Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 8th August 2010, 07:53   #1
2cents's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: India
Posts: 326
Thanked: 96 Times
Default Skoda "The Tank" Fabia, Ambiente Petrol

Disclaimer: This is my first car, right after driving school and additional practice hours. Nevertheless, as you may notice along this thread, I often tend to talk like an expert, and in fact frequently feel like one when I'm not behind the wheel, for which I entirely blame my last eight months of browsing team-bhp.

"Eight months following team-bhp and you bought a Skoda?!" - I hear you scream. Now stop banging. I am not going to justify myself - pathetic fuel economy figures, about to be changed engine, high maintainance cost, and the infamous A. S. S.,.. - figured I just cant. "So then why a Skoda?" - you still persist, for which my only answer is "I liked it".

After one year of waiting for one hatch after the other to hit the market, I finally decided its time. Truth be told Skoda was no where in my options list. While wavering from Figo-TDCi to Punto MJT to Punto-Fire to i20 to Polo, a chance drop-in at the Skoda showroom and a closer feel of the Fabia made me say "finally here is a company that knows how to make their cars". This might sound like an exaggeration. But just take a closer look at, say i20 and the Fabia, I bet my 2cents, you will dispute. If you think I am on dope including the Polo to this list, just see what Top Gear UK has to say. Of course, the 60k+ discount presently on the Fabia was the main deal maker.

Well, all that said, it still remains a Skoda. So just hoping that a boy racer in a Pulsar doesn't break my heated ORVM - I may have to sell house.

Skoda - Fabia, Ambiente 1.2lt Petrol
Warranty: 2 years, no option of extended warranty (Till then. Is there some good news now?)
Color: Cappuccino beige (where do they cook these names! Its neither Coffee, nor beige, kind of metallic grey. But lovely color)
Freebies: Mudflap (promised, but no stock), Mats, 45lt Petrol, Sunfilm & Teflon (SC says it is 3M. I dont see the mark. Teflon - 3 coat). Comes with a under body anti-rust coat done, apparently.

36km on the odo during PDI, and 53km on delivery after registration.

Price Break Up:
Showroom: 5,66,702/- (after 60k discount)
Road tax, Regn + handling: 39600/-
Insurance: 14,154/- comprehensive from Reliance

Next up: Exterior.
Attached Images
2cents is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 10:17   #2
Team-BHP Support
ampere's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15,929
Thanked: 9,107 Times

Congrats on the buy. Its always good to buy with your heart, with a pinch of head! Because if you dont, after your purchase, you will keep regretting, why did'nt you buy this or that!

Skoda services are at least improving in Bangalore (per what I heard). Hope you got the 4 year warranty as well!

All said and done, its awesome car! Ideal hatch. Engine yes questionable.

If the next gen Fabia gets launched with TSI petrol and a CRDI diesel, it would go to the next level!

CRDI hopeful, but TSI questionable, at that may push the price north of 10L.
ampere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 12:12   #3
2cents's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: India
Posts: 326
Thanked: 96 Times
Default Exterior

What this could've been: A ownership report of the new 2010 Fabia, with the refined 1.2L 3pot doing duty in the Polo.

What this is: A (largely pictorial) review of a about to be discontinued model bought in a closing down sale, after spending a month idling in the yard I might add. But given that most of the features are likely to be carried over to the new Fabia about to hit the road soon, I expect the review to be useful for some.

There is reason why the concept of a 'closing down sale' exists. The type where you ask for a rebate on the bed spread, and they also throw in a couple of free pillows along. For, it sells if you have a good product, A 60k off, sun film, mats, flaps, 45 litre petrol,.. Funny thing - I was not even bargaining.

I've heard its built like a tank. A 'tank on tyres' it is (Yeah! I was inspired by the 'tijori on wheels' take on Punto. Sue me Sid!). Opening and closing the door once is enough to tell the difference from the others in the segment. A European hybrid, it carries the ruggedness of the East, and understated suaveness of the West. Talking of European, Skoda seems to have taken the Europeanness a little too far - indicator and wiper controls, bonnet release are all placed on the other side, just one rear fog lamp, steel spare wheel - all so European. Even the manual is for the European version, which talks of a hazaar features that simply dont exist in any version sold in India. So, not possible to say if a feature doesn't work, or simply isn't there. Good part, they have carried over the sturdy monocoque as it is to the Indian version, unlike the i20.

