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Old 22nd July 2011, 16:27   #1
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Default Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Please excuse me for the long post, could not avoid it.

The story goes like this:

We had been using one car till about three months back, my daily drive, the rugged and versatile FORD FUSION PLUS tdci and it was a peaceful life.

My wife's job changed to a school in a close by area, about 4 kms from our place in Delhi, to another school. (She teaches Physics).

Then cropped up the requirement for another car for her, as both our kids also go to the same school, and depending on public mode/s of conveyance was ruled out as the kids are too young for the rigours.

We discussed and decided that we SHOULD go in for another car.

I talked to my boss, and since I was entitled for a car from my office, within the limit of Rs. 4.50 lacs, he readily allowed an official allocation of Rs. 4.50 lacs. We decided that this time around, we must stick to the purchase to within the Rs. 4.50 lacs and not to overspend (amount over and above Rs. 4.50 lacs was to be paid by me from personal account). It would be our seventh car within a span of 5 years.

So, things were settled, and we began looking for cars within our budget.

The Purchase:

The car had to satisfy the following criteria:

1. The car has to be safe.

2. It must have child locks for the rear doors.

3. It has to be a soft driving car.

4. It has to be red in colour.

5. It has to be spacious.

6. It has to be within Rs. 4.5 lacs.

7. It must not have OEM ICE.

8. The interiors must not be beige.

9. The suspension should be firm, not cushy and bouncy like the City, nor hard like the Fusion.

I would like to mention here that we have been spoilt for practicality and space by FUSION. The people in my office call it TATA 407/Truck. It has been superb, be it the city driving, shopping, or the highway drive (I have a sealed sub in the boot, and the fusion carries two gas cylinders and luggage in the boot without removing the sub).

With the requirements and the budgetary restrictions (self imposed) in mind, we started looking for cars. We decided that I would have a go at all the cars fulfilling our criteria and finalize and then my wife would give her seal of approval and we would buy that car.

We enquired, and even test drove all the cars within our budget.

1. Tata Indica ev2 (diesel).
2. Maruti swift.
3. Chevrolet Beat.
4. Nissan Micra.
5. Ford Figo.
6. Fiat Punto.
7. Hyundai i10.
8. Toyota Etios Liva.

The car we did not look for was Skoda-Fabia, because of the adverse reviews given by fellow BHPians.

Indica ev2: This car had all the things going in its favour. Diesel, mileage of 25 (claimed), and ease of maintenance, everything.


I have had the Indigo LX for about 40,000 kms (a little under 2 years). The vehicle was good, even the after sales services were good (when compared to Honda). It never made any tantrums, no truants thrown, nothing. Going by my past experience I called the salesperson to the office. He came, without the test drive vehicle. I did not feel like getting a test drive, and we sat across on the negotiation table.

We discussed and deliberated. I offered him 4.62 lacs for the LS, breaching even the financial limit of Rs. 4.5 lacs, but the Tata man did not budge beyond 4.65 lacs, and went away. That was 7.00 p.m.

I have heard many a times that "WHATEVER THE GOD DOES IS FOR GOOD". I was saved. The reason: I did not look at the brochure which said there was no heater in the LS version.

Got it confirmed from the salesman and thought, good that the deal didnot materialise.

And, this was before I had looked at it/ridden it.

The next morning, the salesman brought a test drive vehicle to the office, I, with one of my colleagues drove it, hard, on the Greater Noida Expressway. The car seemed good, very peppy engine, good pickup, average, or may be slightly above average airconditioning and very very ordinary equipment and finishing levels, and very friendly sales executive.

But, the space-by God its very very average, to the very least.

I am 6'1", and sitting at the back seat, I had my head glued, and I say Glued to the roof of the car, with my knees digging into the driver's seat which was pushed back for driver with 5'7".

But, perceiving that most of the times, I would either not be sitting in the car, or be the one driving it, gave in to the lure of a diesel for about 4.5 lacs. I even ignored the lack of heater in the car.

We asked for the LS model as no OEM ICE was required.

What happened later is another story. My wife saw the car and rejected it outright.


swift: Having heard and read so much about the rattling issues with the interiors of swift, I was not very positive about swift. But still went ahead and called for a test drive. The Salesperson brought a white zxi to my office. I had a drive. Felt good. Rather good. Very peppy engine. But space. It is a luxury on the swift. Really short on space. Fit and finish, on the zxi, felt okayish type.

Had a conversation with the salesman. No discounts. He gave a quote of Rs. 4.51 lacs for the Lxi version.

Shortlisted it, but kept it on hold, since the salesman told that Maruti had stopped production of this model and a newer model is shortly being introduced.

