This review is for the wife's first Fabia, a 2008 bottom of the range model, bought as her first ever new car.
When new, the car was great, but when the new car smell faded, it became easy to see that the Fabia had been built down to a price.
Firstly, the interior was very flimsy, the rear parcel shelf broke its mountings off the plastic panels inside the boot, twice. The dealer claimed something heavy had been placed on the shelf; the only thing on the shelf was a stuffed toy, not impressed. The heater was supposedly manual climate control, no hot or cold as such, but numbers that presumably corresponded to degrees Celsius, however it really required a lot of fiddling, so in no way was it any better than a normal heater. The air-conditioning was frankly rubbish, which brings me onto the steamy windows; at the first hint of damp weather, they would steam up and the aircon wouldn't even begin to clear it. The blower on full power would clear the windscreen, but the side windows would need clearing with a cloth.
One nasty habit of the Fabia, is that driving in heavy rain, water flows across the side windows obscuring the mirrors, and coupled with the steaming, it makes motorway overtakes in wet weather a bit of a lottery.
One day, the engine management light came on and the car ran a bit funny. It was taken to the dealer, who found no fault and turned the light out, it lasted 3 miles before it came on again, and once again, the car went back, no fault showed up and off we went. This time it lasted about 100 metres before we had to go back. Cue much head scratching from the dealer. They updated the software in the ECU and once more we departed, another 100 meters and the light came on. By this stage we were ready to burn the car in the dealer's showroom, but this time the machine had recorded the camshaft sensor was dead, that was replaced and all was well.
As the miles mounted up, the car aged quickly, motorway driving was a chore as at the legal limit, the wee engine was screaming its head off; a relaxed cruiser, it isn't.
It wasn't exactly easy on fuel either, averaging around 40 MPG in mixed use, so when the 3 year finance deal was over, we were glad to get shot, then she went and bought another one...