Even Gok Wan would be amazed by Skoda’s makeover. The manufacturer used to be the butt of countless automotive jokes, but it is now a brand with the credibility to match the likes of Ford and Volkswagen – and the original Fabia was instrumental in the brand’s transformation.
The Fabia sits in one of the most fiercely contested segments of the UK car market, with more than 30 direct rivals. But it's hardly surprising that there's so much competition, given that small cars (or superminis as they're also known) outsell every other type of car.
Skoda offers a choice of engines and trim levels, and, while the Fabia isn't the cheapest small car (that title goes to the Dacia Sandero), it costs less to buy than the Ford Fiesta. It's also cheaper than an equivalent Seat Ibiza or Volkswagen Polo, despite sharing some engines and components.
To further its appeal, the Fabia received a facelift in 2018, bringing in new safety equipment and ditching diesel engines, while adding some subtle styling tweaks. Put simply, anyone in the market for a small car should have the Fabia on their shortlist, but are there better alternatives? Read on over the next few pages to find out.