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Old 27th February 2012, 19:50   #1
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Default From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

The Purchase Story

Circa 2009 - I had just graduated and started working again. The economy was bad and even after graduating from a good college, I landed up with a poorly paying job in Gurgaon - a city where public transport was non existent and owning a vehicle a necessity. I desperately needed a car but had no money. Thought of buying a second hand Ford Ikon or a Santro but somehow a voice inside my heart said that these were not the right choices. Had to somehow manage by staying close to my place of work and relying on uberly expensive autos for my transport needs.

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Fast Forward to 2010 - The economy improved and I landed with a slightly better paying job. Now I had the money but no time. No time to drive the car as my projects kept me out of Gurgaon for long durations of time. It was during this time the Ford Figo was launched and my flat mate purchased one. It is a fine car and we did some long journeys together. Perfect value for money, I would say.

I nearly bought the Figo towards the end of 2010, but a chance viewing of the new Swift on T-BHP, somehow persuaded my heart otherwise. The brain rationalized that I would not get the opportunity to drive the new car for a long duration of time so it would be better to wait for the launch of new Swift.

2011 just came along with no news about the Swift. Days turned into weeks and weeks into month, but the Swift wasn't launched. I was turning restless (link) and almost again bought the Figo but the beautiful Swift had cast its evil spell and my heart always overruled my brain.

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I checked out the i20 as well but somehow wasn't convinced due to the rattling issues and its poor AC.

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It was August 2011 when my prayers were finally answered. The new Swift had just been launched and I was beaming with joy. Little did I know how short lived that joy would be. I test drove the Swift and it had a big problem. No matter how I adjusted my seat my left leg would always hit the below of the dashboard (link). I was sad. I had waited for this car for over an year!

My mind drifted towards Figo again. Luckily, my project again took me out of Gurgaon and the plan of purchasing the car had to be shelved again. By the time I returned, Vento was already making noises and rightfully so. The car was beautiful and a pleasure to drive. I was falling in love with the car. The only thing preventing me from buying Vento was the fact that it did not have a USB inlet! I even had this crazy idea of changing the ICE of Vento and replacing it with a tablet (link). Thank God I didn't opt for that!

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By then, the Verna had also arrived at the scene. The car was loaded but I was finicky. One look at the car and the front line cutting across the bonnet turned my heart away. To add to it the T-BHP reviews of its handling convinced my brain as well. I wasn't ready on spending over 10 lakh on something which my heart and the brain didn't like.

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The Fiesta launch was a dud with poor interiors and an overpriced tag. It never became serious competition.

Then came the news about Skoda Rapid. I loved the exterior but the Skoda after sales horror stories were putting me off. I thought of at least test driving the car when it gets launched but life had much more pleasing plans. One second I was waiting patiently for Rapid's launch and in the other I was sitting on the beaches of Brazil.

The Skoda Rapid eventually got launched. I was disappointed. Why would they give brown interiors? Why not the all pleasing grey or brey? After all other Skoda cars as well as the sister Vento had greyish interiors! Nevertheless the price convinced my brain to at least test drive the car.

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2012 had since arrived and I was as usual busy with the work. The work took me to the power corridors of the government and introduced me to the rumours of the budget. One such rumour particularly struck me - a proposal to increase the duties on diesel sedans by 12%. My brain went into the scared mode - the time to buy the car was now and there has to be no delay.

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Come 12 February and I paid a visit to the Skoda dealership much to the angst of my heart. Surprisingly the brown interiors didn't look that bad though I would say that the brain had to work overtime on rationalizing with the heart. I took the test drive and I had just one expression - Floored. The car was perfect - superb performance and exceptional handling. The heart need no more convincing.

There was one more obstacle though - Nissan Sunny. I test drove Sunny and my brain and heart said in unison - You must be kidding us. Went back to the Skoda dealership and instantly booked Rapid with just one condition - the car must be delivered before the budget.

In terms of the choice between the models - I was very clear from the beginning that Elegance would be the model of choice, even though it meant that I would be stretching my budget. The rationale behind my choice is obvious from this (link) (Skoda Rapid : Test Drive & Review).

