* Prices may differ from that shown
Short of money, we looked at Skoda as wanted to buy a new car so we would have little surprises in terms of car maintenance costs.
We got a great deal on a Fabia 1.2 Petrol 5 door from our local dealership. The finance rates offered on their Personal Contract Plans are excellent and are provided by VW.
The car itself is quite roomy for a small vehicle. There is quite a lot of leg room in the back seats and a good headroom. The car is quite high at the back. The rear seatbelts are a good length and we found putting various car seats in easy. The back seat is fairly flat which means the car seat does not wobble too much.
The front seats are comfortable. The controls are identical to those in the VW Golf. They have a retro kind of feel, as have a dial for the headlight.
The car stereo as standard does sound a little tinny but is bearable!
The steering is smooth. Sometimes the car judders a little if you have the air con on when you start the ignition.
It is easy to park in the town as has a good full lock and is simple and not too big.
It doesn't offer anything in the way of luxury, you get a back to basics, serviceable vehicle.
The boot is a good size and fits my pushchair in no problem. We have been on holiday on a long journey in the car and we packed all the luggage in with ease.
It runs comfortably at motorway speeds which I was quite surprised at to be honest. I thought it would be a shaky ride but it feels reassuring balanced and stable at motorway speeds.
The air con is good on both hot or cold temperatures, it is a manual system with a dial.
I admit I was embarrassed about the brand to start with and thought my friends would take the mickey, but now I have got over the possible affect on my street cred, I have fallen in love with the little Fabia and see it for what it is, a good quality, well built car that gets you from a to b with no nonsense.
I found a need to upgrade my car when i was pregnant with my 2nd child and my ever expanding belly made my 3 door car virtually impossible to use properly. My eldest was only just one, and i was having to really struggle to get him strapped into his car seat in the back of my much loved ford fiesta.
So, 3 years ago, we announced our intention to replace my car to my in-laws, and they happened to mention this to a friend of theirs who was looking to sell a much loved Skoda Fabia.
Upon hearing it had 5 doors, and also that if we bought it, my father in law would drive it up from their house, we purchased it without even seeing it based entirely on trust.
My version feels quite high spec, although i know some models are more basic. I have heated front passenger seats, electric windows, and electric wing mirrors that also have a heating function for easy defrosting.
It is silver in colour, and came to us with only 11,000 miles on the clock and a 51 plate. It still has less than 20,000 miles on the clock 3 years later as i am now a stay at home mum, but after 3 years of modest driving i feel able to comment on it sufficiently for this review.
In terms of a mum mobile, one feature that lets it down is boot space. It is quite a tight fit. My macclaren single buggy fits in their ok, but does not leave much room for anything else in there if we have gone shopping. Maybe 3 or 4 bags of shopping. Perhaps a bit more if you get good at packaging the shopping in there. My macclaren double buggy was not much wider and the same length, but i could not fit it in that car. I can't blame skoda entirely there though, as it would not have fit in my fiesta boot either. My friend could fit it in her golf, which on the outside does not look that much bigger but boot space was definitely better.
The rear of the car very comfortably fits in 2 kids car seats. I have had various combinations of baby seat, the middle size one and now 2 boosters with backs on. I find i can drive the car and leave plenty of leg room for the kids, but my husband complains when he drives that all he can feel is my 2 year old kicking the back of the chair. It isn't a deliberate action, just that is where his legs end. We do not feel there is sufficient space in the back for another child or adult to sit, but we never need to do this so it is not an issue for us.
The front passenger seats are ok in terms of comfort. The heated seats are a nice treat on days like today when the snow is on the floor and your bum is feeling the cold. It can go from a very subtle take the chill off, to a sitting on a hot water bottle bum scorching 5 which i love. We would not really want to go on a really long journey in my car though as we find my husbands car gives a much comfier ride due to the design of the seat being more bucket like, and he also has a lot more boot space with an estate so no contest really.
One thing i haven't liked about the front is the passenger air bag. On my old car i didn't have one, and in my husbands his could be switched off. I wanted to put my baby car seat in the front when my baby was little but i couldn't due to safety. I might not have bought it for this reason if we had looked into buying it more.
