- We sift through Skoda's expansive Fabia range
- Spacious, smart-looking hatch cheaper than a Polo
- But which version and engine is best?
The Skoda Fabia has been a genuine competitor in the supermini sector since the original launched back in 2000, picking up a handful of awards over the years.
With a choice of five trim levels, 14 colours, three petrol engines and a choice of a manual or automatic gearbox, it’s safe to say there’s an abundant mix of models available. The two diesel engines were taken off sale when the Fabia was facelifted in September 2018.
What’s the best Skoda Fabia engine for company car drivers?
Propulsion comes from three petrol engines: all are 1.0-litre in size and fire on three-cylinders. The sprightly 95hp option has the help of a turbo and is our pick of the range. Power is usefully accessible low down in the rev range, with 0-62mph possible in 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 114mph.
The lower-powered 75hp engine might be adequate around town, but will require far more gearchanges to keep pace with traffic on faster roads. Not only is it a mismatch on the Fabia’s relaxed nature, but this can struggle at motorway speeds too.
The 110hp 1.0-litre claims to achieve a closely-matched mpg figure of 60.1mpg, compared to the 95hp version's 61.4mpg - but it doesn;t actually feel that much quicker. The extra 40Nm of torque may be of more use however, so it may be worth considering if you regularly carry passengers or heavy loads. The 95hp is otherwise enough for most people's needs, only feeling lethargic when fully laden.
If you’re a high-mileage company car driver tempted to opt for a diesel, the costs of running one may be difficult to swallow. The petrols have a lower P11D value and sit in a lower BIK tax bracket over a diesel engine with similar power. The petrol engines are far more refined too.
We've compared the monthly BIK costs for a 20% taxpayer below:
Bik rate (%)
Monthly BIK cost
|1.0-litre 95hp SE L||£15,735||22
SE L auto
Automatic or manual transmission on a Skoda Fabia?
If you require a Fabia to change gears for you, a seven-speed automatic gearbox is available on the higher-powered 1.0-litre petrol engine with 110hp.
Considering the £1,000 premium over their manual counterparts we wouldn’t recommend going for this option unless you have to.
Which trim level on a Skoda Fabia?
Standard equipment is generous on all models of the Fabia, with five kit levels to choose from: S, SE, SE L, Monte Carlo and a special Colour Edition. There are 14 colours to paint your Skoda Fabia with, and as many as three contrasting roof colours for mid-range models.
All derivatives come with electric front windows, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB and SD card slot, stop/start system, six airbags and two Isofix points.
The mid-range SE spec will meet the needs of many, with the cheapest variant available with a P11D value of £13,895 in 75hp 1.0-litre petrol form. Equip it with our preferred 1.0-litre, 95hp petrol motor and this will set you back £14,645.
The extras over S models include:
- Height-adjustable front seats
- 15-inch alloy wheels
- Rear parking sensors
- Upgraded stereo with six speakers
- Umbrella stored under front passenger seat
- Leather-wrapped gearknob, handbrake and steering wheel
If you want cruise control, a starter button, a front armrest and an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, however, then the SE L will fit the bill for £1,095 more.
Which options should you go for on a Skoda Fabia?
The Simply Clever package includes a set of luggage nets in the boot, a waste basket for the front door bin and a designated mobile device holder that sits in a cup holder. We’d go for this as all these subtle features neatly complete the Fabia’s interior package - although it's worth noting that smartphones have grown in size since the Fabia was launched, so it's worth trying to see if they'll fit first.
The Colour Concept package with its coloured roof, door mirror housings and alloy wheels will cost £255 for SE L and Monte Carlo variants. This level of customisation may add a touch of individuality, but be wary of any wacky colour schemes.
Floor mats and a full-size spare wheel are worthwhile options although you do lose a little boot space with the spare wheel – 25 litres to be precise – but this is a negligible decrease.
Heated front seats, voice control and sat-nav are optional extras across the whole range, while adaptive cruise control is available on all models except the 75hp engine.
Skoda Fabia: do I need an estate?
By offering boot space almost double that of the hatch, the Fabia Estate adds an extra chunk of practicality.
Going from 330 litres to 530 litres of space with the rear seats up, this little Fabia offers the compact dimensions of a supermini, but with cabin space more commonly found in a hatchback from the class above. There’s very little compromise in the way of driving performance either.
And here it is: our Skoda Fabia of choice would be a 1.0-litre 95hp petrol SE model with the Simply Clever package, floor mats and full-sized spare wheel.
For the full Skoda Fabia review, click here.