10 reasons to buy a Skoda Fabia
A former What Car? Car of the Year winner, the Skoda Fabia is one of the best cars around right now - here are just 10 reasons to put one on your driveway...
The Fabia is a great all-rounder. It's stylish, enjoyable to drive and has a spacious and practical interior which stands up well to the various demands of growing families. It's also competitively priced against rivals like the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta.
Here are 10 reasons why the Skoda Fabia should be your next car.
10 reasons to buy a Skoda Fabia
10. Front space
The Fabia offers more space for driver and front passenger than either the Ford Fiesta or Mazda 2. Its tall roofline means that there's plenty of headroom and legroom in the front, and its wide doors mean you don't have to stoop down to get in or out.
9. Comfortable cabin
Almost every driver will be able to get comfortable behind the wheel of the Fabia - the seat is comfortable and supportive, all the major controls fall within easy reach and the pedals line up with the driver's legs. In short, you'll be comfortable whether you're taking long or short journeys.
8. Petrol power
Our favourite 1.2-litre petrol engine is refined, clean and will save you plenty of money at the pumps. It's also reasonably punchy, making it our engine of choice.
7. Boot space
If you're going to be carrying a lot of luggage then it's good news, because the Fabia has the biggest boot in this class. It's also usefully square, and its wide opening makes loading larger items easy.
In keeping the Fabia's design fairly simple, Skoda has helped drivers out. The car's narrow windscreen pillars make it easy to see out of the front, and it's the same story when looking over your shoulder. Entry-level cars don't get parking sensors as standard, but they are optional.
5. Five-star safety
All Fabia models get six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system, an electronic stability control program, an alarm and engine immobiliser as standard, as well as remote locking. Our favoured SE trim also gets automatic city braking technology - Skoda's version of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).
Step up just one trim level from entry-level S models and you'll get alloy wheels, air conditioning, rear parking sensors, city braking technology and a leather steering wheel. Top-end SE L cars have climate control, larger alloy wheels, cruise control and keyless entry.
The Fabia is available in five-door form only, and is priced competitively at £10,750. Considering that the five-door Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa start at £13,995 and £12,185 respectively, the Fabia can be considered as a real bargain.
1. Easy handling
If you want to park the Fabia on a busy street, then its light steering and tight turning circle really helps. It's not boring at higher speeds, either, with plenty of grip and a well controlled body - just don't expect Ford Fiesta levels of fun.
Ride quality is a bit of a mixed bag, and if you're travelling over broken surfaces the car can fidget around. That said, the Fabia is a great all-round car for families. Stick to the 1.2-litre TSI 90 engine and SE specification and you'll have the best car in this class.
What about buying used?
The previous Skoda Fabia, which came to market in 2007 and was on sale until 2014, wasn't as well received as the current car, but still makes decent family transport if a low price tag and a spacious interior are your top priorities. Few small cars can match the Fabia for space, and four adults can easily travel in comfort.
It's not as fun to drive as the Ford Fiesta, and it doesn't have the same plush interior as today's car, but this Fabia is definitely worth looking at.
Our favourite version of the Fabia comes with an 84bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine, but if you're planning on covering a lot of miles than it's worth looking at the 1.6-litre diesel models, which will return up to 65mpg fuel economy on the motorway. There is a vRS performance version, too, but we'd avoid it as it doesn't have the same fun factor as other hot hatchbacks.
You can pick up a Fabia from this era for as little as £1500, but a budget of £8000 will get you a 2014 1.2-litre car in our favourite SE specification and with less than 20,000 miles on the odometer.
Common problems on the Fabia incude excessive oil consumption, as well as trouble with the fuel pump and water leaking into the car. The good news is that Skoda has a generally good reputation for reliability; it was the top manufacturer in the most recent J.D. Power reliability survey. Also, the Fabia is easier on consumable parts like brake pads and discs than other small hatchbacks.