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Middle East Exclusive Long-Term tests: Skoda Fabia Top, Renault Megane Flop

Auto Arabia was the first, and is still the only, automotive media to conduct 100.000km and 50.000km long-term test-drives in the Middle East and North Africa region. ´

Such long-term test-drives are extremely important for the customers and automotive consumers in the Middle East region, as such tests are the only reliable source for them, before they decide which car they should buy.

That is why we decided to start our long-term series with cars from the compact segment, and decided to chose cars which are either extremely overrated or extremely underrated in our region.

The extremely overrated model we picked was the Renault Megane 1.6 sedan, which, besides some major problems with its service center and customer service, proved to be extremely unreliable, extremely bad-assembled, of very low quality and last but not least extremely unsafe due to the lack of ESP and several braking-system recalls.

The extremely underrated model we picked was the Skoda Fabia 1.6 Hatchback, which is known in some Middle Eastern countries as the Skoda Fabia Mini. Besides some minor problems during the first part of our long-term test, the Fabia proved to be very reliable, very good-performing, enjoying a very good stability and again, last but not least, very safe due to its ESP and active-passive safety features.

Unfortunately most of the readers and consumers are not aware about the great models Skoda is building these days, such as the Skoda Superb, the Octavia or even the Yeti. At the same time many readers are not aware of the lousy quality of the Renault Megane II as they are simply blinded by its elegant French design.

That is why we at Auto Arabia are here and doing these long-term test-drives to educate our readers and make them aware of which model is top or flop after 50.000km or 100.000km.

So, stay tuned for the complete and final review of the Skoda Fabia 1.6 Long-term test and many other long-term tests to follow soon.

Mohamed Sheta

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Readers Comments:

Ahmed Saber from cairo - egypt wrote:
Are you sure that skoda fabia available in egypt with ESP?
as the octavia that sold in egypt lack of ESP.... and as far as i know in egyptain market its all most 2 cars in the budget below 200,000 L.E (with automatic Gearbox) that's equiped with ESP (Opel Astra j 1.6 ecotec & Peugeot 308 THP 1.6) .

Editors response:
Dear Ahmed,
yes, we are sure as our Fabia 1.6 Sport long-term test-car is equipped with ESP. The 2011 Octavia should be equipped with ESP as well, but there is no ESP button anymore as you cannot turn it off anymore. But check again with the Skoda dealer and ask him to give you a written confirmation. Most VW, Skoda, Seat, Audi, Mercedes and BMW models are equipped with ESP (Electronic Stability Program).

marwan from cairo - egypt wrote:
as a matter of fact , the renault megane is more safe. because it gained the 5 stars at the euro n cap rating and its equipped with 6 airbags. concerning the skoda fabia which didn't get the 5 stars and its only equipped with 2 people whom are making the euro n cap rating is better than us to determine which car is more safe. by the way the megane is very stable on the road.

Editors response:
Dear Marwan,
I suggest that you read the rules and testing procedures of the EuroNCAP again. At the end of the day, what counts is the real experience on the ground, which we as professional test-drivers and motoring journalists experience on an everyday basis on the ground. Stay tuned for the final report on our two long-term test-drive cars (Skoda Fabia 1.6 and Renault Megane 1.6) which will be published soon.
Kind Regards,

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