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Old 5th July 2008, 10:39   #16
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Default TD of Skoda Fabia 1.4 Elegance and 1.2 HTP

Well, I had the opportunity to test drive both the 1.4 MPI and 1.2 HTP. The first one I drove at TAFE and the second at Vinayak cars. Mind you, it's been more than a couple of months since I did these. Although this thread is about the 1.2, I'll add my bit on the 1.4 too. I was keen on this model because it was a 4 cylinder engine, better power and torque specs compared to 1.2.


The 1.4 and TAFE experience:

The sales person here was polite and knowledgeable. But, he didn't seem to know much about the petrol engine beyond the specs. They did not have a TD car, but the sales person allowed me to drive a new car.

The car:

It was a red Fabia Elegance. Impressive interiors - the sunroof, the well laid out interiors, quality of materials used. The build quality was great - the 'thud' with which the doors close gave me a secure feel. I liked the leg room. The arm rest was too close to the drivers arm. I'd use this on a long drive only when I don't need to change gears often. Decent amount of leg room at the back. Enough room for 2 adults. Seating a third person at the back would be an issue - with the cup holders intruding into the legroom. One thing I didn't like on the Elegance is the lack of manual door locks (even though they had child locks). I've discussed this in netchef's thread. I feel this is dangerous even with adults being seated in the car.

I found the driving position and seats pretty comfortable. I had concerns about the ground clearance before the TD - getting in and out of TAFE does test this aspect a bit. I now am pretty sure the GC on this car isn't as bad as it sounds on paper. I made sure I took the car on some bad roads. The patch in front of UB City was bad then. I was quite satisfied with the suspension. Not too soft or too hard.

But there is something that impressed me a lot on paper, but let me down when I actually drove the car. The Engine. I wanted the petrol Fabia for two reasons. The low noise and power. The 1.4 MPI is very quiet. The cabin is well insulated from the outside noises too. I also didn't hear the engine whine when pushed hard - not that I drove it very fast. But the power? Where is the power/torque? When I complained, the salesperson told me that the turbo had to kick in. . He quickly realized that we were driving a petrol Fabia and he started off with the 85 bhp, etc. So what? From what I've learnt since then, this car does well on the highways. But my experience in the Bangalore traffic was bad. The traffic wasn't all that heavy actually. With the AC on, the vehicle just refused to pull at low speeds. The sales person said it was because the car was new.


The 1.2 and Vinayak experience:

I was disappointed with the 1.4 engine, but I decided to give it another try - this time at Vinayak which is closer to my place. My experience with the sales person here was enlightening. Realized that Skoda dealers had been selling cars to people who don't ask much questions. He had absolutely no knowledge about the features of the car. Tried to make something up whenever I asked him questions beyond the mileage. Worst part was when I asked him for a TD in the 1.4 he got me a 1.2. I knew this once I saw the car, but he didn't say a thing till we were actually seated in the car. Anyway I used this opportunity to TD the 1.2.

The car:
The interiors were not that appealing to me, but they weren't bad. They don't have an Elegance in the 1.2. The other aspects such as quality of interiors and the build were as good as in the 1.4. The annoying arm rest was missing in this model.

Now about the engine - with and without the AC, this car pulled much better than the 1.4. Probably to be expected because Skoda talks about the High Torque Perfomance. Please note that there was one more adult seated in the car compared to when I drove the 1.4. It seemed effortless to drive in the city. Yes it is a bit noisier than the 1.4. The insulation is still as good as any other Fabia model. BTW I had even tried the Fabia TDI when these folks visited our office. If you can live with the TDI's noise, you can live with the 1.2 petrol's noise.

Conclusion:

But, would I pay more than a Swift ZXI for a 1.2 Fabia? No. Not me. That's because I love my petrol engines. I don't think it makes sense to be paying so much for a 3 cylinder, petrol engine in today's scenario. Of course if owning a Skoda with quality interiors and build is most important go ahead with the 1.2.

