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Old 27th November 2011, 11:26   #76
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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When you cranked the engine, what kind of sound were you hearing?
There was no sound. So it was clear that the engine was not getting cranked (which is in line with what happens in a normal car with a dead battery). But at that stage, I was unclear whether it was because the CPU (or whatever they call it in cars) had gone on the blink and was not asking the battery to crank the engine, or if the battery was down. I agree that this was very strange, which is why I am still keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 10th December 2011, 21:35   #77
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Comparison Test - Superb 1.8 Tsi vs. Mercedes C250 CDI BE vs. Mercedes E200 CGI

I just had an opportunity to test drive the Mercedes C 250 CDI and the E 200 CGI, and compare those cars with my Superb. This was done in the best way possible – back to back drives on the same route in limited traffic.


Let’s start with the C250 CDI. On paper, the specs of this car blow you away. It has a twin turbo charged diesel engine, which produces 204 BP at 4200 rpm and 500 Nm of torque as low as 1600 rpm, and has a curb weight of just 1650 kg. Contrast that with my Superb. It weights about 90 kg less, but has a peak power of just 160 BHP at 4500 rpm, and peak torque of just 250 NM, albeit at 1500 rpm. Of course, the Superb benefits from a 7 speed DSG as against the 5 speed auto in the C. The C is low slung, but finding a good driving position was easy. As I hit a clear stretch (on the ramp of one of the longer flyovers in Bombay) and revved the car, the diesel engine was surprisingly loud. As it gained speed (and shifted up), the engine noise reduced. Before I knew it, I was doing 120 kmph and had to back off as I approached a curve. Of course, this was just me being cautious as the car felt absolutely planted as I took the curve. The driving dynamics were fantastic, as I had experienced when I drove the petrol C class in Scotland. On fuel efficiency, the MID indicated long term level was about 13 litres per 100 km. The interior quality was good (this was the top end Avantgarde trim), but did not seem to be a quantum improvement on that of the Superb, except for the fantastic panoramic sun-roof. The feature list was largely similar to that of the Superb with the only two additional features being the attention assist program (which monitors your driving style, and warns you if there is a major change at high speed), and the ability to activate the hold function by pressing the brake hard (which also implies that the transmission need not be put into neutral at signals). I also did a run in S mode, but could not find any material change in its shift pattern. Some features present in my Superb were missing – most notably the optical parking system. Overall, this is a great driver’s car, and the quality of the diesel engine in particular came as a clear surprise to me. This was clearly far superior to the petrol C estate I drove in Scotland. As in the C estate, rear seat leg room was non existent – in my driving position, someone of similar height (and I am just 5’ 11”) would do well to even get into the rear seat behind me, and would be sitting with his knees in the driver’s back. This certainly is a car meant to accommodate only kids in the rear.



Next, I drove the E 200 CGI. This car was in Elegance trim, and had a normal sun roof. Interior quality was good – I especially liked the black interiors (which are standard for the silver exterior colour). But once again, the interior quality was nothing to write home about and certainly did not make one feel that one was in a car that costs more than twice the cost of the Superb. The real shock however came once I got behind the wheel. On paper, this car should outperform the Superb quite easily. It produces higher peak power (183 bhp at 5600 rpm), and peak torque (290 Nm at 2400 rpm), albeit offset by the higher curb weight of over 1700 kg (I think – the MBIL Site does not list this) and the 5 speed automatic transmission. As I drove up the same route, I was waiting for the surge of power I felt in the C Class (or that one gets even in the Superb as one accelerates). But the surge did not come, and I was probably doing just 90 kmph at the same point where the C had been doing about 120 kmph. The overall feel while driving was not very different from driving the Superb (with even the noise under hard acceleration being similar). The other surprise was that the feature list was not materially different from that in the C Class – optical parking sensors, for example, were still missing. The other surprise was that the handling advantage that even the petrol C Class had over the Superb also seemed to be missing. Rear seat leg room was of course far better than the C Class, but not as good as that in the Superb. In short, while I had stepped into the E Class expecting a car that was dramatically better than the Superb or the C Class, I was disappointed to find that the car was probably inferior to the C 250 CDI in every aspect except space, and did not out perform the Superb either.


To confirm that this was not just a function of my having driven the C250 CDI on the same route a bit earlier, I took my Superb through the same run as well. I still could not find a material difference between the feel behind its wheel compared to the E200 CGI.



I am sure that the E350 or even the E250 CDI would blow the Superb away. I wonder how the E220 CDI (which produces less power but more torque than the E200) would have performed (though the attractiveness of that model is diminished by the low rent single CD change ICE it comes with). Overall, the only reason to buy the E200 CGI seems to be the badge value – if you like to drive and need the space, the E250 CDI is probably the lowest end E Class model that one should consider.


