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Old 5th August 2011, 14:58   #1
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Default Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Ok, let me lay it out straight off.. I cancelled a Honda Jazz booking to buy a Skoda Fabia.

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As Obelix would say," these car buyers are crazy"

The search for a new car, is similar to Professor Calculus following the pendulum, and equally frustrating. A lot of soul searching later, came to the conclusion that we ( my wife and I) required a hatch and not a sedan. However, the boot space was important. I still remember when I had to pick up my brother and sis-in-law from the airport, and the struggle with fitting in 2 decent sized suitcases into the Santro. Secondly,even though the petrol prices are shooting up, my running does not exceed 1200km a month ( this includes a Mumbai-Pune trip). So a petrol car was just fine. Lastly, as I had my heart set on a sedan earlier, the expectation was that the cabin had to make me feel as if I were in a sedan ( yea..Obelix is right)

Based on the above criteria,the hatches shortlisted were Honda Jazz and VW Polo. The Polo cabin also seemed a bit spartan to me. No issues with the drivability through.Due to the waiting period quoted did not look at the 1.6. The Jazz won out, as it had more space, extra features ( USB/Electronic ORVMs , steering mounted controls).

Paid the booking amount to Linkway Honda on 21st August and settled down for a delivery around Dussera and at the latest Diwali.However,the delivery date kept getting pushed back with no time frame being given, with the final straw being given an answer of,"sometime in december"

Around this time, saw the Skoda diwali offer and in a fit of petulance called Autobhan.I was not expecting much honestly. Surprisingly, the experience turned out to be good. The SE called back within 10 minutes, and said they would get a Fabia(Petrol) to my place by 4:00. The car arrived punctually at 4:00 ( which impressed me a lot)..this was a good start.

Took the test drive and what really struck me was that the Cabin felt good and premium. Very nice and airy. The car seemed very well put together, and the suspension/handling was very good.The boot space was more than adequate for our needs. In short did not feel like a step down from the Jazz.

However, the Skoda horror stories, 3-pot engine and the engine noise were playing around in my mind.The SE then volunteered to get the Fabia 1.6 the next day to help me reach a decision. Again, they were punctual and this time took a longer TD. In short, had a blast driving the car. The wife very grudgingly accepted that it was a good car. She was completely captivated by Jazz, so was not about to let up without atleast some token resistance:

" We never had issues with the product, its the Skoda name you have issues with , remember?"
" You did not like the potruding transmission tunnel in the Polo. The Fabia has the same?"
" no steering mounted controls? thought that was of upmost neccesity ( my words) to you"
" oh!! Manual ORVMs?"
"no USB/iPOD"
"Skoda"
"Skoda"

So went on to T-BHP, and found this excellent ownership thread:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...-clothing.html (Skoda Fabia 1.6 - Wolf in Sheep's clothing)

Wrote to Rajcs, and he was very helpful.Gave me good advice, and even called me up on an SOS PM.

Was still in two minds, till the SE told me that they had one car with the 15" alloy wheels, and rear demister/wash/wipe. Skoda had shipped two cars by mistake (White and Silver), and these cars were only to go on sale after the present batch of Fabia's were sold out .

Hmmm...I was getting an upgraded model which was still not on the streets at a price where the Diwali discounts were applicable!!

Sounded too good to be true , so went ahead and booked the Fabia1.6 Elegence ( silver as white was not available). Rang up Linkway Honda and cancelled my Jazz booking. The experience with Linkway has been good, but the delay and the complete lack of information from their/Honda's side was a sore point. The Jazz is a great car, unfortunately at first the bottleneck was the price, and now it has become the delivery. If only Honda sorts this out soon.

So far so good, but by nature I do not trust too good to be true situations.

Booking & delivery experience from the dealership
The SE sent across the VIN once my booking amount was processed. Checked it on the following site ( again kindly provided by Rajcs)

octinfo.com - Škoda Octavia info

Shocked to find that the manufacture date was April 2011!! It was a 6 month old car.

Got into a full-on panic attack. Called the SE, blasted him, demanded the cheque back, raved , ranted and the works. He was very apologetic and assured me that they had only received the car in October. Anyway, they conferenced the dealer manager from Skoda ( Umesh Chapekar) and he gave me the followig reason:

The Fabia 1.6 is a CKD and not built here. Its only assembled here in the Chakan plant. To assure me that the car was not in the dealer's stockyard, he asked them to show me the dispatch details as well as Form 22.

By then Autobhan sent me the dispatch details, which showed that the car had been dispatched from their Chakan plant on 3rd October.

Right or wrong, the Fabia still felt like a correct decision and confirmed my booking.

