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