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Old 19th August 2011, 16:17   #31
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
I also thought about a case study I had once read, on how perception can make or break a brand. GM and Toyota had a JV in California called Nummi, which made identical cars sold under both the Toyota and one of the GM brands. However, defect rates in JD Power surveys were much higher for the GM version than for the Toyota version. The explanation that the authors gave was that people buying GM cars were more likely to react to a problem and report it as a defect (due to GM's historical poor record), while some of those buying Toyotas would probably be unwilling to admit that they were among the unlucky few who ended up with a Toyota Lemon. The sharp rise in reported defect rates for Toyota as soon as the acceleration saga broke seemed to bear this out.
First of all thank you for the fantastic unbiased review.
You have hit the nail on the head with your point above!
Skodas are one the most popular cars in Kerala and almost all are diesels that run for at least a lakh before they are sold at unbelievable prices. So the cars cannot be all that bad. A.S.S is definitely a sore point, but is it really worse than Fiat, or Honda, or for that matter even Maruti?
My mom had a Maruti 800 in the late 90s, which ran only about 6000 km a year. It was maintained impeccably and was serviced only at the dealer's. They used to charge Rs 5000 per service and the bill would have many many small parts (this gasket or that bush), and none of those parts were actually changed. The last straw was when the AC stopped cooling. They charged Rs 3000 for AC "overhaul and gas recharge" and the car came back blowing hot air. I took it to a roadside AC wallah who took out the coil, which was covered in black sludge, just washed it, checked and refilled the gas and the AC was working fine after that! He charged only Rs 700!
We sold the car shortly after that and swore off Maruti forever.
ALL CARS have problems, some minor some major.
IMO the one area where Skoda has really suffered is in the disconnect between the company and the dealers, and the LACK OF AVAILABILITY of spares. With the Japanese and Koreans, problems are sorted out even if they cannot identify the reason because they just replace replace replace till it goes away. They can do this quickly because spares are easily available. This creates the impression that the cars are much more reliable and easy to maintain, but they are actually not.
The reason why European cars get more flak is because the cars are more expensive to buy and more expensive to maintain. Price (of anything) is the biggest determinant of brand perception, status and value in India. We are quite weird that way. A guy I know bought a 530D even though he is always chauffeur driven. When I asked him why he didnt save 15 lakhs and go in for a 520 D, he said "because the 530D comes with a 7 series engine!!" and then went on to grumble about the poor mileage!!
Enjoy your car, thats what really counts.
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Old 21st August 2011, 21:35   #32
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Originally Posted by rnair View Post
Congrats mate!!! The Superb truly makes you feel special!!!!Its really nice when people appreciate the Skoda brand!!! But from what we see, they are always at extremes. People are either highly satisfied or completely disappointed with their purchase.... As for me... I ve done 17k kms on my Laura and its been a true delight!!!!
Agree fully. That was the dilemma I faced while choosing my car. The sad thing about the reputation that has developed about the brand is that you would need to go through the entire life-cycle of your car before being confident you made the right choice.
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Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
Excellent review Hayek!
This is truly a heartfelt and honest perception that you have shared after running the car for 15 months. Even I had waited for 10K kms for sharing my review on my Yeti because of the same reason.
Thanks. Your review of your Yeti was very good indeed. They should get the DSG into it, would compete well with the X1, I think.

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Originally Posted by kedarwalke View Post
Excellent review Hayek.
I am a proud owner of the first deisel superb in mumbai which is exactly 28 months old.She has been driven for 22,000KMs.
I get a fuel economy of 13.5 kmpl when I am travelling from Mum-Goa.
Apart from that ,JMD skoda has replaced the oem battery free of cost.
So overall I am very happy with the superb.
So there do seem to be some cases where the service has been good. I do hope they notice that people are willing to acknowledge that, and keep trying harder.

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Every Skoda review deepens the dilemma inside me regarding Skoda. When I first read Harish's thread I vowed to never touch a Skoda. But on the other hand there cars are built well and almost all offerings are VFM cars in there respective segments. I am just not able to decide whether to gamble with a Skoda or not!
Sorry for being Off Topic.
Don't think this is off topic. This feeling that a purchase is a gamble is the key issue with Skoda. What one does not have a real feel for is what are the odds. I went ahead as in my friend circle, the odds seemed good. But that was clearly not statistically significant.

