The Skoda Fabia is a sensible buy, with low running costs, respectable resale values, and a roomy interior by supermini standards. However, there are better value models lower down the range and the 1.4-litre diesel engine is rather noisy.

Because of the Skoda’s low kerbweight, we matched it to a trailer rather than a full-sized caravan. Even with 170lb ft of torque, acceleration was fairly steady, with a significant drop in engine revs when changing between second and third gear. Pulling from 30-60mph took 18.2 seconds.

Once up to speed, the Skoda felt happy to stay there, with decent stability at the legal limit and little movement from the trailer when slowing down. In the lane-change test, the trailer bounced around behind the car but never pulled the Fabia off course. The hill start proved a tougher test for the Skoda. The handbrake needed a firm pull to stop car and trailer edging backwards, and the some drivers found the clutch smelt very hot after reversing.

For such a small car, the Fabia scored well with our practicality judges. The boot might not be big enough for a full load of holiday luggage, but the 330-litre capacity is reasonable for a car of this size. What’s more, Skoda tells us either the repair kit or optional space saver spare may be used if you have a puncture while towing. We were also pleased to see a trailer stability system fitted to help prevent snaking, something that it isn’t often fitted to smaller cars.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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