The Skoda Fabia Estate is one of the roomiest small estate cars you can buy, but it’s far from exciting to look at and many conventional hatchbacks are more fun to drive
The Skoda Fabia Estate is one of the smallest estate cars you can buy but it still comes packed with lots of clever features designed to make it easy to live with. If you don’t need such a big boot in your new small car, you can also get it as a conventional five-door hatchback.
The current Skoda Fabia Estate was launched in 2014 but received a few choice updates to keep it looking fresh in 2018. The latest model comes with some restyled bumpers, brighter LED headlights and an upgraded 6.5-inch infotainment display instead of the old car’s standard 5.0-inch screen.
Unchanged for this new Skoda Fabia Estate is how robust its cabin feels. The plastic door and dashboard trims feel sturdier than in alternatives and you can get high-spec models with some brushed metal or textured red plastic inserts to brighten things up a bit.
Sadly none of these features come in the most basic Skoda Fabia Estates – which look pretty drab as a result. Thankfully, you do at least get a 6.5-inch infotainment display and Bluetooth connectivity as standard.
Pick a mid-range Skoda Fabia Estate with the upgraded Swing Plus infotainment system and you get smartphone mirroring, while cars with the top-spec Amundsen system get a portable wifi hotspot for two phones or tablets. Each system is intuitive to use and features clear – if not particularly high-resolution – graphics.
You don’t just get a decent amount of kit as standard – the Skoda Fabia Estate’s practicality outstrips that of many much larger cars. There’s plenty of space for very tall drivers to stretch out in the front and enough space in the back for six-foot-tall passengers to get comfy, too. Three kids will fit with room to spare and lifting in a bulky child seat is a doddle thanks to the Skoda Fabia Estate’s wide rear door openings.
Thankfully, the roominess of the Skoda Fabia Estate’s cabin is matched by its pretty capacious boot – for such a small car, at least. It even comes with a plethora of handy hooks, tether points and nets to stop things rolling around when you’re driving.
The Skoda Fabia Estate takes a pragmatic approach to being a small car – it doesn’t come with any frills, just a spacious cabin and a whopping great boot
Not that you’ll be driving particularly fast in the Skoda Fabia Estate, mind you – especially in the 75hp petrol model. Go for a more powerful turbocharged version, however, and it’ll cruise along quite happily on an occasional motorway jaunt.
Sadly, you can’t get it with a diesel engine, but the most powerful 110hp petrol models come with the option of an automatic gearbox to help make driving the Skoda Fabia Estate in heavy traffic that bit less stressful.
At slow speeds, the Skoda Fabia Estate’s fairly soft suspension helps to absorb most bumps, but large potholes still send a thud through your seat. It leans more than most small cars in tight corners, too.
Thankfully, things get smoother at speed, and you can rest assured knowing that the Fabia hatchback – on which the Fabia Estate’s based – earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2014. The crash-tests have been made much stricter since then, however, but the Skoda Fabia Estate’s still well worth considering if you’re looking for a compact car that’s easy to drive and very practical.
If you want more in-depth information on the Skoda Fabia read our following interior, driving and specifications review sections.