1L SE L TSI
Stylish, practical and packed with features, the Fabia focuses on providing good value. It’s also available with different colour options inside and out.
When you step inside the Fabia, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of space it has and by the size of the boot, despite it being such a small car.
It’s good to drive with engines that give a reasonable performance while providing decent fuel economy.
There’s an estate version if you need even more space, as well as a VRS performance version, although it’s not in the newest range.
The Fabia was updated in 2018 with sharper styling, a better interior trim and improved equipment. The diesels were dropped leaving just a 1.0-litre petrol which has been set up to act like three different engines. These have either 60, 95 or 110 horsepower so you can choose the option to suit you. The 60hp unit is perfect for mainly shorter city-based driving while the 95hp engine will be better for regular longer journeys. The 110hp unit is for those who want to drive a little faster.
Although the Fabia boasts a great looking interior, especially for the price point, the quality of the materials used aren't the best. However, the coloured trim on the dash does give the interior a lift and a slightly more upmarket feel. There are also lots of unique storage and design features that set this Skoda apart.
Even the basic models include a 6.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, while higher models get sat nav and climate control. The instrumentation is simple and informative with easy to use controls that are perfect for everyday driving.
At 330 litres the boot space is excellent compared with most of its rivals. You’ll be able to fit in a baby buggy and a few small suitcases. It can also be expanded to 1,150 litres with the seats down. If you need even more space, the estate version provides 530 litres which can be expanded to 1,395 litres if you need to carry extra luggage.
There are lots of attractive touches, such as the smart steering wheel and chunky gear stick, which you won’t find in its rivals.
While the Fabia is perfectly pleasant around town, things can be a little noisy on the motorway.
The standard 1.0 MPI is suited to urban commuting with the odd longer journey from time to time.
The latest 1.0 TSI engine is the most enjoyable and efficient. In addition to affordability, it’s a really good car to drive with an excellent driving position and a smooth manual or dual-clutch gearbox. The seats are comfortable for both short and long-distance journeys and there’s lots of interior space ensuring passengers are relaxed.
Great pricing when new means the Fabia offers even better value when used. Around town, the latest 1.0 TSI returns 57 mpg but has to work slightly harder on motorways than the older 1.2. Even though they were dropped in 2018, there are plenty of 1.4 TDI diesels around which can return up to 72 mpg.
Insurance costs are low, as is road tax, and the Fabia is generally good on maintenance costs. Skoda offers fixed prices on servicing but you should still save money if you go with an independent garage.
The Fabia scores well in reliability surveys. The only areas that can be an issue are to do with electrical items, while repair costs are on par with rivals.
It has plenty of safety features, including an electronic stability programme and multiple airbags, while later models have blind spot detection and driver fatigue sensors. Euro NCAP gave it a five-star rating when it was first tested in 2014.
Best for economy - 1.4 TDI SE
Best for family - 1.0 TSI SE
Best for fun - 1.0 TSI Colour Edition
If you want to stand out from the crowd then go with one of the bright Colour Editions. Alternatively, look at the SE edition which comes with a touchscreen featuring the Smartlink sat nav.
All the engines are designed for economical motoring, but avoid the 1.0 MPI unless you only use your car to pop to the local supermarket. The diesel engine cars are the ones best suited to long-distance travel and are a worthwhile option. For drivers who need more boot space, the estate version is spacious, versatile and great value, while remaining quite compact.