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Old 18th February 2010, 13:51   #1
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Default Skoda Fabi(licious)a 1.4TDI Ambiente

Greetings fellow TBHPians - it gives me great pleasure and pride to finally write an initial ownership review of my brand new Skoda Fabia 1.4TDI. No doubt I have spent days on TBHP reading various reviews of the car and actually printed over fifty pages of useful information all from the 'Skoda' threads, more details on that later. Before all you guys ambush upon me and say WHY!! I will explain in as much detail the entire buying process as well as my experience with the car so far, dealership details, discounts, freebies and most important of all the problem(s) I have faced so far. Yes I was warned by near and dear ones about what I am getting into, but heck I was in the market for a completely different automobile something German or European at least, something close to the W124 that I still drive without a single issue, she has been ours for the last 12 years with the least of problems and absolutely zero rattling from inside or outside the cabin she definitely along with our VW Golf TDI (1985) 95,000 miles on the ODO, will probably never see a new owner or leave my parking lot forever. Being an avid automobile 'freak' from the age of seven and having driven over two dozen different car brands and several different line-ups all across the globe including their petrol and diesel variants I have shamelessly asked people if I could sit in their car and then I go 'could I start her up' and they kind of get the point, if luck strikes and I get a chance to experience yet another marvel in engineering a test drive, after which I can probably write an entire short story If not then I am still happy and get as technical with them as possible to actually know if the fellow behind the wheel knows how lucky he is to drive such a beauty. From sucking up (pardon my French) to the driver of a Bentley and a Rolls Royce whose stable is right across from where I live just to get a sneak peek into dreamland all the way to highly qualified technical people scattered all across Bangalore I have made sure I try my best to learn about automobiles as much as possible. Well I guess enough said for now, lets get down to business.

After an ugly incident last year which lead to the total loss, salvage of my Honda Civic (only 8,000 kms run) I was left devastated and car-less for about a year. I had to make do with a Santro or an i10 Auto or even better a Tatamobile 207 (proudly mentions power steering with the coolest graphics ever) NOT. I did not complain and managed until now. New years and my birthday are a day apart and I thought why not think of a diesel premium hatchback. I have always loved hatchbacks from the bottom of my heart, from my crazy 1.3l Zen to my insanely quick Honda Civic si 2005 (EP3) with a long list of mods back in America I always believed hatches were the way to go. Well that said I also thought its time to think from the 'head' being 25 something inside made me want a car that was longer than a hatch and one thing for sure is that I knew right from the beginning that I wanted a car that would dampen as much noise from the outside world as possible, includes treble from our awesome three wheelers - auto-rickshaw’s, heavy bass from the busses that ply on our wonderful Bangi roads and all the mid-range in-between. In short what I had in mind was a comfortable car with 'leather' inside (yes this idea's been in head for a while now! don't really know why more on that later) fuel type - diesel (its the way most of us are heading now- quick, fun, cheap to run) and most important of all I demanded the solid 'thud' that you hear when you close the door just like my E-220. Priority on my list was the build-quality, the steering feel (I hate sheerings that turn the entire radius with just my index finger i.e. all Hyundai's no offense I own two of their best selling little automobiles and I know they rank the highest in 'peace of mind' full 10/10 to Hyundai on that factor)

Suspension - Again I used the W124 as a benchmark to compare suspension of various cars and concluded that I was the kind/breed who required something hard not the likes of a Hyundai.
In short my demands were strange and unique but I knew I wanted something as close to the W124 in all aspects.

Coming soon - Three cars that I felt fit my requirements, their gruesome/hard test drives and much more...Lunch time for me.

Last edited by Dippy : 18th February 2010 at 17:05. Reason: Formatting post
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Old 18th February 2010, 16:24   #2
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Let me be the first one to congratulate.

Please post some snaps and keep rolling.

Have fun and drive safe
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Old 18th February 2010, 16:37   #3
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Nice write up so far - looking forward to the rest!

Congrats for the fabia! I really like the hatch, and from what I've heard, A.S.S is not an issue in Bengaluru.

Only negative thing in my mind is the engine. A little rough around the edges. It lacks that quiet refinement, mainly thanks to it's 3 cylinder engine. The gearbox however is fantastic, smooth and solid!

Please post pics!
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Old 18th February 2010, 16:45   #4
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Originally Posted by raghu230506 View Post
Let me be the first one to congratulate.

Please post some snaps and keep rolling.

