solution to keep a bottle upright, there’s luggage hooks and an umbrella in the car too; it’s this attention to the little details which make your life easier.
If you were looking for even more practicality then apart from a five-door, there is also an estate version which has 530 litres of boot space.
You can be forgiven for thinking that when the word supermini is mentioned that you’ll expect to be cramped, but Skoda excel at providing lots of room; there is sufficient leg and headroom, even in the rear - a place that always seems to be forgotten about and you could fit in three adults without them feeling squashed in like a sardine.
We also managed to get in a child car seat without too much hassle, so the Fabia does work well as a family car as well.
The Skoda Fabia is priced from £10,500, rivals such as the new Ford Fiesta start from £13,695 while the Peugeot 208 is £14,635.
The SE trim we tested cost £14,780 as options included a spare wheel at £85 and the metallic paint was £555.
It comes with a two year unlimited mileage warranty and a 12 year one covering body protection, there is also the possibility to pay extra for an extended warranty extending it to 5 years/100,000 miles. It’s also worth noting that if the car is sold the warranty passes onto the new owners for the duration of the policy.
So would we have one? If you’re looking for a practical runaround then the Skoda Fabia is a great little car. We get that the badge snobs won’t even consider it, but essentially you’re buying an Audi without the extra premium costs. Gone are the days where people turned their noses up at the mention of the word Skoda.
The Skoda Fabia is really well made, a brush aluminium dash insert stretches across the car, the plastics feel durable and it’s surprisingly a high quality cabin.
Skoda sit well above their VW Group rivals having completely turned their fortunes around when it comes to reliability, while the Fabia model has never had any major issues which is a plus point.
The Skoda Fabia was named Best Small Car in the Driver Power 2017 New Car Survey and What Car? awarded it the accolade of Best Small Car in their recent awards, so it really is a supermini worth considering.
The Skoda Fabia scored the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings in 2014 with 81% for adult occupant protection, 81% for a child and 69% for a pedestrian.
It comes with side, curtain and front airbags, Isofix child seat points and driver assistance systems include Front assist which will warn the driver about the possibility of a collision, tyre pressure monitoring and a speed limiter, while security comes in the form of an alarm, remote central locking and wheel bolts with anti-theft protection.