The ideal ‘second’ car for families: part four

Welcome to part four of our series of articles looking at ideal second cars for families.

As much as many families could do without the expense of running a second car, and as much as many families really try to manage without, sometimes that just isn’t manageable. Work and schooling arrangements can make it impossible to only manage with one car.

Once you’ve accepted you need a second car though what are your options?

In this series we will be looking at some of the cars often pitched as ‘second’ cars and seeing just how practical they are. If you are looking for technical reviews on these cars, your’re in the wrong place, but if you want to know whether any of these cars will work for your family stay tuned.

The first car we looked at was the Volvo V40, you can read about that here. After that, we tried the Volkswagen Polo Match, you can catch up with that here. The third car we looked at was the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, which you can read about here.

What to consider when looking for a second car:

When you decide to take the plunge and go for that second car, what do you really need to think about? The main thing to consider is what you will need to MAINLY use the car for. Here’s a few things to ask yourself:

  • Will the car be used to commute on a long journey?
  • Will the car need to carry baby or toddler seats?
  • Will the car need to carry older children?
  • Will the boot need to hold a pushchair? If so will it fit?
  • Will you need to carry sports or music equipment for family members?
  • Will you ever need to fit the whole family in the car?
  • Will the car JUST be used for the school run and general running around?
  • Will you be driving the car into a city?

The fourth car we are looking at in this series is the Skoda Fabia. The third-generation ŠKODA Fabia is pitched as being more dynamic and more expressive. It’s stylish and designed with passion. The result, a fresh and modern small car that is sure to steal attention. You can even mix and match the colour trims.

The Fabia is available in four trim levels: S, SE, SE L and Monte Carlo with prices starting from just £10,750 OTR.

skoda fabia

Key features on all Colour Edition models

• 16” Beam alloy wheels 7J x 16
• 3 spoke leather steering wheel
• 6 loudspeakers
• Acoustic rear parking sensors
• Alarm with interior monitoring and SAFE function
• Arkamys surround sound package
• Bluetooth®
• Chrome pack
• Colour Concept (Coloured roof and wing mirror housings)
• Cruise control
• Curtain airbags
• DAB digital radio
• Driver’s and front passenger airbag with front passenger
airbag deactivation
• Electric front windows
• Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
• Front and rear passenger seatbelt warning light
• Front assist
• Front reading lights
• Height adjustable driver and passenger seat
• ISOFIX child seat fittings on outer rear seats
• Leather gearshift knob/handle
• Leather hand brake lever handle
• LED daytime running lights
• Luggage hooks in the boot
• Manual air conditioning
• Maxi-DOT trip computer
• Radio Bolero – with telephone control, SmartLink,
USB, SD Card
• Remote central locking and SAFE function
• Side airbags front
• Speedlimiter
• Steering wheel height and reach adjustable
• Stop/start engine system
• Storage compartments under the front seats
• Tyre pressure monitoring system
• Wheel bolts with anti-theft protection

skoda back

Why it makes a great second car:

  • Feels solid
  • Well built sturdy construction
  • Isofix in rear on two of the seats
  • Nice shape, looks smart
  • Sat nav very good and easy to use
  • Easy to park and manoeuvre
  • Large enough boot for big sports bags, golf clubs etc
  • When shelf in boot is removed the boot can hold a large pushchair – here in the photograph below we have a Maxi Cosi Mura in the boot which is very bulky with a large wheel base, but it fits in here easily
  • Feels spacious for a small car, more so than the Corsa
  • Good mix of options if you need to put various car seats in the rear of the car – you could have two Isofix seats and still fit a Bubble Bum slim booster seat for an older child; you could have one Isofix base, a group 3 booster and still have a slim booster in the middle; or an older child without a booster on one side – lots of options make it a good choice for a second car
  • Ideal little run around for school runs, ease of parking and short trips
  • Handles well
  • Precise steering
  • Works well with your phone, connects quickly and shows texts on screen
  • Good price for a second car

skoda boot

What you might want to think about: 

  • Not great fuel economy on the motorway
  • Engine is too small for any larger trips – so you may need to look at a larger engine if you will be using the car for longer trips
  • Seats weren’t overly snug but some people prefer that

Overall we thought that the Fabia would make a great second car if you only want something for short trips to work, or school runs etc. It is a great price and very well built so should prove good value for money, but if you need something for a longer commute this might not be for you.


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