Finally on a Saturday, two days before delivery, armed with the TBHP PDI document, I went across to their stockyard at Bhiwandi, and got the second shock. The car had 14" Alloys and no Rearwash/Wipe/Defogger.

Went straight to the Prabhadevi Showroom and transformed from a mild mannered geek to... a not so mild mannered geek. Seems there was an issue with their system, and the car showed as the new model on their database. Told them that it was not my issue. I wanted the new car by next Saturday OR in case of a delay, wanted an additional 3 years free servicing ( including labour).

What happened next really impressed me. They called up the Chakan plant ( the plant was closed for 2 weeks preventive maintainace), and then promised me that they would dispatch a car the moment the plant opened on Tuesday. Well, on Tuesday, they sent me the VIN ( August manufacture), on Wednesday the car was in their Showroom. Thursday I took a look at it. They got it registered on a Friday and delivered the car on Saturday- 5th November.Since my wife wanted Cappuccino Beige, got the colour changed from Silver to C.Beige.

Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-fabia-side.jpg

The car feels solid and the doors make a satisfying thunk on closing it. The fit and finish are really good, and everything seems well put together.I was worried about the low ground clearance of the car. However, it has taken all bumps/speedbreakers ( including the illegal concrete ones) well with no scraping. Its seems smaller on the outside than it actually is. Open the doors, get in and suddenly it seems like a different car.

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Oddly, the DRL(Daylight Running Lights) do not remain on in this car. Might be a tweak made by Skoda in tune with India,as DRL is not a legal requirement here. The other surprise was that the Odo shows FE in kmpl instead of the l/100km as earlier.


The delivery experience was good. There was personal attention through out. We had to wait for 2 hours to get the car as they had 3 other deliveries scheduled at the same time. However, spent the time looking at the Yeti, Superb and Laura. The Dealer stuck to their commitment ( and did not commit when they knew something was not possible) which impressed me. Got the standard gift of chocolates and Ganpati idol.

Its early days, and don't want to jinx the car.. but would give Autobhan,Prabhadevi a 5/5 for their promptness as well as turn around time.

Having said this, the experience reiterated once more on how important the basics are i.e. test drive before making a decision, complete a PDI before taking delivery, and generally be alert.


On Road Price/Discounts
OTR : Rs. 6.93 ( the car is registered in Pune, as I have a house there).This included the cost of Insurance, 2+2 years warranty, RSA, Skoda Assure ( basically zero depreciation).
They gave a 70K discount (Diwali offer + corporate discount). This brought the OTR to Rs.6.23 Lacs.

Mud flaps, Floor mats were thrown in for free, though it was quoted at 6K earlier.

I also asked them to install the Caska HU, as it gave me the additional functionality of bluetooth, GPS, USB, iPod,Aux. This costs 45K. Autobhan offered 10K ( originally 8K, which was made 10K during delivery)for the Skoda HU, so the final cost for Caska was 35K.
Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-caska-closeup.jpg
Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-caska-ipod.jpg
Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-caska-mike.jpg

A word about Caska
The Hu fits in well and does not require any cutting of the dash for fitting. It has a remote which is easy to use and a boon for rear seat passengers.The interface is easy to use and one gets used to it fairly soon.

The only quibble is that the buttons are not backlit, and it becomes a bit of an issue while driving at night. Its not a dealbreaker, as one knows the buttons intutively by then. However, knobs for the volume button would have been better than buttons.
The mike looks large in the photograph, but is fairly inconspicuous. The sound quality is good, and making/recieving calls has been made easy. Callers do not realise they are on the speaker till its pointed out to them. However, only the number comes up when someone calls and not the name.


The original seat fabric is really nice and soft. However, it is not for a careless owner. The chances of me cleaning it every weekend with shampoo were neglibile, so opted to get them covered. Went to Orchis in Vikroli and had art leather seat covers fitted, art leather trims and a leather steering cover. This cost me around 10K (including labour).

Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-steering-wrap.jpg
Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-fabia-seat.jpg
Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-fabia-backseat.jpg

These are a few of my favourite things..
1. The engine. Its a hoot to drive.One really need not strain the engine for power. There is no sudden surge, but is a gradual build up which suits my driving style.( Also, I have only driven a Santro earlier, so can only use that as a frame of reference while commenting on drivibility)
2. Cabin feels really plush to me. One of my collegues first comment was " feels like a sedan from inside".
Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-cabin.jpg
3. Good handling, and the car feels like a tank ( solid and sturdy)
4. Love the "thunk" every time the door closes
5. The rear wash/wipe/defogger will be a boon during monsoon, on the Mumbai-Pune trips. It was there on my Santro, and believe me, its a boon.
6. Like the alloys
7. Small features that show thoughfulness e.g. pen holder clips/ticket clip in the glove compartment, illuminated glove compartment and boot, ticket holder on the windscreen, cabin lights coming on on locking /unlocking the car, lights in the front as well as for rear passengers.
8. Appreciate the driver height adjust as well as the Steering adjust for reach/rake
9.Wiper/indicator stalks feel solid. These are on the "wrong" side, but one gets used to it in less than a day.
10. MFD. Its great to pull up data on Average FE, Realtime FE, Distance to empty, Average Speed, Current Dpeed, Trip metre1/tripmetre2 at the simple push of a knob on the wiper stalks while driving.

A bit of nitpicking..
1. Lack of EORVM. There is a gap between the mirror and body. The plastic seems to be badly fitted (circled)
Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-orvm.jpg
2. High transmission tunnel in the rear
3. No steering controls
4. The earlier models had a convex mirror in the ORVM ( a bit like the new Fiesta). The current model has a flat mirror.
5. Shockingly no dead pedal. Not a huge deal, but would have definately helped.
6. Tyre noise. Maybe its just me, but I find the noise to be terribly distracting. Reduced the pressure to 30 PSI and there has been some improvement. There is no noise on tar roads, however, the moment it gets on the a concrete road, the noise starts filtering into the cabin.
7. The horn is not easy to reach. Its not a issue as such, but in emergency situations ( people walking on roads imagining it to be a park, or deeply engrossed on their cellphone), it does become irritating. The "paarp" of the horn is soul satisfyingly deep though!!


Cannot make up my mind as yet:
1. Longish clutch. I find the pedal too high and the lack of a dead pedal highlights it even more. The left foot has to be parked under the clutch pedal while driving.
2. Slotting into the 5th gear does not feel precise.I need to be alert while slotting it into the 5th. Over time it has become easier, but still cannot absent mindedly change gears. The reverse gear has to be pushed down and then left-forward ( like a first gear) and no problems there.
3. The tyre pressure on the fuel lid is given in KP ( kilopascal) instead of PSI. This neccesated one google search. Not a big deal, but did leave me flummoxed the first time I tried to read it.
4. The fuel cap has to be unlocked. Filled petrol twice and have struggled with this each time. Will need to practice it in the parking lot once or twice.

Driving Experience

Have completed the running in of 1500 Kms. To date have driven 1750 kms since delivery. This includes one highway drive to Pune with the remainder of the driving in city ( from Juhu to Fort). My route to office is along the Western Express Way in the mornings with light traffic for the first 18 kms, with the last 3 kms at crawling speeds. However the MFD shows an Average of 12 - 13 kmpl. Evenings is a different story, and I get an average of 8.5 - 9.0 kmpl in literally bumper to bumper traffic. The maximum it has shown on a return journey is 12.1 kmpl on a good day . These are average FE readings and not realtime readings.

For those familiar with Mumbai, the route is via JJ flyover-->Saat Rasta(Jacob's circle)--> turn into Tulsi pipe road ( past Phoenix mills)-->Dadar--> Mahim--> SV road to Juhu.

Have completed two tank fulls and as per those calculations the mileage is a shade under 10kmpl. This is for only city driving with A/C on all the time with about 1200km on the odo at the time of calculating it. Will wait and see what the mileage calcuation shows on tanking up the next time as this would include a highway run to Pune. During the trip, the MFD showed a mileage of 17kmpl. Drove with a light foot, 5th Gear and at a speed of 100 - 110 for most of the road. This was on the way back. On the way to Pune, floored the pedal ( was competing the run in ..as per the manul from 1000km to 1500km try and reach the maximum engine capacity in each gear. Managed to do this upto the third gear.)The mileage then was a low 13.5kmpl.

The car is stable even at high speeds on the highway. Its a joy to drive and the steering feels nice and heavy at those speeds. I briefly took it upto 150+ and did not feel any discomfort. However, this was for a short time, as I personally do not feel comfortable taking it on higher speeds on our highways. One never knows when someone might want to change lanes without indicating or something comes on the road. Completed the Ghat section in the 5th and 4th gear with A/C on throughout. At no point felt the need to downshift below the 4th.The ghat section on the way back was even more fun. Whereas earlier the body roll in the Santro was pronounced, the Fabia felt as if it were waltzing.

To conclude

So to wrap up an extremely long post, while the car is fabulous and the delivery experience has been good, the fact that its a Skoda remains at the back of the mind. Better NVH could have helped. But then these are points I knew about before buying the car, so have gone in with my eyes open.

