Skoda Fabia (2015) Review

Skoda Fabia (2015) At A Glance

4/5

+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.

New prices start from £15,805, brokers can source from £11,124
Insurance Groups are between 3–14
On average it achieves 80% 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.

Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI and 1.4 TDI 2015 Road Test

Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 2015 Road Test

Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 95 2019 Road Test

Real MPG average for a Skoda Fabia (2015)

RealMPG

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

80%

Real MPG

35–73 mpg

MPGs submitted

384

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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Ask Honest John

Are tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) reliable?
"How sensitive are tyre pressure monitors? My wife’s Skoda Fabia’s tyre pressure warning came on recently and when I checked the pressures they were all a long way out. Is a slight pressure decrease over a long period of time not 'noticed' by the tyre pressure monitoring system or is it not sensitive enough until a large decrease occurs? If the former, I need to check the tyre pressure more often!"
Some TPMS readings are notoriously unreliable because tyres can lose a lot of air before some sensors register it. There are two types of TPMS: the lower-cost, indirect TPMS doesn't actually monitor air pressure. Instead, it uses the car’s ABS wheel sensors. These check how fast the wheels rotate and compare speeds with each other. If a tyre is under pressure it won’t go round as quickly as other wheels, the computer will work out it’s because it’s under pressure and the warning light will come on. But it won’t detect external issues, like a nail in the tyre. The lesser-used, more accurate direct TPMS measures a tyre's actual pressure by using a wheel-mounted sensor on each tyre. According to GreenFlag, some tyre pressure monitoring systems won’t 'see' any problem until a tyre has lost around a quarter of its air — which is a lot of pressure. A tyre deflated by that much could be quite dangerous to drive on. On a less serious note, an underinflated tyre also uses more fuel. I'd suggest getting yourself a good tyre pressure gauge and basing the pressure off that reading instead. If it consistently looks a long way off the digital reading in the car, I'd recommend checking it yourself more regularly as it clearly isn't accurate enough to be trusted. Alternatively, an aftermarket TPMS system with wheel-mounted sensors could be more accurate, but you'll need to ensure the batteries in the sensors aren't flat. We tested a Michelin TPMS system a few years ago. You can find the review here: https://kit.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/review-michelin-fit2go-tyre-pressure-monitoring-system-tpms/
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Can you recommend a safe, small, used car for me?
"I'm looking for a sturdy, used, small car. I have been considering the Honda Jazz, Skoda Fabia (which I currently have), Toyota Yaris and not sure after that. Economical, safe and an easy drive is important to me. Do you recommend any cars, please? I'm looking to spend around £9000. Although I'm well into my 60s, I enjoy driving and I drive a lot. I would be very grateful for any advice. Also, not sure in regards to petrol, diesel or hybrid - or manual or automatic. I haven't got a clue in reality! Thanks."
The good news is that your shortlist is already very strong. We'd recommend a small petrol or hybrid model (unless you cover a lot of motorway miles – more than 12,000 a year, in which case a diesel might be more appropriate). Deciding between automatic or manual is down to personal preference, really, although the DSG automatic gearbox used in the Fabia isn't the most reliable. A hybrid Toyota Yaris would be a very sensible choice – cheap to run and very reliable. We'd also recommend the Hyundai i20.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I want an estate car for a growing family and mostly short trips. Should I go hybrid or petrol?
"I have a Skoda Fabia 1.0-litre 110PS - which is great for my school run and occasional longer trips, but due to growing kids and a dog, I need a bigger car. I'm not a fan of SUVs so fancy an estate car. I have a budget of £20,000 and quite fancy a Toyota Corolla Estate but is the 1.8 hybrid worth the extra money over the 1.2 petrol? I cover about 6000 miles a year - which is mainly short trips of 10 miles with the occasional trip to London (from Manchester). Are there any other estates you would recommend. I don't want a VW Group car with a 1.5-litre petrol engine due to all the issues it seems to have."
The Toyota Corolla Touring Sports is an excellent estate car. We'd recommend the 1.8 hybrid - the 1.2 lacks guts and it sounds like a hybrid would suit your requirements well. The hybrid will hold its value better, too. Also, consider the Kia ProCeed (or Ceed Sportswagon) or a Ford Focus estate.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is an MoT failure on a used car a red flag?
"I want to buy a 2016 Skoda Fabia from a main dealer. It's had one owner and has 35,000 miles on clock, but it failed the MoT last year due to Malfunction Indicator Light failure - which was fixed. I'll speak to the dealer again to find out what was wrong, but I'm wondering if this is a red flag? Is it a recurrent issue with the model?"
A big red flag, in my opinion. Unless the dealer has a very good explanation for the problem, I'd recommend finding another Skoda Fabia to buy. There are thousands of 1.2 TSI Fabias on the used market and there really is no need to take a risk on one with a suspect history.
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Skoda Fabia (2015) cost?

Buy new from £11,124 (list price from £14,620)