The last-generation version of Skoda’s supermini is an awful lot of car for your money
Launched in 2007, the second-generation Skoda Fabia was one of the best small cars you could buy. It was comfortable and practical, and with its VW Polo underpinnings it was all-round excellent to drive.
Today, there’s a new Fabia around. It’s even better, if anything. Which leaves the last-gen model to fly the flag as a winning purchase on the used market – where it offers a combination of its original skills with Skoda’s lasting build quality at the sort of prices almost anyone can afford.
These start at about £1500, which gets you an early high-miler with the 1.2-litre petrol engine. But if you can afford it, a facelifted model from 2010-on makes a better buy as it’ll have better fuel consumption – especially in Greenline form, whose 1.2 TDI returned a mighty 83.1mpg.
We’d say the stronger 1.6 TDI is a better bet, however, but ultimately our engine of choice would be the 1.2 petrol in 84bhp form. Either way, the 2010 facelift also brought with it a seven-speed auto option, but almost all Fabias came with a manual unit as standard.
Whichever model you go for, the good news is that the Fabia upholds Skoda’s excellent reputation for reliability. Expensive faults only tend to crop up on high milers, though you should look for signs of water leaks, electrical trouble or dashboard rattles.
The latter is a job for the test drive, when you should also check out the rims and bumpers for sign of damage. These are everyday checks, though – overall, the Fabia is an excellent used buy which offers stacks of choice and the potential for a purchase you’ll be pleased with for years to come.