It may no longer actively campaign as a budget buy, but Skoda's Fabia has always been the thinking person's value-focused supermini. With over 3.5 million sold since its original launch at the turn of the century, it's always aimed to give its customers more for their money - as does this third generation version.
For a start, it's arguably the most spacious choice in its class from its era, reprising the appeal of the original MK1 model that sold prodigiously for exactly that reason. Back in 2000, Skoda had only quite recently discovered the space-efficient attributes of front wheel drive and with the first Fabia, the brand went the extra mile in maximising the benefits of that layout, creating a supermini pretty much as big inside as some older family hatchbacks from the next class up. Every small car maker had to match it and superminis quickly became so big that the market rather hurriedly created a smaller Citycar segment below them. The Fabia had proved to be a very significant car.
With the second generation version we first saw in 2007, Skoda saw no need of a further increase in size - but did increase their pricing. Suddenly, rivals that had previously looked smaller and more expensive were back on terms with this Czech contender. It was no longer a unique small car proposition. With this MK3 model, launched in 2014, Skoda planned for it to be so again. Hence the provision of the biggest boot in the supermini class and the most spacious rear seat space. It could also be ordered in an eco-conscious 'Greenline' guise that delivered pretty much the lowest running costs it was possible to achieve in this segment in the 2014 to 2018 era. On top of that, styling packages gave this car a bit more attitude. And, as ever, it represented a very affordable way into Volkswagen Group technology that would cost thousands more in a comparable Polo or Audi A1. The original version of this MK3 model sold between 2014 and early 2018, after which it was replaced by a facelifted model range based solely around 1.0-litre petrol power. It's the earlier pre-facelift MK3 Fabia we check out here as a potential used buy.