As for my Superb (and I hope people don’t feel this post is OT for this thread), these test drives certainly reinforce my feeling that it offers fantastic value for money (despite all the niggles and issues that one is subjected to from time to time).


Prices (as tested, non negotiated, without Starease 3 year maintenance program)


C250 CDI BE Avantgarde: Rs. 39.1 lakhs (OTR Bombay individual) (no discounts available)


E 200 CGI Elegance: Rs. 41.3 lakhs (OTR Bombay individual) (Net price after considering Rs. 3.0 lakh cash discount and Rs. 2.5 lakh BPCL Petrocard that were being thrown in).
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:10   #78
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Good question actually. Why don't all cars have some kind of "battery level indicator"? Batteries are the main reason for breakdowns in modern cars.
Batteries are like bulbs are like hard drives. They all fail usually without warning. Sometimes if one is in that 'window' one may get a warning on testing /using it. Weak battery - horn may sound bad, cranking may not be crisp. Bulb - may flicker. Hard drive - may make some unusual noise, etc.

But generally - works well when it does, if not kaput the next minute.
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Old 25th February 2012, 18:26   #79
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Just got my Superb back after its second trip in a few months for warranty repairs. This is starting to freak me out, especially as my warranty expires in April.

I had just dropped my kid at school, and was on my way to a fairly important meeting. Rather unusually, my driver was driving the car and I was lounging in the back seat (or rather fiddling away on my blackberry in the back seat). Suddenly three beeps were heard. My driver pulled over, and we saw a warning light. A quick glance at the manual suggested that this meant the coolant level was low. Visual inspection of the coolant tank confirmed the same. I called the service centre but no one was in. So I called emergency assistance, and was told to top up the coolant tank with water and take the car to the service centre ASAP. My driver took the car to the service centre at Sewri, and I had to take a black and yellow to my meeting.

This happened on Wednesday last, and the next day was a holiday due to BMC elections - I was told the earliest I could get the car back was on Friday. On Friday evening, I got a call stating that the water pump had developed a leak, and that it would take till Monday for them to get the car repaired under warranty. No alternate transport was offered or arranged, despite my inquiring about the same. I decided to also ask them to get the few scratches that the car had developed over the last 22 months touched up.

On Monday afternoon, I was told that the car had been repaired, and sent to Kurla for painting. I also asked them to get an interior cleaning done. It took till Wednesday evening for the car to be ready, and I could have the car picked up only on Thursday. The tab came to Rs. 15 k for some body work, bumper removal and refitting, painting etc. (to get rid of a few small scratches, I wonder if it was worth it) + the interior cleaning. The interior cleaning job was decidedly mediocre, must stick to Kamyo in future.

Let's hope this is the end of my quality woes - I am already starting to wonder if I should have stuck to the Accord.

Apart from this, the car continues to be great to drive. A combination of low temperatures and later than normal return journeys has implied that mileage over the last 1000+ kms has been closer to 8.5 kmpl, which is quite instructive. I also saw the lowest temperature ever recorded on my car's thermometer a few days before this incident, with the temperature at the Bandra end of the sea link being 16.5 degrees at about 830 am.
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Old 25th February 2012, 19:13   #80
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

^
Your feedbacks are very valuable Hayek. Superb was my first choice but now I am seriously considering other options with the New Camry being on top. Need to finalise the vehicle by March. Other options include the Passat Trendline and the Volvo S60. Any other inputs would be most valuable.
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Old 19th April 2012, 20:06   #81
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

Got my Superb back after its second free service. Time flies - my new car is about to turn two, and will likely cross the 20,000 km mark right around its second birthday.

So how has the last year been? Certainly more eventful than the first. I drove to Goa and back, got an outdoor rear view mirror taken off by a bus (Rs. 12,000), had a couple of scrapes while the car was parked (Rs. 14,000 damages for repainting) and had a couple of break downs due to the battery and the coolant pump failing. And of course, I decided to start posting the story of my car on this forum.

What was done in the second free service? Mainly an engine oil and oil filter replacement, and a wheel balancing. Interestingly, Skoda (or at least Autobahn) seems to have shifted their preferred engine oil from Shell Helix Ultra to Castrol Magnatec Pro. Wonder if that will make any kind of difference.

Apart from the routine service, I asked them to look at a slight shudder I get at times while shifting from 1st to 2nd gear on a slope - they claimed to have given the gearbox a software upgrade, but it does not seem to have made a difference. Hope its not the dreaded mechatronics, especially as my warranty expires shortly. Finally, I also got the wiper blades replaced. All told, since Skoda's "free" services cover only labor and not parts, the damages came to Rs. 11,348. A copy of the bill is attached for those who are interested.

