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 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)|
|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.
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?
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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