Having said that,the decision seems to be a good one so far. The car is a pleasure to drive both in the city as well as on the highway. The little touches in the car ( light in the glove box, reading lights in the front and back etc..) gets me all the oohs and aahs that any new car owner likes to hear. Every time I sit in the car I cannot wait to start driving and every time a drive ends, I get out reluctantly. The thud on closing the doors is sweet music to the ears. The Caska HU adds to the overall ambience in the car.

Don't know how to wrap up this ownership review, as I seem to have written a lot, without being able to say much.
Pink Floyd said it best:

" the time is gone
the song is over
thought I'd something more to say "

Last edited by sraye : 30th November 2011 at 09:23. Reason: change of thread title..
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Old 30th November 2011, 13:28   #2
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Forum. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th November 2011, 14:00   #3
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Let me be the first one to congratulate you. Wish you many more happy miles ahead

Please post more photos, especially the boot space, rear seat up and folded, sideways, 3/4th profile etc. I have, for some reasons, and past experiences of group members have not gone near any Skoda models. You may be able to clear the air.
A few questions
1. How is the functionality of the HU? Is it userfriendly and touchscreen especially.
2. How was your service exp and cost of service, if you have gone with 1st service yet.
Thanks.
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Old 30th November 2011, 14:11   #4
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Quote:
Originally Posted by advaitlele View Post
Let me be the first one to congratulate you. Wish you many more happy miles ahead

Please post more photos, especially the boot space, rear seat up and folded, sideways, 3/4th profile etc. I have, for some reasons, and past experiences of group members have not gone near any Skoda models. You may be able to clear the air.
A few questions
1. How is the functionality of the HU? Is it userfriendly and touchscreen especially.
2. How was your service exp and cost of service, if you have gone with 1st service yet.
Thanks.
Thanks for the wishes Advait. Will try and take some more photographs over the week and post it. In the meantime to answer your queries:

1. The functionality of the HU is good. Its reads my iPOD touch , USB pretty fast. Playing the music stored on my phone as well as taking calls through the BT is pretty simple. The touchscreen is good. Initially there seemed to be a lag between touch and response, but thats seems sorted out now. Guess I have figured out the correct angle to touch it at.
Its pretty intuitive and userfriendly. Having said that, please do check out a few other models. As I said, the buttons are not backlit, and knobs for the volume are better instead of buttons.

2. The 1st service is due after 15000Km or 1 year. So hopefully some time to go for that!!.
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Old 30th November 2011, 14:19   #5
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Great car to own - Fabia 1.6!
Was too looking at the Jazz, but ultimately went in for the Polo1.6!

Skoda's publicised dealer isuues cannot be genarlised, hope you have done your work on selecting the right one!

Drive safe and wishing you more & more miles!

Cheers!

Last edited by volkman10 : 30th November 2011 at 14:30.
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Old 30th November 2011, 14:52   #6
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Congrats. Its a brilliant car. I took a test drive sometime back on Greater Noida expressway and took it upto 160 (thats the fastest I have ever done in any car anywhere in the world). It felt absolutely rock solid at those speeds (overtook some vehicles as well at those speeds.) At that time I drove an Alto that would feel scary at anything above 100 (and had tried i10 which is ok till 120 but anything after that becomes scary).

Fabia is a very good car. It topped my wishlist but somehow I couldnt convince my would-be wife to go for it (her parents own an Opel Astra and the kind of woes they had had, they wouldnt touch anything now that doesnt start with an "H"!).

Drive safe and have lots of happy hours with it.
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Old 30th November 2011, 15:12   #7
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Nice thread! I've always like the Fabia and it should be a great drive in it's 1.6 monicker!

Just one thing, I don't think the HU that the dealer has fitted is the real Caska HU. The real Caska HU for the Fabia looks like this:

Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!-screen-shot-20111130-10.38.58-am.png
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Old 30th November 2011, 15:19   #8
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Congrats on the buy Saurabh! Was wondering what happened with your purchase decision, but I suspected the Fabia would be it. Damn good decision, even if Skoda's *** is a bit dicey, this car is the only real alternative to the Jazz IMHO.

The only two area where the Jazz would score over the Fabia is after sales (touch wood, hope you have no issues on that front) and mileage. All in all, sweet buy. Hope you have miles of smiles ahead of you
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Old 30th November 2011, 15:28   #9
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Skoda's publicised dealer isuues cannot be genarlised, hope you have done your work on selecting the right one!
Cheers!
Thanks volkman10. My initial experience with Autobhan so far has been ok.. but ..theres always that "but" at the back of my mind. Time will tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
Congrats.
Fabia is a very good car. It topped my wishlist but somehow I couldnt convince my would-be wife to go for it (her parents own an Opel Astra and the kind of woes they had had, they wouldnt touch anything now that doesnt start with an "H"!).