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Originally Posted by hossdoc View Post
First of all thank you for the fantastic unbiased review.
You have hit the nail on the head with your point above!
Skodas are one the most popular cars in Kerala and almost all are diesels that run for at least a lakh before they are sold at unbelievable prices. So the cars cannot be all that bad. A.S.S is definitely a sore point, but is it really worse than Fiat, or Honda, or for that matter even Maruti?
Thanks for reading. Agree the cars are not all bad, and people have bad experiences with all brands. The key is that companies need to be focused on improving. Forums like T-BHP are of course the key to getting OEMs to realize the need for improvement.
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Old 22nd August 2011, 02:35   #33
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Thumbs down re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

Guys I must say that I am not at all satisfied with Skoda build quality, at least in the new Superb.

I have a Superb 1.8 Tsi since about 1.5 years and have done only about 18000 km in it. In this short time frame, I have faced several problems with the car including:

1. A/C not working
2. Battery has died
3. Reverse light not working
4. Airbag fault
5. ESP fault

The car is extremely unreliable and consumes loads of oil. Apart from being an expensive habit, you can forget about long trips as its quite possible that during the run, the oil will run out and the car will overheat and completely shut down. I'm not kidding. Nowadays, we have to make sure that the oil is topped up or we are carrying spare oil before embarking on even a 200 km run.

The worst part is that even the A.S.S. is terrible:
1. For changing the battery, my car was lying at the dealer's workshop for over a week since they did not have any stock of batteries! Isn't a car battery an SKU that should be readily available with all car dealers?

2. For a minor dent on the boot lid, the dealership is insisting on changing the entire boot, the rear view glass, the rear-side skoda emblem, the chrome garnishing on the boot, the boot spoiler etc. When questioned about the same, they claim that once the boot is disassembled to repair the minor dent, all the parts like the emblem etc. will have to be replaced with new as there is no guarantee that the old ones will stick properly? What logic is that? Seems like a scam to cheat the insurance company...not cool

I also have a 4.5 year old Honda Accord which has done close to 50,000 km. Even today, the Accord gives us less problems with minimum maintenance. I am more at ease to take the Accord on a long trip than the Superb because there is no guarantee what new problem the Skoda may throw up during the course of the trip.

The Superb with all its fancy gadgets and at a cheaper price than the Accord is the no-brainer choice for most people. The monthly sales figures stand testimony to that. I too was swayed by the same. But now in hindsight, I remember an old saying - IN LIFE, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

Time to sell the Superb and move on...

Does anybody have any experience with the Passat? Given the same parent company and common part bin, can one expect the same shoddy build quality from the Passat as the Superb? Or is the Passat more reliable?
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Old 22nd August 2011, 10:07   #34
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Does anybody have any experience with the Passat? Given the same parent company and common part bin, can one expect the same shoddy build quality from the Passat as the Superb? Or is the Passat more reliable?
Sorry to hear about that. But most European cars will give u little niggles like you have been facing. In terms of driving they are much better than the Japanese ones, but then again in terms of reliability they are no match.
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Old 22nd August 2011, 10:58   #35
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Originally Posted by sparton View Post
Guys I must say that I am not at all satisfied with Skoda build quality, at least in the new Superb.
Very sad to hear your tale of woes my friend. So many problems in such a short time makes for quite a disturbing read as I have bought a Laura TSI three months back.

A brand reputation is built up by continuously delivering quality on a consistent basis. It is stories like yours that have tarnished Skoda's reputation. Like someone had posted earlier on this thread, it is a case of extremes with Skoda , either they delight the owners or leave them totally dissatisfied. You seem to have been touched by the bad end of the Skoda stick.

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Sorry to hear about that. But most European cars will give u little niggles like you have been facing. In terms of driving they are much better than the Japanese ones, but then again in terms of reliability they are no match.
Better driving pleasure is welcome and we are all suckers for that one quality. These niggles and problems may be covered under warranty and skoda shield etc... But the harrasment and inconvenience it causes to the owner makes one wonder whether it is worth the trouble.

