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Old 7th November 2009, 12:22   #1
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Default Fabia 1.4 P Elegance

I had purchased a 1.4 Petrol Fabia over a year ago for the daily commute in urban confines, mainly due to the brilliant ride, a cabin with features that shames many D segment cars and the solid "german" feel of it. I chose this particular model as it was the most powerful of the line up. Please note i use powerful very loosely here, and its best left as adequate for city use. A little over a year has gone by and the car is close to 10,000 kms so i thought a quick review is in order.

POWERTRAIN

YES, it is slow, but not as bad as the diesel or the three cylinder petrol. When kept on the boil its a shade off the swift but makes up with the sweetest shifting manual gearbox in the segment. Many users reported having issues with fuel and the car not responding, ECU problems, sluggish throttle response etc. I have used this car for over a year, and fill in IOC Regular (91 ron i am guessing) always and i have not faced any issues with the engine, or reliability of the car. Just got back from a small weekend highway trip, and though it is a tad underpowered and overtaking manoeuvres require a bit of maths, she's a decent highway cruiser, effortlessly holding 120 kph. After that its an uphill climb. 120 kph translates into about 2600+ rpm in 5th. Wind noise very well suppressed, but the apollo acceleres do drum up a bit of noise. Refinement is TOP notch. NVH is non existent, though it is to be noted that it lacks the "creamy" feel of a premium japanese engine. Do not expect to play catch up with anyone though. In town, all you Schumis and Ken Blocks cant ask for more for the urban crawl. In gear acceleration is decent, and power delivery is extremely linear. All in all a relaxing driving experience.

RIDE

Seperate mention of this. The most supple cossetting ride this side of 15 lakhs. The verna we have feels agricultural in comparision.

MILEAGE

A/c always on. Bangalore has lovely weather but is bloody polluted. That translates into about 13kmpl. The MFD is pretty accurate. I compared it with the good old method of calculating. If driven gently 20 litres of IOC regular gives me somewhere between 250 and 270 + kms approx. Manually verified not DTE meter. Occasionally when the frustration of an underpowered hatch kicks in and i cane the engine, i get 10kmpl :P


GOODIES

Cool box - simple feature - works well. Sunday visits to food world and back and my cold cuts and chocolate remain cool

Sunroof - need not be open to enjoy. Airy feeling to the cabin. Brilliant for BLR weather in the morning and late night drives.

Trip & service computer - Cant do without it now

Projector headlamps - Looks better though m sure it cant be THAT much more useful

The sexiest key - to appeal to the spy in all of us, though the rest of the car wont score you any bond girls.

Park sensor with display - Not needed in a hatch but a neatly intergrated.

These are the features worth mentioning. Needless to say it has a comprehensive safety package and the usual features like aux input, power everything, height (rake) adjustable steering & seat, etc etc.

CABIN
Reeks of class. Extremely well put together and finished like all skodas. This cabin (elegance) makes the octavia look like a cave. No rattles. No squeaks except for the centre arm rest which has been opened and closed too many times. Colour palette makes it hard to keep clean, so heavy investment in interior cleaning sprays and solutions is inevitable.

SERVICE COSTS

Service needs to be carried out once a year or every 15000 kms.

OIL FILTER - 270 INR
FUEL FILTER - 1123 INR
ENGINE OIL - 902 x 4 = 3609 INR
ALIGNMENT - 400 INR

The Shell Helix is the main culprit in jacking up the service costs. Parts are not too bad. A cyclist chipped my tail light which set me back 2208 INR. Labour is surprisingly cheaper than Honda ! And guys, Vinayak Cars does a great job. Punctual. Car is clean. Informed service advisors. Honest billing. TAfe access.... BS. Enough said.

A bit of bad news. Bangalore has been experiencing unseasonal rain as a result, one night the plastering in my garage gave way and fell on the roof of my car. Thankfully the sunroof was spared and the resulting damage was a slightly dented roof. The car is veritable tank so to speak.

VALUE

At 8.13 lakhs OTR BLR, its not exactly what anyone would call good value. I would not justify it if you're looking at it from a 'VFM commuter" point of view, you have an Indica for that. But to add just that little bit of exclusivity and pampering to your daily drive, the elegance trim does the job perfectly. The punto is brilliant, but the cabin quality for the price is appalling. For once, a skoda does what it says. The fully specced fabia truly does make one "feel special".

