Skoda Fabia Estate

A small car with a big-car boot and driving experience

8.2
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 11 reviews
  • Smooth, frugal petrol engines
  • Huge boot
  • Good levels of standard kit
  • Starting to get expensive
  • Cheap interior plastics
  • Diesel's a little noisy
 

£13,035 - £19,715 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

58 - 74 MPG

Review

The Skoda Fabia estate is a well-built supermini, with a much bigger boot than the hatchback it is based upon.

Small estate cars are few and far between so the Fabia’s only direct rival is the SEAT Ibiza ST estate, although buyers should also consider the budget Dacia Logan and the roomy Nissan Note.

Prices start from £13,035 and if you buy your new Fabia estate using carwow you can save £3,040 on average.

The best fuel economy in the range goes to the 1.4-litre diesel, which gets more than 80mpg, but unless you cover a huge mileage the spritely (and cheaper to buy) 89hp 1.2-litre TSI petrol is a better bet. All are easy to drive and have reassuring handling, but won’t provide much driver excitement.

If you’re not familiar with the Fabia range, you may be surprised to find just how much you get for your money – even basic S versions boast electric front windows, tyre pressure monitoring and DAB radio. We would spend a little extra on SE trim, though, which comes with air conditioning as standard.

Have a look at our colour guide for help on choosing the right shade for your new Fabia and check a look at our size and dimensions guide too. Or, to add a little extra vibrancy to your one, check out the Skoda Fabia Colour Edition with some extra kit and great two-tone paint schemes.

What Skoda has done with the Fabia estate is really quite clever, as it delivers more space than just about anything else of its size. If there is one criticism of the Fabia estate’s interior, it’s that there are quite a lot of cheap-feeling, hard plastics that bely the fact that it’s a Volkswagen Group car. Despite the materials though, it is well put together and clearly laid out.

Skoda Fabia Estate boot space

That the Fabia has almost as much boot space as a Ford Mondeo does, but for a fraction of the price, shows where this car’s emphasis sits. The Fabia estate gives you a whopping 530-litres of boot space, and if you need to transport even bigger items you can fold the back seats down for even more room – 1,395 litres of it in total! A wide opening and small boot lip mean the Fabia’s boot is also easy to load.

Skoda Fabia Estate passenger space

As well as the boot being bigger than the hatchback’s, the Fabis estate also offers more cabin space all around. There’s a good amount of room in the front, and passengers of six-foot or more are well catered for in the back seats, too. At a bit of a squeeze, you can even get three adults in the back without too much discomfort.

Although the manufacturer claims that 44 per cent of the new Fabia estate is based on VW’s high-tech MQB platform, the car is really a substantially re-worked version of the old model.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it turns out, because this Fabia estate is lower and wider than the previous version. That means it’s a small car that is nippy and agile around town and a good car to drive on long journeys as well.

The biggest compliment you can give to the car is that you forget you are driving an estate when you are in it – you could just as easily be driving the hatchback. The car responds well to instructions, turns into corners quickly and with plenty of grip, and the steering is positive and well-weighted. There is a degree of body roll, but it is not excessive. 

Sadly, the extra weight of the estate (compared to the hatchback) does become apparent on more challenging roads, with bumps being a little more noticeable than they are in some of the estate’s rivals.

The huge range of VW Group engines available with the Fabia serve as the proverbial feather in the little Skoda’s cap. The diesels return startling economy figures – nearly 80mpg in some models, but for most people the cheaper petrols make more sense.

Skoda Fabia Estate petrol

The petrol engines offered here are a pair of 1.2-litre offerings and a 1.0-litre entry level unit. The two 1.2s have power ratings of 89 and 108hp.

The 1.0-litre unit isn’t exactly terrible, but it’s usually found in the smaller Skoda Citigo and feels a little overawed by the Fabia’s weight. Unless it’s really beyond your budget and you just need the Fabia’s practical spaciousness, skip the 1.0 and go for something bigger.

The less-powerful of the two 1.2-litre petrols is likely to be the most popular and its 89hp is enough to get the car from 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 113mph.

But if you regularly load your car up with people and their belongings – something that’s likely if you buying the estate – you’ll certainly feel the benefit of going for the 108hp version. It completes the benchmark sprint in 9.6 seconds, while its top speed of 122mph means its has plenty of power in reserve for safe A-road overtakes.

As you would expect, none of the petrols are particularly expensive to run. All get fuel economy of around 60mpg and cost just £20 to tax.

The five-speed manual gearbox works extremely well with all engines, while the DSG auto on the bigger unit delivers lightning-fast gear changes, with no drawbacks in terms of performance or economy.

