Skoda’s take on the Volkswagen Polo is very good indeed.
As part of the Volkswagen Group, Skoda gets to cherry-pick parts for its cars. For its supermini offering, the Fabia, it’s picked very well indeed, as it is as good as the Polo it’s based on, for a little bit less money.
What is it?
Skoda’s third generation Fabia, which sticks to the tried and tested formula of borrowing Volkswagen bits. It’s built on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen Polo, sharing its engines and transmissions, but Skoda has managed to eke out more space, give it arguably more distinctive style and it's better value than its Volkswagen cousin. The engine choice is a pair of petrol units with outputs of 60- to 110hp, and a single 1.4 TDI diesel with 90hp. They’re all tax-friendly, too.
What is it like?
A lot to like here, the Fabia feels big, if not quite class-above big, but certainly larger inside than the majority of its rivals, which include the Ford Fiesta and Opel Corsa - not forgetting its Volkswagen Polo and SEAT Ibiza close relatives. The interior is neatly finished too; there's not much flair, but the materials and quality cannot be faulted, while comfort is good, too. Refinement is decent, the 1.2 TSI engine in particular smooth, though the 1.4 TDI in its most economical form manages emissions of just 88g/km.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The Fabia has gotten better and better with every generation and it’s rightful to consider it among the very best cars in the hotly contested supermini marketplace. It’s offered as an estate if you need more space, but few will find the standard hatchback lacking. It drives well and looks sharp, while equipment levels are okay, though avoid the Active entry-level specification as it does without many basics. Ambition is better, but for air conditioning, you'll need the Style model.