Review: Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015)


Decently built and good value. Cheap to run. Greenline models are very economical with low CO2 emissions.

Dull image. Smaller 1.2-litre petrol engine is lacklustre. Not exciting to drive.

Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015): At A Glance

Despite having been on sale since 2007 the Skoda Fabia is still a sensible used buy, thanks to a blend of value, practicality and a comfortable ride. It might be small in size but it’s cleverly packaged, making it a feasible choice as a family car – and one that is ideal for urban environments, thanks to low emissions, good fuel economy and easy parking.

That’s not to say it’s out of its depth on faster roads – Skoda offers a range of engines to suit all needs including a 105PS diesel and a 105PS 1.2-litre petrol, both of which are perfectly fine on motorways or twisting country lanes. Indeed the Fabia is a versatile car – it’s comfortable and easy to drive on most types of road.

The cabin is practical, with plenty of space in the back for adults, so children will be happy and because Skoda only offers the Fabia as a five-door, there’s no problem with rear seat access. The boot is usefully large and there’s a reasonable amount of technology on offer - buyers can get sat nav and Bluetooth as options. Unfortunately standard equipment isn’t brilliant and the cabin is starting to show its age, with a dated centre stack layout.

The 1.2-litre 105PS petrol engine is the pick of the range, offering the best blend of performance and running costs. There are cheaper petrol options with similar running costs, but they’re lacklustre in comparison and are best in urban-only use. The engine range also features four diesels ranging from a lethargic but economical 1.2-litre to a 105PS 1.6-litre that works well on the motorway.

It might be showing its age but the Fabia is still a good choice of small hatchback. All the ingredients are there – it’s decent to drive, cheap to run, practical and small enough to park. There are plenty of rivals that are just as good, though, so shopping around is important.

What does a Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015) cost?

List Price from £12,620
Buy new from £9,689
Contract hire from £142.45 per month

Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3992–4250 mm
Width 1642–1886 mm
Height 1484–1542 mm
Wheelbase 2462–2465 mm

Full specifications

The Fabia might not be very big – it’s both short and narrow – but it is very well packaged. Interior space is impressive – the back row offers enough head room for everyone and there’s enough leg room for adults unless there’s someone particularly tall sitting in the front. Children will be very comfortable indeed and parents will be happy because rear seat access is easy – Skoda only makes five-door Fabia models.

The boot is a useful size and shape and has some neat little touches, like a pair of hooks for keeping shopping bags upright and a couple of bottle holders, along with a strap for keeping things still through corners. It’s not perfect, though – the boot floor is low but there’s a big load lip, so getting heavy items in and out could be a pain. That problem is exacerbated by rear seats that don’t fold completely flat.

From the driver’s seat everything is sensibly placed and clearly laid out, but the centre stack is showing its age now. It’s made of good quality materials but the layout isn’t exactly cutting edge and while everything should prove to be durable, there’s nothing particularly plush or fanciful to entice you in. If you’re no-nonsense then the simplicity will appeal, though.

Standard equipment is okay, with auxiliary input for audio players and electric windows among the standard gear on S models – but to get air conditioning , alloy wheels and electric door mirrors you need to move up to SE trim. Top trim is Elegance but it’s still fairly well priced, and comes with climate control, larger alloy wheels and cruise control. Optional extras include an easy-to-use sat nav and Bluetooth.


Child seats that fit a Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015) like to drive?

Skoda offers a broad range of engines in the Fabia, from simple and cheap 60PS 1.2-litre and 86PS 1.4-litre petrols to a 105PS 1.6-litre diesel. Of the petrol engines on offer the best is the 1.2-litre TSI, available with 105PS or 86PS. Regardless of the power output chosen it blends useful performance with affordable running costs and it’s a decent performer on the motorway.

Those on a budget might choose the lower powered 60PS 1.2-litre engine but it’s best suited to urban driving, lacking the in-gear performance for quick overtaking and quiet long distance cruising. If cheap fuel and VED bills are top of the list of priorities there’s a 1.2-litre three-cylinder diesel in the Greenline II which provides official economy of 83.1mpg and CO2 of 89g/km.

It’s not the only diesel engine in the range though – those who spend a lot of time on the motorway or on A-roads will benefit from one of the 1.6-litre TDI engines offered in 105PS, 90PS and 75PS outputs. All have the same 109g/km emissions and 67.3mpg fuel economy, so picking between them is a question of budget and preference.

Regardless of the engine you choose you’ll get an easy-to-drive car with a comfortable suspension configuration and well-weighted steering. The Fabia rides well over rough surfaces and yet through corners it is fairly nimble and enjoyable, if not particularly exciting to drive. The pedals are light and progressive and the gearchange is reassuring and precise. 

However, while the suspension does a decent job of ironing out lumps and bumps it does so quite loudly – thudding and bumping. In fact the Fabia isn’t the most refined car full-stop. Wind noise is noticeable at motorway speeds and the engine can be heard thrumming away. It’s not intrusively loud, but it could be better.

Additionally, while it’s a decent car to drive it’s not as fun as some rivals, notably the class-leading and best selling Ford Fiesta, which outdoes the Fabia several areas. Further to that the automatic option is a DSG dual-clutch system, which isn't without its problems. For most drivers the Fabia will be perfectly fine, though - it drives just like you'd hope a small car would. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 48–51 mpg 14.9–16.5 s 128–140 g/km
1.2 12V 48–51 mpg 14.9–15.0 s 128–140 g/km
1.2 TDI Greenline II 83 mpg 14.2 s 88 g/km
1.2 TSI 105 53 mpg 10.1–10.2 s 124 g/km
1.2 TSI 85 - - 121 g/km
1.2 TSI 86 54 mpg 11.7–11.8 s 121 g/km
1.2 TSI DSG 53 mpg 10.2–10.3 s 124 g/km
1.4 16v 48 mpg 12.2 s 139 g/km
1.4 16V 44 mpg 12.3–12.7 s 154 g/km
1.4 MPI 48–54 mpg 12.2–12.3 s 139 g/km
1.4 TDI 61 mpg 13.7 s 120 g/km
1.4 TDI 70 59 mpg 14.8–15.4 s 127 g/km
1.4 TDI 80 61 mpg 13.2–13.7 s 120 g/km
1.4 TDI Greenline 69 mpg 13.2–13.7 s 109 g/km
1.6 16V 41 mpg 10.1–10.4 s 165 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 67 mpg 10.2–11.0 s 109 g/km
1.6 TDI 75 67 mpg 14.1–14.2 s 109 g/km
1.6 TDI 90 67 mpg 12.6–12.7 s 109 g/km
1.9 TDI 58 mpg 10.8–11.0 s 129 g/km

Real MPG average for a Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

28–75 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Skoda Fabia (2007 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

My car makes a terrible noise above 60mph - what could it be?

I’ve bought a second hand Skoda Fabia and had it for less than a year. I’ve noticed recently that the noise in the car is very loud when it reaches 60mph and 70 mph. Below 60mph the sound is there but seems to be the highest at 60mph. The car is a 2008 Skoda Fabia 1.6 Automatic.
Out data shows a 2008 Fabia 1.6 auto as having a 6-speed Tiptronic auto (a torque converter, not a DSG) and this should not be troublesome. But from the symptoms you describe it reads as if it is not changing up from 5th to 6th and the reason for that could be a fault in the selector lever or a failed servo valve in the transmission valve box that controls the gear changes.
Answered by Honest John
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