On 27 February I got the VIN and engine number with an expected delivery within the week! But Skoda dealers can not let you have a piece of mind. The next time I went to check out my car, I was told that I have been allocated a new VIN number and a new delivery date of 5th March. Probably they had given my car to someone who paid full amount in advance which I was not ready to do unless I saw the car first in flesh and metal. Naturally, I was disappointed. A few calls to the Head of CRM helped and I was assured that my car would be delivered on 5th and there would be no further delays.
Finally on 7th March I received a call from the dealer saying that my car had arrived. As I was in Mumbai, I had to wait a couple of days to get the delivery. The final delivery was a smooth process.

Dealership Experience
I had booked my Rapid through Jai Auto, Gurgaon. The experience was ok and there is a scope for improvement. I was never told when my exact delivery would be. I was worried because I wanted the car before budget and was unsure when I might be sent out of Gurgaon again. I didn't like the way they kept on postponing the delivery date and especially didn't like the fact that the car which was allocated to me was given to someone else.

During the initial test drive phase, I was clear that I would go for a long test drive. The sales executive was accommodating and made no fuss about it. I must actually give credit to the sales executive as I was a bit cautious while test driving. It was the brutal demonstration of the car's capabilities by the sales executive which absolutely floored me.

Skoda After sales
The one thing which scares me is the Skoda after sales. You never know when and how it would hit you. But I thought with all the experts at T-BHP, I might just be able to handle that. Hope it doesn't trouble me.

Money - After all its always about the money.

Luckily for me Skoda had announced a corporate discount just one day before I booked the car. So there was a Rs 15,000 freebie that I could cheer about.

But we all want more, don't we? I wouldn't want to book a car without a discount. Heck, I had spent 4 hours bargaining with the dealer when my Friend had bought his Figo (We got free fog lamps for his Figo when there were absolutely no discounts). I wasn't ready to cut myself a raw deal without any further discount and become a laughing stock before my friend. The bargaining started but the Skoda dealership was not ready to give any discount. The matter was escalated from the sales executive to the senior manager of the dealership. No amount of convincing or references to the promotion of rapid in my network could budge him. I was disappointed for I thought I was going to fail. It was then he mentioned about payment using my credit card without any additional charge. I quickly calculated - a down payment of around Rs 6,50,000 would be equivalent to a cash discount of Rs 5,000. I was ecstatic!

I took the insurance from ICICI Lombard which cost me around Rs 29,000 with a zero depreciation add-on. It was much cheaper than the Rs 36,000 quoted by the dealer for Bajaj Allianz.

Financing.
I was in two minds (nothing new as you would realize from above) on whether to go for full down payment or part financing the car. Finally, came to a conclusion that the retirement and emergency funds should not be touched. You never know what life has it in for you.
I finally settled for a small loan from Axis Bank with an interest of 11.25% and a processing fee of Rs 1,000.

The delivery
I think I should now let the pictures take over from here. The picture quality is poor as it is a phone camera. You would have seen much better quality pictures had I bought a Figo (with money to spare to buy a good camera) but then what use is the quality when the subject is not worthy.

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PS: 1. All the pictures are copyrights of respective owners. The intention of this thread is not to demean any car or any buyer but just a funny take. Some incidents may have been exaggerated.
2. Lets see what the budget brings. From the way Congress has performed in elections, it may not be a reformist budget at all and thus the significant price hike might not happen.

Initial Impressions

Looks

The car looks absolutely beautiful from the outside. Actually, the car's looks and the expression of the girl at 00:27 in this ad were the aesthetic reasons which appealed to my heart vis a vis the Vento. Now who can say that marketing is a waste of money? I find the Vento a tad boring in the exterior looks department.

The interiors are average looking if you compare them with Vento or Verna. I am not a fan of brown interiors and would prefer a combination of black and beige. However, the brown color doesn't look pretty only on the dashboard. This could be because of the black ICE, air vents and the steering resulting in a discontinuity in color and thus losing the visual appeal. The combination looks quite alright on door.

The quality of material used is good though I miss the chrome used on air vents in the Vento. The doors close with a resounding thud which gives you a sense of security.

The seats are quite comfortable. The driver's seat wraps you like a cocoon and it looks like that my quite useful Amaron backrest would be made redundant.

