Estate versions of superminis aren’t exactly common – in fact, we reckon the Skoda Fabia Estate is pretty much in a class of its own. It’s a little more expensive than the hatch equivalent and it’s not exactly glamorous but as a no-nonsense, practical car it fits the bill and embodies Skoda’s good value, no-nonsense image.
The estate version of the Fabia costs roughly a thousand pounds more than the hatchback equivalent like for like but, given its unique combination of compact size and practicality, that’s not too bad and it’s still a very affordable car. It doesn’t get the cheap to insure entry-level engine of the hatch either but running costs will still be low and all models sit in the same affordable CO2 and tax band.
Expert rating: 4/5
Reliability of a Skoda Fabia
Skoda has a very good reputation for reliability and sits in the top half of Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index in the overall manufacturer ratings. Their data for the Fabia, specifically, refers to an older model, but it too gets a good mark. The respected JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study has even better news, Skoda near the very top of the ratings. In both studies Skoda ranks much higher than its Volkswagen parent company and higher also than its SEAT sister brand, which is impressive given the Fabia uses many common parts. All this means that we’re confident that the new Fabia shouldn’t cause owners too many problems. If you want further reassurance you can upgrade the standard three-year warranty to a four- or five-year one for a small extra cost.
Expert rating: 5/5
Safety for a Skoda Fabia
All models of the latest Fabia get Skoda’s Front Assist automatic emergency braking, which will intervene if you don’t react to an impending accident. There are six airbags and two Isofix child seat mounting points in the back. Other new safety systems are available on the updated Fabia, but you’ll have to pay for them. These include Blind Spot Detection, which will keep an electronic eye out for cars lurking in your periphery, and Rear Traffic Alert, which lets you know of approaching vehicles when reversing out of a blind space.
Expert rating: 4/5
How comfortable is the Skoda Fabia
Safe to say, the Fabia Estate is built for comfort and not speed but that’s fine and totally fits the car’s intended purpose. Cornering isn’t the sharpest and the steering is pretty light and vague but, again, that’s fine and makes the little Skoda a relaxing drive.
The functional interior isn’t fancy either but it feels well screwed together and built to last. It’s decently spacious, the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach and headroom is good front and back. And the boxy shape means a huge amount of space inside pretty much unique in the sector, the only real rival being the Dacia Logan MCV which is bigger but feels considerably cheaper.
Expert rating: 4/5
Features of the Skoda Fabia
The interior of the Fabia is best described as functional and acceptable, with an unremarkable but inoffensive design and materials that are of decent, if not spectacular quality. Tech-wise there are three different infotainment systems available, depending on which version you buy, but all operate in a broadly similar way through a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and are simple to navigate. The top two systems – called Swing Plus and Amundsen – feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and all have DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
Expert rating: 3/5
Power for a Skoda Fabia
With two variations on the same three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine the line-up is pretty simple. Both are turbocharged, meaning what power there is comes in with a commendable rush. The lower-powered one comes with a five-speed manual while the 110-horsepower version has a more flexible six-speed and is a whole second faster by the benchmark 0-62mph sprint. In the real world that makes it a more viable choice if you’ll be doing more motorway miles.