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Old 27th July 2009, 16:05   #1
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Default FABIA review by a FIAT-ian

As most here know i drive a FIAT Adventure 1.6 and i just had a chance to drive a Fabia 1.2 on a long drive with our very own mysticeyes. (yeah i know he and his friends have been missing from this forum for some time now)

Here are my observations. Obviously there would be a tendency for me to compare it with my adventure and other cars i have driven.

Interiors:
Very neat interiors. Nicely done. You really feel good sitting inside the car. Unlike the Fiat interiors which i would call dull and obsolete. (though i really love the way the controls are tilted towards the driver making it so easy to use). Loved the quality and feel of the plastics on the fabia. However the rear seats were very upright and could never find a comfortable position. Legroom though was fabulous for a hatch. It felt that there was nothing like legroom in my adventure rear seats. The controllable cooler vent in the dash was a real good thought by skoda. I would say its even feels a notch better than the fusions interiors.


Drive:
The Steering is so balanced. Not so tight nor so hard and the feedback you get is just superb. The adventure steering felt more truck like when compared to this. Guess its got to do with the wider tyres and the heavier body. Really liked the way the gears were mated. I never felt i was driving a 1.2 engine. Except once i crossed the 100 mark i couldnt feel the kind of reserve power that you feel while driving the fiat 1.6. But i dont think thats a problem. How my times would we go above 100 on kerala roads. In the adventure i've never felt that i could do with a little more power. Probably thats the only one feeling that was missing here.

One thing i noticed is that the car moves on at same speed for a second more after you take your legs off the accelerator. Not sure if it was an issue or if all fabias are like that. Do they have the drive-by-wire? It a bit scary especially when you take your leg off seeing something in front and the car moves for a second more just as if you are still accelerating.


Ride:
Ride Comfort is just great for a hatch. It eats up almost all unevenness on the roads, Though i would prefer my adventure with the pirellis for the rugged feeling i get when i give it rough or even non existant roads. But now that i have moved to yoko a-drives i guess the comfort would be at par or slightly better on the fabia. Even at speeds above 100 you never feel the speed and you are in total control - the one major thing i missed in the swifts i have driven.


F.E:
After being used to seeing my fiat 1.6's fuel indicator literally move down inch by inch if i kept my eye on it, it was really a good feeling to see that the fabia needle seemed to be stuck with glue!!!


So in a gist i just loved almost everything driving the car except the straightish rear seat. At that price i think its a steal. Its an irony why bad service comes always with good cars.

BAck in the adventure, for the first ever time, i felt like driving an obsolete model.
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Old 27th July 2009, 16:31   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
BAck in the adventure, for the first ever time, i felt like driving an obsolete model.
Time for an upgrade perhaps?. Just joking...ignore. The adventure is a solid vehicle in its own right.

Cheers
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Old 28th July 2009, 00:50   #3
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I find the palios throttle very responsive. Maybe thats why you felt a bit of lag on the Fabia
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Old 28th July 2009, 07:34   #4
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A good objective review for an excellent car. Marred by some poor service experiences, and on this forum, a favourite target for people who perhaps ought to know better! One or two swallows do not a summer make, and the larger Skodas have sold in large numbers.
My hearing about Skoda on the other hand is that the service is good, but expensive as a routine matter. I think that is something that may be true of all the European marques in a way, with GMI perhaps the one exception. Look at Mercedes, the challenge about buying it pre owned is that the cost of maintaining it remains at price points pegged to the new car sale prices.
Of course, the quality of talent manning the service stations is doubtful, but where in India is that not the case for any product that is not just a niche one? It then boils down to establishing relationships with the people who do the work as they like to be treated, and why not - as equals - and then they stick by you too. Instead of walking in with a " I am a car owner and you are a mechanic" attitude that sucks.
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Old 28th July 2009, 10:13   #5
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ouchh..my head just touched the ceiling many many thanks for the balanced review buddy. wish I could've made you drive longer. looking forward for another long drive with you. Meanwhile, the service indicator has started blinking reminding of the 1st service which is due in few days. Skoda says 15000 Km or 1 year..for me, its 6750 Km and 1 year
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Old 3rd August 2009, 13:32   #6
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Default Cool..

