Review: Skoda Fabia (2015)
Practical cabin with an impressively spacious boot, DAB radio and Bluetooth as standard, comfortable and easy to drive.
Base model doesn't have air con or alloy wheels.
Skoda Fabia (2015): At A Glance
- New prices start from £10,525, brokers can source from £9,689
- Contract hire deals from £142.45 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 3–14
- On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure
The Skoda Fabia has always been a sensible choice of small car and the latest incarnation keeps up the tradition. It’s reasonably priced, cheap to run, comfortable and practical, but gets an added dash of upmarket appeal thanks to new Skoda family styling and extra technology, including standard DAB radio and Bluetooth.
The engine range is made up exclusively of frugal options, the entry-level engine being a 1.0-litre petrol producing 60PS. There's also a 75PS version of the same engine, while a 1.0-litre turbocharged unit is also available with 95PS or 110PS. Diesel buyers get a 1.4-litre producing 75PS, 90PS or 105PS.
Our pick of the range is the 95PS 1.0-litre petrol, which is perky and responsive yet still very efficient returning official economy of 64.2mpg. Although none of the engines are particularly exciting, and the Fabia isn't a fun car to drive, it is quiet and comfortable, both in town and on the motorway.
It's practical, too. The boot is a good size at 330 litres – significantly ahead of rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. Despite this fact, there’s space in the back for two adults to sit in reasonable comfort – though children will be more at home here. There are also two Isofix mounting points in the rear as standard.
Up front there’s a neat dashboard with logical controls and clear dials, with upmarket details such as a touchscreen system on offer. That said, despite more technology being available, the Fabia does lag a little when it comes to materials, with no plush, soft-touch plastics like you’d see on many rival models including the Volkswagen Polo.
But the Fabia does represent excellent value for money thanks to reasonable list prices, decent equipment levels and low running costs. This, combined with its grown-up feel, makes it a strong contender in the competitive supermini segment.
What does a Skoda Fabia (2015) cost?
Skoda Fabia (2015): What's It Like Inside?
The Skoda Fabia has a practical cabin, as you’d expect of a Skoda model. The boot is impressively spacious at 330 litres, beating rivals from Ford and Vauxhall. The opening is wide and there are nice touches like a cargo net and bag hooks. Sadly the load area isn’t flat, with a load lip to lift items over. That is a minor quibble, though.
Up front the cabin is solidly put together, with a neat, simple layout. Dials are clear and controls logical, including those in the touchscreen infotainment system, which includes Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio. While the materials used feel hardwearing, there’s no plush, soft-touch plastic to be found – something you’ll find in many rival cars including the Volkswagen Polo.
The back row is perfectly respectable for a small car, with space for two adults to sit in a reasonable level of comfort. Access is good, since the Fabia is offered in five-door form only – so no scrambling through a tiny gap. Children will be perfectly at home however old they are, thanks to ample headroom and the fitment of two Isofix mounts as standard.
Thoughtful touches include an ice scraper fitted to the inside of the fuel flap, a trunk tidy to stop shopping rolling about and a dangler so that those of shorter stature can reach the hatchback to close it.
Standard equipment includes Bluetooth, DAB Radio and front electric windows, but basic models do without air conditioning and alloy wheels. To get those you’ll need an SE model, which also gains niceties like an improved audio system and parking sensors. SE L versions get added luxuries including climate control and larger alloy wheels – though these don’t impair the good ride quality.
Skoda offers MirrorLink on SE models and above, similar to the systems offered in the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo and Renault Twingo. This allows a driver to link a smartphone to the car, bringing up many of the smartphone apps, including satnav, to a bigger touch screen on the dash.
Standard Equipment from January 2015
S models come with 15-inch steel wheels, height adjustable driver’s seat, under seat storage compartments, boot luggage hooks, height and reach adjustable steering wheel, two rear Isofix mounts, remote central locking, DAB radio, electrically adjustable door mirrors, electric windows, USB connectivity and Bluetooth.
SE trim adds 15-inch alloy wheels, leather-trimmed steering wheel, manual air conditioning, six speakers, rear parking sensors, improved touchscreen system with telephone control, speed limiter and front assist emergency braking.
SE L is the top trim and gains 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, LED running lights, multifunction steering wheel control, floor mats, centre arm rest, climate control, automatic lights, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, keyless engine start/stop and cruise control.
Child seats that fit a Skoda Fabia (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 (2015) like to drive?
Skoda is offering the Fabia with a choice of seven engines – four petrol and three diesel. The entry-level 1.0-litre engines are shared with the smaller Citigo and produce either 60PS or 75PS. Despite lacking outright power they’re perfectly fine for town and are even fairly hushed at lower engine speeds, plus they’re clean, with CO2 emissions of around 110g/km.
Stepping up to the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol is well worth it, though. Both the 95PS and 110PS versions are flexible and perky, with enough torque for motorway driving and overtaking. Despite offering more power and flexibility over the 1.0-litre, the difference in fuel economy and running costs is non-existent – with economy of between 61.4mpg and 64.2mpg.
There’s also a 1.4-litre diesel with 75PS, 90PS or 105PS. Economy is impressive at up to 70.6mpg for the manual variants, so for long distance drivers on a budget it might be the best choice. While we'd opt for one of the higher output variants for motorway or fast A-road driving, all are capable performers.
For those who need an automatic there are two DSG choices – the 110PS 1.0-litre petrol and the 90PS 1.4-litre diesel. Both maintain good performance, low emissions and frugal fuel economy.
Handing is safe and predictable across all variants of the Fabia. The suspension offers a good blend of ride comfort and stability, with little body roll through bends. Well-weighted steering is reassuring in the corners but it doesn’t communicate the road surface like the steering in a Fiesta, nor is there the same sense of driver involvement.
Nonetheless the Fabia is a capable car with plenty of grip and, perhaps more importantly, good ride quality - though generally this is better in the 1.4-litre diesel versions, which have more weight over the front wheels.
The Fabia is available with some new technologies to make driving easier, including cruise control on top SE L models and front assist on SE and above. This will scan the road ahead and brake the car if it detects a stationary object and the driver fails to react. There’s also an optional hill-hold assistant for £65 and a fatigue sensor that detects when the driver is tired and suggests a break, costing £55.
|1.0 60||58 mpg||15.7 s||106 g/km|
|1.0 75||58–59 mpg||14.7 s||108 g/km|
|1.0 MPI 60||58–58 mpg||15.7–16.6 s||110 g/km|
|1.0 MPI 75||58 mpg||14.9 s||111 g/km|
|1.0 TSI 110||60–64 mpg||9.5–9.6 s||103–107 g/km|
|1.0 TSI 110 DSG||60–61 mpg||9.8–10.1 s||106 g/km|
|1.0 TSI 95||61–64 mpg||10.6–10.8 s||101–106 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 110||59–60 mpg||9.4 s||109–110 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 110 DSG||60 mpg||9.4 s||109 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 90||60 mpg||10.9 s||107 g/km|
|1.4 TDI 105||67 mpg||10.1 s||90 g/km|
|1.4 TDI 75||72 mpg||13.1 s||93 g/km|
|1.4 TDI 90||72–83 mpg||11.1 s||88 g/km|
|1.4 TDI 90 DSG||71–79 mpg||11.1 s||94 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Fabia (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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