2015 Skoda Fabia review – What Car?

2015 Skoda Fabia review – What Car?


Back in the year 2000 the first
generation of Skoda Fabia went on sale and it’s fair to say it launched with a bit of a bang – it was named the 2000 What Car? Car of the Year and time has proved it to be a very worthy
winner. Now however I am stood next to the third generation of Skoda Fabia and while it is a very different car there
is one thing that this car has in common with that first Fabia – this is the 2015 What Car? Car of the Year. For all the many good things about the
Skoda Fabia we’re actually probably starting with one of the weakest parts
and that is how it drives. That is not to say it is a bad car to drive, it’s just that it does everything else so well. If you
go for the pick to the range, which is in our view the lower powered 1.2-litre
petrol, then it is a fantastic car to drive. The
other engines the 1.0-litres are the same versions that you get in the small Citigo so it does struggle to pull this car’s
slightly bigger bulk when you comes to overtaking, faster roads etc. The diesel engine, which is what we’ve got in this car, is not quite so good around town but it is a
lot more comfortable when it comes to overtaking and higher speeds. It is,
however, a little bit noisy – it gets quite gruff – especially when you’re moving around town. As far as the rest of the drive is concerned
it’s sort of perfectly good rather than mind-blowing exciting. It is enjoyable to drive, but not quite as
much as, say, the Ford Fiesta, and the ride is good out on country
roads etc but it does pick up on a couple of potholes around town so it does fall just
short of perfection. One really good thin, though, is the
gearshift – it’s very light and quite precise, which means it perfect for town driving. The Fabia has always been a tall,
spacious little car, but this third generation is even better than the ones
that have gone before. Up here, for example, you get a huge amount adjustment both on seat and wheel. The seat goes back and forward obviously and up and down as does the wheel – goes in and out and up
and down. The steering wheel and the pedals are
nicely lined up as well so you should be able to get comfortable in here whatever size or shape you are. Because
this is quite tall you also get big windows up here and
these pillars are relatively thin by modern standards. All that means you get a cabin that is light
and airy and fairly easy to see out. Now though this is not the most exciting looking cabin in terms of materials and design etc, it’s all a bit basic and chunky-looking down here – you do get this flashy looking colour touchscreen as
standard. The basic versions get a five-inch screen as standard whereas the higher models get
this 6.5-inch version. Although it looks like
something is perfect for a sat nav unfortunately Skoda is not offering one of
those at all. The Fabia is one of the tallest cars in
its class – only the Honda Jazz sits taller – so, as a result, it’s not really much of a
surprise that there is a huge amount of space in here as
well – plenty of headroom and a good amount of legroom. If you move
into the middle seat then you do sit a little bit higher but because there’s so
much headroom there’s still loads of space up there. This floor is
ever so slightly raised in the middle – there’s a bit of a tunnel there – but there’s plenty of room so you should be able to get three adults across the back. This is still a small card, though, so three adults might start to grumble at the end of a longer journey but for shorter trips you’ll be absolutely fine. The boot is a good size and shape for the class but best of all is all the clever little touches you
get back here. Things like storage nets, places where you can tuck shopping out the way, put a bottle in there, there are all these hooks here and little shelves up around there. There is no adjustable boot floor on the hatch unfortunately but there is a little system whereby you can
take the parcel shelf out, secure it a little bit lower down so it acts as a shelf and you can even tuck it away like that. There is loads more practicality in the rest of the cabin as well so rubbish bins in the side door, storage
pockets on the side of the seats and a decent size glove box as well. The only slight quibble as far as this car
is concerned practicality wise is you get quite a high boot lip here and, because of that fixed floor and because the base of the seats
are fixed as well in the back when you drop the seats they don’t fold totally flat. That aside, practicality wise,
this is this is about as good as it gets in this
class at the moment. As well as all that space another thing that is common to all Skodas is a really competitive list price and that is, funnily
enough, the case with the Fabia as well. If you are gonna walk into a dealer then you will hand over less cash for this than you will for the equivalent VW Polo or Ford Fiesta. Partly because of that the PCP deals are
very competitive as well so you’ll end up paying less on a monthly basis if you go for that way
of funding it as well. The only thing it is not quite as good at is holding on to its value. The Polo is the king of that in this class
but is still very competitive. When it comes to CO2 emissions this car is up there with the very best in the class as well so if you are running this is a company car then again you will get one of the best deals that there is out there. Equipment levels are good across the range – you get things like Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, and a USB connection all as standard but
the basic trim does miss out on some crucial things. We’d
go for the SE trim, which is the middle one, ‘cos that
gets stuff like air conditioning as standards – it’s a big loss on the
entry-level version. You also get things like alloy wheels, an upgraded stereo and rear parking
sensors. SE-L versions get climate and
cruise control an automatically dimming rearview mirror and little controls for the stereo on the steering wheel. This car has also earned the maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP so
it’s safe affordable and well equipped. One of the most important things to do with the Skoda Fabia is to pick the right version. If you go for the lower powered 1.2-litre petrol engine in SE trim then that is the 2015 What Car? Car of the Year. It’s not that the ones either side at the
top and bottom of the range are bad cars they’re not, it’s just that that is a truly
fantastic car. For more information on the Skoda
Fabia search for Skoda Fabia on whatcar.com But while you are here do click subscribe to keep up to date
with all our latest video road tests, previews and Reader Test Teams.

