Skoda Fabia long-term test: report 4

The Fabia is one of the cheapest small cars you can buy, but how easy is it to live with? We're finding out...

Driving the Skoda Fabia

The car Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 95 SE Comfort Run by Kiall Garrett, senior videographer

Why it’s here To see if this budget-friendly small hatchback can suit the high-mileage and practicality needs of What Car?’s videographer

Needs to be Have acres of space for camera gear and equipment bags, while also being comfortable on long journeys and not too expensive to run

Mileage 760 List price £17,990 Target Price £17,433 Price as tested £19,540 Official economy 55.8mpg Test economy 53.2mpg

6 January 2023 – It's cold outside

Covering many miles over the Christmas break didn't sway my opinions on the Skoda Fabia's ride, which I’m continually impressed by. For a small hatchback that sits relatively close to the ground, it really does soak up impacts from speed bumps and broken bits of road impressively. 

The manual gearbox is a delight to use, too. It feels like most new test cars we get delivered to What Car? HQ are automatic these days, which makes the time spent in a manual feel even more special, and, I felt, gave me a better feeling of connection to the car. Driving what is a fairly regular hatchback like this just feels more alive and exciting when it has a stick and three pedals. The only drawback concerns UK traffic. With most of my journeys starting with an inner city battle to an inevitably stationary M25 motorway, I do still see the appeal that an easy automatic gearbox can offer.

The Fabia on the road

And fuel economy? While I haven’t achieved the Skoda Fabia's official figure of 55.7mpg, the 47.1mpg I have managed so far is still pretty good. I’m happy with around 400 miles from the 40-litre tank; it means I don’t have to spend too much time and money at petrol stations. And with every quick pitstop I’m reminded how joyfully simple the process is compared to the regular headache of charging up my previous car; the electric MG 5.

So, yes even though the Fabia was a bit chilly throughout the cold snap, it remains a pleasure to drive and a great example of cheap motoring done well.

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