2018 Skoda Fabia review
Our Rating

4.5/5

2018 Skoda Fabia review

Skoda has given its popular Fabia a mid-life refresh. We get behind the wheel of the popular hatchback to see if it’s as good as ever.

Introduction

Skoda has become a brand synonymous for its great value and dependable cars, and has strengthened this more recently with the Kodiaq and Karoq SUVs. That said, it hasn’t forgotten its staple favourites - one of which is the Fabia.

We’ve already got behind the wheel of the estate model, but now it’s our turn to try the five-door hatchback – what will be the best-selling variant.

The changes are subtle, but you get LED daytime running lights as standard, as well as a revised ‘3D-look’ grille and new fog lights to help lift the car’s look. Improvements have also been made to the Fabia’s standard equipment list, too, with even basic models now coming with autonomous emergency braking and a trip computer.

These adjustments help to ensure that the Fabia remains up to speed against newer models in the class.

Performance

There’s only two engines available on the Fabia, and both of them are 1.0-litre petrols. The first is a non-turbo unit delivering 74bhp, but our choice would be the turbocharged option, which comes with either 94bhp or 108bhp – the latter of which was fitted to our test car.

The turbocharged units are flexible, and offers a more relaxed drive – particularly at motorway speeds. In our case, it’s fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, but a DSG automatic transmission is also offered on this range-topping engine.

It’s able to accelerate from 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 124mph.

Ride and handling 

The Fabia is a very pleasant car to drive, and it’s one that’s difficult to complain about.

The steering is a touch light, but that makes it ideal around town, while the petrol engine is surprisingly refined for such a small unit. A more powerful option wouldn’t go amiss in the Fabia line-up, but for most scenarios, you’ll find that 108bhp is more than enough.

The ride is largely comfortable, too, with only deeper potholes and bumps being felt in the cabin. It’s a car that can quite easily cover long distances without hassle, which can’t be said for all superminis.

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Interior and equipment

For a car that’s several thousands of pounds cheaper than its key rivals, the Fabia certainly doesn’t scrimp when it comes to quality. It all feels very well screwed together and built to last, with very few cheap plastics appearing. It’s not the most exciting cabin, but for dependable family transport, the Fabia is hard to fault.

And if you want a bit more style, you can always turn to the range-topping Monte Carlo, which comes with a classier dashboard trim, as well as vibrant-looking seats with a unique pattern.

As for practicality, the Fabia does well when it comes to boot space – offering 330 litres, which is more than you would find in a Ford Fiesta, for example. Fold the seats down and this increases to a respectable 1,150 litres, while the boot also comes with plenty of lashing points to help prevent objects from rolling around in the boot. Handily, if the Fabia hatchback is a bit too small for you, there’s always the option of the Fabia Estate, too.

All models come with LED daytime running lights, a trip computer and emergency braking, with our comfort-orientated SE L spec car coming with satellite navigation, 16-inch alloy wheels and a simple to use infotainment system, as well as access to the car’s online services for a year, too.

Cost

The Fabia is one of the best value superminis on the market, with prices starting from £12,840. Considering its refined engines and good standard equipment, it is very well-priced.

It’s only the top-spec models that start to look a bit on the expensive side, with our test car coming in at £19,265 with a few options selected.

Running costs should also be low, with both engines being efficient. The 108bhp engine fitted to our test car can return up to a claimed 60.1mpg, with low CO2 emissions of 107g/km.

Verdict

The Fabia pretty much ticks all the boxes you want from a supermini. It’s good to drive, practical and is well-equipped, too. Sure, it might not have the badge appeal of more premium rivals, and it’s not overly stylish, but this latest refresh has proven that the Fabia is still one of the best in its class. Add in an attractive price, and the Fabia proposition only becomes even more compelling.

Enquire Now on a new Skoda Fabia

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