Have fun and drive safe

Well to be honest the story doesn't end here. There's a lot more to it. I don't have the car with me at the moment its with Tafe. Pics once she's back with two problems solved. Thanks raghu will drive safe for sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post
Nice write up so far - looking forward to the rest!

Congrats for the fabia! I really like the hatch, and from what I've heard, A.S.S is not an issue in Bengaluru.

Only negative thing in my mind is the engine. A little rough around the edges. It lacks that quiet refinement, mainly thanks to it's 3 cylinder engine. The gearbox however is fantastic, smooth and solid!

Please post pics!
Thanks anekho. Well I wouldn't completely agree with the lack of reinement part cause hey its a 3 pot and for a 3 pot diesel its pretty smooth once your at cruising speed* Personally I am worried about the engine too, more on that later. The gear box is fantastic indeed! there is no vibration at all. Pics will be up soon. Comments on the A.S.S much later, but I do not agree with you on that one point.

Last edited by Rehaan : 19th February 2010 at 13:18. Reason: Posts merged. Please use the MULTIQUOTE button instead of making multiple consecutive posts in the same thread. Thanks.
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Old 19th February 2010, 15:33   #5
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Thats an awesome start to what is going to be a fantastic thread. Congratulations on the Fabia. I agree that it would be the closest you would get to good build quality once you are spoilt by the W124. Not to mention that I am a big W124 fan myself.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your story and seeing the pictures of your car. However, I'm going to be a bit greedy and ask you to start a long term ownership review on your W124 as well I'm sure you will oblige.
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Old 19th February 2010, 15:52   #6
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Nice start to the writeup. Eagerly waiting for you to get back from lunch!!
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Old 19th February 2010, 18:13   #7
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waw. i more more excited to check out pics of W124 than Fabia

Congratulations dude. After many days I am reading about some one buying Fabia on team bhp. Wish you happy miles ahead.

Quote:
Pics once she's back with two problems solved.
So car with Skoda A.S.S now !

Last edited by recshenoy : 19th February 2010 at 18:15.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 11:46   #8
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Originally Posted by recshenoy View Post
waw. i more more excited to check out pics of W124 than Fabia

Congratulations dude. After many days I am reading about some one buying Fabia on team bhp. Wish you happy miles ahead.



So car with Skoda A.S.S now !
Thanks man. Well my dad's using the w124 and he is refusing to upgrade or let anyone drive it. I will have to hunt for pics of the w124 its 12 years old. If I dont find any I shall click some as soon as time permits.

The Fabia had an engine shut down issue which they have rectified but not to my satisfaction. The car pulls slightly to the left, checked air pressure, allignment basically concluded that its road bias. Once again not to my satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreeps View Post
Nice start to the writeup. Eagerly waiting for you to get back from lunch!!
Well i no its been many lunches and dinners! I am yet to complete my post. Need to be in that 'josh' to write I reckon.

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Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Thats an awesome start to what is going to be a fantastic thread. Congratulations on the Fabia. I agree that it would be the closest you would get to good build quality once you are spoilt by the W124. Not to mention that I am a big W124 fan myself.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your story and seeing the pictures of your car. However, I'm going to be a bit greedy and ask you to start a long term ownership review on your W124 as well I'm sure you will oblige.
Dippy Sir, I myself wish I had the time to post an ownership review on the W124. Imagine there are people who want an ownership review on the Tatamobile 207 even. As soon as I get the time to scratch my head, look back twelve years and start a thread on the W124 I shall do the needfull. Its ironic, but around 12 years back when we were to take delivery of the E220 from Prerana Motors (truck division) my dad had not told anyone about his plan of buying a Merc. Back then I can say proudly we were one of the first to take delivery in Bangalore, best part three of us jumped into our 206 (tatamobile) and drove up to the showroom (so called) and took delivery of the W124. I know this is a teaser but it still remains fresh in my mind. Wow what a feeling it was. I was like literally with my teeth sticking out just like the little green smiley (my teeth are sorted now).

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team : Please use "Multi Quote" option for quoting Multiple posts, instead of creating another back-to-back post.

