Used Skoda Fabia for Sale | Buy online with Finance
Is a used Skoda Fabia a good buy?
The Skoda Fabia is a remarkably easy small car to live with. It is practical, small enough for stress-free driving on UK roads while big enough to provide plenty of comfort and refinement and it's affordable to buy and run.
Its styling is conservative rather than being overly zany like some other small cars, but there are more exciting paint and alloy wheel options to liven things up - especially on distinctive versions such as the Monte Carlo.
Many of the components which are used to make the Skoda Fabia have appeared in other more expensive cars like the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza. As a result, the Skoda Fabia feels like a well-built, quality product. The reason parts are shared is because VW, Seat and Skoda are all part of the same company.
For those wanting to ferry kids around, there are Isofix points for anchoring child seats securely on the outer rear seats. For peace of mind, all Skoda Fabia models come with a five-star safety rating from crash test safety experts Euro NCAP.
This score was achieved in 2014 and the safety game has moved on since then (Euro NCAP updates its testing procedure regularly, making it ever tougher for new cars, so it is hard to compare a car tested in 2014 with one assessed in 2021), but a five star score is still impressive.
Fabias come with quite a lot of small but practical touches. There are storage compartments under the front seats which are perfect for storing rarely used but important items such as a car’s user manual. An ice scraper is stored in the fuel filler cap and an umbrella stored under the front passenger seat in a number of Fabia versions.
Which used Skoda Fabia should you buy?
The Skoda Fabia is available as a hatchback and estate - the latter offering a very large boot as the rear of the car is longer. There really aren’t many small estate cars to choose from (especially when looking at new and nearly new models), which makes the Skoda one of the best options for those wanting a relatively small car with a lot of luggage carrying capability.
Although standard equipment isn’t the Skoda Fabia’s strongest suit compared to other more expensive small cars such as the MINI Hatchback, equipment such as cruise control, SmartLink (which brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility) and air-conditioning are common on many trims.
The more powerful 'TSI' petrol engines are more frugal and are better suited to driving at faster motorway speeds. There was the option of a 1.4-litre diesel engine for a number of years but these are rarer on the second-hand market as they weren’t as popular, but they do offer the prospect of very impressive fuel economy.
What used Skoda Fabia trim levels are available?
The version of the Skoda Fabia we're focusing on here was launched in 2014 but has had a few updates to equipment, trims and engines since then. Below are all the key specification levels in the Fabia range, including S, SE, SE Drive, SE L, Colour Edition and Monte Carlo.
Skoda Fabia S
If rock bottom costs are top of your list - whether you're paying cash or financing the car, early S models are the way to go. They are best described as covering the essentials but not too much more, as they do without alloy wheels and air-conditioning, although they do come with electric front windows, a digital radio and Bluetooth.
With the Fabia there are a handful of options when it comes to the media system. The best ones are 6.5-inch colour touchscreens that you can connect to your smartphone. The most basic units, which Skoda calls ‘Swing Radio’, come with reduced functionality (such as no sat-nav), more basic graphics and simpler colour schemes. In early S models, made up to 2018, the more basic systems were only five inches in size, after which they moved to the basic 6.5-inch setup.
If you only plan on making calls on the move then the more basic units are more than up to the task, but if you want to be able to use smartphone apps or use built-in sat-nav then one of the higher-spec systems is the way to go.
Because of their affordability and lack of complex equipment, S models sit in very low insurance groups. This means insurance premiums should be nice and low, which is great for new drivers and learners. When trying to keep running costs down, the best engines to go for are the 1.0-litre ‘MPI’ units as they only produce modest amounts of power which insurers look at favourably.
Skoda Fabia SE
The majority of Fabia models in the UK are SE spec as this is something of a sweet spot between affordability and standard equipment. Over and above S models they come with a better sound system, air-conditioning and a more fancy 6.5-inch central touchscreen media system. During 2017 Skoda also introduced rear parking sensors as standard equipment.
Depending on age of car the 6.5-inch media display will be a ‘Bolero’ or ‘Swing Plus Radio’ system. One of the most notable improvements these units have over standard Swing versions is the ability to mirror your smartphone. Not only does this help make sure the graphics are kept up to date, but it means the screen looks familiar and therefore easier to use, plus you can use some of the same apps you would on your phone - such as Apple or Google maps.