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As most people who have been reading this thread would realize, I have been more than a little happy with my car. Yes, there have been a few niggles, and the oil consumption remains high, but the pleasure you get when you drive the car, the quality of the interiors, the space in the rear seat and the long list of features make you forget about the odd problem.

Its only when you compare the car to so called "proper Germans" that cost twice as much (or more) that you realize what fantastic value the Superb offers. One interesting recent anecdote. I was talking to a BMW sales person about the differences between trim levels of a 3 series, and was told that the Dynamic version lacks xenon headlights. In passing, I remarked that too bad, as auto cornering lights are a great feature.And was told that that is not even available in the 5 series. Well, my Superb has it.

I am uploading a few photos from my Goa trip to celebrate my car's second birthday.

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Ciao
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Old 19th April 2012, 20:22   #82
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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As most people who have been reading this thread would realize, I have been more than a little happy with my car. Yes, there have been a few niggles, and the oil consumption remains high, but the pleasure you get when you drive the car, the quality of the interiors, the space in the rear seat and the long list of features make you forget about the odd problem.
Ciao
Congrats on crossing this important milestone! Why don't you try getting in touch with the dealer / Skoda directly and get an extended warranty so that an additional 2 years will be covered. This will give you more peace of mind and I think they have started considering such cases. At time of purchase it costs around 18K additional.
They have really become considerate and have changed their service approach very substantially. Incidentally, we bought our second Skoda - a Laura TDI Ambiente (apart from the Yeti) and have observed a drastic change for the better in Skoda service here.

Regards,
Behemoth

Last edited by Behemoth : 19th April 2012 at 20:39.
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Old 19th April 2012, 20:37   #83
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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Congrats on crossing this important milestone of 2 years! Why don't you try getting in touch with the dealer / Skoda directly and get an extended warranty so that an additional 2 years will be covered. This will give you more peace of mind
Thanks for the suggestion. I spoke to the service adviser, but he did not seem to be willing to consider that. Shall chase up with more senior people at Autobahn.
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Old 19th April 2012, 23:12   #84
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

Congratulations Hayek on crossing the 20K mark. Sorry to hear about the accidental repairs you had to undergo. Your thread has been instrumental in my opting for the 2+2 year extended warranty right at the time of purchase of my Superb and also to opt for a manual transmission instead of the DSG (though I have been told that mechanotronic issue has been resolved in post May 2010 vehicles).

Till now the oil has not dipped (1.5K kms) and everything is going niggle free. Keeping fingers crossed for the future. The Superb does offer tremendous value for the features in its segment and has been raved across Europe for its sturdiness and comfort.

Keep updating and revving...
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Old 20th July 2012, 20:36   #85
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My Superb's saga continues. As mentioned earlier, my Superb completed 2 years in early May, and with that, my warranty expired. Despite my best efforts, Autobahn refused to let me take an extra 2 year warranty. About 2 weeks ago, the fuel gauge started acting up - it would show the correct level for a while, but suddenly go to zero while driving. A couple of days later, it stopped working completely.

I took it to Autobahn, and was told they would run some scans and hope they could correct this through a software reset. But later that afternoon, I got a call saying the gauge would need to be replaced, and that this would cost Rs. 16,000!!!

I threw a fit, and asked Autobahn to try for a Goodwill Warranty claim. This was on a Saturday, and they said it would need to wait till Monday. On Monday evening, they called saying the claim could not be accepted. I refused to accept this, and called the Skoda helpline. I was attended to promptly, and told I would get a call back. I followed up with an email to Skoda customer care. To Skoda's credit, I got a call back the same evening, asking for details about the situation.

There was radio silence through Tuesday, and on my calling, I was told they were considering what to do. On Wednesday, I got a call saying they had instructed Autobahn to repair my car, at a 70% discount. This was done by Thursday evening. Funnily, the part cost came to just Rs. 1800 after discount, but labor and charges for the original scanning added up to a total bill of Rs. 3,800.

I am still upset that the fuel gauge conked out, and worried about the absence of an extended warranty. But Skoda itself was highly responsive in dealing with the situation (and this without any contacts etc) - clearly, they are making an effort to correct their image as an unresponsive organisation.

Apart from that, the car continues to drive well - have crossed 21,500 km now.
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Old 21st July 2012, 09:13   #86
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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About 2 weeks ago, the fuel gauge started acting up - A couple of days later, it stopped working completely.
Thanks Hayek for the report. These niggling issues certainly give me the jitters when we take into consideration that a small part as a fuel gauge can be quoted a enormous sum. It is nice to see Skoda HQ's pro activeness. They should take more care to make the dealers more consumer centric. Autobahn, if I remember, is a premium Skoda dealer and if this can happen there, then Skoda consumers will always be walking a fine line while getting proper after sales service.

