Review: Skoda Fabia Estate (2015)


Solid build quality. Impressive interior space. Good range of small and frugal engines. Composed ride and handling.

Basic 1.0-litre engine can struggle with a full load on board. Twin boot floor is optional. Materials could be more tactile. Hardly exciting

Skoda Fabia Estate (2015): At A Glance

The Fabia wears a Skoda badge, of course, but in every way it feels like the pared back essence of the Volkswagen Group – no frills, no flaws, no excitement. It’s one very competent hatchback indeed and so adding further boot space makes it even more so.

There are no ifs or buts here. The Fabia is beautiful in its simplistic competence and although turning the hatchback into an estate gives it slightly awkward proportions (subjectively), it does make it an extremely flexible runabout.

A couple of key facts then. The estate bodystyle adds 200 litres to the hatchback’s 330-litre boot space with the seats up, for which you’ll pay around £1000 extra. With the rear seats folded the total cargo capacity is 1395 litres. It’s 1150 litres in the standard hatchback.

After that it’s pretty much as per the hatchback – the driving experience, cabin, trim levels and options are the same, with an exception or two. Skoda doesn’t offer the most power-deficient 1.0-litre 60PS engine with the estate body style. And probably for best.

So, the range starts with a 75PS 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine in S trim, which isn’t the last word in power or equipment, but offers a lot of space for the money. Basic S specification incudes a DAB radio and Bluetooth, although you’ll also be rolling on plastic wheel trims and have lukewarm air. 

Split-folding rear seats are standard and the rear bench folds flat for a nice oblong loading bay, although it’s slightly infuriating that you’ll pay £100 or so extra for an adjustable level boot floor with a basic version.

Top-level SE L models give you the option of a nice looking but worryingly dirt-friendly beige interior, and although it doesn’t feel especially luxurious (the Fabia always feels brilliantly made in a spartan sort of way), it does come with niceties like cruise control, LED light strips and keyless start.

Any Fabia Estate is a winner, ultimately, in that whatever one you choose you’ll get a comfortable and practical small estate with low running costs and excellent build quality. But for a nice combination of equipment, refinement and reasonable running costs we’d choose an SE with either version of the 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine.

Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI and 1.4 TDI 2015 Road Test

Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 2015 Road Test

Skoda Fabia Estate 2015 Road Test

What does a Skoda Fabia Estate (2015) cost?

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

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

Length 4257–4306 mm
Width 1958 mm
Height 1467–1494 mm
Wheelbase 2470 mm

Full specifications

Starting at the back, the main benefit of the Estate over the Fabia hatch is, of course, its larger boot (530-1395 litres against 330-1150 litres). The no-frills nature of the Fabia means you get a nice, square shape, although the floor isn’t flush with the lip if you’ve not got the optional twin-floor boot, which can make loading trickier.

The rear suspension juts into the boot space a little, but that’s compensated for with a couple of storage boxes at either side of the boot – each just about big enough for a small carrier bag of shopping, for example.

The split-folding rear seat doesn’t fold entirely flat, but it shouldn’t cause too mush trouble for most – there’s easily enough room to slide a washing machine in, say.

Further forward in the cabin, the rear seats offer good headroom and legroom, particularly given this is a small hatchback. You’ll fit three adults in side-by-side.

A couple of neat touches make the Fabia feel thought-through, from basics like having a decent glovebox (not always a given), relatively deep door pockets and even a little clip to attach parking tickets to the windscreen. And to twang when you’re bored on the M25. There’s even an ice scraper ensconced into the fuel filler flap.

The dashboard is neat but it’s hardly awe-inspiring and is a little too heavy on the similar shades of hard grey plastic. There’s a swoop of metallic trim on the passenger side and the infotainment screen is neatly integrated, but this is, arguably, perfunctory Volkswagen Group.

What that also means, however, is that everything is in the right place and feels solid. The dials are clear, the switches are robust and placed sensibly, while the infotainment software is designed by someone who’s clearly familiar with an industry-leading mobile phone. Logical. 