Beat: First impression: The car is dated on the inside. All black with blue dials looked good, but the car was cramped for space. Plus, the engine felt docile and tame. Add to it the almost non-existent boot, and it failed the list.

Micra: Spacewise, Micra also didnot come up to the expectations, and the car seemed to be underpowered. The round dials on the console seemed like video game. And the contoured and slopy back with tail lights protruding. So, rejected it.

Figo: I had bought two Figo cars for my friends very recently, and didnot feel like testing it again. I asked the salesman to take the car home for my wife to have a look. She rejected Figo saying "yeh to hamari car ki chhoti behen hai, nahin leni".

So, it was out of question.

Punto: The car felt good, and stable at speed. I liked it for the beauty it was offering at this price. Add to it the contest by Fiat where we could get atleast 13,500 worth of petrol for free. And if I was lucky, I could upgrade to diesel version for no extra price. I didnot foresee myself to be that lucky is a different case.

But space was at a very high premium in this car also. So, almost rejected it.

I10: The car was outright rejected by my wife. She didnot like the design, and more importantly, the gear lever of the car.

Etios Liva: Again, I did not get to test the car. It was rejected by my wife for the red-black interiors and the console in the centre of the dashboard.

What to do now, no more options in this price bracket.

Decided-lets have a look at Skoda Fabia.

Talked to the dealership who told me that a version very near to my mentioned amount (Rs. 4.5 lacs) was available. He brought over the car, and, to my surprise, the car was good. It met most of my requirements, it was good on space inside, very stable at high speeds, very soft driving, good quality-even better than my TRUCK, and good equipment level-the going seemed good, atleast for me.

So, decision was made. I would get my wife to have a look at all the cars I had zeroed in on.

We had an off day on 9th July. I took my family to the various showrooms in the vicinity for a closer look at the various options.

The good thing, or was it really, was that the first showroom that came our way was Skoda's. Went in and had a look at the Fabia. And it was red in colour. Wife loved it. So much so that she made a decision right there. We will get ourselves Fabia this time.

I too, liked the fabia. So, talked to the salesman, but he was not willing to give it at 4.5 lacs, and nowhere near it. The best he could give was 4.68 lacs.

I said, okay, lets give it a try. I would talk to some more dealers and see if I could get anything.

Then started phone calls and more phone calls. I made calls to all the Skoda dealers in and around Delhi and called their salesmen to my office. One of the dealers, Arshia Motors, Faridabad, agreed to my price offer of Rs. 4.5 lacs, but told me that delivery would be on 19th of this month. Seemed okay, so gave a booking amount of Rs. 10,000, and asked my accounts department to get a cheque for Rs. 4.40 lacs made in favour of the dealer.

Meanwhile, I continued my search for a Red Fabia at my price, and luckily found a red classic available with Jai Auto, Mathura Road. Whats more, he offered a ready delivery of the same. I asked him to wait since Arshia had promised me delivery on 20th.

On 17th July, the salesman at Arshia informed me that red colour has not been assembled and would get delayed, and white and silver cars had been received and he could deliver any of these colours if I wanted. Red Fabia would take two-three days more.

I told him I would wait for 2-3 days.

Again, on 20th, I called him up. He informed that it would take still more time.

Losing hope, I called up Jai whom I had asked to wait.

Jai Motors had ready Red Fabia in stock and could be delivered the same day.

The price was 4.5 lacs and the colour red. What more could I ask for.

So, on the 21st July, got the earlier cheque cancelled, and a new cheque made in favour of Jai Motors and reached the dealership.

Checked the car, handed over the cheque and came back to office.

Had a quick lunch and went back home, took the family along and reached the dealership at 5.30 in the evening.

There it stood, gleaming under the lights.

Laal Pari. (The name was given by my daughter).

Skoda Fabia HTP Classic
The car was delivered at 7.00 p.m.

We took the car to a temple and had a puja performed by Purohitji.

I drove the car for a total of 35 kms.

Initial observations:

The steering is very very nimble, and works on the slightest touch.
The quality of the interiors is good.
The doors shut with a force, even more than my Fusion.
The owner's manual is a straight import from Czechoslovakia and carries details for the Roomster, the Scout and the Combi.
The paint quality is good.
Fit and finish is good.

Observations at 200 kms:
If you leave the blower on at the time of switching-off the ignition, the Air-conditioner would start automatically when the car is started the next time.
The car is ultra soft (I drive a Fusion TDCi regularly).
The air-conditioning is REALLY GOOD, chills the cabin instantly.
The rear parcel tray is useable in more than one modes. Real utility.


