Fabia SE L Estate 1.0 TSI 110PS DSG
supermini estate? Hard to find?
Actually, not really
just pop into
your nearest Skoda dealer where
find the revamped Fabia Estate
waiting for you...
SPORTING A SHARPLY CREASED bodyshell with a clamshell-style bonnet,
wide vertically-barred black grille flanked by LED daytime running lights, flat-cut
wheel arches and a well-planted stance, it's smart without being showy.
For the record, although we're focused on this 'new' facelifted third-gen Fabia
wagon, it does have an equally well-dressed sister a five-door hatchback.
Both bodyshapes make use of the same engines a one-litre in-line three-cylinder
petrol unit (sorry, folks, diesel is no longer on the Fabia menu) available
in three power outputs ranging from 73bhp through to 108bhp.
been driving the most potent the 108bhp (110PS) which can be had
either with a six-speed stick-shift or the seven-speed double-clutch DSG autobox
full weeks hard
driving over mixed roads
by MotorBars heavy-
footed test team couldnt
knock the consumption
down below 47.6mpg
(the official Combined
figure is 43.5 to 47.1mpg),
with an easy 55+mpg
on the motorway.
So real-world owners
should definitely be
seeing the bright side
The smooth and agreeably refined 1.0-litre engine with the polished DSG autobox
makes for a peppy partnership, and is definitely the one to go for, especially
as it doesn't quaff the unleaded even a full week's hard driving over
mixed roads by MotorBar's heavy-footed test team couldn't knock the consumption
below 47.6mpg (the official Combined Cycle figure is 43.5 to 47.1mpg), with
an easy 55+mpg on the motorway. So real-world owners should definitely be seeing
the bright side of 50mpg.
110PS petrol engine's performance is perfectly fit for purpose with the benchmark
0-62mph done and dusted in ten seconds (10.2, actually) and a Continental-suitable
top speed of 121mph. Get heavy with the loud pedal and impose your will on the
gear selections via the autobox's selector lever in manual mode (no paddleshifters
but no hardship either) and the VW-sourced 'triple' feels satisfyingly quick
off the line, speeding up eagerly flick it into Sport mode and it comes
out fighting! And while the rev-counter's needle is happy to kiss the redline
there's absolutely no need to take it there because between the three-pot's
tractability and the clean-changing DSG autobox they've got town and country
driving well covered.
The Fabia's cabin reflects the continuous move upmarket by the Skoda brand,
even of its 'everyday' model lines. Swing open the driver's door and you'll
want to get aboard quickly; the seats look inviting and the cabin ambiance is
both smart and welcoming.
In the SE L, black cloth and Microsuedia upholstery with classy silver detail
stitching is used to upholster the light but effectively bolstered seats
it's tactile and they're comfortable whether you're just popping round to the
Indian for a takeaway or driving 200 miles at half-term to take the kids camping.
There's a fist of headroom, plenty of space around your shoulders, and room
for your front passenger to stretch out and the padded armrest between
the front seats is height adjustable. So, too, are both seats, as are the belts.
Smooth-adjusting manual seats with knurled backrest adjusters instead of levers
for accurate fine-tuning make it a doddle to set a good driving position, while
a good-to-grip, leather-wrapped multifunction wheel keeps it involving at the
helm. Given this is the auto version, a left-foot rest is going to be used a
lot and the Fabia's is set at just the right angle.
reflects the continuous
move upmarket by the
even of its everyday
Swing open the drivers
door and youll
get aboard quickly;
the seats look inviting
and the cabin ambiance
is both smart and
dash is faced with a full-width, brushed metallic trim and sports clean ergonomics
with, at its centre, a 6.5-inch Skoda Amundsen touchscreen infotainment system
with built-in SatNav that's a cinch to use: it takes full seven-character postcodes;
the mapping is crystal clear; and the posted speed limit is shown in the top
left-hand corner and it's large enough to be easily seen from the driver's
seat. You also get Bluetooth connectivity, SmartLink+ for mobile synching using
Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a DAB radio, and a six-speaker audio system.
black-on-white dials (hard to beat for clarity) in the instrument binnacle are
easy to read in all lights and are positioned either side of a multifunction
trip computer (scrolled via the 'view' button on the wheel) that displays core
driving information such as a digital speed readout and graphic navigational
reminders, with a convenient knurled knob for fast-zooming the mapping.
