Skoda Fabia review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Very roomy and practical, the comfortable Fabia also boasts one of the biggest boots in the supermini sector
The practical and roomy Fabia is one of the most flexible superminis on sale, with plentiful comfort for both front and rear seat occupants.
Skoda has sized the Fabia to perfectly hit the supermini ideal average dimensions. It’s a smidgen under four metres at 3,992mm long, 1,732mm wide and 1,467mm tall. The Monte Carlo is a tiny bit bigger: 4,028mm long and 1,472mm tall: this is due to its black-accented bodykit and the larger 16-inch standard wheels.
With its extended rear, the Skoda Fabia Estate is bigger than the hatchback. It’s 4,257mm long and, thanks to standard roof rails, 1,488mm tall. To help make parking easier, SE models and above have standard rear parking sensors; acoustic front and rear sensors are a £290 option.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The spacious Fabia offers impressive space up front, with a height adjustable driver’s seat and both height and reach-adjust steering wheel combining with lots of seat fore-and-aft adjustment to allow a good driving position to be found. Leg room is ample and there’s lots of headroom – again, the height-adjust driver’s seat lets even taller occupants strike the right balance.
It’s even better in the rear. This is sometimes an area where smaller superminis can struggle but the Fabia proves its family-friendly credentials here. Two six-footers can sit reasonably comfortably behind tall adults, and it will even take three adults without too much of a squeeze. Skoda’s reputation for making cars with bigger interiors than the norm is once again evident. The tall body design ensures ample headroom, too. Very few cars can do better in this class; indeed, only the SEAT Ibiza and VW Polo - both of which use the VW Group's latest MQB-A0 platform, are more spacious inside.
The Fabia can claim to have one of the biggest boots in the supermini sector. In standard guise, it offers 330 litres of space, which expands to 1,150 litres with the 60:40 split seats folded. Not only is this better than the 303 litres of the best-selling Ford Fiesta, it’s also a much better-planned space that’s easier to load. All versions have handy luggage hooks in the boot, practical touches that the Skoda brand is well known for.
An option on all versions up from the base S is a space-saver spare wheel, costing £85. This does have an impact on boot capacity: seats-up luggage space is reduced to 305 litres, and seats-down capacity drops to 1,125 litres. Curiously, S and SE models with the DSG gearbox are fitted with a full-size spare wheel as standard, which has a bigger effect on boot space; if you want the reassurance of a full-size spare, it too costs £85.
If boot capacity is a necessity in your small car, then the Skoda Fabia Estate is the car to go for. While it once had a few supermini estate rivals to take on, that's no longer the case. It has a 530-litre boot thanks to its extended rear end, and this increases to a maximum of 1,395 litres when they're folded.
A virtual must-have option is the bargain £65 Simply Clever pack. This comprises a useful net system and storage compartment in the boot, a holster for multimedia devices and even a tiny waste bin in the door panel! A variable boot floor is another handy option, costing just £110, and a bike carrier is available for £180.
In this review
- 1Skoda Fabia reviewIt might be showing its age ever so slightly, but the comfortable, practical Fabia remains hard to fault
- 2Engines, performance and driveNon-turbo entry-level engines can struggle, but the 1.0 TSI petrol is surprisingly strong
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsVery fuel-efficient range of engines ensure CO2 is competitive and running costs are low
- 4Interior, design and technologyPlain interior design is nevertheless well built and includes some standout technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingVery roomy and practical, the comfortable Fabia also boasts one of the biggest boots in the supermini sector
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe previous Fabia had a middling reputation for reliability but the latest one should be much better – it’s safer too