The interior is quite a light grey with a pattern of stick men all over it. This is quite a weird design which seemed a bit too quirky at first but i now have stopped even noticing it. The kids thankfully don't eat very often in my car, as it is the sort of colour that would dirty very quickly if i let them. I am not precious about it, but i don't like stickiness everywhere, particularly if you then offer a lift to someone.
We have only had a couple of niggles while owning this car. One has been that sensors have gone in the engine so it has activated the engine management light, resulting in about £70 to replace a broken sensor. I have also found from us getting it that the engine over revs while it is idling. I notice it most when i am sat waiting to pull out of a junction. This has been investigated but we never got to the bottom of it really.
Another niggle is we got in it and my husband noticed a damp smell and there had been a leak through the window on the passenger side. It was only a slow one, so it had made underneath my mats go mouldy. A quick search online shows this is a common fault. My husband took off the interior of the door panel and did a bit of cleaning and putting it back together and i haven't noticed it again.
I have also found the battery went flat last christmas when it was sat idle for a couple of weeks over christmas. I guess this has to be expected when it is cold and your car is not used a lot though as my fiesta did the same thing a couple of years ago. I will try to remember to at least go and turn on the engine and take it for a short trip this year.
Mine is a petrol version, and it costs about £35-40 for me to fill it up to the top. I find from the mileage calculator i am doing over 300 miles per tank, which is about 40 miles per gallon. (Unless my husband drives and thinks he is in his diesel and gives it too much wellie.) (*edited to add - due to fuel price increases, i nearly fell through the floor when it cost £50 to fill up last week. )
Overall, i am happy with the car. A skoda badge used to be something to make people snigger and you would be the butt of all their jokes, but i have never felt embarassed to drive this car. I have found it enjoyable to drive, and apart from still getting confused about the position of some lesser used features (fog lights, rear windscreen wiper) when i compare to my fiesta, it is a nice ride. I will probably have this one for years at the rate i am increasing the mileage on it. I dread to think what my cost per mile is.
~~The new Fabia~~
Skoda have come such a very long way since my first dirt cheap Estelle - the one they used to joke about - through the Favorit and Felicia to the latest range of Fabias. My wife and I have owned at least one of all these 'generations' as they've steadily improved in just about every respect. No longer quite bargain-basement, perhaps, they do remain good value for money, and the latest 1.2 12 valve Fabia hatch is no exception.
It's very solidly built and well finished inside and out. It's sure-footed and comfortable, with a good driving
We recently replaced our four year old Fabia with the current model. The previous one had given reliable service over some 50,000 miles and it seemed time to 'quit while ahead'...
Mechanically similar to our previous vehicle, the 3 cylinder petrol engine may not be state-of-the art but it does the job and is a proven workhorse. Performance, though not quite sparkling, feels acceptable both in town and on the open road. According to the onboard computer - which seemed a bit confusing initially - it's proving pretty economical too. (Details below). Comfort also compares well.
Priced at just under £10K, the Fabia package still seems quite competitive for what is effectively a Volkswagen car - but beware: the 'optional' extras do add up! (see below).
Road tax and insurance seem slightly less than the near-equivalent model we just replaced:
*Tax band D: £90 pa
*Insurance group: 2(?)
As for economy, we appear to be getting just under the claimed 51mpg but could probably try harder.
While this is perfectly adequate, I can't help wondering about the new TSI engine series. A little more bhp and torque might do no harm, though this does seem to have picked up somewhat now the car's fully 'run-in'.
For the record, advertised figures as follows:
*0-60 c.14 seconds
*Top speed c. 100mph (not personally tested!)
Standard kit includes ABS and Air Con but extras include:
*Spare wheel (I'm still not convinced by the alternatives offered to a genuine spare for emergencies!)
*Floormats (just purchased separately now at £27)
Seating position good - with height-adjustable driver's seat, smooth ride and generally solid feel. My wife, who suffers from an arthritic condition, finds the Fabia particularly manageable. We have particularly severe speedbumps locally, so good suspension is a real boon!
It's built like a tank to VW/Audi standards, for a good deal less cash!
