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Skoda Fabia Estate

LOADING UP ON VALUE (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Don't overlook the estate version of Skoda's much improved third-generation Fabia. It's small, but not that small - as Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 47

Skoda's improved third generation Fabia estate offers more load space than any other supermini wagon, a massive 530-litres with the rear seats still in place. It's keenly-priced, well-styled and rides on a modern chassis. In other words, it's got all the ingredients to be the class best.

Backgroundword count: 133

There's not a whole lot in the motoring world that projects less glamour than a Skoda Fabia Estate. It's not something that will have too many people's pulses spiking at the prospect of getting behind the wheel. In most cases it will be a purchase based on a set of keenly researched and wholly objective criteria; a tool for a job. While this might sound like we're talking the latest Fabia Estate down, there is a definite appeal in its sheer pragmatism. If you want a supermini-sized car that can carry 530-litres of luggage in the boot, your choice narrows down to one - this car. And, far from being a distress purchase, the Fabia Estate actually has a lot going for it other than mere cubic litres of fresh air out back.

Driving Experienceword count: 247

The Fabia estate rides on a version of the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, but it's not the full monte. Instead, the central structure is MQB with some front and rear structures from the PQ26 chassis, so it's a bit of mix and match. The wheelbase here is the same as the Fabia hatch, with a longer rear overhang delivering the extra carrying capacity. Engine-wise, all of the units on offer are now three cylinder petrol-powered engines, Skoda deciding that the market for diesels amongst supermini buyers is now defunct. There's a base 75PS 1.0-litre MPI normally aspirated powerplant, but the engine to have, if you can stretch to it, is the 1.0-litre TSI turbo, available with 95 or 110PS. The perkier unit can be matched with 7-speed DSG auto transmission. Even the base TSI variant gets to 62mph in 0.6s en route to 115mph. The pokier version improves these figures to 9.5s and 122mph. On the move, Skoda has worked hard to endow the Fabia with a supple ride, decent body control and low-effort steering. Once you've made the right engine choice, you'll get yourself undemanding transport that on occasion can offer up a few driving rewards. Despite the addition of an XDS+ electronic differential system that aids corner turn-in, these benefits won't really manifest themselves if you're the kind of person who likes to drive on your doorhandles. But then if that's your preference, you probably wouldn't be looking at a Fabia in the first place.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-60 mph (s):

9.3

14.4

Combined mpg:

58.9

78.5

Extra urban mpg:

67.3

83.1

Height (mm):

1488

1494

Length (mm):

4257

4306

Max Speed (mph):

109

124

... and 6 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Spacious Family Cars

Performance
60%
Handling
70%
Comfort
70%
Space
90%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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