David Motton

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Practical Caravan reviews the Skoda Fabia Estate 1.9 TDI 105 3 – how does it perform in this tough, independent tow car test?

Overview

Most cars in this class struggled with a full load of holiday luggage, but not the Fabia. With the seats in place we managed to squeeze in everything except the large grip back. There are 480 litres even before you start folding seats, which increases the space to 1460 litres.

If the towing mirrors had been easier to fit and the spare wheel more accessible, the practicality score would have been higher. The measly 50kg noseweight limit was frustrating.

Towing

On the test track, the Skoda Fabia Estate 1.9 TDI 105 3 was solid rather than spectacular. The caravan took a long time to settle and pull straight after steering inputs from the driver, although it actually tackled the lane-change test quite well, with a peak G-force reading of 0.75.

Space

The Fabia estate has a great amount of room in the boot. However, the drab interior design is a disappointment, especially when the cabin of the Peugeot 207 SW, the Fabia Estate’s obvious rival, is so much more inviting.

Running costs

It’s a shame, though, that the engine is so loud. It’s the same 1.9-litre as is fitted to the Golf, but the noise is even more noticeable in the Fabia. The upside is the promise of 57.6mpg on the combined cycle.

Technical specs

Kerbweight1265 kg
85% KW1075 kg
Towball limit50 kg
Maximum towing limit1200 kg

Verdict

The Skoda has a very spacious boot, but the test team felt there was too much engine noise. In addition, it was a solid but not spectacular tow car.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It promises good fuel economy
  • Luggage space is good

Cons

  • There is too much engine noise
  • The cabin design is not inspiring
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