Skoda Fabia Estate (2015) Review

Skoda Fabia Estate (2015) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Out of all the cars in the Skoda range, it’s the Fabia Estate that embodies all the values the most that have taken this Czech company right to the top of many buyers’ shopping lists.

+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...

New prices start from £15,535, brokers can source from £11,124
Insurance Groups are between 3–13
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The Fabia Estate is testament to Skoda’s straightforward approach to car design. While other small hatches do their best to eke out the most from their compact cabins or try to be sporty, the Fabia wagon just gets on with delivering the maximum amount of room given its dimensions. This isn’t to say Skoda’s small estate is a one-trick pony and trap or dull, it’s just dutiful and honest and easy to live with. That extends to the way it drives, which is comfortable, smooth and unruffled. Admittedly, the entry-level models are sparsely equipped, but it’s affordable to move up a grade or two and enjoy some luxuries along with the simple life.

A lot of it has to do with the way the Fabia sidesteps all of the one-upmanship that can afflict decisions when picking a car. Instead, the Fabia marks you out as an independent thinker.

On top of this, the Fabia Estate does practicality like no other in its, admittedly niche, sector of supermini-based estates.

Lift up the tailgate and you’re presented with a huge boot of 530-litres with the rear seats still upright and in use. That’s getting on for executive estate dimensions. Tumble them down and the Fabia has 1395-litres to play with.

As well as all this space, Skoda makes it easy to use thanks to a low loading sill height and boot sides that are free from interruptions that might snag a bigger bit of cargo as it’s slid into or out of the car. The optional variable height floor is well worth ticking on the options list as it means the base of the luggage bay is all at one level, again making it less hassle to fit in bulkier items with the rear seats tipped forward.

Throughout the rest of the Fabia Estate, there are all the little touches that make the Skoda such an appealing prospect for anyone who has to live with car day in, day out.

Details such as the large bottle holders in the door pockets and centre console, and even the ice scraper hidden in the fuel filler flap that’s a trademark of the company. It all adds up to a car that fits into your life without asking anything in return

The Fabia Estate won’t ask much of your finances either thanks to a range of petrol engines that are frugal. They come with a choice of 1.0-litre engines in models from the 2018 facelift forward, or you could have a diesel motor by choosing a used version from when this Fabia Estate was launched in 2015.

Whichever engine takes your fancy, the Fabia wagon is very comfortable and glosses its way over bump-battered roads with calm efficiency.

Granted, you won’t feel entertained at the steering wheel of a Fabia in the way you would with a Ford Fiesta, but the Skoda has chosen comfort and quiet over an overtly sportier feel. Still, it deals with twists, turn, motorway and towns with the same relaxed air of competence.

Such an unpretentious approach doesn’t mean you have to wear a hair shirt when driving the Fabia Estate. Base versions are quite Spartan in the amount of equipment they come with, but it’s easy to choose a higher grade version and enjoy all of the luxuries you could want in a small hatch while also lugging large amounts of cargo.

Ask Honest John

We need a reliable 'dogmobile' with a low load height for our Labrador. Can you suggest something cheap?
"I'm looking for a 'cheap' estate with a very low boot lip to use a a dogmobile for our Labrador. She’s reluctant to jump into anything too high. What’s a reliable runner for around £5000? It will be a second car only for dog use. Cheers."
Estate versions of the Skoda Fabia or the bigger Octavia could be a good choice. They're very practical for their size, have low boot lips and offer good value for money. Avoid diesel engines, though, as they can be unreliable if used for short journeys. A Vauxhall Astra Estate represents excellent value for money, too, as does a Dacia Logan MCV.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which cars are torque converter automatics?
"I want to buy a small estate car with a torque converter automatic. What do you recommend?"
The Skoda Fabia Estate is the smallest estate car you can buy but that uses a dual-clutch DSG gearbox. If you're happy to consider a slightly larger car, a Peugeot 308 SW with the excellent EAT8 gearbox could be a good option.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Are there any cars that will fit a mattress in the back but aren't too expensive to insure?
"My son, 20, is learning to drive. When he passes, he wants a vehicle to take on climbing, walking and camping trips in the UK. He wants to fit a mattress and climbing gear into the back and sleep overnight. Is there anything out there that he could afford to insure? Vans or cars, he's not fussed. "
A small hatchback and a tent is probably his best option. Otherwise, how about a Honda Jazz or Skoda Fabia Estate? Not trendy choices, but should be fairly cheap to insure and more practical than something like a Ford Fiesta.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I can't collect my new car until lockdown ends - should I ask the dealer to replace the battery?
"Two or three days before Covid-19 struck, I put a deposit on a three-year old Skoda Fabia Estate, which had been off the road since the end of January. I was due to pick up the car the same day as the lockdown began. When the time comes to pick it up - 100 miles away - should I ask the dealer out of goodwill to replace the battery? What about the tank full of stale petrol?"
Petrol can stay in a fuel tank for up to six months. Diesel? At least 12 months before the chemical components begin to deteriorate. The battery should be fine, but it's always worth asking for something extra - like a new battery - to be included in the deal.
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Skoda Fabia Estate (2015) cost?

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