Performance
The performance is on the mark. Its easy to drive the car in the city and on the highway. The turbo lag is minimal and the car is effortless to drive in the city. On the highway it accelerates charmingly. The gearshift is smooth and I haven't encountered any issues for now except while shifting from reverse gear. However, due to the initial run in period I am a bit cautious while driving and have not pushed the car to its limits.

The MFD is quite useful. One of the indicators on the MFD is the upshift and downshift signal which helps to calm down an aggressive driver. The MFD also gives the current fuel consumption. I got a steady current fuel consumption of 43 kmpl on a stretch of about 2 - 3 kms on highway. However, this number is definitely not dependable and falls rapidly as soon as you accelerate or de-accelerate. In my short ride of around 100 kms today, the average fuel consumption is around 16 kmpl.

The car is quite stable at high speeds and gives you a sense of security.

Somehow the NVH levels seem a bit high currently. Hopefully, these would come down after the initial run in period is over and the engine settles down.

The suspension appears to be on a stiffer side as compared to Vento and it make a loud thud sound once in a pothole.

Equipment, Small but useful things

The ICE is strictly average. The ICE fans would be disappointed. It doesn't matter to me much as long as I can play my choice of songs. Bluetooth and steering mounted controls are sorely missed.

The boot is quite spacious and the Rapid is answered the need for an airport visit by easily accommodating two big check-in bags.

The AC is alright, but then the Delhi summers are still a couple of months away. The AC fan appears to be noisy at higher fan speeds.

Last edited by jods : 11th March 2012 at 00:51.
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Old 12th March 2012, 15:05   #2
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th March 2012, 15:23   #3
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Its raining Rapids on the forum here.
Let me be the first to congratulate you on the new Skoda Rapid.

A solid european car with great fuel economy. It should serve you well for years to come. Do share more pics of the car.
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Old 12th March 2012, 15:40   #4
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Finally the Rapid all the way in this forum. No wonder the Rapid has surpassed the Vento's sales in Feb.
Wishing you great ownership and many more happy miles!

Cheers,
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Old 12th March 2012, 15:49   #5
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Congrats.
Truly a solid European car with very good nose and road presence.
some interior pics would be highly appreciated. Now a days i think Skoda is improving in ***. This should work +ve for you as well.
Any plans for upgrades?
enjoy the miles and safe driving.
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Old 12th March 2012, 15:50   #6
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Congratulations jods, nice review.

If you can live the I.C.E., then just get a jabra hands free kit, it mounts on top of your sun viser, really good and trouble free.
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Old 12th March 2012, 16:47   #7
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Jods, congrats on your new acquisition rapidly before the budget. You surely will enjoy the TDi engine's 250NM more and more in coming days and surely will get addicted to it and any car which just doesn't matches to it will pale off, and it comes from the owner of Vento TDi.
Enjoy many more miles on it and drive safe. Do post some good quality interior pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jods View Post
The picture quality is poor as it is a phone camera. You would have seen much better quality pictures had I bought a Figo (with money to spare to buy a good camera) but then what use is the quality when the subject is not worthy.
If your friend did read this, how would he be feeling, knowing that you all did some long journeys in his brand new Figo.
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Old 12th March 2012, 22:33   #8
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Congrats Jods, making Rapid progress

Quote:
I test drove Sunny and my brain and heart said in unison - You must be kidding us.
Heheh, I know that feeling ! Sometimes you just know when a machine (car/bike) is just not the one for you, even before you ride/drive it. I expect the Sunny to be a soft/comfort oriented ride then minute I saw it, subsequent reviews confirmed that , it's no driver's car.
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Old 13th March 2012, 00:13   #9
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Quote:
Originally Posted by C300 View Post
A solid european car with great fuel economy. It should serve you well for years to come. Do share more pics of the car.
Thanks. Unfortunately, I am out of Gurgaon again. Would try and add more pics once I get back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky View Post
Congrats.
Any plans for upgrades?
enjoy the miles and safe driving.
Thanks. I have maxed out my budget so no upgrades planned for the time being. A few accessories are being planned though - parking sensors, bluetooth, Kagu 3D mats and leatherette seat covers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by el lobo 6061 View Post
If your friend did read this, how would he be feeling, knowing that you all did some long journeys in his brand new Figo.
No worries. I say this to him on his face
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Old 13th March 2012, 08:05   #10
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jods View Post
The only thing preventing me from buying Vento was the fact that it did not have a USB inlet!
Hi jods,
The Vento received USB input for audio, rear parking sensors and steering mounted controls around November last year, all of which the Rapid doesn't have. Regardless, I think Rapid is a better value-for-money buy anyday.