Last edited by Technocrat : 10th March 2010 at 21:35. Reason: Pleas read the note in your post, thanks
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Old 25th February 2010, 16:38   #9
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Need help- Fabia Owners is your car left bias i.e. does it pull to the left slightly or drastically? mine does and so do all the car's all the way back to 2008. Please PM me so that we can do something about it.
I drove 5 vehicles and all of them new, undelivered, as well as the manager's car pull to the left. My 2 cents it is something to do with the "hydro-electric" power steering that comes on the superb and fabia only. PLEASE HELP
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Old 25th February 2010, 19:37   #10
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Originally Posted by bhpbreather View Post
Need help- Fabia Owners is your car left bias i.e. does it pull to the left slightly or drastically? mine does and so do all the car's all the way back to 2008. Please PM me so that we can do something about it.
I drove 5 vehicles and all of them new, undelivered, as well as the manager's car pull to the left. My 2 cents it is something to do with the "hydro-electric" power steering that comes on the superb and fabia only. PLEASE HELP
I have been driving this gem for more than 18 months now and have not faced any such issue. I would suggest you to take your car to some other dealer also and discuss the problem with them.
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Old 25th February 2010, 20:07   #11
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Does it happen while accelerating only? If so, then it's torque steer! (Though it's a little far fetched, but still :P)
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Old 26th February 2010, 11:57   #12
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Does it happen while accelerating only? If so, then it's torque steer! (Though it's a little far fetched, but still :P)
d3mon, its not torque steer. I know what TS is and its prominent on the verna and accent crdi as well as faster diesels but that's ruled out. Although i did experience TS when i did a small test run with the Pete's tuning box for the Fabia. It was fantastic but more on that later.

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Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
Does it happen while accelerating only? If so, then it's torque steer! (Though it's a little far fetched, but still :P)
Quote:
Originally Posted by uneet View Post
I have been driving this gem for more than 18 months now and have not faced any such issue. I would suggest you to take your car to some other dealer also and discuss the problem with them.
Sir, it seems that the problem in visible on the later cars, probably late 2008 onwards. As of now I have complained several times and taken three days of from work jsut to go to the workshop some 45 kms away from where I work, all in despair. What I have concluded is that Skoda will only deal with this issue when they have more people like me who complain regarding the same. I will have to wait and see when they surprise me if they ever do.
Did some research last night and I believe it is something to do with the 'steering angle sensor' which has a manufacturing defect

Anyone else have any suggestions? Any TBHP meets happening this weekend where I could interact with other Fabia owners, would be great.

Last edited by Technocrat : 10th March 2010 at 21:36. Reason: Please use the "edit" button if posting within 20 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post.
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Old 26th February 2010, 12:05   #13
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I have been driving this gem for more than 18 months now and have not faced any such issue. I would suggest you to take your car to some other dealer also and discuss the problem with them.
+1

8000 kms / 1 year - not faced such a problem.
You can pretty much leave the steering alone (hands free - not recommended, just for testing alignment), and it goes straight like an arrow.

I would first check the tyres and the alignment, preferably at a tyre specialist outside the A.S.S.
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Old 26th February 2010, 14:49   #14
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Smile Skoda Fabi(licious)a Part 2

Twenty one days and 2100 kms later after a lot of delays I wish to continue my story on the purchase of my black Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI. When my family and I decided it was time for me to get a new vehicle after a fairly long delay I wanted to get done with the process as soon as possible with the least time lag and the most tests possible. I dedicated three days to test-drive the legit candidates in the so called premium hatchback segment. A small yet significant point to note – It was Skoda who launched the Fabia and also created the 'premium hatchback' segment a couple of years ago or so. Earlier the only decent hatchbacks we had were the Fiat Palio – Lovely car 1.6 is typical European and I was lucky enough to drive a red Palio 1.6 for about six months covering a distance of about 11,000 kms. Most of us know of the Palio as a thirsty heavy expensive car to maintain, and that includes myself. It was so heavy on fuel consumption that it made no sense to drive anymore and so she's gone. There was also the German Opel Corsa sail which was my dream car when I was about 19 years old. Never got a chance to drive the 1.6 but I heard it shared similar traits of the Palio minus the power and handling. The list of hatchbacks continues to grow as the market in India can absorb such vehicles mostly because of the practicality factor.


Before setting out into the vast and ever growing automobile market I had decided that it was smarter to choose a segment rather than set a budget in mind because honestly for 9 lakh rupees you can pick up anything from stripped down limo aka the Indigo XL (no offense to anyone I love the car) all the way to the over priced Jazz or the Fabia. It all depends on what you have in mind. My personal advise – never fix a budget, instead freeze on a particular segment and work your way around to see what best suits you. In my case I first thought of the Fiat Linea or the Hyundai Verna or the Ford Fiesta etc. but when I test drove these beautiful machines in peak evening traffic in Bangalore I was left unsatisfied as something stopped me from cutting through traffic and negotiating my way around like I would do in the Santro or i10. Indeed its wrong to compare the two segments but I had no intentions of spending the day in traffic along with my new car. I ruled out that segment and began my hunt for the premium hatchback that fit my requirements. I wanted a sedan like feel in a hatchback
I am fortunate enough to have pretty lucky friends who drive almost all the different cars in various segments. From the good old zen with a 1.3 upto the BMW X5 I have folks who would never think twice about letting me get behind the wheel and doing what I call a true Test Drive. In the rare occasion I demonstrate to them the potential of their own vehicle, something which they may be incapable of doing.