Would I pay 8L for the 1.4? Not with the current state of the engine. Some people say it's because they didn't bother to tune it for our fuel conditions. Not sure about this, but I am hopeful they can do something about the low end torque.

I have been in touch with the dealers hoping that Skoda does some magic with the 1.4 or maybe launches a better TDI model. I also read in ACI (July 08, pg 31) that the 1.2 engine was being modded to address the lack of power. Of course, the dealers in Bangalore claim they have no knowledge of this. One thing that's changed is that the TAFE guy seems to have answers to most of my questions (been doing his homework). The Vinayak guys don't seem to care as long as they sell cars.

Note from mod: Please do not use more than 2 smileys/post

Last edited by tsk1979 : 5th July 2008 at 12:30. Reason: More than 2 smileys not allowed
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Old 5th July 2008, 10:41   #17
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Originally Posted by bhp1 View Post
well the deliveries of 1.2 fabia seem to be delayed because the car is undergoing some tech changes as it is underpowered. skoda are trying to improve the driveability, probably low end torque.
Not sure about the 1.2, but the 1.4 has poor low end torque IMHO.
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Old 5th July 2008, 10:59   #18
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@Cblazer- Nice review. Even the 1.2P is noisy??? quite surprising !! I think the
Honda Jazz when launched will kill this petrol cars sales!
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Old 5th July 2008, 11:44   #19
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Originally Posted by AdvaithC View Post
There seems to be some confusion going on with the 1.2 MPI Fabia delivery times. Different people are reporting different stories. Here are some I have come across:
Is there any official communication from the company itself? If so, Can someone who has seen it send the link? I am surprised that companies allow such rumours to float in the market which can turn off potential customers. Another case in point is the Mitsubishi Cedia Sports which does not show on the website now and all kinds of rumours floating in the market.
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Old 5th July 2008, 12:12   #20
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Dude, which Magazine? it will help a lot to mention the source of any info clearly.


Autocar India. Forgot which month. sorry
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Old 5th July 2008, 13:56   #21
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Originally Posted by sridharps View Post
Is there any official communication from the company itself? If so, Can someone who has seen it send the link? I am surprised that companies allow such rumors to float in the market which can turn off potential customers.
I wrote an email to Skoda about this and someone from their Aurangabad plant called me. When I asked for a position on the rumors he said he was only a customer support guy and that he would forward my email to the concerned persons. No one has replied since last ten days. The 1200cc petrol could have really taken off but they are killing it with their own hands.

With Fabia, Skoda is dealing with a whole new set of buyers - their current salesmen no match for someone equipped with sites like team-bhp or google. Even before a test drive people would have gone through 100 comments on a car!! This breed of new customers for Skoda is information rich and they need to be handled accordingly. Hope someone from Skoda is reading this.
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Old 7th July 2008, 09:26   #22
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Originally Posted by mnhegde View Post
Dude, which Magazine? it will help a lot to mention the source of any info clearly.


Autocar India. Forgot which month. sorry
ACI July 2008, page 31
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Old 7th July 2008, 11:09   #23
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Default Should we wait to place an order?

All the dealers confirm that the next 1200cc Fabia deliveries will start from August. Reasons vary - from engine tuning to software upgrades.

On the other hand, the auto finance rates have gone up by 1% (e.g: 11% to 12%).

Would it be a good idea to wait one more month to place an order - does anyone think Skoda would reduce the prices to counter the market conditions?
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Old 7th July 2008, 11:44   #24
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Originally Posted by AdvaithC View Post
Would it be a good idea to wait one more month to place an order - does anyone think Skoda would reduce the prices to counter the market conditions?
I have decided to wait. Reasons are-
1. Lets see how the engine works.
2. I am expecting some discounts or extra freebies from the dealer if the sales drop. For sure some Diwali dhamaka will start in Oct if not Sept
3. Couple of other launches expected in Aug, sept like linea, i10 1.2, maybe i20 so lets see how it goes
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Old 7th July 2008, 12:19   #25
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Default Fabia 1.2 MPI Presales experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
ACI July 2008, page 31
Yup that's right. Autocar India July 2008 magazine has a small mention of Skoda retuning the 1200cc Fabia engine at their Aurangabad plant. However this is just a 2-3 line note in the "scoop" or "gossip" section so its not guarenteed to be true - though it pretty much looks like the case. I just wish Skoda made sure all their dealers gave the same explanation for the delays.