The fit, finish and trim materials, helped by typically thoughtful Skoda touches
such as the mini waste bin with disposable liners that clips into either
front door pocket, compact brolly under the passenger seat, and handy mesh 'sleeve'
pockets on the inner sides of both front backrests create an agreeable
sense of quality.
And you don't go short of in-cabin storage either thanks to bottle holders in
every door pocket, 'real life'-sized front door bins, a deep tray ahead of the
selector lever with USB and 12-volt power sockets, siamesed cupholders, an accommodating
glovebox, a handy storage box beneath the armrest, and a drop-down glasses case.
All of which makes owning and living with a Fabia long-term a satisfying experience.
addition to what's mentioned elsewhere, useful kit includes keyless Start, climate
control AirCon, one-shot electric front windows, electrically-adjustable heated
door mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tinted glass, cruise control, rear
parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, Front Assist (autonomous emergency
city braking), and a set of five-blade alloy wheels.
the estate will be
bought for its practicality
and versatility it
nevertheless feels fairly
agile and can be
Should you over-egg it,
its front-wheel drive
chassis will push back
with nothing more
aggressive than safe
to the rear cabin is easy which is good news both for passengers and when using
the loadbay for cargo-carrying. The nicely-shaped rear seat backrests are set
at a restful angle and it's roomy enough for a pair of full-grown adults to
Three side-by-side is doable, and all rear passenger sit noticeably higher than
front which keeps views forward interesting; the side windows let in plenty
of light, as do the third side panes, and using wind-ups is no hardship and
just as quick as using electric windows. Practical doors bins and pouches on
the front seatbacks will hold quite a bit of your passengers' personal clutter
and, for those with youngsters, there are Isofix child seat fittings on the
Given that some wagons only travel at their best when heavily laden, it's good
to find that the Fabia estate serves up a well damped ride whether you're driving
solo or hauling cargo. The well-damped and well-fettled suspension handles both
roles well, calmly soaking up any blacktop imperfections while maintaining its
bias towards comfort and security.
so to the handling. While the Fabia estate will first and foremost be bought
for its practicality and versatility, it nevertheless feels fairly agile and
can be punted around. Should you over-egg it, its front-wheel drive chassis
will push back with nothing more aggressive than some safe understeer. Grip
levels are good, the steering is faithful, the handling predictable and the
brakes reassuring, and this estate version delivers an undemanding driveability
that makes light work of a long day.
outside, the Fabia estate is the ideal size for today's crowded roads but lift
the tailgate (it's plenty head-friendly) and you'll be pleasantly surprised
by the particularly large boot: at 530 litres, there's room and to spare for
the largest baby buggies or luggage for four. Secondly, given the estate's 4.3-metre
length, the loadbay, at 1,395 litres, is especially accommodating.
surprised by the
particularly large boot:
at 530 litres, theres
and to spare for the
largest baby buggies or
luggage for four.
Secondly, given the
the loadbay, at
60:40-split rear seatbacks fold to create a long, seamless cargo-bay floor that's
easy to use thanks to a knee-height load-sill. When the boot floor panel is
at the highest of its two settings the loadbay floor is perfectly level with
the sill. Set thus, there's a three-inch-deep lower underboot that's perfect
for secure storage of items such as laptops, etc.
Big side bins feature useful lift-out sides for additional versatility, and
there's a higher-level tray for smaller items along with sturdy bag-hooks and
a quick-releasing roller luggage blind. Beneath the lower boot floor you'll
find a pretty big storage box along with tools and a full-size spare wheel (Yes!)
plus there's a proper clip to hold the boot lid up when accessing either the
lower level or the storage box. Finally, if tow you must then this 110PS automatic
version will haul a braked 1,100kg.
A smooth, refined and very agreeable to drive supermini, the Fabia estate will
appeal to a wide range of users from economy-minded weekend adventurers to time-rich
empty-nesters, and to couples as well as pragmatic small families. It's also
comfortable, extremely practical and has a compact footprint that makes it an
accomplished 'townie' while still being equally adept on long and winding roads.
Skoda Fabia SE L Estate 1.0 TSI 110PS DSG
Maximum speed: 121mph | 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds | Test Average: 47.6mpg
Power: 108bhp | Torque: 147lb ft | CO2: 110g/km