Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Space is where the Fabia excels, beating rivals such as the Fiesta and Mazda 2. Thanks to the car’s relatively tall roofline, the driver and front passenger enjoy a generous amount of head room, while there’s easily enough leg room to satisfy even really tall occupants.
The Fabia’s interior is also wide enough to feel extremely spacious around the shoulders, so two adults can sit in complete comfort, although the rival Seat Ibiza has an even broader interior.
Both the driver and front passenger get a generously proportioned door pocket, while ahead of the gearlever is a large cubbyhole with two cupholders. The glovebox is also a decent size.
Despite the Fabia having an impressive amount of rear space for a small car, the Ibiza and Honda Jazz have even more. Nevertheless, as long as the driver or front passenger isn't extraordinarily tall, two six-footers can get perfectly comfortable in the back. It’d be a squeeze if three burly people were to try to sit side by side, though.
Just remember that Monte Carlo models have chunky sports front seats that take away some rear leg room. All Fabias have five doors, so access to the back is relatively easy.
Seat folding and flexibility
Unlike the driver’s seat, the front passenger’s seat isn't height adjustable on entry-level S versions. That feature is reserved for SE models and above.
The rear seats split 60/40 as standard and can fold down to open up the luggage area for bigger loads. The buttons for doing this are located next to the rear headrests, though, meaning they're tricky to access if your arms are full of shopping bags.
However, the backrests are light enough, so pushing them down doesn't require too much muscle.
For outright carrying capacity, the Fabia’s boot edges the Hyundai i20, and only just loses out to the Polo and Ibiza. In short, the Fabia’s 330-litre boot will easily take a good-sized weekly shop or a fold-up buggy, but for the biggest boot in the class, look at the Honda Jazz.
The Fabia's boot doesn't only impress for capacity, though. It's also a practical, square shape, with a wide opening that makes loading bulky items easy. A relatively small boot lip helps, too, especially when that bulky item also happens to be heavy.
Unfortunately, when folded down, the rear seats don’t lie flat but instead create a hefty step in the boot floor. And it’s disappointing that Skoda doesn’t offer a height-adjustable boot floor in the Fabia hatchback, even as an option, particularly considering that you can have one in the Estate version.