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Used Skoda Fabia review: 2011-2013

Skoda Fabia 77TSi hatchback.
EXPERT RATING
7
The Fabia's looks were a little more challenging than the Polo's, which was an attractive little car.

When Skoda returned to the local market in 2007 it did so as a member of the VW family. Its cars were based on VW models and were positioned below them as more affordable alternatives.

NEW

The Fabia arrived in 2011 and slotted into the Light Car market below the VW Polo on which it was based.Initially available as a five-door hatch when launched, a wagon was added in 2012. The range was made up of the entry-level 77TSi and the specced-up 77TSi Monte Carlo.

The Fabia's looks were a little more challenging than the Polo's, which was an attractive little car. Where the Polo's lines with smooth and flowing, the Fabia had an upright stance and a high belt line with slab sides and rather stark lines.

The high roof, however, meant those inside had a more confortable ride with sufficient room not to fee squeezed. While the cabin felt quite roomy and was acceptably comfortable it was rather bleak with black plastics and little to make it a more pleasant place to be.

Being a Czech offspring of the Polo the Fabia's mechanical package was all VW. The engine was VW's peppy 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 77 kW and 175 Nm, enough to have it singing along happily in city traffic with plenty in reserve when extra zip is needed.

Its fuel consumption, put at 5.5 L/100 km combined is commendable, although the gloss of that number is somewhat dulled by VW's recommendation to use the more expensive Premium unleaded.

Initially the Fabia was offered only in manual form, with a five-speed gearbox, but the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch man/auto was added in 2012. On the road the Fabia was agile and responsive, its suspension soaked up the bumps well to deliver a comfortable ride.

NOW

While VW's reputation has taken a hit with the troubles it has had with the dual-clutch DSG gearbox, it hasn't been such an issue with the Fabia. The Fabia didn't get the DSG 'box until 2012, and then it was the seven-speeder rather than the six-speed unit that was at the heart of the earlier VW issues. There was a recall of Fabias with the DSG gearbox, however, and that was earlier this year and affected MY13 cars.

The problem related to electrolysis in the gearbox, which could cause the synthetic oil in the DSG to separate, causing an electrical short circuit and the gearbox fuse to blow. If it happened, the vehicle would lose drive and come to a stop.

When checking a Fabia prior to purchase check the owner's manual and specifically check for evidence that the recall has been conducted and any rectification needed has been done. While checking the owner's manual check the car's service record to be sure that your car of choice has been properly maintained.

Cars bought as budget buys can sometimes be overlooked. We recall one case some years ago of a Skoda that was bought because it was cheap and it was treated that way. Eventually the engine seized for a lack of oil and the owner faced a hefty bill for a new engine.

SMITHY SAYS

Solid, well engineered car that performs well, but struggles on the value-for-money scale in the toughest of tough markets.

Skoda Fabia 77TSi 2011-2013
Price new: $18,990 to $21,990
Engine: 1.2-litre, 4-cyl turbo, 77 kW/175 Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch auto, FWD
Economy: 5.5 L/100 km
Body: 5-door hatch, 4-door wagon
Variants: 77 TSi, 77 TSi Monte Carlo
Safety: 4-star ANCAP

 

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2013 $4,300 $11,000
2012 $3,900 $9,240
2011 $3,100 $6,600

View all Skoda Fabia pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$7,439
Based on 4 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,990
Highest Price
$8,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
77 TSI 1.2L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $3,100 – 5,280 2011 Skoda Fabia 2011 77 TSI Pricing and Specs
77 TSI Monte Carlo 1.2L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,100 – 6,600 2011 Skoda Fabia 2011 77 TSI Monte Carlo Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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