I visited a Faridabad Skoda dealer recently (Giriraj) to top-up half a litre of oil in my Superb and though the service dealership was filled with cars, their less than professional attitude deterred me from opening a job card there. In the end I just bought the same oil at a discounted price from a nearby Castrol dealer and topped it up myself. I do shudder at the thought of going to a Skoda dealer in case something major crops up over a period of time.

As per my personal experience, Skoda should learn from Toyota the art of after sales service, which provides excellent peace of mind after the consumer has bought their product, though they tend to charge a hefty premium up front for their less than luxurious vehicles.
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Old 21st July 2012, 15:07   #87
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Thanks Hayek for the report. These niggling issues certainly give me the jitters when we take into consideration that a small part as a fuel gauge can be quoted a enormous sum. It is nice to see Skoda HQ's pro activeness. They should take more care to make the dealers more consumer centric....

As per my personal experience, Skoda should learn from Toyota the art of after sales service, which provides excellent peace of mind after the consumer has bought their product, though they tend to charge a hefty premium up front for their less than luxurious vehicles.
I can't crib that much about the service, that has not been worse than Honda, and has clearly been better than Maruti and Hyundai. It is the recurring, minor problems that are the issue. In 26 months / 21,500 kms, I have had the battery fail, the horn fail, the coolant pump fail and now the fuel gauge fail (apart from the minor bumps including a lost mirror courtesy Bombay traffic). While this has not cost me much given the warranty, it does make you lose sleep once the warranty expires, especially as most cars give problems after 3 years. I guess current buyers are ok with the 4 year warranty. But Skoda should offer an option to older customers to take the extended warranty too.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 22:34   #88
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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I can't crib that much about the service, that has not been worse than Honda, and has clearly been better than Maruti and Hyundai. problems after 3 years. I guess current buyers are ok with the 4 year warranty. But Skoda should offer an option to older customers to take the extended warranty too.

I have two questions for you:

[1] You have mentioned in your posts the VFM advantage of a Superb vis-a-vis other vehicles in the segment. You have also indicated in one of your posts the high costs of spares. Keeping in view the two observations you have made, do you still think the VFM advantage nullifies the risk of high maintenance costs down the road for someone who wishes to retain the vehicle for a longish time span i.e. beyond the initial 3-4 year period after which maintenance expenses start going up?

[2] Are there no reliable independent garages that you can rely on confidently, for maintaining your vehicle?
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Old 23rd July 2012, 20:53   #89
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Default re: (Skoda) Superb So Far - Update at 2.5 years / 26,000 kms

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I have two questions for you:
Hayek should also be answering your query. As a fellow Superb owner, my take on this is -
1. Superb does in fact provide great VFM proposition. While buying my Superb Petrol MT at 18L on road, I factored in the high cost of spares and maintenance after the initial 4 years (as I had taken the 2+2 year extended warranty). It certainly does nullify the (presumed) 'risk' high maintenance cost afterward. The initial saving of 5~6L rupees I made does give me cushion for that, IF I encounter it.
2. There certainly are some good independent garages in Delhi which easily handle Skoda cars. Also all imported Skoda parts are available at many spare parts dealers in Delhi (at Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh etc.)
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Old 24th July 2012, 22:25   #90
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Originally Posted by RS_DEL
[1] You have mentioned in your posts the VFM advantage of a Superb vis-a-vis other vehicles.... You have also indicated... the high costs of spares. Keeping in view the two observations you have made, do you still think the VFM advantage nullifies the risk of high maintenance costs down the road for someone who wishes to retain the vehicle for a longish time span?

[2] Are there no reliable independent garages that you can rely on confidently, for maintaining your vehicle?
1. Honestly speaking, I can't be sure. The car has far superior features to vehicles that cost 2x it's price. I took a close look at the 520D today and there are features the Superb has (+ oodles of rear seat space) which the 520D lacks. But reliability has been an issue. There is no question that the Superb is much more expensive to maintain than a Honda Accord. But the real question on maintenance costs is how they compare with those on other cars with similar features such as the VWs, Mercs, Audis and BMWs. And that is difficult to judge so far. I have seen threads on this forum about the massive maintenance costs on the C class for example.

Clearly, the extended warranty is a no-brainer, it's worth every penny buyers today spend on it. If I were running Skoda, I would introduce a BSI Ultimate type package + a 10 year powertrain warranty - that would clearly establish the vehicle as the best value offering in its class. Don't know what that would do to the brand's profits, though.

2. I would consider independent garages only if there was no chance of getting a Goodwill claim. So for people with a 2 year warranty, that would probably be 4 years down the line, and for those with the extended warranty, after 5 years.
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