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Old 8th August 2012, 15:12   #31
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Originally Posted by diffsoft View Post
Now if you haven't had any problems with Vento so far as you state above, why are you not convinced it will stay long haul? Is it fear based on low reliability hearsay?
I guess so, though it is a little more than hearsay: ajmat's VRS, GTO's Merc, FlyingSpur's 320D: all have had less-than-optimal reliability histories. I havent' heard any Polo/Vento horror stories yet: ninjatalli's shadow blue beauty has developed some pimples recently that is going to be redone under warranty, and one or two caught fire under suspicious circumstances but that's about it.Keeping fingers crossed.

Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
The kind of feel that a European car gives you can never be matched by a Japanese rival. Like they say, the Japs are mere machines, designed just to do their job.
I'll settle for that!

Edit: Almost as if on cue, another one (Black Lightning: My Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI DSG-UPDATE: DSG box replaced!) bites the dust!

Last edited by noopster : 8th August 2012 at 15:14. Reason: Added edit
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:18   #32
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

The opening post of this thread is sure going to turn many of the "Perspective buyers" of Skoda to stay away.

Most of the people will settle for peace of mind. Who wants to mess with the car or leave the car at A.S.S? Most of us are too busy for that. I am not saying all, but most of us.
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:21   #33
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Originally Posted by Cesc View Post
L&K variants are about the best that Skoda has to offer and there is very little evidence (if any) on this forum or on Briskoda that the goodies that come with L&K malfunction in any manner. I own an Octy L&K and a Laura L&K. Both have had over 1l kms on them and not even a single feature on these cars has given me trouble even once.
Yup, completely agreed. In fact, apart from the DSGs failing on that rare car, I m yet to come across any "feature failure" in the Europeans, and it is "feature failure" that is most common in many other brands (look at the XUV for example).

Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I'll settle for that!
And yes, apart from the 7 speed DSG's issues, I d say, the luxe and feel offered by the Euros makes up for their spare parts prices.

Originally Posted by noopster View Post
There you go, I was just typing DSG and it has happened, on the suspected 7 speed box, once again, this remains the single biggest bane of these cars.
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:48   #34
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Just completed 4 years with Fabia 1.4 TDI, I see the cost to maintain now going up, but no failures till date except for wear and tear of lower arm bushes , brake pads and normal service costs.

The only issue is with AC running since last 8 months (with a araldite fix for a leaking drier pipe of condensor), earlier had to top up gas every 3 months.

Its more a issue becasue of lack of trained staff at Skoda service centers to identify and fix the issues.
Since last year due to increase in sales of Fabia and now Rapid , service quality is down drasticlly at Vinayaka in Bangalore. But I have seen Fabia with running bills of 25 K plus which are less than a year old.

It boils down in how you maintain and take care of your Skoda from the various posts put up in Team Bhp.
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Old 8th August 2012, 16:11   #35
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
You forgot an 8th - if buying used, walk in with your eyes wide open, check out the owner and his style of driving and attitude ot maintenance. I never saw my car till I collected it. I did not get to meet the owner. I paid for it

..and a 9th - Anticipate forthcoming expenses and wear and tear on a rolloing basis and be prepared to move on before the costs hit oyur pocket
I completely agree with ajmat these two points are one of the primary filters when you are out to buy a used car.

I am pretty happy with my VRs. No major repairs in 22 months of ownership. I feel the current 1.8 TSI is very reliable. Couple of my friends are pretty happy with A.S.S too. Also the service levels at A.S.S has improved a lot.

At-lest in Delhi spares have never been an issue.
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Old 8th August 2012, 18:36   #36
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Very interesting thread VeyronSuperSprt. Me and my friend started researching for our first car this time of the year in 2011. He settled for a Hyundai Santro in November 2011 and I brought home Honda Brio in April 2012. During our interaction with friends and relatives who owned cars ranging from Alto to Mercedes "90%" of the people said "if you are buying for the first time go for either Japanese or Koreans."

My cousin owns a Skoda Fabia and he is extremely pleased with it. Apart from regular service schedules he has never had to visit the service center. A brother-in-law owns 2 Skoda Octavia and an E-class. Definitely European cars have something in them that the Japanese do not offer, I presume it is the build/ride quality, the feeling of solidity and plushness compared to the Japanese/Koreans.

