Skoda Fabia set to shake up premium hatchback market with Rs 45,000 discount

Skoda is offering a discount of Rs. 45,000 from the retail price of the Fabia. For corporate customers, the discount further increases by Rs. 5,000 making it a total of Rs. 50,000. Here is why the Fabia is an attractive proposition now.

The discounts are significant since they make Fabia one of the cheapest buys in the premium hatchback segment. All but the Ford Figo costs more.

Fabia currently sells just about 1,500 cars a month. Maruti Suzuki Swift averages 12,000 cars a month while i20 and Figo sell 7,000 and 6,000 cars, respectively.

skoda fabia petrol road test photo
Photo: The Skoda Fabia may pull more at its discounted price

Figo has the best price in this segment for all that it offers but it has been losing momentum recently. And the i20 and Polo are most expensive cars in their segment. Fabia, before this discount, has been somewhere in the middle with its more fully equipped models nudging close to Polo at around Rs 6 lakh. Also read: Gap between premium hatchback leaders and others widens

That pricing has somewhat dulled Fabia’s appeal. It doesn’t have the brand image of Polo. Nor it does it have the reach and credibility of Swift with which it directly competes. But it is a good car with quite a bit of space and decent handling.

With the discount, the Fabia becomes a lot more attractive proposition.

Fabia diesel better than Figo

The discount is significant since Fabia’s entry level diesel cheaper than all its rival’s entry level versions except Figo. The pricing of diesel versions are important as 70 percent of sales of Figo come from its diesel variants. Maruti and Hyundai too have said that over 50 percent of their sales are now coming from diesel cars.

Figo’s base diesel version, the 1.4 Duratorq Diesel LXI costs Rs 4.6 lakh. Fabia’s corresponding model, the 1.2 TDI Classic, costs Rs 5.5 lakh but with discount come for Rs 5 lakh, narrowing the difference down to Rs 40,000.

For that extra price, the Fabia offers more than the Figo, both on power and equipment levels. Figo has a 68 bhp engine while Fabia has 75 bhp on tap. Fabia has an airbag for driver, AC rear vents, music system, tilt and telescopic steering, central locking and keyless entry—all features missing on Figo.

You can get some of these features in Ford’s 1.4 Duratorq Diesel EXI, but that costs the same as Fabia (after this discount).

While Swift too has its LDI model at Rs 5 lakh, it doesn’t have any of features Fabia’s base model has. The next bestseller in the segment, i20 has its diesel range starting at 5.8 lakh.

Fabia petrol cheaper than Swift, i20, Polo

The story is pretty much the same with the petrol version. The entry-level Fabia 1.2 MPI Classic the cheapest car amongst Polo, Swift and i20. Only Figo 1.2 Duratec LXI costs less at Rs 3.59 lakh. But Figo isn’t as well built as Fabia. It beats Figo on both power and equipment levels. Figo has a 70 BHP engine while Fabia has 75 BHP on tap. Fabia has an airbag for driver, AC rear vents, music system, iPod dock and keyless entry—Figo doesn’t have any.

And if you are seeking for a more powerful car than the most value for money option? The Fabia 1.6 MPI Elegance has a healthy 100 bhp on tap but it was priced at Rs 6 lakh price. You can now have it for around Rs 5.5 lakh—that’s a little less than the top-end Swift Zxi, which has only 80 bhp. Besides, it comes loaded with safety features such as airbags (2), ABS and EBD.

Conclusion

The discount is big enough to potentially change the pecking order in this segment. Swift with rock solid reputation is unlikely to be affected. Hyundai i20 too is well-entrenched, more so with recent success of Fluidic Verna giving the company the much-needed “brand boost”.

Those two apart, it is open season now. Figo that has yet to establish itself for the long term and could face serious heat. As would upstarts like Nissan Micra.

So, does the discount put Fabia in your buying set?