The 2000s witnessed the change in the automotive industry with major global automobile players entering the Indian market. One such automaker, Skoda, made its way to our shores in 2001, post liberalisation of the industry. Their first offering was the Octavia, a car that is still ruling its segment. Banking on the success of this sedan, Skoda also launched a Euro-spec hatchback, the Fabia in India in 2008.

What was under the hood?

Skoda Fabia | Under the hood
Skoda Fabia | Under the hood

Skoda offered two petrol engine options with the Fabia. The first one is the 1.2-litre MPi petrol engine capable of churning 73.7hp @5,400rpm and a peak torque of 110Nm @3,750rpm. A more powerful 1.6-litre was offered in the top variant. It had a power output of 103.2hp @5,250rpm while peak torque of 153Nm @3,800rpm.

And this was not all, the company also offered a 1.2-litre TDI turbocharged diesel engine with the Fabia. This diesel oil burner could churn out 73.7hp of power @4,200rpm and a peak torque of 180Nm @2,000rpm. All the three engines were paired to a 5-speed manual transmission.

How spacious was the Skoda Fabia?

Skoda Fabia | Dimensions

Specs↓ Skoda Fabia Maruti Suzuki Swift (2008)
Length (mm) 4,000 3,850
Width (mm) 1,642 1,695
Height (mm) 1,522 1,530
Wheelbase (mm) 2,465 2,430
Boot space (litres) 315
Ground Clearance (mm) 158 170

To give you a hint of whether the Fabia was spacious or not, we have added the specs of Maruti Suzuki Swift, the prime rival at that time in the Indian market. As you can see, the Fabia was longer than the Swift, which can be seen in the wheelbase difference too. Thus the Fabia had better legroom than the arc rival at that time. Although when other dimensions are to be compared, Swift does take a lead.

Euro-spec you say! Is it feature-loaded?

Skoda is known as one of the few brands that offer luxury in every car. Fabia was no exception. It came equipped with height-adjustable driver seat, air conditioning with dust and pollen filter, rear AC vents, front and rear cupholders, illuminated glove box and much more. On the safety front, it had, ABS with EBD, hydraulic dual-diagonal circuit braking system, dual front airbags, front and rear fog lamps, anti-glare rearview mirror and so on.

Skoda Fabia Interiors
Skoda Fabia Interiors

The car was safe enough. It scored a rating of 4-star at the Euro NCAP crash testing with the body structure deemed stable during impacts. India at that time had none of the cars that had a safety rating of this level.

Check this out: 10 Failed Hatchbacks from Major Car Makers

But, why did the Skoda Fabia fail in India?

Skoda Fabia's Fate
Skoda Fabia’s Fate

The brand, Skoda, was known to have higher servicing costs. People preferring to buy hatchback were not ready to spend a lot on the services. Moreover, the initial cost was high too. There were rivals such as Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai i20 with better and cheaper sales and service network. People were not able to put their trust and money on the Euro-spec premium hatchback. It was discontinued by 2013 and since then is awaited to launch back.

What do you think of the Skoda Fabia? Was it better than the rivals? Should it be relaunched? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. Skoda Fabia is a great car with safety, space, luxury and driving pleasure. They should definitely relaunch this car.

  2. Yes, I am proud owner of Skoda Fabia and it’s been 10 years and it’s running as good as new till now. Just love it. Solid built quality and premiumness oozes out from every angle you look be it exterior, Interior or under the hood.

    • Hi Harsh,
      Skoda Fabia indeed is a very good hatchback, be it the performance or the comfort. You have no problem with the car, even after 10 years is enough to prove the durability of the car. Stay tuned!

  3. I am proud owner of the car 2011 model.i bought car with mindset to use for 15 years in delhi. But due to current rules imposing diesel not to be used for more than 10 year. I have to sell car. But speaking of quality the is still running in very good condition with no major breakdown till now. Engine is till peppy and very responsive. Service cost is what people concern but not for me. My daily run is 70 km and it justifies every check point for me. The color is still intact is not faded with time. The swift of my time has got dull . I have cuppuchino beige color..I love Skoda cars they offer reliable quality with world class safety. Which Indian brand fail to deliver. I will definately buy.if new is luanched.the built is awesome feels heavy but light in driving.

  4. Yeah i also vote for relaunching the car because i own a 2011 model diesel but till now it runs like a new one except some dents its till now the car

  5. I purchased this car in early 2012 and the initial few years were a breeze to say. However last couple of years have been awful. Frequently cutting off AC, clutch issues (needed replacement) causes me sleepless nights. Having done around 50k kms so far, I thought things could have been better.
    Maintenance costs are a sure ripper and unless skoda addresses this, whatever cars they bring in for the cost conscious customers is going to go down the drain as before.

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