DISLIKES

NO rear speakers. At this price, they need to be shot for that.
No option for choosing interior colour scheme.
Climate control. Missing.
Leather. Missing. (the fabric is SUPERB but an option would not have hurt)
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Old 9th November 2009, 09:17   #2
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Very nice and detailed review Ash. I see that you have become a fan of the German build quality. The sense of security these European cars give you is something else. You have made a special mention of the ride . How comfy are the back seats and do tell us more about the handling of your Fabia.

Glad to see that you are happy with your service centre. A step in the right direction for Skoda. Do keep updating this thread as you much up the kms.
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Old 9th November 2009, 15:01   #3
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Excellent review. Covering up almost all the points and bluntly honest.

13 kmpl in city on the 1.4 engine is v impressive, going by the fact that the 1.2 engine barely does that number, for many Fabia owners here.

@ Dippy -
The Handling is a class apart. You just got to experience it.
The back seat is adequate and comfortable. The leg room is more than adequate. I, however, would have liked a bit more relaxed angle on the rear back, along with some more lumbar & thigh support, esp. on the Elegance trim. Also, the rear centre arm rest (like in many sedans) could be a useful addition.

Have started penning down my own review (for the Classic trim) - to address the VFM aspects of this car .
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Old 9th November 2009, 15:12   #4
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Excellent Review.
This should silence critics of Fabia.
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Old 9th November 2009, 15:12   #5
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@ Dippy - Thanks. The back seat is very comfy for a hatch as you don't get thrown around like other short wheelbase cars. The seat itself is firm and upright with plenty of support. Legroom is compromised if a six footer chooses to get comfy in front, and the transmission tunnel makes it a 4 seater. Handling....its very poised and grippy. But the setup is a little too softly sprung and enthusiasts will find that it tends to "bob" a bit. High speed straight line stability is pretty impressive.

@ Jigbarai - Thanks. Now that you mentioned the arm rest, the arm rest in the front is not very ergonomically designed as it hampers access to the gearshift and handbrake. This leads to lifting it often and resulting in a small squeak from the hinges.
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Old 9th November 2009, 17:34   #6
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Nice review with unbiased comments.

Keep us updating in future..!
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Old 9th November 2009, 18:45   #7
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You are lucky because the 1.4 has been pretty troublesome.
Quote:
FUEL FILTER - 1123 INR
why new fuel filter within 10,000 kms. waaay too early methinks.
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Old 10th November 2009, 11:18   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post

why new fuel filter within 10,000 kms. waaay too early methinks.
An astute observation. But at the time of giving my car for service, she had run close to 10k kms anyway, so to save the hassle i got it changed. You're right, it is changed every 10k km
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Old 8th May 2010, 12:52   #9
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UPDATE
I don't want to jinx things, but the fabia is purring along pretty well. The fuel pump was changed as a factory recall by skoda due to various complaints from other users of the 1.4 fabia. Hardly any diff to me as it was running fine anyway, but it does pull a little bit better from low revs.
Picked up a nice nick from an activa who used my rear bumper as a brake, and the lazy bum that i am i still haven't rectified the roof damage from the plastering. The car is off for service next week. Shall keep the thread updated.
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Old 8th May 2010, 12:59   #10
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Sadly, as far as i know, this car is going off from the 11 cities as it is not being upgraded to BS4. So AS* issues in the offing it seems.
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Old 9th May 2010, 07:50   #11
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@sharad: AFAIK the 1.4 was discontinued long ago by skoda. And this was a (then) euro IV compliant engine.
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Old 10th May 2010, 16:20   #12
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Random pics found on my cellphone.
Attached Thumbnails
Fabia 1.4 P Elegance-moto_0715.jpg  

Fabia 1.4 P Elegance-moto_0787.jpg  


Last edited by Ash_vtec : 10th May 2010 at 16:28.
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Old 10th May 2010, 16:46   #13
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Sadly the key is sexier than the car.

Interesting to note that the clever VW uses the same design of key across its entire range changing only the badge. Bentley, Audi, VW etc all have the same looking key. Lamborghini & Bugatti included although the shape is different, and the latter is leather wrapped.

I wish mine started something more interesting.
Attached Thumbnails
Fabia 1.4 P Elegance-key.jpg  

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Old 1st October 2010, 14:11   #14
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Its been a long time Ash, any updates, you are a really lucky man other wise the 1.4 P has not been kind to most. How is the car holding up. Are the spares expensive?
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Old 2nd October 2010, 01:19   #15
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@MihirC

Will type a detailed review tomo. Got a scanned copy of the last service bill. I honestly thought no one would be interested in this thread since it is a defunct car :P

But in a nutshell

Its running perfectly. Only the battery seems to be giving way, will have to get that checked. Pics and review will follow shortly. Yeah i know m really lucky WRT Skoda.
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