Reliable , but boring Japs Vs. Delightful but unreliable Euros . The debate continues...
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Old 22nd August 2011, 12:09   #36
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Originally Posted by sparton View Post

2. For a minor dent on the boot lid, the dealership is insisting on changing the entire boot, the rear view glass, the rear-side skoda emblem, the chrome garnishing on the boot, the boot spoiler etc. When questioned about the same, they claim that once the boot is disassembled to repair the minor dent, all the parts like the emblem etc. will have to be replaced with new as there is no guarantee that the old ones will stick properly? What logic is that? Seems like a scam to cheat the insurance company...not cool
That's another classic example of insurance abuse in India. Glad that you are not falling for it or contributing to it in any way. Just report this to Skoda and see the magic.

For ESP and Airbags fault and oil consumption, I am speechless. What can I say....just sell the car and run.

But before that, I would sincerely suggest that spend some minutes and expose the dealer on the dent-paint-claim front.
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Old 22nd August 2011, 12:51   #37
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

Great review. I'm quite surprised to read about your tyre problems and the fact that you had to top up the oil so many times. These are little issues that skoda needs to address on a war footing. My grandfather's old superb diesel has done hardly 15k but is doing great. The V6 is a real delight, spares are really expensive though, a cracked sunroof cost more than 30k!!
Right now I would prefer the passat to the superb because its newer, more powerful and would be more reliable than a skoda.
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Old 22nd August 2011, 19:58   #38
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

It's really odd that every other Skoda dealership seems to give the same atrocious level of service. It cannot be just a coincidence. Possible the terms offered to them by the company are so miserly that they are forced to resort to, what can only be described as "theft", to survive.
Has anyone got inputs on this?
And what about Volkswagen dealerships? Since the parent company is the same, any similar experiences with VW?
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Old 22nd August 2011, 23:02   #39
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Thumbs up re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
...
Conclusions

The positives are:

1) Great to drive
2) Fabulous interiors that never fail to put a smile on your face
3) Surprisingly responsive service, so far
4) Never fails to impress friends with its feature list

The hiccups

1) Lousy Goodyear tyres
2) Oil consumption - waiting to see how it goes this year
3) Overall mileage of under 6 kmpl - with petrol prices having risen over 20% in the last year, a diesel may have been more economical.

But at least till this point in time, my overall experience has been Superb.
Thanks for posting this, gives me a good opportunity to discuss a couple of topics regarding the car especially since you drive it yourself. We also bought a 1.8T/AT couple of months ago despite the poor a.s.s. reputation (will post a long term review after the first service). Our experience so far has been quite positive actually. But for now here are the queries:
1- Oil consumption. The 1.8T engine apparently consumes more oil in the first 10-15 mins of driving from each cold start, until it reaches optimum operating temperatures and it is advised not leave the car stationary during this period but to keep it in motion as much as you can (this is true for most petrol engine cars). It is also recommended to not rev the engine beyond 2.5k - 3k RPM during this "warm up period", which IMO is far more important than engine break in procedures. So now my question is this, do you idle your car in the morning to warm up the engine, and do you use the oil temp gauge much?

2- Fuel octane. What gas do you use in your car? The dealership recommended regular unleaded which translates to 87 octane. I tried this for a couple of tanks but then switched to 91 octane and instantly noticed a difference for the better. The manual recommends 91 or 95. Also have you noticed any particular brand (HP, BP, IO etc) to be better suited for this engine considering each of them use their own "blend" of additives?

3- ICE, I'm guessing you opted for the Bolero rather than Columbus? If you have the Columbus then could you post a review of this in particular? TIA.

Finally, more a suggestion than a question : you need better shoes for this beast. Wider, lower profile if possible and it will make a huge difference. I went for BF Goodrich, only because I couldn't find Michelins in the size I wanted (18") and was left most pleasantly surprised at it's performance, as opposed to the yokohamas or goodyears that I test drove, which were too bumpy for my liking.

Drive safe!
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Old 23rd August 2011, 13:01   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfreak7

Thanks for posting this, gives me a good opportunity to discuss a couple of topics regarding the car especially since you drive it yourself. We also... But for now here are the queries:
1- Oil consumption. The 1.8T engine apparently consumes more oil in the first 10-15 mins of driving from each cold start, until it reaches optimum operating temperatures and it is advised not leave the car stationary during this period but to keep it in motion as much as you can (this is true for most petrol engine cars). It is also recommended to not rev the engine beyond 2.5k - 3k RPM during this "warm up period", which IMO is far more important than engine break in procedures. So now my question is this, do you idle your car in the morning to warm up the engine, and do you use the oil temp gauge much?

