An entry-level S model looks competitively priced, while an SE version – which is our pick – is priced in between an equivalently equipped Vauxhall Corsa and the pricier Mazda 2 and Volkswagen Polo.
The Fabia also holds its value better than other small cars, with almost as strong predicted resale values as the posher VW Polo. There are decent discounts available if you're prepared to haggle, so make sure you drive a hard bargain with your dealer.
There isn’t a major culprit in the Fabia line up for poor emissions or economy. Company car drivers will want to consider the diesels, especially the mid-power 90 model, which emits a reasonable 100g/km of CO2. It also returns a claimed 74.3mpg in official tests, the highest official fuel economy figure in the range.
Entry-level S trim misses out on some kit most people would consider the norm these days, such as air-conditioning and alloy wheels, but it does come with Bluetooth and a DAB radio.
A glance at the equipment list confirms why SE makes more sense. Alloy wheels, air-con, rear parking sensors and a leather steering wheel and gearlever all feature. It makes the range-topping SE L seem a bit pointless.
Colour Edition models are based on the SE spec, but only really add cruise control to the kit list; the other changes are purely cosmetic. Still, it doesn’t cost too much extra so is worth considering if you want more individual looks. Changes to Monte Carlo models are also cosmetic, but these cost quite a bit more. They are by far the sportiest looking Fabias although they don't have any more power.
Some of the options worth having include metallic paint, and a front centre armrest. If you feel like spoiling yourself and brightening up that functional interior, a panoramic glass sunroof is available (standard on the Monte Carlo) – although be aware, this does impact on rear head room.
Skoda Fabia reliability
The Fabia was too new to have been included in our most recent reliability survey but, based on the old model’s performance, we have some idea of how it’s likely to perform.
For reliability alone, the previous Fabia scored very highly. It came third out of 22 small cars; only the previous-generation Mazda 2 and Hyundai i20 models scored better. Meanwhile, as a brand, Skoda compares very well against rival manufacturers.
A three-year warranty limited to 60,000 miles comes as standard with every Skoda. That’s typical of most car makers, but not as good as Hyundai’s five years or Kia’s seven.
Skoda Fabia safety & security
All Fabias come with six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system and Isofix child seat fixings on the outer rear seats. An alarm and engine immobiliser both come as standard, too.
From SE trim upwards, the Fabia also gets automatic emergency braking as standard. It’s designed to do an emergency stop if you are about to slam in to the car in front, and to be fitted as standard on a small car is still a comparatively rare thing.
In tests that assess how well cars resist being broken in to and driven away, security firm Thatcham has rated the Fabia highly. It achieved the maximum five stars in the drive-away test, and a very impressive four stars out of five for resisting break-ins.
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This entry-level trim may look good value but it misses out on some kit most people would consider the norm these days, such as air-conditioning and alloy wheels. However, it does come with electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, tyre pressure monitoring, Bluetooth and a DAB radio.
Our pick SE
Our favourite trim. Alloy wheels, air-con, rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever all feature. You also get a 6.5in colour touchscreen with Smartlink for using smartphone apps, such as sat-nav, through the screen.
Colour Edition models are effectively the same as SE, but with some added styling bling. While cruise control is a handy addition, the most noticeable changes are 16in alloy wheels, which like the roof and door mirror casings, contrast the main body colour. You also get LED daytime running lights. Colour Editions aren’t much pricier than SE models, so could be worth the extra if you value individuality.
Based on SE spec, Monte Carlo trim adds black 16in alloys, a black grille and door mirrors, body coloured rear spoiler, front fog lights, LED daytime running lights, Monte Carlo badging and a panoramic glass sunroof. On the inside, additional equipment includes front sports seats, a red centre console, a multi-function sports steering wheel and Monte Carlo badging on the front door inserts. Unless you really love the looks, we’d stick to SE, though.
With SE being such good value, it’s hard to make a case for SE L. Take the plunge, however, and you’ll be rewarded with climate control, larger alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, cruise control and keyless entry. However, none of these items is likely to boost the car’s resale prospects, while the larger alloy wheels could come at the expense of refinement and ride comfort.