The winged arrow: This is one badge, whose higher end siblings are more easily sighted on the road than their cheapest offering - a trait it shares with the Jazz. In fact, even after three years, I get a feeling they have more Fabias in the showroom than on the road.
Name:  badge.jpg
Views: 8554
Size:  53.5 KB
Paint quality is excellent. A definite traffic stopper if you take it out clean. Although my choice was the Cappucino beige, I liked all the choices offered by Skoda. They are deep, have a different hue, elegent and easily stand out from the crowd. European standard pedestrian safety norms means plastic radiator grille and bumber. A right dose of chrome to render class. A scratch was noticed on the front bumber during PDI and reported. The entire bumber was re-painted by the dealer. The black synthetic layering below bumper looks like good material, adds a nice touch. Good set of headlights, and fogs.

Chunky 5 spokes. 185/60 R14 standard across all variants. Disk up front, and drum at the rear. The Ambiente also comes with ABS and ESP.
Name:  wheel.jpg
Views: 8483
Size:  59.0 KB
Heated ORVM with timer function. Covers the road well. First blood - courtesy city Transport Corporation bus. 'will remain closed for eternity.

Name:  orvm.jpg
Views: 8454
Size:  58.8 KB Name:  blood.jpg
Views: 8323
Size:  44.7 KB

Light tinted sunfilm as part of freebies. SC suggested Garware, I insistd on 3M. Is it really? Don't see the logo anywhere. Air bubbles a plenty - Skoda service at work.
Name:  sunfilm.jpg
Views: 8350
Size:  26.0 KB Name:  bubbles.jpg
Views: 8330
Size:  44.8 KB
Rather plain rear. Integrated HMSL. Exhaust nicely tucked under.
No variat badge - by principle, I believe.
No key hole - to keep it simple.
No defoggers - as a cost cutting measure. Not even on the Elegance these days, I am told.
And no dealer sticker - on special request.
Name:  exhaust.jpg
Views: 9025
Size:  46.3 KB Name:  rear.jpg
Views: 8190
Size:  55.4 KB

Oil tank can be open only with the key. So have to walk out while filling.
Name:  lid.jpg
Views: 8435
Size:  52.6 KB
What Skoda calls the 'rough road package'. A thick stretch of layer, 3 inch wide and all the way from front to the back wheel. I was told the car comes with a under body anti rust coating, so nothing additionally required. Is that so?
Name:  roughroad.jpg
Views: 9155
Size:  50.0 KB
The GC: Official figure of 146mm is under the bonnet area. But between wheels, where it matters, its definitely higher. Have driven on some worse roads and back breakers already, but never scraped the bottom.

Next Up: Interior
2cents is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 12:26   #4
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 598
Thanked: 116 Times

Congrats 2cents for the Fabia. You certainly got a good deal with so many freebies thrown in. Get rid of these air bubbles asap.
BTW, Any news about the new Fabia?
Utopian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 13:02   #5
2cents's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: India
Posts: 326
Thanked: 96 Times
Default Interior

Space-definitely best in the segment. Good support from the seats. Adjustable head
rest on all four. Seat belts with pretensioners. 3 point seat belts even for the 5th passenger. Have travelled myself as the middle passenger in the rear. No issues at all, inspite of the tall transmission tunnel.
Name:  3point.jpg
Views: 7981
Size:  51.5 KB
Magazine holders at the back of front passenger seats.
Name:  seat back.jpg
Views: 8089
Size:  37.5 KB
AC vents under front passenger seats for the rear. Freebie floor mat from the dealer underneath, and rubber wire mesh mat from local market (Rs 1150/-), and cut to shape.
Name:  vent.jpg
Views: 9045
Size:  37.5 KB
60:40 split. But do not fold flat. So, cant take your bicycle standing (Which hatch in India can carry a cycle in standing position?)!
Name:  6040.jpg
Views: 7763
Size:  44.9 KB
Good leg room. Even the front passenger gets a height adjuster.
Name:  height.jpg
Views: 7735
Size:  49.0 KB
Seat pull-back lever.
Name:  lever.jpg
Views: 7772
Size:  45.2 KB
I hear the rotary incline adjust is better than the lever type, which I would have preferred.
Not so convenient to operate.
Name:  screw.jpg
Views: 7709
Size:  48.7 KB
Good number of cubby holes.
On door, with a retainer string,
Name:  cubby2.jpg
Views: 7706
Size:  56.8 KB
on gear console (and central lock),
and rear, but not on the rear doors.

