Skoda introduced the second generation to the world in 2007 at the Geneva Auto Show and brought it to the Indian market in 2008 at the Delhi Auto Expo. The model is listed as one of the popular global hatchbacks and competes with Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20, and i30 in various international markets. As such, Skoda Fabia is extremely popular in the European countries.
The Fabia is currently being sold under a strong discount scheme in India, namely a Rs 50,000 discount. Let’s take a close look at the Fabia and see if it is worth a buy.
Fabia makes an impressive style statement with its bold features and a completely different look from Hyundai i20 or Suzuki Swift. The sharp front design gives it a bold look but the curves at the rear end up making the model cute and soft too, thus offering a degree of masculine sophistication! Alloy wheels, flat roof, and projector headlamps give a touch of classy look and the car definitely looks sophisticated on the roads.
Skoda has various premium cars in the market and the Indian mindset tends to associate the brand with luxury. However,Skoda Fabia interiors lack a plush look or air of luxury at the first glance. The interiors and the dashboard are done in black and dual tone interiors are missing in all variants except the top end model. Single tone interiors done in black are out of fashion and even the compact cars in the small car segment have dual tone.
The multi-functional display on the dashboard is nevertheless impressive. It reveals date, time, outside temperature, fuel consumption and average speed range. The illumination is glossy and the lighting looks good while driving at night.
The Fabia has side view mirror adjustment on the inside and the window buttons are also single touch. There are good enough pockets in the front as well as the doors to keep your array of things that come in handy for to the driver and the passenger.
Seats are comfortable and have ergonomic design. The steering wheel can be adjusted for rake and reach. The rear view mirrors are electronically adjustable and heated in the higher variant. The audio system has auxiliary input for portable audio players and the CD/MP3 has a large multi-functional display.
The Fabia allows remote keyless one touch lock and unlock. The electronically designed key also means that you are not allowed to lose your keys anymore. If you lose your key, you at least have to wait minimum two weeks to get a replacement, says Skoda sales guy!
Skoda Fabia is built on Skoda’s PQ25 platform, a sturdy and large platform which lends a strong chassis to Fabia with MacPherson strut suspension in the front and non-independent rear suspension with a long lower A-arm. Skoda has termed the overall suspension package as the “Rough Road Package” which means the car has raised suspension good enough for the Indian driving conditions clubbed with dampers and returned springs.
The two top end models feature dual air bags one each on driver and passenger side. It also features dual brake assist system and Motor Speed regulator to offer maximum safety while driving.
The Parktronic rear parking sensors further add to the driving pleasure as they alert with a beep when the car nears any obstacle while backing the car. The boot space is 300 litres which is quite comparable to other cars in the segment. It can be further expanded to 1200 litres by folding the back seat.
The Skoda Fabia is available in India in four variants - Active, Classic, Ambiente and Elegance. The company offers six body colours - Candy White, Cappuccino Beige, Magic Black, Brilliant Silver, Satin Grey and Corrida Red.
Another small issue is that the Petrol lock switch inside the car is lacking in Skoda Fabia. This means every time at the petrol pump you have to hand over the keys to the fuel station guy to unlock or you have to get down yourself to have the fuel tanks filled.
Under the hood, the model is powered by diesel and petrol power trains. The 1.4L PD TDI diesel model generates a power of 69 PS @ 4000 rpm and torque of 155 Nm @ 1600 rpm. Another petrol variant is available that is powered by 1.2L MPI engine that delivers an output of 70 PS @ 5400 rpm and a torque of 108 Nm @ 3000 rpm.
The diesel variant is quoted with a mileage of 14.1 kmpl in the city and 18.2 kmpl on the highway. The petrol model delivers a mileage of 12 kmpl in the city and 14kmpl on the highway.
Skoda Fabia spells German engineering through and through. It may be a Czech company but it is clearly a Volkswagen group car. Smooth ride and ultra-fine pick up is one of its assets. During the test ride, it ran smoothly, running on the highway and while returning to the main city area the car turned with finesse at sharp corners. Handling and manoeuvring of the car left us impressed and the whole drive from the heart of the city to the Bypass road and then back into the main city area was a good experience.
|Engine||3 cyl 1198||3 cyl 1422|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||146||146|
|Rear windshield washer||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Average fuel efficiency (city / highway)||41257||41257||41257||41257|
|Driver seat height adjustment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ex showroom price mumbai||486204||534632||609651||653150|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||Elegance||1.2L Highline||Fire Emotion||Mode||Duratech||Asta|
|Power in PS||70||75||90||90||101||80|
|Rear wind shield washer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Average fuel efficiency||16||17||13||16||11||15|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||6.53||5.82||6.2||7.7||6.23||6.4|
The Skoda Fabia has an impressive engine with a good performance. The car comes with an elegant exterior, which will surely appeal to many. The main advantage of Fabia is the brand image, interior accessories like light in glove box, cooling in glove box and many more which adds to the aesthetic value of car.
However, the Skoda Fabia price tag is on the higher side where the base variant Active is priced at Rs. 5 lakh and the top end model Elegance is priced at Rs. 9 lakh (on road). This means that the Skoda Fabia overlaps neatly into the price segment of a Honda City sedan, and Indians may opt for a sedan, rather than a hatchback.
The Fabia’s Interiors may need to be revamped to give it a modern look keeping in mind the new small car entrants in the Indian market. A lower price and tweaked fresh interiors of the car can lead to higher sales volume for the company. Another issue is the doubt people have about the Skoda’s service and costs of spares. An increased and improved service is one of the key things required at the moment to achieve customer satisfaction and hence improve sales of Fabia.