Skoda Fabia Estate (2015 – 2022) Review

Skoda Fabia Estate (2015 – 2022) At A Glance

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
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

What's the best small car with a big boot on a £9,500 budget?
"I want a used car that's got a large boot to fit my dog in and rear seats that fold flat. I go camping often so the car needs space for bags as well as the dog. I want something reliable, not too expensive to get repaired and a low tax bracket and good fuel economy are must haves. I'd like a car with low mileage, if possible, and while I'd love some tech, it's not a requirement. It'll mostly be used in the city (including in tight-ish parking spaces) so the smaller the better, again not a must though."
I'd recommend the Skoda Fabia Estate SE fitted with the 90PS 1.2-litre petrol engine and a manual gearbox (which doesn't suffer the auto's issues), your budget will be just enough to get a 2016 car with 40,000 miles on the clock. It's a small car with a big boot and it's very well packaged – double check the cars you look at have the adjustable boot floor, which leaves a nice flat load area with the back seats down. SE models have fairly basic specification but do get air-conditioning, which you'll appreciate in summer. If air-con isn't a must-have, you'll get a basic S model with 20,000 miles on the clock for the same money. We list issues to look out for, here:
Answered by Russell Campbell
Can you recommend a short estate car with a flat load space?
"We currently have a Peugeot 207 SW but reliability is making us think that it's time for a change. We prefer to have a short estate car with a flat load space and don't want to go any longer than the 207 SW (4,164mm), if possible. What do you recommend?"
Until recently, the Skoda Fabia Estate would have been a good option. It was one of the only small estate cars on the market and was very versatile for its size. The new model isn't available as an estate (there aren't plans to introduce one, either) – but there are still some pre-registered examples of the old car in showrooms. You might be able to bag a good deal if you're quick. Alternatively, we'd recommend a Honda Jazz. It's a very practical little car, slightly shorter in length than your 207 SW. It's likely to be very reliable while its hybrid engine setup means it ought to be cheap to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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
More Questions

What does a Skoda Fabia Estate (2015 – 2022) cost?