Comparisons with the Fusion, upto 200 kms:

Apparently, Fabia is longer than the Fusion, by 10 mm.
It is built to last, and doesn't give the impression of cost cutting. Ditto with the Fusion. After two and a half years and 37000 kms, I can vouch for that. No rattling issues thus far. Even after glass shattering music system working, mostly at close to 1/2 levels.
In-cabin space is more than Fusion.
Driving fabia makes me feel like I am driving a sedan, while Fusion is more like a SUV.
Ground clearance-Drive the fabia carefully, or else the underbody will scrape/kiss the speed-breakers, although the suspension is not as bouncy/vague as the Honda City. This has been a non-issue, absolutely a non-issue with the Fusion. The Fusion comes with the attitude-Take me along buddy, and don't ever think about the road, or the undulations.
Gear throws-On the Fabia, slightly rubbery, but precise. On the Fusion, nice and short.
Driveablilty-City-This is the point where Fabia scores over the Fusion. Put is in the fifth gear and it will go on even at 30 kmph. This does not hold good for Fusion. The Diesel engine, with its pwer limitations, makes you work the gears in the city.

Last edited by deepfusion : 6th August 2011 at 14:48. Reason: Addition of details
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Old 22nd July 2011, 16:50   #2
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Look how beautiful she looks
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Old 16th August 2011, 17:54   #3
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Default Update at 500 kms

We drove the car for 300 kms on 13th August, 2011.

I shall put the update while comparing the Fabia with the Honda City Gxi and Fusion Plus.

The Trip:

The car was driven for a trip to our native place in Haryana, 150 kms one way.

The route:

Is a mixture of National Highway no. 10 and then State Highway. Both are in real bad shape, with NH10 undergoing road widening and teh SH also undergoing repairs and road widening. In addition thereto, there are monstrous speed breakers, which should be really named shocker breakers and potholes which would put craters to shame.

The Car and the occupants:

The front seats were occupied by my wife and myself.

The rear seats were taken by our kids.

The boot had an empty cylinder while going to and a filled up cylinder while coming back. It also had a kids' scooter (three wheeled battery operated).

The manual mentions a bootspace of 300 ltrs., just 15 ltrs. from the 315 ltrs. of the Fusion, but the car is terribly short on bootspace. I had to dismantle the rear of the scooter to fit it into the boot, and the parcel tray also had to be removed. The Fusion, on the other hand, is very generous on the boot space. I have a sealed sub in the boot and still I could have taken the scooter and the cylinder together, without even touching the parcel tray.

The drive and comfort:

The car is very fun to drive. The soft steering is emothionless. It doesnot convey anything to the driver. Its dud. It is as dead as the Honda City, but just. While the steering on teh City is dead at all speeds, Fabia's steering goes stiff as the speed increases. The Steering on the Fusion on the other hand, talks to me. It gives all the feedback on the kinds of roads being driven along. Just perfect.

The car is spacious otherwise. The fusion also is very generous on space for the occupants. Leg space is good in both the cars. I have taken the Fusion quite a no. of times with three adults in the rear seats and the boot full to the hilt, and it has never made me feel the lack of the third box in the back. No such experience so far on the Fabia though.

The car absorbs bumps and goes over the speedbreakers with aplomb, very unlike my City which was terribly in love with speedbreakers, and kissed each and everyone of them. I was very skeptical of the statement of the Skoda Salesman when he said "Sir, don't worry about the ground clearance. It won't let you down." I think he told truth. The GC of the Fabia is just 158 mm, but it goes over all the speed breakers coolly. The bumps are absorbed by the suspension beautifully.

The Fusion on the other hand, gives a damn to the speedbreakers with its 190 mm GC and stiff suspension.

TheFabia feels stable at speeds upto 105 kmph, the Fusion is stable upto 135 kmph, and the City, well the lesser said the better. As soon as the car crossed 100 kmph, it felt like I was driving a boat, not a car.

The milleage:

The city gave a mileage of 14-16 kmpl while the Fusion gives 20+. No figures here for the fabia still.

The cabin:

The cabin of the Fusion and Fabia are roomy, but City felt cramped, especially in the rear, though the beige interiors made it feel roomy.

These were the first impressions after a short trip.

I shall update on the fuel economy figures when I refill. As of now, out of the 31.74 ltrs. of fuel, i think about 12-13 ltrs. must be there in the tank.
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Old 19th August 2011, 21:59   #4
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial ownership forum; thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th August 2011, 09:42   #5
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

The photographs:

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01302.jpg

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01305.jpg

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Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01308.jpg

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01310.jpg

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01313.jpg

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01315.jpg

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01318.jpg

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01320.jpg

Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red-dsc01321.jpg
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Old 20th August 2011, 10:21   #6
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Congratulations on the new acquisition. The comparison with city and Fusion was really useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfusion View Post
If you leave the blower on at the time of switching-off the ignition, the Air-conditioner would start automatically when the car is started the next time.
If you keep the temp control knob to extreme left (coolest), the ac kicks in automatically when you switch on the blower. To avoid this, keep the temp knob at slightly higher than coolest.
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Old 20th August 2011, 10:24   #7
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Congratulations on getting a car of your choice in every which way !!! Look forward to your regular updates on your experience with Fabia. The photos were very good.