2- Fuel octane. What gas do you use in your car? The dealership recommended regular unleaded

3- ICE, I'm guessing you opted for the Bolero rather than Columbus? If you have the Columbus then could you post a review of this in particular? TIA.

Finally, more a suggestion than a question : you need better shoes for this beast. Wider, lower profile if possible and it will make a huge difference. I went for BF Goodrich, only because I couldn't find Michelins in the size I wanted (18") and was left most pleasantly surprised at it's performance, as opposed to the yokohamas or goodyears that I test drove, which were too bumpy for my liking.

Drive safe!
I don't warm up, but drive right away. No scope of high rpm runs in bombay peak hour traffic. I wonder if low speeds are cause of high oil consumption(like fuel)

Use regular unleaded from HP.

I didn't have a choice of music systems but the manual says bolero.
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Old 24th August 2011, 00:44   #41
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

I think this is one of the most comprehensive selection + buying + ownership threads that I have ever seen. Your style was very lucid and has certainly put a "Skoda" thought in my mind when I buy my next car. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your purchase.
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Old 24th August 2011, 11:34   #42
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post
2- Fuel octane. What gas do you use in your car? The dealership recommended regular unleaded which translates to 87 octane. I tried this for a couple of tanks but then switched to 91 octane and instantly noticed a difference for the better. The manual recommends 91 or 95. Also have you noticed any particular brand (HP, BP, IO etc) to be better suited for this engine considering each of them use their own "blend" of additives?
AFAIK BS III Fuels sold these days are all 91 octane. I avoid additive mixed 'premium fuels' for my Laura TSI and generally fill Shell unleaded. Of course I have the luxury of having a Shell outlet nearby. But even otherwise I fill normal unleaded fuel from PSUs when shell is unavailable or becomes too pricey.

To be honest I don't see any performance/ mileage difference with Shell unleaded or PSU unleaded. I once tried a tankful of Speed 97. But got poorer result than normal fuel.
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Old 5th September 2011, 21:06   #43
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Got back yesterday after my first really long run with the Superb. Drove out to Goa via Kolhapur and Amboli on Wednesday, and got back last night using the same route.

The car was brilliant to drive - touched a top speed of 145 kmph on the Expressway while going out (without seeming even slightly stressed), and managed speeds of 130 odd in other sections on NH4 as well. Drove in D mode throughout, but never felt that the car lacked power. The car happily climbed various ghat sections at 120 kph, with the engine doing 3000 rpm in D6. While I am not experienced at driving on single carriageway sections, the car had enough power to overtake buses and trucks with ease.

Ride quality was also really good, with the car absorbing bumps in rough patches without getting unsettled, and taking even twisty sections of road with equanimity.

Mileage on a tank to tank basis was 9.5 kmpl for the Pune - Goa (include local travel) - Kolhapur run (86 litres for 820 km). On my return leg, indicated mileage was 10.5 kmpl for the run from Goa to Central Bombay (including 50 minutes stuck in traffic between Chembur and Sion) - but can't confirm that as I have not refuelled after getting back.

Was great fun overall - I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite our terrible truck, bus and MUV drivers, driving long distances in India is now a viable option. (Yeah, I know that's not news to BHPians).
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Old 9th September 2011, 14:53   #44
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

Thanks for the review. But looking at some of the posts, though I was looking at the Superb, I feel that it is yet not for me. I have some very short trips. Waiting 10-15 minutes of driving for engine to warm up...? To avoid oil consumption...? I have reached where I want to be in 10 minutes or less.

And 6 kmpl is very good. Most superbs report 4-5.
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Old 9th September 2011, 16:12   #45
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Originally Posted by sandeep108
I have some very short trips. Waiting 10-15 minutes of driving for engine to warm up...? To avoid oil consumption...? I have reached where I want to be in 10 minutes or less.

And 6 kmpl is very good. Most superbs report 4-5.
A decision on which car to buy is for you to make. But one does not have to wait for engine to warm up, and oil consumption seems to have reduced post 10, 000 km. Fuel efficiency is below 5 in my experience only on short cross town runs such as worli to parel

Last edited by Hayek : 9th September 2011 at 16:14.
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