Drive safe and have lots of happy hours with it.
Thanks joslicx. The biggest headache I had while changing my decision was the "H" factor. It took me 2 full days to convince myself about this. Just shows what a great and well deserved reputation these companies have built over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post
Just one thing, I don't think the HU that the dealer has fitted is the real Caska HU. The real Caska HU for the Fabia looks like this:

Attachment 849880
Good point. Even I was surprised as the caska website showed the picture you have put up. Time for a trip to Autobhan then, though I am not sure what more can be done. Will update my findings here all the same, so some other buyer has the information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iliketurtles View Post
The only two area where the Jazz would score over the Fabia is after sales (touch wood, hope you have no issues on that front) and mileage. All in all, sweet buy. Hope you have miles of smiles ahead of you
Thanks Karan!! Yes, you guessed right, it was the Fabia in the end. Knew the mileage would be lower...as for *** , its now a leap of faith and luck !!

Last edited by sraye : 30th November 2011 at 15:30.
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Old 30th November 2011, 15:51   #10
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Congratulations on your choice, getting a car with rear wiper is an absolute must especially in places with heavy rains. I test drove a Fabia before I got my Punto, but back then no version came with rear wash wipe and ABS(both together). How is the steering feel of the car, I remember driving the petrol(1.2) for a short distance and I wasn't impressed. How does it compare with the HPS in a Punto or Fiesta(classic)?
That Fabia did have a dead pedal , is this one of the new improvements where the salesman says nothing blocks you foot and you stretch all the way to the floorboard.
The interior quality of a Fabia is way ahead of anything in the segment, infact it feels not too different from the Laura. Enjoy the car, good to know you went with petrol, I wanted a petrol but 1900km/month of running means its not even an option.
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Old 30th November 2011, 15:55   #11
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Congrats! You got my fav hatch in India. Fabia 1.6 ticks all the boxes on the wishlists of almost everyone. The only downside owning a Skoda could be part replacement costs, which could hit the roof, if it ever happens. Besides that, the build quality, fit & finish, interior space, boot space, ...everything is great in this car. BTW, where did you get the Caska unit from? What about warranty of the unit? We need more photos saaar.

Wishing you many happy miles with the hot hatch!
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Old 30th November 2011, 17:33   #12
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Congrats! Thats a very heartfelt review of the car there. It sure is a hoot to drive! Had TD'd one when I had gone to give my Laura for servicing. Was mighty impressed with the response!

The interiors sure are premium. Just be careful of the beige. Especially the carpets. Come monsoon, and you would see what I mean! Get 3D Kagu mats or the likes asap.

Nice way of dealing with Skoda too. They sure needed someone like you to give them a reality check.

Enjoy the beast. Do upload some pics.
Drive safe.
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Old 30th November 2011, 17:39   #13
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Congrats on your Fabia. I have been a fan of this car since the day it was launched,just for its looks. Your car looks great,especially those alloys are stunning. Haven't seen any new Fabia with these alloys. Am i missing something?
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Old 30th November 2011, 17:51   #14
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

Congratulations on your new Fabia 1.6. It is a very capable car. I can relate to your decision process having bought a Laura TSI earlier this year. The question mark over Skoda's A.S.S was the only negative factor that was holding me back before ultimately taking the plunge. The car was way too good compared to offerrings from H's and T's at similar price point. Have completed 10,000 trouble free kms so far. Hopefully 15,000 km-1st service will be first time I will be rubbing shoulders with the infamous A.S.S.

Whats the deal with unlocking the petrol tank cap? Isn't there a lever next to the driver for that? I believe the Fabia sported a dead pedal before and convex orvms too.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 30th November 2011 at 17:54.
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Old 30th November 2011, 18:11   #15
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Default Re: Cancelled Honda Jazz booking. Brought home a Skoda Fabia 1.6!

First of all congrats it is a good selection and a decision considering all the pros and cons.

The sideview mirror plastic cover that are circled to show the absence of plastic quality in places as an example seems to be an extra optional accessory that is fitted to prevent the mirrors being stolen. Something that costs Rs. 100 in the accessories shop. It may not be something that Skoda ships by default other skoda fabia owners can comment.

Are you sure that is not something that the skoda dealer threw in for free/

I had something similar fitted on to my Cielo and later the Safari from the accessories shop.

Last edited by ACM : 30th November 2011 at 18:12.
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