Like driving a cushion, but leans a bit around corners and 1.9 diesel is noisy
Very comfortable for the driver and passengers. Great visibility and a classy interior
Front and side airbags are standard, but curtain airbags will cost extra
We've no worries thanks to Skoda's reputation for reliable cars and excellent customer service
More than four will be a proper squash; the boot is a really useful size and shape, however
CD/iPod connection standard, but air-conditioning will cost you extra
The Skoda Fabia Estate is very well behaved at high speeds, and there's not a great deal of noise in the cabin unless you buy the tractor-impersonating 1.9 diesel engine. The steering is light and accurate, and there's more than enough grip if the roads are wet, although the whole car leans quite a bit around tighter bends, due to the soft suspension. On the plus side, it's very comfortable, and it absorbs bumps well.
The big plus here is the boot - compared with those of other supermini estates, such as the Peugeot 207 SW, it's absolutely vast, and really easy to access. There's also more rear legroom than in many rivals. The dashboard is clearly set-out, so finding the iPod port in the dark won't be too difficult. However, the plastic it's made from, while feeling sturdy, looks very dreary. Functional, but not fun.
Mechanically, Skoda has a pretty good reliability record, so it's unlikely you'll end up stranded. The interior may look boring, but it should stand the test of time.
The Skoda Fabia Estate might cost a bit more than its main rivals, the Renault Clio and Peugeot 207 estates, but it'll keep its value better if you resell it in the future.