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Old 10th August 2012, 08:42   #61
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So much said and so much done! I too was a worrier and a pessimist, always grumbling about the potential costs etc of the Euro cars.
Finally having bought one myself, after much deliberation, I state plainly here that the special feeling which the Euro vehicles inspire in one, is really second to none.
If one has to live one's life completely ruled by one's head, then where is the room for emotion, passion and enjoyment?
To me those Japanese and Koreans, however reliable, are dead boring and lack 'soul'.
The Indian vehicles are poverty stricken when it comes to quality.
The Euros offer a mix of quality, feel good, look good and 'soul' that is very hard to say no to. In some way they feed an aspiration from deep within. Don't know what exactly and cannot put my finger on it but it is there alright!

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Old 10th August 2012, 09:30   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipnil View Post
Since quite a few bhpians are suggesting to change the title to "European cars, 7 things to remember" etc., would like to know where would you put Ford? Company is American but most of the products in India have European lineage. I am using a Ford, the experience has been decent so far barring few minor niggles.
+100 to that.
My Ford Fusion 1.6 is from the starting batch which IMO gives the feel of the European cars.
I remember what was told to me by my very close friend's relative who stays in US. He told me that Ford and European cars are very well manufactured machines technically.
But at the same time he wanted reliability and less maintenance bills, so he opted for Acura.
I have bought my first Fiat recently and I am not seeing myself moving to any other brand ever in my life.
I think we can see the pattern in the ownership of European cars is that "Sometimes owner is driving the car and sometimes car is driving the owner (mad, at the workshop)".
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Old 10th August 2012, 09:37   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
most points you have raised and in fact found most holding true in my particular case.
let down quite badly by inefficient and untrained sales network.
Judging from what you’ve said and done I don’t think you should face any “problems” with the car. It’s the service network that would affect the ownership experience more than the sales network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
As many have said, the points mentioned are valid for most Euro cars and the thread title could have been indicative of this.
The reason that the title was put as Skoda was because of the substantially larger problems being indicated on the forum.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Buying a European car is always a difficult decision. Somehow the Japanese and Koreans make quality look SO easy.
Not really. I bought my first new Skoda Octavia in 2003. It was a 2.0 Petrol, a model that has since been discontinued. I had the car for about 3 years and sold it as they had discontinued the model. I now have the TSI and the Rapid. I also had bought a Baleno in 2000 which is still with me and the reliability levels of that car even after 13 years is unbelievable as mentioned in another thread. However Japanese/Koreans and Europeans have different USP's and it depends on how much each of their different USP's appeal to you to want to take the plunge.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
It's especially galling that the higher up the price/luxury spectrum you go with a European car, the higher the chances of failure.
There are two reasons for this – the first one being that the higher up you go, it’s more likely to be chauffeur driven and that goes against what I had indicated in Point 3.
The second is the subject matter of a completely new thread which I am thinking of putting together and that is the “Usage Pattern” or the “Driving Cycle” that these cars should be subject to. The reason for this is more to do with the evolution of the design and is really the subject matter of another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
I too am of the opinion that the title of the thread should be changed to something more apt like:

"What to watch out for when buying a European Car."
It’s a different way of saying the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Also, their Rapids, made more in line with the "simple" Japanese counterparts, have had no failures till date, so I guess the thumb rule here is "Keep it simple silly."
Yes, you’re right. The right English usage would however be “Keep it simple, stupid” (not silly).

Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
Since this has been ongoing since they launched it would have to be an India management issue, the cars themselves are robust. Its like they don't feel its a problem and that level of disconnect and reluctance to take responsibility and be accountable is scary.
Yes, it is a India management issue. Heard of anyone starting a car manufacturing unit in Aurangabad ? With that as the starting point, think through and you don’t need to be a genius to find the answers. The only problem is when you set up a business the wrong way, it’s takes a lot more effort to get it right. Skoda is right now in the throes of that experience. I don’t think it is right to elaborate further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
My Fabia's been in at the ASC almost 10 days now for a hydraulic u-engine mount replacement. A replacement as simple as this is a piece-of-cake for a Maruti ASC who would replace it just like a tyre.
Why should it take 10 days? Is it because they don’t have the part ? If so, the next time drop off your car only after you know that the part has arrived unless it is something that necessitates your car being off road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
rattling noises and MID warnings - go unnoticed
You could get away with ignoring rattling noises but ignoring MID warnings is asking for trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
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.
Sure, I’ve indicated this in point 2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dezrskb View Post

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?
Stick to the manual. Read the ownership reports on the forum to know more about whether VW, Fluence or Skoda would be right for you – you wouldn’t get an answer by framing that question here. Renault is new in India so it's service quality in the long run and it's India strategy are yet unknown.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dezrskb View Post
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?
Simple rule applicable for any European car – Take Maximum Advantage of all Warranties Available.

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Originally Posted by souravc View Post
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
Right approach.

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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
- 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.
It’s going to take sometime but you’ll find the Europeans over time reducing the ownership costs because they will be forced to (the Rapid for instance has a much lower cost of spare parts on account of higher indigenization levels).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterMorgan View Post
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 )
You got away lightly as the problem was localized in the seat. Usually, fixing of accessories would create the short circuit that would weaken the circuits in the delicate ECU leading to the car going into “limp mode” that we read so often.

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Originally Posted by robimahanta View Post
This should be like "avoid accessorizing unless you really know what you are doing" .
In theory, yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipnil View Post
Since quite a few bhpians are suggesting to change the title to "European cars, 7 things to remember" etc., would like to know where would you put Ford? Company is American but most of the products in India have European lineage. I am using a Ford, the experience has been decent so far barring few minor niggles.
OT, but, Ford have reduced the cost of ownership substantially and use this is as one of their main USP’s. You can’t go wrong with the Ford Classic (the old Fiesta).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilful View Post
@VeyronSuperSprt -
I had the same feeling when I owned an Opel Corsa.
The situation has changed a lot for the better since the Opel Corsa days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Why is this applicable only to Skoda/European cars? Shouldn’t this be the case with any other car as well? Why there should be additional tolerance for a Hyundai or a Toyota?
Please read the opening post – I have said that this is applicable to all cars, only that you have a larger margin for error with the Japanese / Koreans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
I am forced to believe that the much clichéd Skoda /European horror stories have lost steam.
You’re right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
VeyronSuperSprt,

I'd love to know what were the workings behind your starting this thread were.
Oh, was just being foolish. Pay no heed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Wonder if excerpts from this thread would also someday be added to the annals of Skoda jokes.
You couldn’t have put this better. Are you usually this accurate in your forecasts?
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Old 10th August 2012, 09:40   #64
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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
I have noticed something very interesting. In this forum we have seen folks moving from a Suzuki to a VW, or a Toyota to a Skoda, but not many have done the opposite way (or at least I have not noticed). And looking at the no. of positive ownership reviews of Jetta, Yeti, Laura, Vento, Rapid, BMW 3/5, Fluence etc., I am forced to believe that the much clichéd Skoda /European horror stories have lost steam.
This is the answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
- the luxury, silence (noise-insulation) and precision with which a European pampers you is what makes one go for a European. I've got so used to it that a ride in a friend's non-European car makes me immediately realize what a gem my car is.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Jut yesterday, me & johy were checking out the Duster for him, but more than the Duster, I was closer to the Fluence. And I have somehow managed to convince johy against the Duster and he would be going in for the T-Jet + and I bet he won't be looking back. And he is moving from a Baleno.
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Old 10th August 2012, 09:57   #65
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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
Why should it take 10 days? Is it because they don’t have the part ? If so, the next time drop off your car only after you know that the part has arrived unless it is something that necessitates your car being off road.

You could get away with ignoring rattling noises but ignoring MID warnings is asking for trouble.
10 days .. because no part available here in Bangalore. As quoted on another thread, I just learnt it's called a Q-mount. Apparently, the part is en route from Germany it seems. With a massive plant now at Chakan, these guys should localize the parts. But then, on the con side..quality would dip! IMO.

I couldn't take the car away since it's being replaced under warranty, and then they have some weird process where in they need to take photographs of the part needing replacement, send it to Skoda, get their approval, and then execute the job. Hyuk! I hate the word 'process'. It kills me at my workplace too.. OT
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Old 10th August 2012, 10:48   #66
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This whole thing of European quality is subject to many variables. In the 80's for example, the big three German manufacturers (bmw, audi, merc) were a byword for reliability, perhaps even more so than the Japs and Koreans. Ask anyone who had cars from that era and they would swear by merc models as late as the w124 and w126. Till then engineers ruled the roost. Post that it became bean counters and quality took a back seat to profit. The Japanese until a few years were ruled by engineers too. Also, they were willing to take a lesser profit margin and operate on the basis of volumes, which is why their cars are considered more reliable.
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Old 10th August 2012, 19:19   #67
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I believe in one phrase 'Chalti ka naam gaadi'. when you ride out of home along with your family in unknown locations the least thing you will expect from your ride to go kaput on you with no service station near by. Any other parameter like interior quality, driving pleasure take a second seat in front of Reliability IMO.
I will vouch for Maruti for reliability even after their humongous scale of manufacturing and their unmatchable reach of service centres.
Pls note, I am saying all this even after 85k km of uninterrupted ownership of ford fusion.
Even though it never failed on me it makes hell of a difference if you have an authorised service station at every 100 km or so when you are with family in Spiti or ladakh.
and who says japs are not fun to drive and hyundai look odd.
things have changed with time mates.

Last edited by Dr.Abhi : 10th August 2012 at 19:28. Reason: Reliability is foremost
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Old 10th August 2012, 19:36   #68
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Dr. Abhi,
You have a valid point. I cant sometimes understand why we have to have one category of vehicles which are luxurious, give fantastic ride quality, solidly built but statistically less reliable, low on mileage, expensive to buy and maintain, parts difficult to replace and another category which are lightly built, tinny, offer lower quality of ride but cheaper to own and maintain, spare parts available easily, good on mileage. Such positives and negatives are inherent to their build, technology, complexity I guess. Ultimately there is no perfect car as there is no perfect human being.
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Old 10th August 2012, 20:25   #69
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It seems to be effectively boiling down to more technology vis'-a-'vis cost charged vis'-a-vis' reliability factor. Right now I have a feeling that more technology they are putting in at a particular "cost" more unreliable the vehicle is. Like e.g. a manual sliding seat mechanism may be more reliable than a fully electronic one and less prone to failure. Maybe some manufacturers charging more for these technologies are able to rank slightly higher on the reliability factor. Some manufacturers are just providing solid vehicles (like Toyota) albeit at a higher cost but with basic underpinnings, which are less susceptible to failure than the more automated/fancy ones.

Last edited by dkaile : 10th August 2012 at 20:27.
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Old 10th August 2012, 22:08   #70
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Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
the reliability factor.
The reliability factor is a combination of a lot of complex factors one of which would be the quantum of electronics in a car. Taking your specific instance, the Kizashi has a 3 stage Memory setting for the drivers seat and one can reasonably assume that this will not easily fail. An European car with the same may fail more easily - reasons are a lot (can't be put in a single post) and not just the complexity of the electronics.
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Old 10th August 2012, 22:39   #71
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I have done 37+K kms in 22 months with my New Fabia by now & I am one of the very HAPPY Skoda owners over here.
Just like Dr.Abhi, I also believe in the same phrase but would further like to add an extension to it- 'Chalati ka naam Zindagi' & hopefully I think, this concern should be of immense importance for everybody, despite of the brand/ make of the car he/ she owns..
Whenever I visit to any service station, I always try to know about the 'accident-hit' vehicles & the casualties therein just out of 'curiosity'. And I would rather suggest every aware fellow BHPian to collect such info & share the utility of the vehicle on this important aspect also.
Needless to say, the European cars being solidly built, are proved to be the SAFEST ones in comparison to the 'rest of all'! One might find them expensive on ownership, but when it comes to the safety of 'LIFE', I think the criteria needs to be changed. What say?
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Old 10th August 2012, 22:44   #72
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I sometimes think they push lot of complex electronics just for the heck of it and to make one trim significantly higher and other lower. A customer will end up stretching his budget beyond his imaginable limit to get few features which he may never use. Just for example- having used Maruti Suzuki Zen and now Swift Dzire Vdi which dont have any kind of electrically/ for that matter manually adjustable driver seat heights, now I will be going for either Jetta / Laura. One trim in each has electrical height adjustment. I dont think if I pay such a hefty price for a car, I will let anybody else to drive it. My wife is scared of driving complicated machine like this. My height is not going to change everyday. So I dont think I will change driver seat height anytime after getting one good position. This I can do manually too. Also without engine on if I keep doing it in an electrically adjustable seat, it will drain battery too.
Also rain sensitive vipers - I never had any trouble switching on my vipers manually till now. Now I would find it irritating if few drops of rain falling on sensor switch it on and viper wipes a dusty windshield without sufficient water / wiper spray scratching both the glass and damaging the viper blade also. Is there an automatic option to spray the liquid before wiping? But again, I have to set the sensor sensitivity too. I dont think any driver worth his salt needs any help in such simple things. Also there is a potential for these complicated things to fail. But unfortunately the drive/ ride quality/ solid build which I like so much is coming coupled to such things forced on us, so cant help it.
Other than the attaction of buying a great piece of technology, I would trust my life with a manual shift better. There were times when I needed sudden surge of power to get out of some tricky situations and I cant imagine what would have happened a slowly up/down shifting automatic in such situations. But we Indians are blessed that way in that most of us took driving lessons with a manual shift and can drive them effortlessly where as in west most are not used to it and younger generation will be all the more lazy to learn them.

Last edited by dezrskb : 10th August 2012 at 22:50.
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Old 11th August 2012, 00:35   #73
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Hmm...a thread to frighten a person who is waiting gor the delivery of a Skoda Rapid Elegance next week;-)

I presently own a Tata Indica V2 DLS (2002), which has done about 1.2 lakh kms and still going strong. I plan to keep that car also.I bought it when I was in to the second year of my career. After 10 years, my family income is 22 times of what had been the income when I bought the Indica. I thought why go for a Jap or a Korean when you can have an european!!Of course the snob value of the brand primarily drives the decision!

Back home the other cars my family have and I drive are the Santros, Altos, Zen Estilos, Swifts etc. Isn't it time to aspire for more?

I get a feeling that I am beeing seen as in a different league by my colleagues when they know that the car I have booked is a OTR 11-12 lakhs Skoda and not a Maruti or a Hyundai. Also the max expectation levels for my level of designation in the organisation is a Dzire or Fiesta Classic or an i20. Owning an european brand gives an elated feeling while beeing very much aware that the spare parts might be costly. But luxury/ premium comes with a price, right?

Till 2011 I was thinking of Tata Manza Elan (or Suzuki SX4 )as my next car. But I happened to be in Germany during Dec 2011 and from then started developing an admiration for German/ European cars. (Loved them zipping through the Autobahns; Germans love their brands it seems, very few asian and other american models were seen on the roads) And hope the humble Skoda is a stepping stone and I would be owning an Audi or BMW or a Merc in the next ten years:-)

Not sure how many have heard this:

You are on top of the world if you have; "American Salary, Indian Wife, Chineese Food & German Car".

You are doomed if : "American Wife, Indian Salary, Chineese Car & German food".
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Old 11th August 2012, 10:49   #74
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@sudheeshnairs,
It seems you are very much convinced about your next car/s. So once was I & I have NO any regret with my decision. I have seen many of my friends, primarily the Jap/ Korean car owners when accompany me in my Fabia, fascinated with the build quality, comfort, style & cabin SPACE etc.
I would suggest you to go for the 'Drive Assure' Insurance plan, available with Bajaj Allianz co. It is a '0' depreciation plan & thus takes care of all the concerns regarding spare prices/ labor charges etc. All the best!
Disclaimer: I am enjoying the benefits personally & have nothing to do with the company/ its favors.
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Old 11th August 2012, 11:26   #75
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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
the Kizashi has a 3 stage Memory setting for the drivers seat and one can reasonably assume that this will not easily fail. An European car with the same may fail more easily
I really cannot agree with the premise of your statement. It has too much unsubstantiated generalisation. If Kizashi was that good a car, it would have set sales chart ablaze, which it has not done, not only in India but the world over. In my book, more electronics in cars = more luxury = more prone to failure, whether they are Japanese or European, compounded more so in Indian conditions due to lack of trained manpower for such electronics.

Last edited by dkaile : 11th August 2012 at 11:31.
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