We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Good passenger space, good reliability record, big boot

Against Numb steering, dowdy cabin design, low-rent materials

Verdict Not very exciting, but sensible and dependable.

Go for… 1.4 2 or 1.2 TSI SE

Avoid… 1.2 1

Skoda Fabia Hatchback
  • 1. The Skoda handles well, with plenty of grip and good body control, although it doesn't feel as sharp as rivals, such as the Ford Fiesta ('08-) and Vauxhall Corsa ('06-), because of its rather vague st
  • 2. If you're looking for an efficient Fabia, the Greenline diesels offer the most miles per gallon
  • 3. The 1.2-litre petrol model manages around 47.9mpg, while the 1.4-litre diesel averages between 58.9mpg and 61.4mpg, depending on power output
  • 4. Issues include leaky fuel pumps and water leaks into the cabin from faulty door seals. Some owners also complain about creaks and rattles from the cabin trim
  • 5. The only recall to date was back in 2007, shortly after the Fabia went on sale, concerning a possible problem with the curtain airbag system
advertisement

Skoda Fabia Hatchback full review with expert trade views

Despite its small-car label, the Fabia has a distinctly grown-up feel. There's enough head- and legroom for two six-footers to sit in the back, and the boot is an impressive 300-litres.

The Skoda handles well, with plenty of grip and good body control, although it doesn't feel as sharp as rivals, such as the Ford Fiesta ('08-) and Vauxhall Corsa ('06-), because of its rather vague steering.

The cabin is best described as functional, rather than salubrious. The dashboard is logically laid out and easy to use, and the wide range of seat and steering wheel adjustment means all drivers should be able to get comfortable. However, the quality and finish of some materials feel a little low rent.

The Fabia comes with front and side airbags and a five-star Euro NCAP crash rating.

In March 2010 the Fabia was given a mild styling tweak, when a wider grille, redesigned headlights and different front spoiler were introduced.

Trade view

Check if a used Fabia requires a cambelt change, and factor the cost into your negotiations.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The 1.2-litre petrol models, with either 59bhp or 68bhp, use an older-design three-cylinder engine, and feel past their best, so we'd look for the 1.4-litre with 84bhp. It's reasonably nippy, yet still efficient to run.

There's also a 1.6-litre with 103bhp, but it's not noticeably better than the 1.4. Diesel options range from a 1.4 TDI with either 68bhp or 79bhp, or a 1.9 TDI with 103bhp. The first has enough poke to feel fast, but the second is a little unrefined.

In 2010, a range of TSI petrol engines was introduced. The 1.2-litre is available with either 54bhp or 103bhp. We prefer the second, because it has much more pulling power at low revs. There's also a hot 1.4 TSI vRS, with 178bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.3sec. A 1.6 TDI diesel, with either 89bhp or 104bhp, was introduced in 2010.

If you're looking for an efficient Fabia, the Greenline diesels offer the most miles per gallon. The 1.4 TDI Greenline was available from launch, but in 2010 it was replaced with the 1.2 TDI Greenline.

Originally, the different trims were labelled 1, 2 or 3. Entry-level cars come with central locking, electric windows and an MP3 compatible stereo, while the 2 adds air con, alloys and electric door mirrors, and the 3 has cruise control and parking sensors. The trims were later relabelled S SE and Elegance.

Trade view

Like many Skodas, the Fabia scores well for reliability and owners have little to moan about.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The 1.2-litre petrol model manages around 47.9mpg, with the 1.4-litre at 43.5mpg and the 1.6-litre at 40.9mpg. The diesels are obviously better, with the 1.4-litre averaging between 58.9mpg and 61.4mpg, depending on power output, and the 1.9-litre at 57.7mpg.

The later engines are all slightly more efficient, with the 1.2-litre achieving between 53.3mpg and 54.3mpg, and the hot 1.7 vRS at 45.6mpg. The 1.6-litre diesel is rated at 67.3mpg. The Greenline models will save you most at the pumps, with the 1.4 managing 69mpg and the newer 1.2 at an impressive 83.1mpg.

Road tax rates aren't steep and, unless you're considering the vRS, the most you'll pay for 12 months is £190.

The Fabia's servicing costs are higher than some rivals, such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, but less than others, like the Vauxhall Corsa. It's a similar story with residual values.

Trade view

Check if a used Fabia requires a cambelt change, and factor the cost into your negotiations.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Like many Skodas, the Fabia scores well for reliability, and delivered a strong result in the 2011 JD Power Survey. So far there are no consistent problems to report

Isolated issues include leaky fuel pumps and water leaks into the cabin from faulty door seals. Some owners also complain about creaks and rattles from the cabin trim.

When considering older cars remember that that all engines, apart from the 1.2-litre petrol, needs a cambelt change every four years or 60,000 miles – whichever comes sooner. If the work has not been carried out make sure you factor the cost into your negotiations.

The only recall to date was back in 2007, shortly after the Fabia went on sale, concerning a possible problem with the curtain airbag system.

Trade view

Like many Skodas, the Fabia scores well for reliability and owners have little to moan about.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014