Aux in for audio, and cigar lighter below the hand brake. Will the new version get USB support or Bluetooth!!
Name:  aux2.jpg
Views: 8849
Size:  46.4 KB
The transmission tunnel doubles as a wall between the two rear passengers!! No coying business around here eih!! Similar in Polo too, where the puny rear space makes it even worse. One area where I give a big thumbs up for i20. The Korean tunnel is just a couple of inches above floor.
Skoda "The Tank" Fabia, Ambiente Petrol-tunnel.jpg
Good quality plastic has been well talked about. Dual tone interior is not my favorite, all black would've been my choice. Was even thinking of going for Classic just for this. Doors have part fabric too. Doors are sturdy, and open in three stages- European again. Ok! I now see what you guys mean by the 'thud' factor! A good rubber lining to keep the noice off. Oh yeah! the 3 pot is a rumbler for sure.
Name:  doorline.jpg
Views: 7545
Size:  39.1 KB
Rear door locks can be disabled with the key - child safety.
Name:  childlock.jpg
Views: 8970
Size:  57.4 KB
AC vents look simple, but of good quality. AC Cools well on knob position 2. Rear passengers get separate vents.
Name:  acstereo.jpg
Views: 7851
Size:  42.7 KB
Instrument cluster has speedo, RPM meter, and a display that has a clock, ODO, Fuel tank indicator and trip meter. Elegence comes with a Multy Function Display, which also shows Fuel consumption, among other things. A lot of lights come up on start, and go down indicating a self test.
Name:  speedo.jpg
Views: 9290
Size:  37.7 KB Name:  cluster.jpg
Views: 7599
Size:  18.5 KB
Stock music system sounds good. The SC kept raving about Bosch set up. I think he meant Blau'. Or is it?All four speakers (2 way component system) on the front. Tweeter on the A pillar. Slots for another 2 way component set on the rear doors. Wanted to know if the wiring is done already. A service guy was called up. The ignonimity of having to answer a customer writ on his face, the guy shook his head like a fly was buzzing around his ears. The SC interpreted that as a 'yes'. Can someone confirm? Ticket holder on the A pillar and tweeter. Freebie did not include clear sun film on the front.
Name:  ticket.jpg
Views: 8621
Size:  48.3 KB
Power windows on all four doors. No separate door locks though, but for the central locking. Pull lever twice to unlock. Auto locking is 'Off' by default. Got it set 'On' at 20km. The power windows have a one touch function. Press just once to roll them up/down all the way. Press again to stop. Have used it several times in traffic already. Pretty convenient. Regular press-n-hold works too.
Name:  door.JPG
Views: 7560
Size:  44.0 KB
Windows also have a 'bounce back feature' on obstruction. Put your fingers in between while closing, and the windows roll down (But not before a good shot on your fingers though. Trust me, I have tested. Could've woken up the neighborhood if it were my two year old).

Electrically adjustable heated ORVM. Heater comes with a inbuilt timer.
Name:  heater.jpg
Views: 7659
Size:  54.0 KB
Can't comment much on the steering (electro hydraulic), gear shift, clutch and brakes though - newbie driver. But definitely loving it. Believe these technicals must be the same as Polo, so ask GTO. Nice feel, and right size, on the steering. Tilt and telescopic adjust standard.
Name:  steer.jpg
Views: 7487
Size:  48.8 KB
Gear shift same as Polo. Reverse above First gear, push down to engage (my neighbour was confused searching for the reverse. After I explained he looked a little confused for a moment and asked 'isn't this Swift?!').
Name:  gear.jpg
Views: 8413
Size:  44.5 KB
Up Next: Interior continued
2cents is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 15:14   #6
2cents's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: India
Posts: 326
Thanked: 96 Times
Default Interior: continued

Good space at the foot well. Has a dead pedal too, but somehow dont find it very convenient to use.
Name:  footwell.JPG
Views: 8586
Size:  43.6 KB