Child seats that fit a Skoda Fabia Estate (2015)

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

Skoda has kept the Fabia engine range small in two senses: there aren’t too many and those there are don’t have much power. That’s okay though, because every engine is frugal, generally quiet and has enough punch to get this little estate about the place in fuss-free fashion. That includes with a full load of people and paraphernalia, most basic model aside. 

What you never get with a sub-vRS small Skoda is much excitement, but you do get a sense of fluid, basic solidity that most manufacturers simply can’t achieve. There’s no clumsiness in a Skoda - the driving position is spot-on, including the way the pedals are spaced out and the wheel adjusts, while the gearbox glides through the ratios with an anonymous sort of solidity.

If there’s a criticism it’s that, although there’s plenty of headroom and it doesn’t feel cramped, you do feel like you’re perched on top of the Fabia – the seat is set a little too high and the gear lever low. 

There’s a distinct lack of drama, but it feels like that’s been deliberately engineered in, as opposed to the Fabia Estate ‘missing’ something.

The three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDI is a little harsh under acceleration, but is punchy enough (210Nm peak at just 1500rpm) and settles into a quiet thrum in top fifth gear. As usual, the seven-speed DSG, available only with 90PS versions of the Estate, changes gears with such smooth rapidity that it’s almost anonymous.

On the motorway the Fabia Estate never quite shakes the feeling it’s a small car – it has its fair share of tyre and wind noise, and every engine struggles for poke in the 60-70mph zone – but the ride feels settled and it remains very composed for such a small estate.

The Fabia Estate certainly feels more suited to town applications, where its supple ride quality, sharp steering and compact dimensions make it a great way of lugging larger-than-average loads about.

With that in mind, although you may be tempted to go for a diesel, with its superior torque figure and economy, we’d always recommend the 1.2-litre TSI. Either the 90PS or the 110PS will do the same job – enough low down kick to feel quick around town, but so much smoother and quieter, which generally makes it a more enjoyable drive.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 75 58–59 mpg 14.9 s 109 g/km
1.0 MPI 75 58 mpg 15.2 s 111 g/km
1.0 TSI 110 60–64 mpg 9.6–9.7 s 103–107 g/km
1.0 TSI 110 DSG 59–61 mpg 9.9–10.2 s 107 g/km
1.0 TSI 95 61–64 mpg 10.8–10.9 s 101–105 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 59 mpg 9.6 s 110 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 DSG 60 mpg 9.6 s 110 g/km
1.2 TSI 90 60 mpg 11.0 s 107 g/km
1.4 TDI 105 67 mpg 10.2 s 92 g/km
1.4 TDI 75 72 mpg 13.3 s 94 g/km
1.4 TDI 90 72–83 mpg 11.3 s 89 g/km
1.4 TDI 90 DSG 71–79 mpg 11.3 s 94 g/km

Real MPG average for a Skoda Fabia Estate (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

40–72 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 Estate (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

Can you recommend a versatile and roomy hatchback or estate?

We're looking for a reliable roomy estate/hatchback that can fit a small dog crate in the boot and a medium dog crate on the back seat, which preferably has a 60/40 split. We don't commute to work, so the journeys would be several 2-5 mile trips in and around town per week, with one 44 mile trip on dual carriageway/motorway either weekly or fortnightly. We have a 2009 Ford Focus 1.4 diesel at present, which has the perfect amount of space (a 2007 Ford Fiesta has the minimum amount of space that we can get away with). Budget is up to £4000, or a little more if required, and road tax should not be above £145.
First of all, we'd recommend a petrol for your needs. Don't limit your search based on vehicle tax, though - you can pay it monthly, and it's quite a marginal sum over the year compared to fuel or maintenance costs, for example. A Skoda Octavia estate would be a very practical option. You could also consider a Fabia estate if you'd prefer something smaller. We'd also recommend a Honda Jazz - it's an extremely versatile and dependable little car.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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