Skoda Fabia - Practicality, comfort and boot space
With tremendous boot space and plenty of room for passengers, the Fabia supermini offers a level of practicality from a class above
Skoda offers the Fabia as a five-door model only, with an estate version now off the menu. Buyers seeking a few more creature comforts and useful standard kit (such as cruise control, sat-nav and dual-zone air con) might want to upgrade to the SE L trim, but the base SE Comfort trim is still well equipped and includes front fog lights, rear parking sensors, a multifunction steering wheel, adjustable lumbar support for the front seats and air conditioning
If you want to add further equipment, there are various optional packs that allow you to specify items such as heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a wireless smartphone charging function and front parking sensors.
If you need to fit child seats, there are the usual two Isofix mounts for the outer rear seats, and another set on the front passenger seat, too.
Measuring 4,108mm long, 1,780mm wide and standing 1,459mm tall, the latest Fabia has a bigger footprint than its predecessor. In comparison, the Renault Clio isn’t as long at 4,050mm, although is slightly wider at 1,798mm.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The Fabia’s extra 111mm in length means it’s more spacious in the cabin than before. Both the driver and front passenger should easily be able to find a comfortable seating position, while those travelling in the rear benefit from exceptional knee room – we think equal to that found in the Mercedes A-Class. Headroom is good, too, and remains so even if you specify the optional panoramic glass roof.
That said, it may be a bit of a squeeze to seat three across the back, as you'd expect in any supermini, but we found the Fabia's rather large transmission tunnel does eat up a lot of foot space. Rear passengers do at least get their own air vents, while the seatback pockets are split in two, with one regular-sized pocket and a shallow, narrow one designed for smartphones.
The previous Fabia model had a decent 330-litre boot, including handy luggage hooks and useful compartments for assorted oddments. The fourth-generation model offers similar practical touches, but with an increased 380-litre load space. If you fold the rear seats, luggage capacity rises to 1,190 litres.
Only the Renault Clio’s 391-litre boot space trumps the Fabia’s and, as a marker of how close today’s superminis are to more traditional hatchbacks, the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf also tops out at 380 litres.
In this review
- 1VerdictIf you’re after an affordable supermini that delivers plenty of space, comfort and on-board technology, then the Skoda Fabia won’t disappoint
- 2Engines, performance and driveAlthough it doesn’t offer blistering performance, the Fabia’s 1.0-litre TSI engine is capable enough
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsKeen pricing and strong fuel economy mean that the Skoda Fabia should prove reasonable to run
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Skoda Fabia has sharper exterior styling, a quality feel to the cabin and plenty of standard kit
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingWith tremendous boot space and plenty of room for passengers, the Fabia supermini offers a level of practicality from a class above
- 6Reliability and safetySafety kit is good, plus reliability shouldn’t be an issue for the fourth-generation Fabia