Btw, the same magazine (ACI, July2008) also has a nice comparison of Fabia against SWift. Good read for prospective buyers.
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Old 7th July 2008, 14:24   #26
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Originally Posted by AdvaithC View Post
Btw, the same magazine (ACI, July2008) also has a nice comparison of Fabia against SWift. Good read for prospective buyers.
And did you see ACI's claimed mileage of the Fabia 1.2? Under 10 kmpl in the city.
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Old 7th July 2008, 15:23   #27
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Originally Posted by CBlazer View Post
Well, I had the opportunity to test drive both the 1.4 MPI and 1.2 HTP. The first one I drove at TAFE and the second at Vinayak cars.

CBlazer:
Terrific reviews, CBlazer. Thanks.
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Old 7th July 2008, 15:31   #28
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Couple of other launches expected in Aug, sept like linea, i10 1.2, maybe i20 so lets see how it goes
Any ideas about the Linea launch date. Not that I am moving away from Fabia - rather that it will be a contender for Fabia (people with 6 lac + budget might jump for that new sedan) so may be then Skoda will offer some deals.

For now, my two complaints with Fabia 1200 cc are:
1. performance: the car build is so solid that unknowingly it sets an expectation. So after checking out the interiors, when you actually start out to drive, the 1200cc feels unexciting. Perhaps it wouldn't matter in a car like swift, i10. I do hope the Skoda guys are cooking something for this.

2. price: a 50K price reduction across all models would sky rocket the Fabia sales. That's gonna take away any complaints about noise, low clearance and low power.
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Old 7th July 2008, 16:17   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvaithC View Post
Any ideas about the Linea launch date. Not that I am moving away from Fabia - rather that it will be a contender for Fabia (people with 6 lac + budget might jump for that new sedan) so may be then Skoda will offer some deals.

For now, my two complaints with Fabia 1200 cc are:
1. performance: the car build is so solid that unknowingly it sets an expectation. So after checking out the interiors, when you actually start out to drive, the 1200cc feels unexciting. Perhaps it wouldn't matter in a car like swift, i10. I do hope the Skoda guys are cooking something for this.

2. price: a 50K price reduction across all models would sky rocket the Fabia sales. That's gonna take away any complaints about noise, low clearance and low power.
IMHO the Fabia should be considered by only diesel buyers. See its no point paying 1.5-2L more for a 1200cc Sluggish car whose Fuel Economy will also be very low compared to the Swift. If you plan to keep the car for more that 8-10 years, then it can be considered as it will last long no doubt about it. See every year we get a whole heap of launches, tell me who keeps a car for more than 3-5 years? After two years only people start dreaming about buying their next car. Also please also do note as mentioned by others on team-bhp maintenance will be very costly. Whats the use waiting for an untried, sluggish, low GC, less average "super-hatch" car. Think about it. But in the end its your decision dude.
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Old 7th July 2008, 16:46   #30
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Originally Posted by AdvaithC View Post
Any ideas about the Linea launch date. Not that I am moving away from Fabia - rather that it will be a contender for Fabia (people with 6 lac + budget might jump for that new sedan) so may be then Skoda will offer some deals.
Linea launch is expected around 2nd week of Sept. as per the rumours.
1st of all we dont have any info about price of Linea. Lets just wait for Fiat
to do the right pricing. Quite surprised that Skoda actually launched an underpowered 1.2 P. I dont see Skoda cutting its prices by a huge margin( IMO 20-30k would be the maximum Skoda will slash if they have any plans to do so).
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