Glove box, cool and illuminated. Not big enough though. AC vent can be adjusted, but the auto lights cannot be switched off. The rubber studs are a nice touch, and the plastic quality is definitely a notch above competition. .
Name:  glovebox.jpg
Views: 8126
Size:  43.4 KB Name:  coolillu.jpg
Views: 7529
Size:  40.2 KB
Two more open storage areas: One above glove box (Elegance gets a lid), and another behind the steering (below light switch, and head light level adjuster).
Name:  store2.jpg
Views: 7496
Size:  49.3 KB
Two SRS Airbags, standard across all variants. No switch to disable passenger side airbag. Weird position for the passenger side I felt. Facing vertically up. SC assured me it works just fine. Wide RVM covers the rear well. Has an anti-glare switch too.
Name:  airbag.jpg
Views: 7932
Size:  73.9 KB
Central locking switch on the gear console, with cubby holes and ashtray.
Name:  lock.jpg
Views: 7648
Size:  39.0 KB
European hangover:
Indicator, wiper stocks switch sides. Tap a little, up or down, for the indicators to flash just thrice.
Name:  indicator.jpg
Views: 8213
Size:  44.0 KB
Bonnet release on the passenger side! No separate boot or oil lid release.
Name:  bonnet.jpg
Views: 7391
Size:  44.1 KB
315 Litre boot, largest in the segment (Jazz??!). Seats can fold down to take it to over 1000. Boot light switches on automatically, no switch. Parcel tray can be put in two positons. Metal on the corner to tie down stuff, can be useful when kidnapping. Jus' kidding (While on kidnapping, if you ever get kidnapped in the boot, there is a emergency exit procedure, wherein you can unlock the hatch from inside, but can still be opened only from outside). Mats not part of standard equipment.
Name:  boot.jpg
Views: 7254
Size:  52.8 KB Name:  boot2.jpg
Views: 7240
Size:  60.9 KB Name:  boot3.jpg
Views: 7222
Size:  43.7 KB
Spare tyre (with steel wheel - ahh! so European!!). Tool set and spare bulbs nicely packed in styro. No rattles there. Some of the slots in the styro are empty - cant say if that's how they are supposed to be, or just vanished at the dealers. The manual does talk about a few things, but with a '*', indicating it may not be there in some variants/countries. A set of reflectors and first aid box are supplied additionally.
Name:  spare.jpg
Views: 7176
Size:  35.7 KB Name:  firstaid.jpg
Views: 7183
Size:  45.0 KB
Two interior lights, front and center. The center one also lights up on unlocking doors, auto-off on lock, or few minutes after doors close. Front map lights has standard features. Doubles up as reading light too, with separate switches for driver and passenger. Elegance also gets a sunglass holder right behind the maplight, the thing that looks like a AC vent but actually has some electricals inside. .
Name:  map1.jpg
Views: 7218
Size:  31.6 KB Name:  map2.jpg
Views: 8855
Size:  30.8 KB

Two vanity mirrors on either visor, can be closed. The dirver side sun visor also has a ticket holder.
Name:  vanity.jpg
Views: 7081
Size:  34.8 KB

Next Up: Engine bay and some additonal stuff.
2cents is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 15:42   #7
2cents's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: India
Posts: 326
Thanked: 96 Times
Default The engine bay, and some other stuff.

The 3pot BS3 engine generates 70BHP@5400 and 108Nm torque@3000. A refined BS4 version of the same, that is presently seen in Polo, is expected to be the replacement soon. I could've waited, but then without the discounts it would be well beyond my reach. Cant talk much about the technical stuff, but here's a look.
Name:  engine1.jpg
Views: 13628
Size:  79.3 KB

Should'nt there be a cover over the engine? The SC denied, but from what they have done to the rest of the car, very unlikely for Skoda to leave it that way. You can even see four lock holes where a lid or something must fit in. Remember, the car was in the yard for a month.
Name:  engine2.jpg
Views: 7243
Size:  69.0 KB

Rather simple repeaters.
Name:  repeat.jpg
Views: 7167
Size:  34.3 KB
Nice pair of folding key fobs (seen these elsewhere?!)- Lock, boot unlock, and Unlock. I am told 'press and hold' lock/unlock buttons can work the windows too on the Polo. Doesn't work here. Manual, Service book, and manual for the music system, in a nice pouch.
Name:  keys.jpg
Views: 7463
Size:  58.0 KB
As I mentioned earlier, manual is for the European version. Atleast would not have been bulky if it were rewritten for the Indian version. Still worse, I reckon its a direct translation from Czech, German, or some Nordic language using google translation tool. Those familiar with literature translated from German would understand.

Cheap gratification:
Name:  cheap1.jpg
Views: 7032
Size:  43.7 KB Name:  cheap2.jpg
Views: 7089
Size:  60.8 KB
Is that the ABS unit?!
Name:  abs.jpg
Views: 7114
Size:  41.9 KB
Other accessories: Bought - Jopasu duster and wipe - Rs. 695/-.

Planned - a mini hand held vacuum cleaner, Art leather seat covers, door scuff guards and a set of speakers for the rear. Suggestions welcome.

FE figures so far: The multi function display, that shows instantaneous FE figures, are available only in the Elegance variant. 360km on the odo. After I filled up recently, my calculation shows me 7.7km/l. Still running-in, and remember I am newbie. Hope this improves to a decent 12 or 13 in time. Skoda claims 15. Yeah right!!