Good review, Gemithomas. Honest and unbiased. But Adventure is a great car, too..

This car's ride can be even better with some other rubber. The Matador ones we got imported on them, do contribute to some noise. But they stick to tarmac like magnets. Almost all Fabia owners with Matador tyres would vouch for that.

Thanks for sharing this.. Wish you get more chances to drive the Fab.. Cheers.
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Old 3rd August 2009, 21:44   #7
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Thanks for the review Gemi!

Fabia was the benchmark for ride and handling until Punto arrived. If you have test-driven the Punto, how would you compare it to Fabia?
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Old 3rd August 2009, 21:55   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVH View Post
Fabia was the benchmark for ride and handling until Punto arrived. If you have test-driven the Punto, how would you compare it to Fabia?
Driven both cars and I must say, the Punto's ride is better.
Fabia still rules supreme when it comes to quality of gear shift. It's absolutely brilliant.
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Old 4th August 2009, 10:25   #9
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Good review. Very objective. Yes Fabia 1.4 has had issues, but the 1.2 and the diesels are rock solid. If the fabia had come after the Jazz and I20 Auto then they would also not have seemed costly.
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Old 5th July 2010, 22:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACM View Post
Good review. Very objective. Yes Fabia 1.4 has had issues, but the 1.2 and the diesels are rock solid. If the fabia had come after the Jazz and I20 Auto then they would also not have seemed costly.
With spare part prices reduced by more than 40%, and with
Polo's Tdi engine, AC compressor - Fabia will be back in business very soon. IMO, This is the Hatch to watch-out for!!
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Old 6th July 2010, 00:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chethan B G View Post
With spare part prices reduced by more than 40%, and with
Polo's Tdi engine, AC compressor - Fabia will be back in business very soon. IMO, This is the Hatch to watch-out for!!
Yes indeed, specially if it's priced lower. What about the petrol mill, is the Polo's engine already in place in the Fabia?
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Old 6th July 2010, 11:05   #12
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BTW when is the refreshed , new spec fabia expected esp diesel . This is one car i always liked ,except for the price and Skoda horror stories
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Old 6th July 2010, 11:24   #13
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I had test driven the Fiat Adventure (Formula Red - the last one in Pune before the model was discontinued). It was an awesome drive - terrific power, handling and ride. The break paddle was a little mushy (the only issue I remember) and the horn was very very hard to press (but that's good in a way).

Interior decoration is not something Fiats are bought for. It's the muscle.
That 1.6 liter petrol engine from Fiat was a Gem.

The Fabia engines are crap. And this is sad considering the high class engine technology Skoda/VW/Audi have...

Last edited by anandpadhye : 6th July 2010 at 11:25.
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Old 6th July 2010, 12:30   #14
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Thanks Gemi for the honest and unbiased review .

Fabia is a very good car ,no two ways about that. Many who were interested in this car dint buy it , just because of the bad A*S .

I reckon Polo will be even better to drive ,it has got the same engine with more power and the weight is less compared to Fabia. initial acceleration should be good.Many commented that the ride and handling is pretty good in Polo .Space is the only drawback .
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Old 6th July 2010, 20:43   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agm View Post
Thanks Gemi for the honest and unbiased review .

Fabia is a very good car ,no two ways about that. Many who were interested in this car dint buy it , just because of the bad A*S .

I reckon Polo will be even better to drive ,it has got the same engine with more power and the weight is less compared to Fabia. initial acceleration should be good.Many commented that the ride and handling is pretty good in Polo .Space is the only drawback .
When I checked out the Polo (4 days back), I really liked the way it drove. I did find the diesel slightly wanting below 2K rpm, but the butter smooth gearbox made up for it. Liked the high quality interiors too.

I was there to advise a friend whether or not to go for the car, as it turns out he decided against it, without any input from me. He was seated in the rear while I was driving, and he wasn't impressed with the space.
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