Skoda Fabia Estate diesel engines

The diesel engines follow a similar format to the petrols, with what are effectively two different powered versions of the same unit. Both are 1.4-litres in capacity, with 89hp and 103hp. The slower model gets from 0-62mph in about a 11 seconds, while the more powerful car shaves a seconds off that. Both models can be specified with a DSG gearbox.

Although the smaller diesel still has adequate power, it’s a lot noisier than the 1.2-litre petrol. The diesels aren’t as fun or responsive as the petrols, although the better fuel economy (no worse that 74.3mpg) could win you over if you are doing a lot of miles per year and like driving at higher speeds.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Skoda Fabia Estate 1.2 12V reviews from the best publications.

The cheapest engine in the range is the 1.2 12V comes with 70bhp and a 0-60mph time of 15 seconds. It promises up to 51.4mpg and has a CO2 rating of 128g/km. The 1.2 engine is easily capable of getting yourself around but load it up with 3 passengers and a dog and it will struggle.

You can get this engine in S, SE and Elegance models but if all you want is a spacious car for a bargain price then go for this engine in the standard S trim. If you regularly carry loads or use the motorway a lot though, it would be worth spending more and getting one of the diesels.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Skoda Fabia Estate 1.6 TDI 90 reviews from the best publications.

The 1.6 TDI is available in all the trims and has a range of power outputs but these reviews are for the 1.6 TDI 90 in the Scout trim. The Scout is essentially the same as the Elegance but with rugged looks and durable seat trims but reviewers say it’s not worth spending the extra for over SE models.

The 1.6 TDI 90 produces 89bhp and goes from 0-60mph in 12.7 seconds. Despite the slow 0-60mph time, one reviewer said that the 250Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,500rpm provides a broad spread of urge and strong mid-range punch. Economy is good with up to 67.3mpg and 109g/km of CO2.

The unit is lively around town and is very quiet and relaxing on motorways.

We aggregate the most helpful Skoda Fabia Estate 1.6 TDI Greenline II reviews from the best publications.

The 1.6 TDI Greenline II is the most economical engine in the range, boasting a massive 83.1mpg and a CO2 rating of 89g/km which means it is road tax free and exempt from London’s congestion charge. There’s only one review of this engine and the reviewer said it wasn’t exactly swift but provides sufficient poke to get the Fabia moving when you need it too.

The Greenline edition is pretty much the same as BlueMotion editions you get from Volkswagen. Essentially the Greenline version of the Fabia Estate offers the same space and engine as the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion for a lot less.

These are general, non-engine specific reviews. They give a nice overview of what the car is like, without focusing on just one engine/version.

The Skoda Fabia got a five-star rating when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP, with good results all-round for adult and child protection.

All models come well equipped with safety features including: driver’s and front passenger airbags, curtain airbags, side airbags at the front, front and rear passenger seatbelt warning lights, grab handles, remote central locking and a SAFE function that prevents kids from opening the rear doors from the inside.

Going up a trim level gets you an alarm, while top-spec models also come with automatic lights and wipers, plus cruise control that maintains a set cruising speed.

Options include low-speed automatic braking, and a third rear headrest and hill-hold control that’s only available on DSG models.

Unfortunately, the Fabia no longer costs as little as it once did, although generous equipment levels do offset this to an extent. Those looking for a cheap, but spacious, car will undoubtedly be tempted by the Dacia Logan MCV.

Skoda Fabia Estate S

Standard across the range are a DAB digital radio, Radio SWING with phone control on the radio display, USB and SD Card connectivity, Bluetooth, and a stop/start engine system.

Skoda Fabia Estate SE

Stepping up a trim from the S to the SE adds such things as manual air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, radio and telephone controls on the steering wheel and height adjustable driver and passenger seats.

Skoda Fabia Estate SE-L

The top-spec SE-L model doesn’t ramp-up the luxury and gadgets as much as you may imagine for a top-of-the-range model. The only notable additions over the SE spec are 16” alloys, front fog lights, cruise control and a keyless engine start-stop system.

Conclusion

If you want plenty of boot space, but don’t want a big car, the Skoda Fabia estate could well be the car for you. It has smart looks, a well-built interior, decent levels of standard equipment, cheap running costs and (ignoring the 1.0-litre petrol) peppy performance.

Looking for great Skoda Fabia Estate offers?

On carwow you can easily compare the best new car offers from local and national dealers. Get a great Skoda Fabia Estate deal without any of the usual hassle!

Compare Fabia Estate offers Save on average £3,000