2019 Skoda Fabia Estate review – Is it still the best small estate? | What Car?


We’re big fans of the Skoda Fabia
hatchback. In fact it was our Car of the Year back in 2014.
So this stretched version, the Fabia Estate, is already starting off on good
footing. It’s a car with few rivals, the closest being the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra,
or the Dacia Logan MCV. Still though, this Skoda needs to prove itself to be
practical and spacious family transport. In this review will tell you what it’s
like to drive, how comfortable it is, how much luggage you can put into it, and
ultimately which version you should buy. And if at the end of this review you’re
swayed into buying a Skoda Fabia Estate, then go to our New Car Deals section where
we can help save you thousands. But first of all let’s see what this little car is
like on the road. There’s six engines to choose from in the Fabia Estate.
Our favourite is the mid-range which is fitted to this car. It’s a one-litre
three-cylinder and it has 94 brake horsepower. It might sound like a small
engine, but it has enough pulling power to get you up to speed
fairly easily, even with a full boot and it’s really efficient.
If you’re looking for more power there’s a 109 brake horsepower version of that 1-litre turbocharged engine and it’s only slightly less efficient, and at the other
end of the scale there is a 74 brake horsepower non turbocharged engine but
when you get onto roads like this it really does lack the muscle to keep up
with the other cars. If you’re doing enough miles to justify a diesel there’s
three versions of a 1.4-litre to choose from.
We recommend the 104 brake horsepower because it has enough pulling power and
is very efficient. The Fabia Estate is surprisingly good
to drive with light and precise steering, and nimble handling, and ride quality is
decent enough on all but the most uneven surfaces. While the interior is well
soundproofed regardless of whether you’re driving around town or you’re
traveling at motorway speeds, you don’t really have road noise coming in. But,
what does find its way in is engine noise, especially if you go for a petrol. There’s plenty of room up front in the Skoda Fabia Estate, and enough adjustment
in the seats and steering wheel so that you can get comfortable, and although the
interior is not as premium a quality as the Audi A1 or Volkswagen Polo all the
switches do feel quite chunky and robust. It’s just this hard scratchy plastic
here which is quite unforgiving to the touch. We’d recommend going for the SE
model because you get this 6.5 inch touchscreen instead of the smaller 5
inch screen that you get on the entry-level
S model. The good news is that Skoda has borrowed the latest infotainment system
from its sister brand, Volkswagen, which means all versions from SE upwards come
with a slick SmartLink Plus system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
connectivity, which lets you use your smartphone via the car’s touchscreen.
As a result you can do without the optional sat-nav
and use your phone system instead. This is where the Fabia Estate
comes into its own. This large bottle of water fits in the door bin very easily,
and it might fit in the glove box, let’s find out. It is quite a decent sized
glove box and, yes the water bottle fits in there!
Somewhere for a healthy snack, another healthy snack, and then I’ve got two cupholders
down there and my phone is currently plugged into Apple CarPlay. Let’s see
what the back is like! Here, there is enough space to fit three adults side-by-side, but really you’d only want to do that for short journeys, because with someone in
the middle seat as well, it is going to be a bit squishy. Now if you are
traveling ‘five up’ quite frequently it’s worth spending the extra to get a middle
headrest because it’s a small price to pay for some whiplash protection. Boot space is really impressive, you get 530 litres with the seats up, and with the
seats down you get a whopping 1395 litres which is really
great news if you like going to Ikea. Plus there’s some really handy storage
spaces, there’s one here, one here, one up here, and a 12-volt power supply, just in
case you want to charge something in the boot, or something like that. We would
however recommend that you go for the variable boot floor, because then when
you put the seats down you don’t get that really irritating step. If you’re looking for a small practical car and you’re not too fussed about a premium
badge, you can’t really go wrong with the Skoda Fabia Estate, and with emissions
being so low that’s great news for company car drivers. And, in our latest
reliability survey the Fabia shows itself to be a pretty reliable workhorse.
We’d choose the 1.0-litre TSI 95 engine and team it with SE specification. While
entry-level S cars might look tempting because of their low price, they miss out
on much of the equipment that would be considered normal these days. SE models
though, include alloy wheels, air conditioning, and rear parking sensors.
You even get a handy umbrella underneath the front passenger seat! One thing to
think about though is do you actually need the Estate version? Because the
regular Fabia hatchback is just as good to drive, costs significantly less, and has
more boot and passenger space than most hatchbacks. If you do decide to buy a
Skoda Fabia Estate rest assured it’s comfortable, incredibly spacious, and very
good value. In fact it could be even better value, because we might be able to
save you thousands if you go to the New Car Buying section of whatcar.com. While
you’re there check out the full online review for this car, including its rivals.
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About the Author: Michael Flood

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