Monday, January 23, 2012
Skoda Fabia and Chevrolet Optra did restore some lost pride for the older generation of cars. On the whole in 2011 the best selling cars were mostly that made their debut for the first time. The old timers were not much of game changer and even if they did manage a healthy run, the sales figures were dismissal compared to their 2010 earnings.
Surprisingly, the Chevrolet Optra and the Skoda Fabia came up trumps in 2011. Facts say that Chevrolet sold a total of 1824 units in 2010 of the Optra and a surprising 3044 units in 2011. On the other hand, the newly renovated Skoda Fabia in 2011 were a shocking 16,966 units compared to 8,965 units that were sold in 2010.
The Skoda Fabia comes in three engine variants of 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel. The 1.4 TDI is a turbocharged three-pot engine which produces 68bhp and a maximum torque of 155Nm. The diesel is a bit noisy which is due the Pumpe-Duse technology that runs it. The idling is quiet and the engine responses are bit delayed when you hit the peddle. This does not take away from the fact that the car still responds better than most other turbo diesel hatchbacks. The car redlines easily but the revs fall quickly too once your foot is off the gas pedal.
The Skoda Fabia price starts a just little under Rs 5 lakh and goes up to almost Rs 8 lakh. It is actually a bit more compared to its other hatchback colleagues. It still however justifies the price it demands, if you consider that you get German build quality and small touches like the telescoping steering and ride and handling that can hold their own with much more expensive cars, it suddenly will seem worth it.
The Chevrolet Optra is a large sedan that falls between the upper C segment and the lower D Segment which makes it quiet a unique buy. The fashion statement of the car is done by Pininfarina however this was carried out when the Optra was still a Daewoo car and it was made predominantly for the Asian markets. The car has always performed beyond its expectations and though it has not heated up the sales it does sell at a steady pace and is a decent piece of machinery. The inside fit and finish surely makes you wanting for more with great space as well. The option of either petrol or a diesel engine also strengthens its portfolio. Overall the Chevrolet Optra offers a decent package with a starting price of Rs. 7.3 lakhs. Both the cars will compete with Volkswagen Vento, Nissan Sunny and Renault Pulse in Indian market.