The three cars I narrowed down on -
  1. Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI
  2. Hyundai i20 1.4 crdi
  3. Fiat Punto 1.3 MJD
First the Punto, I called various Tata dealerships across the city and bad news already because all the showrooms were atleast 15 kms from where I live. That was the first bad sign although I took the effort and visited a showroom near good old lalbagh. Arrived at the dealership and my first question to them was if they had stock of the Punto and whether or not they had a Test Drive car. Unfortunately none of my friends (except one who I wouldn't ask owned a Puntoemotion Blu&me). I had never driven one and as unlucky as I thought there was no multijet Punto for test drive. Asked the sales man and he casually yawns and says “sir the test drive car has gone for repair why not try the petrol” I laughed and agreed instead of being sarcastic and saying what many of us would have. I thought why not try the petrol just to get a rough idea on the dynamics of the car and check out the so called Blu&me. I wasn't completely satisfied with the peddals and I found the steering typical Palio like(big diameter which psychologically translates to a large turning radius coupled with the nightmare I used to have in the Palio, in my mind I had already understood that this car would need a whole bunch of extra space to make those “U” turns that are on the rise these days. Anyway checked out the interiors and found the plastics as well as the edges a little low grade I also found the odd ball sharp edge in a couple of places. Mind you I always take a friend along for TD's and make sure he's neutral or does not own any of the cars I was testing. When I cranked the engine she was very smooth, turned the A/C and found the Auto A/C aka climate control pretty neat. So all set for a test drive I thought but it seems that the car could not leave to showroom for the next half hour because someone else had booked a TD. Pretty disappointed I shut her down and shut the door(semi thud with a clank sound) rather strange metal to metal sound. I was denied a test drive and I am not the type who will ask twice or wait any longer. We leave disappointed.

The smaller yet significant things about the Punto (No TD available for me)
  • Blu&me is very useful especially for someone like me
  • Decent instrument cluster panel and average dashboard quality.
  • Feels like the the next generation Palio to me personally.
  • looks the best from all angles and makes you smile when you look at her.
  • Spacious and comfortable.
  • Climate Control a plus.
  • USB and Aux a great plus.

Second came the Hyudai i20 1.4 crdi – Initially convinced that it was the perfect car for me. My ex-girlfriend bought the petrol cause she was convinced by me that it was an amazing car and a segment above the i10. I had driven the petrol several times and liked the dynamics as well as the handling/steering feel (decent response) but felt amazingly light (perfect for her). I was also convinced because Hyundai and I are literally neighbors (compared to Tata i.e. Fiat )and I know quite a few chaps at the Hyundai dealership near my place. Having purcased the Santro and i10 from the same dealer we shared a clean clear cut relationship. No grey areas and no question left unanswered that's Hyundai to me in short.


Called them at 3:30 and asked for a TD and voile! just like the salesman promised they were outside my residence by 4:15 precisely like he said he would be. Did a brief TD and was convinced that she was perfect for me. Asked the salesman to get all the paper work along so that we could go ahead with the procedures. Unfortunately like I mentioned earlier I was in a rush to get my hands on a 'car' and when I asked both Advaith and Trident I was told that the minimum waiting time was about three weeks. Now I know most of us on this forum would have waited but not me. In the mean time I called various other dealerships in various parts of Karnataka state to find out what the waiting period was and to my utter disappointment they all said the same some more but not less.
Now going back to the day when my ex-girlfriend and I booked her petrol 1.2 i20 we clearly remember the salesman telling us it would take two weeks but it ended up taking almost three months. I wasn't willing to wait that long no way.
This was a signal from the gods above that said hold your horses son. All this postponed my purchase and gave me time to think.
In the mean time I requested a couple of friends one who owns a Fabia and one who owns an i20 crdi


Yet to share with you guys – Gruesome back to back tests with the Fabia and i20 crdi + true test drive of the Fabia and the conclusion, not to forget pictures.
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Old 10th March 2010, 21:12   #15
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Interesting write up! Looking forward to the rest and the pics of course!

Cheers!
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