Visually there aren’t many differences between S and SE. The latter does come with alloy wheels as standard which really lifts the exterior. SE models could also be ordered from the factory with black, white or silver roof and wing mirrors. This option was called ‘Colour Concept’ although when shopping for a used car it is easier to spot a car with the contrasting roof than relying on the seller to mention ‘Colour Concept’.
Inside there are some welcome touches to make the cabin of SE models feel more upmarket - namely a leather steering wheel. The engine options depend on the age of the Fabia you are looking at, but they follow along the same lines as S models. MPI engines are great for lower insurance but the more powerful TSI engines are the ones to get if money allows due to them being powerful enough to make light work of motorway driving. There are also a good number of automatic models to choose from (Skoda labels its automatic gearboxes as ‘DSG’).
Skoda Fabia SE Drive
SE Drive is a newer Fabia trim as it was only introduced in 2020. Standard equipment includes a touchscreen sat-nav system (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is included, too), front and rear parking sensors and air-conditioning.
Styling is similar to S and SE models which technically sit below SE Drive in the Fabia range. There is a two-spoke leather steering wheel which is quite an unusual and funky feature which has only recently been introduced by Skoda.
As for engines you have a choice of two petrol engines - the 60hp MPI unit and the 95hp TSI unit. The latter is available with an automatic gearbox and is the only engine that can be specified in SE Drive estate form for maximum practicality.
Skoda Fabia SE L
SE L trim has been on offer for a number of years. Back in 2015 SE L models came with cruise control, push button starting, and climate control. That latter is a more fancy type of air-conditioning that allows the temperature of the cabin to be better controlled and therefore saves you constantly fiddling with the dials to get the temperature just right.
While these features are very common nowadays, they weren’t in 2015 - especially on small cars such as the Fabia and its main rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Peugeot 208 - making it feel well kitted out for the money. By the end of 2019 sat-nav was made standard, too.
There were also a number of additional practical touches, such as front fog lights, a centre arm rest for the driver and front passenger and a rear-view mirror which automatically dims based on the amount of light hitting it, which helps to prevent you being dazzled by cars with bright headlights behind you.
For many years SE L models had a large selection of engines to choose from - although the least powerful 60hp MPI engine did not feature. The range included MPI petrol engines, more powerful TSI petrols and TDI diesel engines along with manual and DSG automatic gearboxes.
Skoda Fabia Colour Edition
Colour Edition is best thought of as a special edition as it provides only a few subtle additions above and beyond SE models. As the name might suggest, the bulk of these changes centre around adding a little visual panache.
Common across all Colour Editions is a contrasting roof and wing mirrors. Early models had the option of black or white but silver was added to the pool of options in 2018. Skoda also matches the alloy wheel colour to that of the roof. While silver or black wheels are quite common on UK roads, white wheels are quite rare so are a good option if you want to stand out from the crowd.
Originally the main bodywork of Colour Edition models could be painted in either white, blue, black or a striking green hue. Over time Skoda has added more colours so newer models can be found that are red or grey, plus there is more than one type of blue to choose from.
Only hatchback Colour Editions are on offer and the range of engines tends to be more limited than other specifications such as SE and SE L. That said, the options include the 75hp and 95hp petrol engines, which are the best engines for all-round driving needs covering a mixture of town and motorway journeys.
Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is the sporty model of the range. It uses the same engines that can be found in some other Fabia models so it isn’t really any faster, but the visual changes help make it look more menacing than it really is.
On the outside Skoda has added a black rear spoiler and painted the front grille, door mirrors and roof in black, too. The rear windows are tinted to match the dark overall look and the alloy wheels are black. You might have guessed Skoda’s plan here; add black wherever possible.
Inside there are a handful of sporty features. These include sporty leather seats, a sports leather steering wheel with red stitching and a black centre console (though other Fabia models share the centre console).
Prices can be higher for Monte Carlo models because they are one of the most appealing to many drivers, meaning there is more competition for these. Additionally, Monte Carlo models come with a good amount of equipment as standard - with rear parking sensors, climate control and smartphone mirroring all included. For a short while (during 2016 and 2017) Skoda included a panoramic roof as standard with Monte Carlo spec, which is effectively a large glass panel on the roof rather than metal to let more light in.