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.