Hey - doesn't the title of the this thread sound very similar to another thread ;-) ha, ha. Just kidding

Congratulations! and wishing you the very best.
Its raining Rapids indeed...
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:14   #11
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

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Originally Posted by kryptonite View Post
Hi jods,
The Vento received USB input for audio, rear parking sensors and steering mounted controls around November last year, all of which the Rapid doesn't have. Regardless, I think Rapid is a better value-for-money buy anyday.
Agreed, I had that now non sense idea of putting a tablet in Vento sometime around August - September 2011. Shortly after that Vento introduced a new ICE, and the accessories that you have mentioned. However, by the time I got back Rapid had already been launched and it was much cheaper than Vento!

I was actually thinking about buying a Vento, after they gave a Rs 70,000 discount on 2011 models in 2012. However, Rapid was still cheaper to buy and I was not sure if I had the expertise to assess whether the 2011 model was a genuine one or had some flaws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryptonite View Post
Hey - doesn't the title of the this thread sound very similar to another thread ;-) ha, ha. Just kidding

Congratulations! and wishing you the very best.
Its raining Rapids indeed...
Thanks. He, he. Given the choice that we have in the market I am not surprised that a fellow BHPian also wavered between different models while buying his car. Rest assured, the title was not plagiarism, my thread had been lying in Assembly section since Feb 25!
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Old 13th March 2012, 19:34   #12
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Congratulation on your new car Jods, I own a vento and can correlate to everything you have said about the car and all of your observations are spot on.

Wishing you a very pleasant and memorable ownership experience with your new car.
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Old 13th March 2012, 20:30   #13
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Congratulations jods for a Rapid decision. Just curious on why you chose Rapid diesel as you mentioned that you travel for work. Wouldn't a petrol suffice your needs?

Nonetheless wishing you a trouble free and enjoyable experience all through
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Old 14th March 2012, 09:56   #14
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Congratulations on your Rapid Jods Wish you many more countless happy miles on your chariot.

Just to get things cleared, was Verna turned down because it has a finicky cut running across its nose? Agreed the price was on the higher side and Bhpians has criticized its handling manners, but everyone has their own driving pleasures. Maybe you would have loved it Also, you could have tried the Optra.
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Old 14th March 2012, 18:05   #15
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Default Re: From Swift to Figo to Vento to finally *Skoda Rapid*!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arup.misra View Post
Congratulations jods for a Rapid decision. Just curious on why you chose Rapid diesel as you mentioned that you travel for work. Wouldn't a petrol suffice your needs?

Nonetheless wishing you a trouble free and enjoyable experience all through
Thanks!

I do travel a bit for work, sometimes to clients within NCR (diesel car becomes useful here) and sometimes outside Delhi. I usually do not use the car to go to the office as its faster to reach office by foot (5 mins) as compared to car (20 - 30 min). I also go on a trip to my home almost every month covering a distance of around 250 - 300 km. While I know that at the current usage a petrol would have made more sense but -
1. I am sure my usage would significantly increase going further
2. I am almost sure that the gap between diesel and petrol price would keep on increasing further reducing the breakeven kms.
3. Diesel Rapid is much more fun than Petrol Rapid


Quote:
Originally Posted by _raVan_ View Post
Congratulations on your Rapid Jods Wish you many more countless happy miles on your chariot.

Just to get things cleared, was Verna turned down because it has a finicky cut running across its nose? Agreed the price was on the higher side and Bhpians has criticized its handling manners, but everyone has their own driving pleasures. Maybe you would have loved it Also, you could have tried the Optra.
Thanks.

Yes, the Verna was in fact turned down because it has a cut running across its nose. But that must not be the only reason as the cut didn't look that bad in Sunny. In any case, Verna was going way beyond my extended budget, so I guess my brain was biased to find faults

I didn't try Optra as the model is quite old.
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