Last edited by 2cents : 8th August 2010 at 16:01.
2cents is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 15:42   #8
Senior - BHPian
blackasta's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata, WB
Posts: 2,864
Thanked: 1,156 Times

You are one confident Skoda owner - thats for sure.
I guess the rumble against skoda in Tbhp has more to do against their A.S.S rather than the cars themselves.
Sweet equipments to make your ride comfortable - I really like them!
Enjoy your drive - and please keep the left ORVM open (it may cost you 250-300 bucks to repaint it, but might save you a side scrape on the door which costs 2000-3000 to repaint. And did I mention that it is after all - a looking glass to cover most of your left side blind spots?)
Happy motoring!
blackasta is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 15:45   #9
Senior - BHPian
gemithomas's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 2,364
Thanked: 138 Times

Excellent Thread. Congrats on the Buy.
gemithomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 17:07   #10
Senior - BHPian
McLaren Rulez's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mysore
Posts: 2,421
Thanked: 591 Times

Originally Posted by 2cents View Post
"Eight months following team-bhp and you bought a Skoda?!" - I hear you scream. Now stop banging. I am not going to justify myself - pathetic fuel economy figures, about to be changed engine, high maintainance cost, and the infamous A. S. S.,.. - figured I just cant. "So then why a Skoda?" - you still persist, for which my only answer is "I liked it".
I love your car buying philsophy. I'm of exactly the same mould. If the heart says yes, just go for it.
McLaren Rulez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 17:21   #11
lsp's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 382
Thanked: 180 Times

A very detailed and thorough review. The FE figure seems dismal at the moment. Hope it shoots north after your 1st service. About the engine cover, hope some Fabia owner can clarify soon.

Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
and please keep the left ORVM open (it may cost you 250-300 bucks to repaint it, but might save you a side scrape on the door which costs 2000-3000 to repaint.
+1 to that. Not using the ORVM for the fear of breaking it, is akin to not sailing the ship in the ocean for the fear of sinking it, IMO.

Last edited by lsp : 8th August 2010 at 17:25.
lsp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 17:55   #12
Senior - BHPian
aargee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: KATN
Posts: 4,697
Thanked: 2,142 Times

I love all the products from Skoda, yet I wouldn't buy a Skoda - Thanks to the education from TBhp & for some reason I think through brain when it comes to Skoda. You know the result? Every time I see a Skoda on road (right from Fabia to Superb) I keep mumbling, "beautiful car" & if I happen to see one such when walking; I turn my heads until it disappears on road.

But you took the courage @2cents to own one which I don't dare & now you can keep gazing over your own car unlike me. Congratulations & I sincerely wish you get good service & pleasing ownership experience from Skoda.
aargee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 18:37   #13
Senior - BHPian
MileCruncher's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,994
Thanked: 357 Times

Congrats on the buy 2cents. Skoda's are definitely well built cars and hope you have a problem free ownership.

And as Blackasta stated, as a new driver you should practice using both the ORVM's as they reduce your blind-spots and makes one a safer driver.
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 20:21   #14
vibhu_f430's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: chennai
Posts: 198
Thanked: 67 Times

Hay !

This is definitely one of the most comprehensive ownership reviews ive read in my 5 yrs over here ! Covered everything about the car ! Great stuff man !

Ive always liked the fabia, Only,if it came with more powerful engine options, i would have picked it up over the swift !
Enjoy ur ride, and keep us updated ! Especially about the A$S. !

Cheers !
vibhu_f430 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th August 2010, 20:51   #15
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 70
Thanked: 0 Times

Hey 2cents,

Congrats on your new acquisition!! This being your first hatch, i love the way you have written the ownership experience.

Happy motoring!!


vishwask82 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Cayenne" we "XC-eed" in our "Endeavour" to "Safari"? Taking powerful metal off-road SS-Traveller 4x4 Excursions 55 10th November 2016 22:56
6 lakhs to repair Skoda Fabia engine. EDIT: Owner sells Fabia as scrap! zombiedriver Technical Stuff 234 27th July 2016 16:32
My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs raichoudhury Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 33 11th January 2014 17:47
Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Ambiente: 30000 kms review fi.robin Long-Term Ownership Reviews 18 10th September 2012 09:55
Petrol Tank Modification ( Petrol Leak ) thimappa Motorbikes 1 18th May 2009 12:04

All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 20:42.

Copyright 2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks