I know..Fabia production has been stopped in India by Skoda......a sad end to a wonderful and highly underrated car.(A bit like the palio).Still thought i'd post an ownership review!!!!
It was in August 2011,My family's 800 was over 6 years old and the new Swift was just about to launch.It was time for a new addition in My Family!!!
I went to a Maruti Dealership and test drove the new swift and boy i was spell bound until the point when the Dealer said the Waiting period for a petrol one would be almost 6 months.Also the price they quoted for my 800 was far too less than which i expected considering the fantastic condition it was in.
And then one of my friends suggested me a SKODA.I laughed it off saying it would be way over budget for me(Was also skeptical after the things i had heard about ASS and costly spares).But he insisted i contact a skoda dealer and check out the fabia.My life was about to take a turn!!!!
I called the dealer up and he was immediately ready to get the test drive car at my place.The test drive felt great...it was the first time i had driven a european car(My earlier exploits were limited to only Maruti,Hyundai and Tata) and boy it felt good.Then came the price.
The price quoted to me for the Skoda Fabia Ambiente was lesser than the Swift Vxi.
On enquiring about after sales service and price of parts the sales guy was pretty straightforward and told me there is no auto maker that can match the service made by Maruti but SKoda is trying to improve on its A.S.S
After discussion with my Family (And going by my instinct...had fallen for this fabia and inspite of having heard a lot about poor A.S.S and other negative reviews about skoda) we decided this is the car best suited to our needs.
I also considered i20/punto/polo before deciding on Fabia.
In a few days i would be the Proud owner of a SKODA!!!!
I sold my Maruti 800 individually at a price lesser than what i expected but better than what dealers quoted.It was with a Heavy heart that i parted with my First Love....
And then SKODA FABIA came into my life!!!!!
My choice was the Ambiente 1.2 HTP petrol.THe reason for not choosing a diesel being my Running is not very high and diesel didnt make sense for a person with my type of usage.Another couple of things considered while buying Fabia was the comfort of getting in and out of vehicle (for my parents specially my dad having knee problems used to have a hard time getting in and out of the 800),Premium feel of vehicle(Seems to be a vehicle a segment above),Roomy and spacious interiors,Decent Boot Space and Fantastic to Drive(Guess all European cars are Driver's cars.)
Now iv been driving Fabia since year or so and have clocked over 6800 kms on the Odo and so far its been good.
Coming to the Specifications of Ambiente1.2
Engine Type:1.2 Petrol 3 cylinder engine.
Max Power:75 PS
Max Torque:110 @ 3750 rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 ltrs
Tyres: 175/70 R14 Apollo Acelere with Wheel caps
Other Features Include:-
Driver and Passenger Airbags(This feature has been discontinued by skoda for lower end models and is now present only on top of line variant)
Front driver and passenger door Power Windows
Illuminated glove box
Height adjustment for Driver seat
Four Speakers(2 front door and 2 tweeters)
Rear air conditioning vents under front passenger seats
Illuminated luggage compartment
Height and Length adjustable steering wheel
Height adjustable front seat belts.
MY EXPERIENCE SO FAR...
Exteriors & Design: No complaints really except for the lack of a defogger and rear washer/wiper.The skoda logo and grille looks dashing and car is really very well built.Personally i love the way the doors shut with a sweet thud!!.
Interiors and Features:The interiors are very simple but functional.The quality of plastics on the dashboard are excellent and comparable to the ones used in SUPERB.It has what skoda calls onyx interiors which has beige interiors.It has got lots of cubby holes,cup holders in front as well as rear where you can keep your knick knacks.
The illuminated glove-box feels nice and there is a storage compartment as well on dashboard which can be closed
The gear knobs is one of my personal favorites.
The boot space is one of the prime reasons for me to have chosen this car with 315 litres of boot space is one of the best in class.
It also has a removable rear parcel tray with twin level adjustment.Leg space for rear passengers is decent.
The height adjustable driver seat is also a nice feature.The positioning of the controls for headlights,wipers and indicators might take time getting used to considering they are place in a manner opposite to those generally found on Indian cars i.e. indicators,dipper on left and wiper controls on right which is vice versa on Marutis,Tatas etc.Engaging in reverse gear requires one to push the gear stalk down and slot it into first.(Felt a little awkward initially)
Engine and Performance:The engine is a 3 pot ,1.2 litre petrol which is shared with the Polo.It has a75 PS power output which kinda feels low if you compare it with cars like Swift which has 87 Bhp.Torque is decent and can easily pull over steep inclines.
On pressing the ignition the engine quite literally ROARS to life and sometimes the sound makes you wonder if this is a petrol or diesel.(If you ask me i just love this sound ....gives me an Adrenalin Rush!!!!)
Engine is pretty responsive,Gear shift is slick and slots perfectly like a hot knife through butter
Fuel efficiency: SO far on city gives me around 10-11 km with air con on and highways performance improves to around 15-16 Kmpl.
Ride And Handling:Ride and handling is excellent.The car feels very heavy and is very stable and gives you a sense of confidence at high speeds.Car does well while navigating through corners as well.Suspension is also decent although horrible roads and mumbai potholes sometimes gets to you(Cant really blame the car for this!!!)
After Sales Service:
This is one area im sure everyone wants to know.
Personally so far its been a pretty decent Experience for me.Had the initial 6 month warranty checkup done at Autobahn's service centre at Sewri.This centre is really small and you can have problems finding place to park and in general the space was really cramped.Customer lounge can be improved.In this checkup a normal checkup of oil levels were done.
Also i had found that the car does not lock automatically after going over 20 km/h.I pointed this out to the service guy and he activated this setting for my car.No costs were incurred in this checkup. RATING 7/10
The first scheduled service was done a year after the purchase.This time i visited the state of art service centre at kurla as claimed by skoda.This was better than the sewri workshop with an improved customer lounge.You could see from the glass enclosure the work being carried out on your vehicle.
This service involved Oil change for engine,Brake testing,servicing,Wheel alignment and balancing.The total cost of which came to around 8000/-
RATING 7/10 (This could have been better if they had given me the car in time.Before reaching i had confirmed with service personnel that i would be waiting till service was complete and would be driving it away personally.I reached there around 11 am and was told i would get the car back by 5pm but it wasn't until 7:30 pm that i got back delivery. )
Illuminated Glove box useful to find things in dark.
315 litres of boot space(The new Dzire has 316 litres so not bad for a hatchback)
Excellent Quality interiors,Spacious and Comfortable
Overdose of Beige(This is just another of my personal opinions ) and tends to get very dirty...Reason why i chose a darker shade for my seat covers.
Engine is a bit noisy especially if you drive with the windows rolled down.
The bonnet release lever is present on the passenger side..ideally it should be on driver's side(Once nearly had the panel below dashboard ripped off by a passenger when i asked for opening bonnet during a security check somewhere...guy mistook panel for bonnet release!!! )
Fuel efficiency could have been better(If you compare it with competitors)
Accessories which are costly(Eg a single wiper blade cost me 500Rs!!! if you compare i used to get a pair for 300 for my 800...Well maybe im a little harsh here but still......
Power Windows button has come off on the passenger side.
Overall it has been a good journey so far and hope it continues the way it is.
Hope folks find this review helpful.Let me know your feedback on the