Wish you many kms of safe drives.
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Old 20th August 2011, 10:31   #8
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajcs View Post
Congratulations on the new acquisition. The comparison with city and Fusion was really useful.



If you keep the temp control knob to extreme left (coolest), the ac kicks in automatically when you switch on the blower. To avoid this, keep the temp knob at slightly higher than coolest.
Thanks.

I was surprised at this A.C. thing. I did not find a mention of this (feature) in the manual.

I shall remember this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaren View Post
Congratulations on getting a car of your choice in every which way !!! Look forward to your regular updates on your experience with Fabia. The photos were very good.

Wish you many kms of safe drives.
Thanks, buddy.

My wife is learning to drive the car these days (on East Delhi roads).

Last edited by bblost : 5th September 2011 at 13:55. Reason: back to back posts. Please use multiquote when replying to multiple posts.
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Old 20th August 2011, 10:38   #9
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Congrats on your new acquisition. Wishing you many happy miles with her. Drive Safe.
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:12   #10
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinj12 View Post
Congrats on your new acquisition. Wishing you many happy miles with her. Drive Safe.
Thanks, Sachin. The car is indeed very good.
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:33   #11
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Default 1000 kms update

Had a chance to drive the Fabia for 600 kms this weekend.

The impressions:

The steering is too soft, especially at very low speeds.

It takes just the little finger's action to swerve the car either side.

The gearshift is also pretty soft and precise.

But there is a lack of pulling power. It takes its own sweet time to gather speed.

May be, its the fact that I am used to driving diesel and the initial torque and grunt is missing while picking speed.

Mileage:

The tank was filled with 39.18 ltrs. of petrol a while back.

The car was driven for about 50 kms. in the city, for short distances in each trip. Thereafter, it was driven for 550 kms. yesterday when it cried "I'm thirsty" again. So, an overall mileage of 15.19 kms. to a ltr. was attained.

I suppose it is not bad considering that the odometer now reads 1132 kms. The engine is just opening up, and I think the mileage is good for a petrol car.

Comfort:

It is as spacious as the Fusion. The under thigh support is better. The telescopic steering makes it very easy to drive for long durations. I drove for two+one+two hours, with breaks in between, and never felt tired, on Saturday night.

Yesterday, I drove it for three-and-half hours continuously, then took break for dinner and again drove for two hours, and didn't feel tired.

Lighting.

The headlights of the car are feeble, more so if it is raining. Nothing can be seen on the road, and you are at the mercy of the car driving ahead of you.

I suppose some auxiliary lights are immediately required.

Please suggest options that are not heavy on the pocket.
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:55   #12
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Congratulations on your new buy , we have heard a lot about the After Sales Service of Skoda, in a very negative way.

Please let me know if that was a criteria in your decision making? Also what is the service interval of Fabia?
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Old 5th September 2011, 11:24   #13
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

What happened to Fusion?
Do not let go of that car. That car is an incredible VFM with a rare mix of all the right traits. In fact there is no good replacement for that car in market now.

And Yes. Many congrats on the new car.
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Old 5th September 2011, 11:26   #14
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularIndian View Post
Congratulations on your new buy , we have heard a lot about the After Sales Service of Skoda, in a very negative way.

Please let me know if that was a criteria in your decision making? Also what is the service interval of Fabia?
Thanks buddy.

A.S.S. was not the criterion while selecting the Fabia.

After having owned a Tata and a Honda, and presently bearing with Ford A.S.S., I was like, I will deal with them, let's just give this brand a try.

And so far, the experience with the sales team has been great. Can't say about the service guys.

But in any case, that is still a year away.

And if you have to bear with them once every year, then it doesn't matter.

Isn't it?

BTW, the car is solid.
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Old 5th September 2011, 11:29   #15
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Default Re: Laal Pari-My new Skoda Fabia Flash Red

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
What happened to Fusion?
Do not let go of that car. That car is an incredible VFM with a rare mix of all the right traits. In fact there is no good replacement for that car in market now.

And Yes. Many congrats on the new car.
The Fusion is very much with me. I can't and won't part with it. I have very recently upgraded the music system in the car. Its my love, a piece of my heart.

Thanks for the wishes.
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