Typically, estates have been dull- and drablooking cars in India and have always been exorbitantly priced, with the one exception being the Indigo Marina, which is priced sensibly, but does not look much better. What has gone against the estate is also the trend to use roof racks or roof-mounted luggage carriers. Not only are these not totally safe, but in the form that they are used, they must also be causing more than a slight disturbance to the aerodynamics of the car—making it considerably less fuel-efficient. Given that fuel prices are steadily headed north, such factors will increasingly come into play and people would much rather have the luggage inside the car than on the roof. But what is needed to galvanise the sale of these body types is a trendy and good-looking car that is priced right (as compared to the rest of its family) and offers more not only in terms of utility but also things more associated with sedans, like sportiness and dynamics, powerful engines and efficient ones at the same time.
The only such vehicle in the horizon is the Skoda Fabia Combi because the Fabia hatch itself is so over-engineered for a small car in India that it turns out to be quite expensive—and these basics costs seem reasonable for a car the size of the Combi. It will not only be more sporty, performance-wise, but will also look it and will, of course, offer all the great Fabia qualities that we have seen on the hatch. If Skoda-Auto is able to price it right, then we might have that game-changer setting the trend in India. The only problem is that the Fabia as a whole is not doing the great numbers and the success of the Combi will only be relative.