The parking ticket holder inside the windscreen is a really nice touch. My wife swears by this! The ignition key has improved since our last Fabia too - it now folds and has a button just to unlock the boot, which can be handy.
A quality small family hatchback at a reasonable price.
~~Update: August 2012~~
Just coming up to its 2nd service interval and still as good as new.
[A version of This original review may be found on other review sites, (c) steves001]
I have owned my Skoda Fabia 1.2 litre engine car for the past 4 years now and on the whole I must say I am impressed with what I have seen.
The car is a very basic design. A good smooth shape with curves in the right places and a decent comfortable inside. But as with most things you do get what you pay for.
The inside of the motor is pretty basic. In mine, at least, you do not have any major modern conveniences such as air conditioning or central locking. Both of these you may expect should you pay more for a bigger, better car.
However, what you do get is a simple easy drive. The car handles well although can be a tad sensitive when going quickly around a corner.
I have had a number of problems with the car however, which have meant that I have had to take it into a garage or have an AA man come and fix it. The first problem, which has occurred more than once, is due to the car only having three cylinders. I have found that with this model they are vey susceptible to having one or more cylinders die on you. This means that you lose a third of your engine power when it comes to pulling away and accelerating. This can be a problem in busy areas as it will stop you picking up the speed you need. This problem has happened to me three times now (once to each cylinder) since I have owned the car and costs about £40 - £50 to have repair.
Another problem which occurred for me, although I have never heard of it again is that my passenger side rear wheel locked in place when it had stood unused for more than a couple of days. This problem was one which both the Skoda garage and the AA could not explain and has taken time to correct (not through anyone doing anything it just seems to have sorted itself out).
Other than those two problems I have enjoyed being a Skoda owner (despite the old stigma that the badge still carries in some parts) and would recommend the car to anyone who is looking for a reasonably priced motor that offers few if any thrills.
Assembly Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, Aurangabad, India (CKD)
Body style(s) 5-door hatchback, 5-door estate
Platform Volkswagen Group PQ24
1.2 HTP (44 and 51 kW)
1.2 TSI (63 and 77 kW)
1.4 16v (63 kW)
1.4 TSI (132 kW) - vRS only
1.6 16v (77 kW)
1.2 TDI CR (55 kW)
1.4 TDI PD(51 and 59 kW)
1.6 TDI CR(55, 66 and 77 kW)
1.9 TDI PD (77 kW)
6-speed tiptronic transmission
7-speed Direct-Shift Gearbox
Wheelbase 2,460 mm (96.9 in)
Length 4,000 mm (157.5 in)
Width 1,642 mm (64.6 in)
Height 1,498 mm (59.0 in)
Cost: Anywhere up to around £12,000 (at the very most)
The Skoda Fabia diesel, has a lot to offer and is an all round good car to own and drive. Its not fancy, its not racy and yes it has a Skoda badge for its sins, but don't let that fool you into thinking its not worth considering.
The modern range of Skoda cars are very far removed from their older dumpier clumpier distant relatives of old. If you have ever been at the wheel of an old time Skoda Estelle, then you will know when something drives like a tank or not. Modern Skodas are more refined, better built and much better than many would like to be heard saying in public.
Put it this way this car has the same chassis and parts as the Audi A3 and a rival VW car thats very well known indeed. Its an Audi/ VW in disguise but with better reliability. It walks the walk and talks the talk without the high priced sales tag and inflated insurance premium. The car so closely resembles the two other cars that at a distance you may think its one of them.
The car has a big 1.9 diesel engine yet still does a great 50 to 60mpg on motorway runs although the trip computer claims more and in town stays at around 45 to 50mpg.
The drive is smooth in higher gears if a little laboured perhaps in first and second. The exterior paint work is of a good standard and polishes up well with very little effort. Interior trims are smart if basic and you get air conditioning which is handy for hot summer weather.
Can't say the stereo is as good as some others and the speakers do buzz a bit if your tunes are set too high. Boot space is good, nice and roomy for what looks like a small car.
I think a 4 star rating is very fair for this car and would not hesitate to recommend the Fabia. Once you get onto the open road the Fabia drives very well indeed.