About the Author: Michael Flood

43 Comments

  1. Shocking. The boot has a big lip, the seats don't fold flat, the screen can't be used as a sat nav, it's off the pace for drivability, it doesn't hold its value as well as others and it's ugly as sin. How can this be car of the year? All this video showed was that it's mediocre in most areas. Surely the facelift polo or fiesta beat it hands down in most of these areas. I haven't seen a review of this car where the reviewer actually seems at all excited by the car.

  2. After watching this video, I would hate to hear how negative the reviews must be for cars that are NOT the "Car of The Year".

    It sounds completely mediocre. Car of The year? Yeah, sure.. 

  3. I would have a clio or a peugeot 208 over this anytime. Terrible dashboard, ugly design, such a shame. The new Octavia is a great car, but this is a huge mistake.

  4. How very, very dull. What Car will be recommending that we get the bus next year. Spacious, cheap, ugly, practical and mind numbingly boring!

  5. what a s#Δt box… and if you want it to look mildly interesting, pay the (big) extra for the nice alloy wheels, and the cheap and cheerful plastic add ons inside…

  6. Why is it that FWD cars get this middle tunnel on the floor? Is it a structural rigidity characteristic from the unibody construction?

  7. So, to sum up then – the Fabia is not good so good to drive, has a dull cabin, no sat nav option, a noisy diesel, bad ride quality, no a/c on base models, depreciates rapidly, is a bit cramped in the back on long journeys, but it has an ice scraper built into the fuel filler cap which you didn't mention.
    Is there any wonder why the Fiesta is the best selling car in this, or any sector? 
    To award this ugly piece of mediocrity COTY is frankly an insult to peoples intelligence. I strongly advise that you take a drive in a 125bhp petrol Fiesta Ecoboost Titanium and have a little rethink.

  8. This sounds more like a advert than an impartial test. Come on what car how much did Skoda pay you to make this car of the year? It may be a good car but it ain't special in any area, jack of all trades master of none.

  9. Why the hell did you test the 1.4 diesel? Didn't even have fog-lights…

    You should have have taken the 1.2 TSI 110 BHP Style.

  10. Omg, this has to be one of the most old-fashioned and blandest car interiors you can get these days. Especially in the trim shown in this video, it's just… nasty, and probably very unpleasant to sit in. Of course, as always with Skoda, all the controls and switches will be perfectly clear and dead easy to use, but that doesn't make up for the horrible way it looks, not to mention the quality of the plastics used throughout…
    Personally, I'd rather swap some of the Fabia's class-leading practicality for a minimum dose of style. Which basically means I prefer a Peugeot 208, as that car looks much nicer, both inside and out, and still has enough passenger and boot space on offer.

  11. its not worth that 12000 euros they cost here for 1.0 mpi-75 hp-style.
    i'll get polo for that price not the skoda 😛

  12. +Nidhal Naji They are good cars, the same engine but i was tought about the quality that is made of.interior is full of cheap looking plastics.they "should" be cheaper by 2000 euros,not close or the same to Polo's price wich is way better than fabia

  13. Great video review. I've just ordered a 1.2tsi 110ps DSG Hatch after extensive research and testing. During the process I drove several cars from the Skoda Fabia range and found the 90ps and 110ps engines to be the best for power and smoothness. I had the 110ps DSG for the day which was great. The car handled really well and could be driven in a spirited way on country roads. It has an almost excess of power for it's size. The DSG auto box was super responsive and very smooth. It's more economical than the manual version. As an ex-Fiesta man I thought the handling was similar to the Ford but the Skoda was far superior in the comfort department. Economy was also far far better on the Skoda. As for residual values, the Skoda is one of the best in it's class at holding onto it's value…just take a look! It's very clear! I drove the Polo too, and it was great, but has it's own shortcomings…like every car. It's also feels a lot smaller than the Skoda Fabia inside. I agree with 'What Car', it's well deserving of it's Car of the Year Award.

  14. with all these video car reviews its as if there is a written in clause that Every time they must mention Ford and VW at some point

  15. Is it possible to watch a car review without the bloody presenters mentioning the fucking Fiesta! Not everyone likes the Fiesta, and ive driven them and a lot of other makes, and personally I dont rate the Fiesta at all. Very biased reviews on here.

  16. I rented a Skoda (2015? 2016?) on a recent trip through Germany and loved it. Very maneuverable and peppy enough. Shut off when stopped, unusual for a non-hybrid (at least in the US). You can drive a long way on a tankful. If it was sold in the US, I'd consider buying one. Ford sells the quite small Fiesta here, why not a VW Skoda?

  17. These tests have to bee paid by VAG, ulgy,boxy, noisy and unreliable cars that are receiving praise when there are better cars on the market.

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