While people generally like to bash up European cars (Skoda and Fiat in particular, mostly for valid reasons) not everything is pink and rosy with Asians (remember i20 steering rattling issues). I am of the opinion that the negative image of Skoda has risen more because of the company's lackadaisical attitude in terms of after sales service and customer relations, rather than just vehicle failures themselves. Sure Skoda has the heaviest baggage in terms of critical component failure (for example DSG), but the owners of the newer generation cars are relatively satisfied as evident from the ownership reports on this forum itself. Maybe Skoda should hand over the after sales service and customer relations departments to Japanese people!
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Old 8th August 2012, 19:55   #37
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I used to have deep pockets but I still have the tehnical expertise from my Skoda days
@Ajmat - European cars, esp. Skodas, make mechanics out of men? Ask v&v!
Originally Posted by v&v View Post
I completely agree with ajmat...
@v&v: You're another one of those whom Skoda has turned from a man into a mechanic - before that, when did you ever contemplate getting an OBD-II cable and the software to be able to scan your car whenever the CEL made an uninvited appearance? As to trouble-free - sure, we found a great car, did a lot of research before you bought it, but your headaches and expenses had always been more for the comparatively lesser-run vRS, than the entire lifespan of ownership of your Safari (which, reputedly, is certainly not a niggle-free vehicle either).
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Old 8th August 2012, 20:42   #38
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Originally Posted by n.devdath
Coming to reliability, I feel that if maintained well, and driven correctly, the Europeans would last as long as the Japanese
Not only are there too many conditional "ifs" in your statement, which a Jap owner does not have to bother about, but you are also confusing "reliability" with "lasting-long", which are not really the same thing (a car could last really long without being reliable). Reliability seems anathema to the German cars if you go by the various issues seen by owners on the forum and also if you remember the "low-bed trucks would go out of business if not for German cars" thread. Agree that the solid-feel provided by a Laura won't be seen in say a Civic, but given a choice, most people would opt for the Civic that does its job without fuss, compared to a Laura that breaks down on them.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 8th August 2012 at 20:46.
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Old 8th August 2012, 20:58   #39
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

At the end of the day its a personal choice. For me the Japs/Koreans can't match the finesse, character and driving experience of European cars. For sure they score higher on reliability but it is not as if European cars are forever sitting with mechanics or A** or that Japs/Koreans have no reliability issues of their own. i20 AC issues are as well documented as Merc/Laura ones and numerous turbos on the country's top most selling diesel hatch Swift have gone kaput.

I moved from a Suzuki to Honda to Skoda. I know I am never going back to Jap/Korean brands. Europeans have made a mechanic out of me as well but I aint complaining. I knew what I was getting into.
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Old 8th August 2012, 21:20   #40
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Interesting thread VeyronSuperSprt.

I have an acquaintance who resides in the same building as I do. He owned two vehicles - Fabia & an Octavia. In three months of ownership, his fabia had an electrical fault. All lights used to randomly go off and then abruptly come back. The A.S.S checked the cables, connections even replaced the batteries but to no avail. The phenomenon keeps appearing and disappearing randomly.

Despite this, much to my surprise, he bought a pre-worshipped Octavia. I asked him what made him take this step, to which he replied "My bro-in-law is at a senior level at Skoda. I have bought his Octavia and send the fabia to him in Delhi to solve the problem. Unless he was there I would never have bought any Skoda"
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Old 8th August 2012, 21:24   #41
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Hi everybody,

I feel I just bumped into the right thread.
I have had 2 marutis, Zen Lx MPFI and Dzire Vdi (presently) since past 11 years. They haven't failed me once, except for the premature battery failure with my Dzire (which A.S.S says maruti buys cheaper batteries in bulk, replaced with an Amaron, no problems since then). I am thinking of changing over to a European brand and Laura and Jetta are strong contenders with Fluence close behind them. Reliability was my main concern when I started thinking of a European brand and I lost sleep searching endless forums and threads. General consensus even in Europe and U.S seems to be that they are less reliable than Japanese brands. First vehicle I test drove was Toyota Corolla Altis Diesel. A fine car indeed but bit boring and I feel its underpowered though very refined. Then I test drove Skoda Laura MT and VW jetta HL AT and am amazed at the quality of the drive, ride and the solid build quality they offer. My Maruti looks tinny in comparison and though I drive safely, I seriously doubt whether my present car can tolerate any significant impact. I was indeed planning to buy Skoda Laura Elegance AT CR TDi (as AT available at many trims here compared to Jetta). I'm aware of horror stories of Skoda A.S.S going around. But I'm willing to take the risk. But guys what I want to know is whether current 6 speed DSG is more reliable than previous one? What about reliability in comparison to manual? I will be keeping the car for at least 5 yrs (about 75K Kms I guess). Also how much better is VW and Fluence when compared to Skoda?

