Skoda Fabia Review logo

Skoda Fabia Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Clever, refined for its size”

Best bits

  • Excellent quality
  • Big boot
  • Comfortable to drive

Not so great

  • Short on driving excitement
  • Limited engine choice
  • Sparse kit on base model

Read by

Skoda Fabia Right Side View

Overall verdict

Skoda Fabia Front Car Seats

On the inside

Skoda Fabia Rear Side View

Driving

Skoda Fabia Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Skoda Fabia Rim

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Fabia hatchback is attractively  priced, cost effective to run, comfortable and practical and gets an added sprinkling of upmarket appeal thanks to new Skoda family styling and extra technology, including standard DAB radio and Bluetooth."

Skoda Fabia Right Side View

The Fabia has been part of the  Skoda line-up since 2000 and the reason that it’s stuck around for so long is simple - it’s very, very good. This is the Mk3 model, which builds on those values that have put it top of many buyers’ shortlists. Key to that is how Skoda has concentrated on designing and building a small car its own way - without any pretensions.


It’s an easy car to live with, packed with clever touches that leave you wondering: “why no-one has done that before?” Features like the large bottle holders in the door pockets and centre console, parking ticket holder on the windscreen and even the ice scraper hidden in the fuel filler flap that’s a trademark of the company. Small touches that make a big difference to your ownership experience.


It comes with a 1.0-litre petrol engine, following the facelift of 2018, with a 1.4-litre diesel briefly available from 2015-2018. The peppy 1.0-litre TSI engine comes with 90, 95 or 110 bhp, depending on the version you choose. What you won’t find in this generation of Fabia is a vRS model. This hot hatch variant used to be a halo model in the range. But, Fabia has grown up and got sensible, so a 1.0-litre engine is as good as it gets. Thankfully, it’s a cracker.


Whichever you go for, the Fabia hatch is very comfortable and does a superb job of soaking up lumps and bumps in the road - it gives a comfortable drive. It’s not as rewarding to drive as, say, a Fiesta, Granted, with less ‘go kart’ feel, but Skoda has chosen comfort and quiet over an overtly sportier experience. Still, it deals with twists, turns, motorway and towns in its stride and never misses a beat.


The Fabia hatchback is practical, too. The boot is a good size at 330 litres, which is notably ahead of rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. There’s even space in the back for two adults to sit in reasonable comfort – though children will be more at home here. If you have a child car seat, there are also two ISOFIX mounting points in the rear as standard.


Up front there’s a neat dashboard with logical controls and clear dials, with upmarket details such as a touchscreen system on offer. That said, despite more technology being available, the Fabia does lag a little when it comes to materials, with no plush, soft-touch plastics like you’d see on many rival models including the Volkswagen Polo. The Fabia is also one of the few small cars around that still comes as an estate - the Skoda Fabia Estate.

Is the Skoda Fabia right for you?

The Fabia hatch is stylish, has a better cabin and feels grown-up and competent on the road. And yet it still represents excellent value for money thanks to reasonable prices, decent equipment levels and low running costs. It faces a lot of competition, but should be a feature on any car buyer’s shopping list. 


It’s designed to be better at covering longer distances and being comfortable than it is being ‘fun to drive’, thanks to good refinement and comfort. Try to avoid the least powerful engines to make the drive easier on your ears. Seat comfort is another plus point, and even if the cabin materials look a bit plain, they’re durable.


What’s the best Skoda Fabia model/engine to choose?

Unless you really need a diesel, go for the 1.0-litre TSI with 95PS or 110PS. The 95PS will be fine for most uses, although you will have to be 'proactive' with the five-speed manual gearbox to keep momentum up. It's fairly quiet and refined, with that typical three-cylinder thrum should you build up the revs. That gearbox is pleasant to use, while the clutch is light and easy to operate.


The diesel option was only available from 2015-2018 and more sluggish 1.0-litre MPI models are best avoided.


Skip the S trim on Fabia, as it’s missing some kit that’s now considered essential and opt for SE for air conditioning, rear parking sensors and roof rails. Or, for something fancier, the SE L has climate control, keyless ignition, and sat-nav with its 6.5-inch infotainment screen.


What other cars are similar to the Skoda Fabia hatchback?

Buyers are spoilt for choice when it comes to small hatchbacks - almost every manufacturer offers a small car in one form or another. 


There’s the big sellers in the shape of Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo. But, want something that’s fun to drive? You can for a MINI or Peugeot 208. Something a bit more upmarket? Try the Audi A1. There’s even electric options from Renault with its Zoe and as an option on Corsa and 208. 


Then there’s the bargain basement models. Go for a Dacia Sandero if costs are your number one concern, it’s regularly Britain’s cheapest new car and that’s reflected on the used market.


Learn more

Skoda Fabia Front Car Seats

On the inside

Skoda Fabia Rear Side View

Driving

Skoda Fabia Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Skoda Fabia Rim

Prices, versions and specification