Friday, January 11, 2008


The much-awaited Skoda Fabia was launched in India on Wednesday at the Auto Expo. With a starting price of Rs 4.99 lakh which goes up to Rs 7.88 lakh for the premium variants, the Skoda Fabia has everything for the Indian car buyer enamoured by the Skoda brand but found the Octavia out of reach.

The interiors in the Skoda Fabia are the best in class. The Fabia sports dual tone dashboard and multi textured fabric on seats and trim. The instrument cluster is modern, displaying exotic info like outside temperature, average speed, average fuel consumption and instantaneous fuel consumption. There is one-touch locking and unlocking of all doors from the driver's side.

The exterior rear view mirrors are stylish and have a heating function to top it. This, says Skoda, helps the Fabia driver get a better view during monsoons, bad weather etc. The mirrors are power-adjustable too.
As part of the music system comes an auxiliary audio output, which can be used to plug in your iPod. The electric sunroof has both slide and tilt functions. AC vents are present on both front and rear, with climatic temperature control.
On of the innovative additions in the Skoda Fabia is a reverse parking sensor, an added convenience which even many big size cars in India do not have. Parktronic gives an audio visual warning when the car reverses towards an obstacle.
The Skoda Fabia comes with a large number of small storage spaces, unseen in any other car. There is a twin storage illuminated compartment, besides thoughtfully created spaces under the armrest, below the roof and all around the doors. Its seems one will never run short of space to store maps, bottles, magazines and other knick knacks in a Fabia. To add to the multiple storage spaces, the Skoda Fabia also comes with a large 300 litre boot.
Skoda has also incorporated well-intentioned additions like height adjustable front driver and passenger seats, adjustable steering, anti-glare interior rear view mirror and the like.

To tackle the tough and unforgiving Indian roads, the Skoda Fabia has an underbody protection to save the vital parts. The car has anti-lock braking system (ABS) and dual SRS airbags in the front. Many of these features are still to make their way into many of the upmarket C segment cars in India.
The front grille of the Fabia is distinctly Skoda, with vertical fins and the prominent Skoda logo. Projector headlamps make the front look different from the earlier Fabia, which reminded an Octavia from the front. Front and rear lamps come in the higher variants. There is also a rear windscreen wiper and washer.

With the anti-theft features built into the Fabia, it would call for a Houdini to make away with the car. The car has remote locking and unlocking systems with keyless entry. There is s VIN code, a unique identification bar code that allows a reading device to automatically identify the vehicle. There is a floating code engine immobilizer which changes the code every time the ignition key is pulled out.
The Fabia comes in both petrol and diesel versions - a 1.4 litre TDI PD diesel engine generating 69 BHP and a 1.4 litre petrol engine generating 85 bhp. The five speed gearbox is manually operated.
The Skoda Fabia will be available in India in four variants - Active, Classic, Ambiente and Elegance. Six body colours are on offer - candy white, cappuccino beige, magic black, brilliant silver, satin grey, and corrida red.
The Fabia is built at Skoda's Aurangabad factory, which also assembles Audi and Volkswagen models for India.
With its price range, the Skoda Fabia takes on the upper class small cars like the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Chevrolet U-VA, and the Hyundai Getz. However, with the price tag a bit on the higher side for a smaller car, Fabia will have to slog it really hard to make a deep impression on the cost-conscious Indian car buyer.

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