Also what is the general feeling on the Skoda Shield? with that I am supposed to have 4 yr / 100000 kms warranty which looks fair enough. Doesn't it inspire any confidence?

Last edited by dezrskb : 8th August 2012 at 21:40. Reason: wanted to add a line
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Old 8th August 2012, 21:24   #42
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Some divine timing this thread is, yesterday at night itself I was discussing with a colleague who is planning to buy his first car and my feedback was that he should not buy an european or an american car as his first car, he should stick to a Jap or a Korean car primarily due to the various reasons quoted on this thread.
For me though I doubt whether I will ever go back to a Japanese car ( never owned Hyundai). I think European cars truly make a mechanic out of you and in a way that makes the ownership experience more involving. Especially with Vento, which was a newly launched car, it was lot of reading up , lot of consultation - a few of us BHP-ians got our wits together figuring out so many things / features ( the European std manual for the Indian version didn't help ) about the car, it was not funny. For a first time car owner it would have been very cumbersome.
For all the flak that European cars face , I think there is an aspect of over compensation too where the owners fret about "what if' situations more than usual thus adding a lot of stress to the ownership experience . Primarily the concern comes from the perception of more expensive repair costs , maintenance costs ,etc. If I look at the combined car sales of the European and American manufacturers vis-a-vis the Asian ones I doubt that people would be so foolish that they would buy the "rotten" European and American cars in such huge numbers especially when they are usually costlier than the Asian rivals . Thus its a bit of a perception issue too.

One of the most important points mentioned is the bit about modification. In Europe IP rights are very strong so people normally avoid jugad solutions and companies in Europe have a natural tendency to clamp down on possible loop holes and violations which means that they make the system more complex, warranties are made void even at the hint of slight stepping out of line . Asia by contrast grew in an environment of lax IP environment. Japan copied from US/Europe, Korea copied from US/Europe/Japan, China copies from whoever it can so its no surprise that the Asian culture is happy to keep loopholes which allows for cost effective modifications which are easy to do and the manufacturers are more tolerant.

For mission critical functions like ferrying wifey and son I would prefer a Jap/korean car but for self drive I would definitely prefer an European one
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Old 8th August 2012, 21:37   #43
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

A car's reliability depends on several things. Mainly, how one takes care of it i.e. driving, regular services, etc. Most cars, European or not, should give you hassle-free motoring if you drive it well and take care of it.

That said, one can easily find an abused Corolla driven for 1 lakh kilometers, buy it and then abuse it for another 1 lakh kilometers without so much as a damn given. In the same breath, one will seldom find an abused Euro-car that can take some more beating. Unless you're ready to break-open more than one ceramic piggy.

Veyron SuperSport, I think you left out one very crucial point.

- If you're buying a Skoda or any European car, you have to be prepared to deal with big bills. Running costs are expensive on Euro-cars. Much much more than Jap cars. So if you're expecting to buy a Skoda or VW, don't expect Toyota-like service bills.

I'd also like to mention that staying away from DSG is not necessary. The 6-speed wet-clutch DSGs are fine. Tried and tested. It's the 7-speed dry-clutch DSGs that you've got to be worried about.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 8th August 2012 at 21:42.
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Old 8th August 2012, 22:05   #44
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

The title is simply misleading. Its should read "7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a Skoda" or "7 things to note before you buy a Skoda".

Skoda is in India for more than a decade. I know the are very much driver friendly. In general, there is a opinion that Skoda sales and service net work is not customer friendly. I never had a Skoda, so I cannot comment about their service, But I know their products are well built, slightly over priced and delight to drivers. Unlike Fia and, Mitsubishi their product line too well defined.

Those who are concerned about the nagging issues like electrical faults etc, should visit Tata and Mahindra's service centres. You will understand Skoda is much better.

Over all, Japanese/Korean Vs European vs American were discussed enough for years, and this thread is just repeating.

Mod Note: "7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a Skoda" *was* the original title of this thread. It was changed on popular demand

Last edited by noopster : 9th August 2012 at 09:21.
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Old 8th August 2012, 22:36   #45
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
This is the most important one - Avoid Accessorizing Your Car seat covers (where the seats and pads have to be removed to fix them) etc even if the accessories are the original ones.
Couldnt agree more on this. I got seat covers changed in my Laura TSI by removing the OEM fabric and putting the leather stanleys, in order to get the factory fit. Everything went fine till i found out few days later that lumbar support (manual dial-type lever) in passenger seat stopped working. And realized it cannot be fixed now ( had to remove the seat and the leather again, which is not worth the effort )
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