The Skoda Fabia is my first car and its fantastic. I know that I have nothing to compare it to, however, I own the 1.4 litre diesel engine with 5 doors. Its a hatchback, without which I wouldn't be able to park! You have to forget about all those skoda jokes of the past, because as far as I know, and from speaking to other people too, Skodas are extremely reliable. In three years my car has not had one problem at all (except the battery from the light inside the car running out). As soon as vw bought the company in 1991 sales have shot up (around three quarters of a million cars since).
In the particular model I own the acceleration is very useful for a diesel car, and the car is pretty quick, which means that you can safely get yourself out of some dodgy situations on the motorway. The radio is perfectly adequate, although it has no ipod connector and I use an itrip. In all the car is very comfortable, and so far, with there being no problems, I am extremely happy. I even like the look of the fabia, however, I feel that the other skoda cars lack aesthetic design.
If you need a new car, go and buy one of these.
I have a Skodia Fabia, my husband bought me it used in May 2008, when we went to buy it, i so was not keen, i had heard so much bad reviews alot of years ago, it put me off, but it was one of the cars we could afford out of the ones on offer, so we finally bought it, i absolutley love this car, at the time it was our second car, now it is the only car, we sold our Fiat, i am so pleased we did, this car is a dream to drive, it is very comfortable, it is smooth, and it has plenty of room in the back and the boot, the seats are very comfortable, the dashboard is very nice, it has alot of room in the glove box, the central locking is very reliable, and the smoothness of the the car on the road is second to none, all the negative reviews i had heard about this car were all wrong in my opinion, i am so glad i sold my Fiat and kept this one, although i did love my Fiat also but prefer the Skoda
After driving my dad's Nissan Micra for the few months after passing my test, this is the first car I owned proper, and indeed still do own. I did do quite a lot of research before I bought the car, and overall I think I made a pretty good choice. It's not the most flashy car on the market, granted, I think it probably has a little bit of a 'pensioner' image. The Skoda brand has certainly had stigma attached to it, to say the least.
However, this is a great little car. The worst thing that has happened in the 3 or 4 years which I have owned it is the battery died, and obviously had to be replaced. I own the basic model, and while the interior may be sparse and lack mod cons such as air conditioning, central locking or electric windows, the car is so reliable. I really think that Skoda's are a bargain, basically VW engineering for cut-rate prices.
If you can get over any prejudices you may have, you will not regret buying a Skoda.
This is my second Fabia, I've moved from the 1.2 htp to the 1.9tdi estate after my average millage increased to 35,000 p/a. The car has done 80,000 miles with no problems. I bought the Elegance with all the toys including Xenon headlamps which I recommend. Overall the car will manage 60mpg everyday without trying. 66mpg if I drive like a Nun!! Best car I've ever owned. No complaints
Three years ago, I took the plunge and bought my first brand new, off the forecourt car.... albeit on a budget. The Skoda Fabia drove well and considering the market available in March 2005, I opted for the base model 1.2 with 54 (or 56)bhp and none of the extras.
I am still enjoying driving it today and although I got what I paid for, I suspect I would have done the same again. Compared to my previous cars, a Renault Clio, a Ford Escort, etc I like the Skoda. I find that it handles remarkably well and to me, responds like a car should, I do not need it to do more than the speed limit, grip the road while cornering at 70 in a built-up estate or out pace the unmarked police car (which funnily enough around here are also Skodas!).
I have only one concern though which has come from my service last year. Being still in warranty I got the car serviced at my local Skoda dealer who advised my that my rubber "boot gater" (if thats how you spell it - something to do with the axle joints?) was starting to wear. Now that concerns me as the service centre receptionist said "You could get it done here, but the part is cheap and with our labour charges you would be looking at £270, I would say ask your local mechanic."
I like honesty, but surely it should not NEED replacing after 3 years... should it? and surely a Skoda dealer should be pushing dealer-servicing... shouldn't it?
Overall I still love my Skoda. It does what I want it to do and I actually like driving it, unlike my other halfs Daewoo Matiz!
Ouuuu I nearly forgot. MPG for you figure loving economists out there! I average about 40-45mpg driving 7miles each way to work on a 75/25 mix of motorway and town driving. Driving Portsmouth to Great Yarmouth recently I averaged 60mpg predominantly on motorway.
After his best mate bought a Skoda Fabia VRS my hubby had a bit of a play and after he ended up putting his MG TF in a ditch in the snow one February decided it was time he got a more sensible car, especially as we were to be married the following June and were planning to try for a baby straight away.
Well the Skoda Fabia VRS is about a sensible as my hubby is going to get. He LOVES it!
It has a 1.9 diesel engine, 6 gears and 5 doors. They do not make a 3 door version.
I also drive the car although I was a bit wary of doing so at first as the engine is so powerful and I am used to driving a 1.2 Clio! However I have soon got used to it and now enjoy being able to cruise past lorries going up hills (something that is impossible in my Clio!). The 6 gears also take a bit of getting used to and if I haven't driven the Fabia for a while hubby has to remind me there is a sixth gear.
My hubby loves the drive, it has the power for him to pull away quickly and have his 'boy racer' fantasies whilst also being economical with the fuel (he gets about 52-52mpg).
It is suprisingly spacious and the front seats are very comfortable, although the back seats have definatly been designed for kids on car seats as they are not very comfortable to sit on and seem very rigid. The back seats also have 2 isofix anchor points and 3 seat belts - all diagonal belts. There is plenty of leg room in the back though and the boot is spacious enough for us to pack everything we need (and a few things we could possibly do without!) for a week away with a 3 month old baby.
The only thing I find a little disconcerting is that the brake isn't very responsive.
The car we have is a 54 plate and we bought it second hand, so far there has been no major faults.
Now on my second Fabia estate, this time a 1.4TDi 80 Bohemia version - lacking the anti slip control as I didn't buy it new - if you get one new specify it, its well worth the £50 extra but cannot be fitted retrospectively. Cruise was also fitted and I can recomend the VW electronic cruise, much better than my old manual version on the old car. I got it in satin grey, though it really is a light metalic bue rather than grey, doesn't show the dirt like my old dark green one!
First impressions are that Skoda are still producing decent, well put together cars, everything is as it should be and there are no niggles. I'm now on my third tank of fuel and got 61 out of the first with just under 63 on the second.
The 1.4 is a bit noisier than the 1.9 I had before, but once up and running its fine, just shakes a little at idle, I may get the garage to have a look at the next service, but as its a three cylinder diesel its probably ok. Power wise its not as fast as the 1.9, but has a nice growl when pushed! I might consider getting it chipped at some time - the engine when fitted into the Audi A2 develops 92bhp, so there's plenty of scope without stressing the engine and that extra would bring it up to the 1.9's power. On the motorway at a steady 75mph on the speedo (about 68/9mph) it does near 70mpg!
I purchased it unseen from Allens Garage in London, it was their demo car, and whilst it was a risk, everything has turned out ok, with a good deal from them and as the mileage was 1500 more than they said I got the Cruise thrown in for free! Not a recommonded way to buy a car, but alls well that ends well! (I did drive a 1.4 from my local dealer beforehand to see what it was like, btw!).
Now for the next 6 years!
~ ~ Forget all the old jokes that used to do the rounds a few years back about Skoda. In the bad old days, these Czechoslovakian cars were without question one of the worst on the road, with “sewing machine” engines, and the build quality of a small boy’s go kart. But since they became part of the Volkswagen group, they have improved beyond recognition, and today they must rank in the top half dozen of European car manufacturers. I wrote a review a good while back about the Octavia, their top of the range car in the large car bracket, which is proving to be a very popular choice with taxi drivers here in Dublin. (Not to mention the general public!) But today I’m taking a look at their small car, the Skoda Fabia, which is also making waves in the marketplace, and becoming increasingly popular as a “budget buy” for the cost conscious motorist. ~ ~ The current model Fabia is available in three versions. You can have a five-door hatchback, a four-door saloon, or a four-door estate. I would have preferred to have test driven the hatchback, which is the most popular model in the range, but as the dealer had just sold his last one, I had to content myself with the saloon version. My car had a very lively 1.4-litre, 16 valve, petrol engine, with a five speed manual gearbox. If this engine doesn’t take your fancy, then you could also go for the two alternatives. There’s a lower powered version of the 1.4-litre petrol engine, (which obviously costs less of your hard earned cash) or if you fancy real economy (but at a higher price) then you could opt for the 1.9-litre diesel version. ~ ~ But whatever engine choice takes your fancy, you can rest assured that the Fabia offers a very spacious four door saloon, with ample room for four adults (five at a squeeze), and a luggage capacity in the large boot that rivals anything in its class, and even beats many cars in the medium to large car segme
nt of the market. And if you fold down the 60/40 split level rear seat, then you have the equivalent of a small van, and there’s very few loads that you wouldn’t be able to cart around with relative ease. ~ ~ The 1.4-litre that I drove could (with a stretch of the imagination) be described as the performance engine of the range. And it must be said that it was indeed lively enough through the gears, even if you’d never be entering it for a saloon car race at Brand’s Hatch. Off course, like its Spanish cousin the Seat, the engines and running gear are all German made from its parent company Volkswagen, so you can be assured of both reliability and longevity, and easily affordable and obtainable spare parts. And with service intervals of 10,000 miles, then a visit to the garage once a year or so would be the norm for most motorists. I did think the one-year unlimited mileage warranty was a bit cheeky though, especially in these days of 3-year warranties being commonplace. Manufacturer’s these days (at least here in Ireland) seem to be quoting performance figures in “kilometres” rather than miles. The quoted time for the Fabia from a standing start to 100kph (62mph) is 14.1 seconds, and it will carry you onto a top speed of 168kph. (104mph) Not too bad for a car of this size! And the fuel economy figures are fairly impressive as well. You’ll get about the 30mpg mark driving around town in the traffic, rising to an impressive 54mpg on a long run. So if your driving is a mixture of both, then on average you’ll get about 42mpg. The ride was firm but comfortable enough, and the suspension coped adequately with the innumerable “speed bumps” that seem to be a feature of town driving today. And on the open road, the ride was quiet and refined, with no excessive cabin or wind noise up to 80mph. (which is as hard as I pushed it) It cornered well, if not in the rally class
, and the body roll from the firm suspension was not appreciable. And the servo-assisted disc brakes stopped you quickly and assuredly enough. One criticism I would have would be with the power steering, which I found extremely light, with poor driver feedback, but I suppose that you could get used to it given time. An immobiliser is also fitted as standard, so you don’t have to worry too much about it being removed illegally from your front drive, although I still think a stout chain and padlock round the steering column is the best deterrent going for a car thief. ~ ~ The interior of the car is spacious and bright, with comfortable seats. And the colour scheme doesn’t grab you by the throat and try to throttle you either, with a subdued décor (beige on the test car), and matching plastic trim. (that doesn’t “look” like plastic, if you follow my drift) Interior storage space is adequate, with a medium sized glove compartment, and storage pockets in both front doors. One nice touch is the small shaped holders for placing your plastic cup full of tea or coffee in the inside lid of the glove box. A wide opening boot gives easy access, and there are electric windows fitted at the front, with central locking and child safety locks as standard. The toolkit is neatly stored away in its own little box inside the spare wheel well, so that it wont rattle around in everyday use. There are two trim specifications “Classic” and “Comfort”, the only difference as far as I can make out being the height and reach adjustment on the steering wheel, and the height adjustment on the driver’s seat. Both are very handy, by the way, especially if you happen to be an “awkward” size. (i.e. larger or smaller than the accepted norm.) Oh, and you only get the driver’s airbag as standard on the “Classic”, while with the “Comfort” your passenger gets one a
s well. There are rear seat belts fitted as well, but the middle passenger in the back has to make do with only a lap belt, which I don’t like, although they are still the accepted standard on most cars. (I think they’re damned dangerous!) The instruments were all easily to hand, with nothing awkward to get at, and a nice touch was the adjustable lighting level for the instrument panel. (Great if you do a lot of night driving) The car also has a very sophisticated trip “computer”, which if you like that sort of thing, will tell you everything you would ever want to know about mileage rates, fuel capacity, length of time to your next fuel stop, and so on ad infinitum. I was never too taken with these gadgets, but I could see how it could possibly appeal to the more technically minded motorist. The radio/cassette was better than average, with no less than 8 speakers front and rear, although it had a generic badge, so it was impossible to tell the manufacturer. (although I suspect it was a Blaupunkt or Bosche) ~ ~ Costwise? Well, there are a lot of different specification models available, so if you are truly interested in this car then you would be as well to visit a good website like “autotrader” or “Top Gear”. Here in Ireland the entry level 1.4-litre Classic is €12,729 rising to a whopping €22,500 for the top-of-the-range 1.9-litre TDi Elegance. In the UK, prices are much less expensive, (naturally) with the entry level model only a tiny £7,685, and the most expensive diesel £12,905. So it really is quite a lot of car for the money. One drawback is that, as with most “lesser known” or less respected manufacturers, the depreciation levels are very steep, so don’t go buying a Skoda if you intend trading it in after only a year or so, as you’ll lose an arm and a leg. The plus side to this high depreciation is that there are a few really go
od quality second hand bargains to be found, and for “silly” money. So the little Skoda Fabia gets a three (and a half) star rating out of five from this reviewer. Personally, it wouldn’t be my own particular choice of car in this bracket. (see my review of the Seat Ibiza, or the Alfa 147) But if it’s an inexpensive, good quality, and high specification small family car you are looking for, it’s well worth having a look at. One thing is for SURE! The days of all the Skoda jokes are long gone.
Recently my sister brought a Skodia Fabia Automatic Comfort car with A/C, but within couple of weeks, the car stalled for no reason, and it kept stalling. The service light also appeared, taking into account that this was a new car and servicing wasnt due for at least one year. She took it back to the service center, and they kept the car for 3 weeks, although she was given a coursty car for that time. When she got the car back, all was fine for about 3 months, when again the car stalled and the light re-appeared. She phoned up the service dealers, and in fact they said 'All Auto Fabias are currently having teething problems...'. So far we are still waiting to see what happens.
I thought of buying a Skoda Fabia when I needed to change my car last year. At that time, you could only get the 1.4 litre petrol engines and the five door hatchback. This didn't have a big enough boot for my family so I decided not to go for it in the end. However, if the estate version had been available, things might well have been different. That has 15 cubic feet of space in the boot (with the seats up and the luggage cover in place), compared to 9.3 cubic feet for a Fabia hatchback. This is the same as for an Octavia hatchback or 12 cu ft for a Ford Focus hatchback. It goes on sale from March 2001 with list prices from £8400 to £12800 the Fabia estate, which is £700 more than the hatchback. It is likely to be in short supply for a while. Whilst the Fabia is classed as a small car, there is plenty of space inside, and if you compared it to a car from 20 years ago, then it would be called medium sized. It feels solid, and this shows in the overall weight of the car which is as much as 1235kg for a turbodiesel hatchback. A Citroen Xantia is only 30kg heavier, but is considerably bigger. The Fabia feels nice enough inside. I definitely wanted ABS and air conditioning which is available on the Comfort model. One of the nice little features is that you get a compartment big enough for a couple of cans of coke that gets chilled by the air conditioning. Its much smaller than the cool box in a Renault Scenic but its still a nice touch. I'm not wild about the font they use for the markings on the speedo, but thats about the worst I can say about it. On the road, it handles and rides competently. One of the engine options is for the 115bhp 2.0 petrol engine which used to be used for the Golf GTi. The 100bhp turbodiesel engine gives particularly good fuel economy although as I said before, it is heavy, and having a big heavy lump of engine at the front of the car won't help the handling balance. The Fabia is a good car. W
hether it is worth buying depends on the amount you have to pay. Residual values should be pretty good, but its cheapest to buy a car and use it for a long time, rather than chopping and changing all the time which makes this less relevant. I paid less than £10,000 to import a Ford Focus 1.6LX with a ABS, traction control, side airbags, a heated front screen, air conditioning and a sunroof. If I was going to get a Fabia, then I would want at least an estate model, probably with the 1.9 turbodiesel engine, and the comfort trim level. The list price in the UK for this is £12,000 - even the 1.4 litre 16 valve car is £11,200. I doubt a UK dealer would discount this much below £11k, and I also wonder how quickly you would be able to get one if you tried to import it.