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New Skoda Fabia vs used Volkswagen T-Roc

The Fabia is a great small car, but for similar money, you could pick up a used T-Roc SUV. So, which is the better buy?...

New Skoda Fabia vs used Volkswagen T-Roc

The contenders

NEW Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 95 SE Comfort

List price £19,720
Target Price £19,108

The Fabia is a solid small car choice: it has a keen focus on comfort and practicality 

USED Volkswagen T-Roc 1.0 TSI 110 Life

Price new £25,810
Price used £19,000*

You might be tempted by the SUV style of the T-Roc, especially at this price point, but is it the better package?

*Price used is based on a 2022 model with average mileage and a full service history and is correct at the time of writing

People like what's familiar to them, but, at the same time, they don't like to fully embrace the crowd. Perhaps that's why people go to Starbucks and proceed to order the most complex drink known to man. It could also be why people have latched onto small SUVs

You see, these cars are very similar to traditionally popular hatchbacks – in size, engines and interiors – but their muscular, rugged styling and raised ride height sets them apart just enough to catch your attention. The Volkswagen T-Roc is a great example, being essentially a Volkswagen Golf under its SUV skin. 

Skoda Fabia front driving

The only problem is that, because so many buyers have taken a liking to small SUVs, you could very well argue they've now become the status quo. Is it time the small car, such as the Skoda Fabia we have here, returns to fashion? 

That's for you to decide, but we can offer up an objective comparison between the Fabia and the T-Roc. And, to put our contenders on similar grounds when it comes to cost, we've gone for a brand new Fabia and a two-year-old, used T-Roc. 


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

You'll find 1.0-litre petrol engines in these cars, albeit varying in power – the Fabia has 94bhp and the T-Roc 109bhp. The two feel almost identically punchy, mind you, due to the T-Roc weighing more. When we tested them, the Fabia bettered the SUV's 11.0sec 0-60mph time with a 10.7sec effort. 

Both the Fabia and T-Roc prioritise comfort, so they have similarly soft, squidgy rides. That said, the T-Roc feels more planted and settled on the road. The Fabia doesn't feel wallowy, but it's less adept at dealing with broken surfaces. It also goes over potholes with more suspension noise.

VW T-Roc front cornering

If you're after a sharp, engaging, fun driving experience, there are better alternatives out there (such as a Seat Ibiza in the small car class or a Ford Puma in the small SUV class). The Fabia and T-Roc handle safely and neatly and that's that. 

The Fabia, being smaller and lighter, is naturally better suited to towns and cities where its agility makes light work of tight streets and car parks. The T-Roc, though capable in urban areas, is more at home on faster roads where its better composure shines through.

Apart from the aforementioned suspension noise, refinement is strong in the Fabia: it's a quiet motorway cruiser. The T-Roc is even more hushed, though. 

Next: What are they like inside? >>

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