Skoda Fabia (2015 – 2021) Review

Skoda Fabia (2015 – 2021) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Skoda Fabia gives you everything you'd expect of a modern Skoda – it feels robustly built, is spacious for its size and comes with a great range of engines – yet it undercuts rivals on price.

+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.

Insurance Groups are between 3–14
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

The Skoda Fabia is a car that does everything well. Inside, it's robust interior belies the fact that the Skoda undercuts almost all of its main rivals on price and, while it's not quite as polished inside as the likes of the Ford Fiesta, it does have more passenger space and a bigger boot. The dashboard is also a model of intuitiveness and most Fabias come with an infotainment screen that can mirror the display of your smartphone. The Skoda puts in a similarily well-rounded performance on the road, okay so it doesn't give you the seat-of-the-pants thrills you get from some small hatchbacks, but it is easy to drive, comfortable and cheap to run. You'd be hard pushed to complain. 

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.

Looking for a second opinion? Read heycar's review of the Skoda Fabia

Ask Honest John

What's the best first car for a tall driver?

"I've recently past my test and I'm currently looking at cars but I'm 6ft10 and need good legroom. What do you suggest?"
As a new driver you will want a car that has low insurance costs and is cheap to run, unfortunately this usually means a small car which may not be ideal for your frame. It would be best to get behind the wheel of any car you are looking at to ensure you can get comfortable, but we would suggest looking at the Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Honda Jazz and Citroen C3, as they offer good headroom for their size.
Answered by David Ross

When should I change the cambelt on my 1.0 TSI engine?

"I have a Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI (18 plate) and it has done 41697 miles. When do I change the cambelt?"
The cambelt should be changed at 60,000 miles or 5 years, which ever comes first.
Answered by Alan Ross

Best first car for an 18-year-old new driver?

"My 18-year-old daughter has just passed her driving test. We would like to find her something to drive and would appreciate your advice. We are looking for a used small car. We are keen on Volkswagens, a Polo would be ideal but we are surprised how expensive second hand Polos are when we have looked around. Key concerns are safety, ease of driving, and something we won’t have to spend a fortune on servicing going forward, which we fear may be a risk with an older but more affordable car. Also insurance costs have to be factored in. Is it the case that the market is particularly difficult at the moment or do you think we could meet our brief? Would it be sensible to buy an older Polo or would this be false economy in the long run? "
We really need to know your budget to give you specific advice on which cars to look for, it's very difficult to without. With safety a key concern we would not advise looking at pre-2000 models when crash safety requirements were pretty lax. The usual suspects include the Ford Fiesta (fun to drive and cheap to run with the 1.25-litre engine), Vauxhall Corsa (also cheap to run and loads about) and Toyota Yaris (strong reliability reputation). As VW Polos command a premium you might be better off looking at the SEAT Ibiza or Skoda Fabia, these use the same engines mechanicals as the Polo underneath. Older generation cars can actually be more affordable to own due to their simplicity, while a well looked after model with plenty of history should mean all the key failure points of the car will have been taken care of. An older model that's been taken care of with lots of receipts is a better bet than a newer model that has high mileage and hasn't been looked after.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Can you recommend a used car for daily commute?

"Can you recommend a small car for a young man starting his first job? He has daily commute between Glasgow and Edinburgh. He will cover approx 18,000 miles and has a budget of around £10,000. Should he consider a diesel car? "
For 18k miles a year, predominantly on the motorway, a diesel makes sense. A Volkswagen Golf with the frugal 1.6 TDI engine could be a good option - it'll be comfortable for those miles, reliable and safe. Alternatively, if he'd prefer a smaller car (maybe necessary for insurance depending on age/experience), we'd recommend a Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Skoda Fabia (2015 – 2021) cost?