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Old 2nd October 2010, 17:49   #16
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15000 km review

The little hatch has completed 14350 km as of today, and touchwood, so far so good.

* As a "factory recall" of sorts Skoda replaced the fuel pump on my car free of cost to address the complaints other users of the 1.4 petrol had with regard to the jerkiness etc. However i had no issues from day 1, but changed the fuel pump anyway as a pre emptive measure. All 1.4 engines had the fuel pump replaced by Skoda. After the fuel pump change the initial response of the car improved and it seemed "torquier".

* 2 free services have been completed on the car. One service a year and the average service cost is about Rs 7000/- Pricey ? YES. But i will vouch for Vinayak Skoda's quality of service. Prompt, well informed & honest billing. The highest cost is the motor oil. Cannot be helped.

* German build quality surprised me in a nasty way. The ergonomic failure of an arm rest broke. The latch that keeps it shut gave way and it's now flapping about uselessly. Huge irritation. Have to get it repaired but the sheer distance of the service centre puts me off.

* On the other hand, the car is completely rattle and squeak free and has been on the WORST of roads. Believe me there was no tarmac and i was following a Scorpio which was bobbing like a boat in rough sea. After this minor off roading stint while heading to interior Kanakpura, two things surprised me.
1 - Ground clearance is really good as I did not scrape anywhere. Cautiously driven... goes without saying
2 - The car does not squeak/rattle/groan no matter what.

* While my ownership has been relatively hassle free, there is one annoying niggle that refuses to go away. The car does not start easily sometimes. Usually cars start after the first or second crank. Here i can hear the starter motor whirring, but ignition does not occur. This happens on and off, and it starts after a few cranks. Checked the battery everything seems to be in order. And asked Skoda to take a look at the second service. They cleaned the injectors, but to no avail. Any ideas ? Oh Japanese reliability ! How we take thee for granted !

* Horn packed up. Its located behind the front left fog, and once while wading through some rain soaked roads, it drowned to say the least. Minor fix... Rs 750/- for the Laura/Merc horn.

* Ride quality continues to astound me. Stock Apollo Acceleres are surprisingly good tyres. Was briefly considering being gangster and putting on some nice gunmetal grey 17in OZ's but shelved the idea, since i know i will miss the pampering ride.

* Seems feature packed compared to the Polo. The lack of rear power windows in the latter is just appalling ! However, before the Polo fans on the forum flame me, only luxury or "feel good" features are left out. You guys have the basics covered.

* Interestingly the Polo has the Auto window up/down facility programmed on the remote key fob and i have to turn the key clockwise/anti clockwise for the same. I want !!!

* While being pedantic and examining the car, i noticed that the only uneven gap, is where the HVAC controls sit. Seems stuck on like an after thought.

* These will forever be my grouses with the car.
1 - 8.3 lakhs and no climate control
2 - No rear speakers
3 - No rear discs

* The engine is a 4 cylinder and though it makes its 3 cylinder siblings seem as refined as nails in a blender, it is not as creamy as its japanese counter parts.

More later. Jpeg images exceeding upload limit.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 12:53   #17
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Thanks a ton for your short but precise review Ash. If there are no other hassles than 7k a year for maintainence seems fine. Do you have any idea how much would the spares would cost. For e.g. Replacing the door of the linea costs around 7k as reported in a thread. Replacing the electronic orvms along with the built in turn indicators of the i20 cost just 2k.
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