Hatching A Sensible Plan (Skoda Fabia 2007-present day)

ENGINES – Thanks to the deep reserves of the Volkswagen parts bin, the Fabia boasts a good selection of frugal petrol and diesel engines. Save for the hot vRS model, don’t expect lightning performance from the range – this is very much a car for undemanding drivers.

EXTERIOR – Looking a little more upright than its predecessor, this second-gen Fabia’s youthful appearance is a welcome improvement over the old car’s mature, conservative looks. That said, cars on the smallest wheels do look a little underwhelming.

INTERIOR – Skoda knows not to break something that works, and this Fabia follows its predecessor with a mainly black interior. The result is a hardwearing, durable cabin. Despite the car’s narrow stance there’s plenty of room up front and just enough in the rear for a small but growing family.

DRIVING – The car’s slightly raised driving position ensures a good level of all-round visibility. The steering is light enough to assist with parking manoeuvres. Only the hot vRS performance model is likely to excite keen drivers, but the rest of the range offers a good balance of real world performance, refinement and economy.

OWNERSHIP – A sought after car for all the obvious reasons – solid, dependable, easy on the eye, low running costs, compact – the Fabia is a popular choice. The proven VW mechanicals also count in its favour, although the modest levels of standard equipment can cast the Far Eastern competition in a more favourable light.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – With many examples the result of pampered private owners, ultra-low mileage models might not be the bargain they seem. Short trips without the opportunity to warm up the engine can do more harm than good, often making average miles examples a safer bet. Plus, with many cars living an urban life, parking dents and kerbed wheels can be an issue. And be alert for patchy service histories on a car this new.

MODEL HISTORY

2007: Skoda introduces its second-generation Fabia hatchback. Engine choice is predictably biased heavily towards petrol engines and low running costs for low mileage drivers, although the diesel options do offer high mileage drivers more flexibility. Performance vRS model came later and switched from its predecessor’s diesel power to petrol.

REASONS TO BUY – durable cabin, brand name and values, low running costs, pleasing looks

REASONS TO BEWARE – not for keen drivers, cabin could be wider, popular and therefore hard to find at right spec and price

PICK OF THE RANGE – Fabia 1.4 16v 3

WHAT TO PAY

2007 07 4,495

2007 57 4,685

2008 08 5,185

2008 58 5,445

2009 09 6,005

2009 59 6,255

2010 10 6,930

2010 60 20,330

Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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