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Old 21st June 2013, 15:36   #1
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Default Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership

Hello folks,

After repeated attempts and a couple of arrears, managed to clear the entrance test and here I am. Yes!!! I got my membership approved by the mods. Happy me!!!

Just a quick background -
It was sept 2011 when we started our lookout for a car. We did not have any car or budget in our mind. Although, we were clear on the usage part
- Daily commuting to office which translates to 30 kms per day
- Monthly travel to my home town which is 400 kms away from Bangalore (approx 900km round trip)
- It's just me and my wifey who will be using the car and will be driven by me for most part

A diesel hatchback made more sense for our requirement. Without much deliberation, we straight away booked a white swift ZDI. It is a proven, time tested beauty and was our unanimous choice without any opposition from anyone of our family. While booking, we told that we will take a car which is manufactured in 2012 only for which we required to wait for 8 months and were fine with that.

I was cool and settled after the booking. But, my wifey was little disturbed about the on-road price of the car and felt unsatisfied as the price falls into the sedan bracket. Yes. It's my wifey who ignited the spark that a hatch may be a sensible choice for now as we are just two. But, within a couple of years, we will require a car which should be able to swallow the additional cargo. Her point of view is right. I never thought about the requirement for a bigger boot space in future. And, that's what prompted us to hunt for a sedan while holding our booking for swift.

Here we go.... With a lot of time spent on teambhp, googling, this and that, listed some sedans and started working on it one by one. Here are my opinions on the some cars. All the opinions below are completely personal and NOM.

Swift Dzire - Well, it is not a sedan by itself. It's a boot pasted to a hatchback.You will feel it every time when you sit in the cramped rear bench.

Ford Fiesta Classic - Good, proven car. It's been around for quite a while. New fiesta's entry into the market made me rethink and finally dropped this option.

Maruti Sx4 - I was not ready to pay 10L for a 1.3L engine. IMO, Maruti performs well in the alto, swift and swift dzire segments. Beyond that, somehow they don't get their game right and I was not pulled towards it. Yes, beyond swift dzire is not their cup of tea.

Toyota Etios - I am not sure if there was a diesel motor on sale when I was scouting for a sedan. Aftet seeing the bland interiors, I did not test drive the car. But, it's an exellent car in terms of reliability, service, pricing, maintenance and other fronts. But, it's just not me.

Hyundai Verna - First time I saw the car, man, I was completely fallen in love with her. Love at first sight !!!! The design is completely futuristic with extrovert style statement accentuated by the fluidic theme. IMO, it is the best looking hyundai car so far. The design was spot on. I am sure lot of "Verna Transform" owners would feel bad that they could have waited a little longer. Once inside, I was home. I was offered a test drive in Bangalore-Hosur highway where I drove to a triple digit figure. It was pliant, good and was impressed overall. Back home, I started reading reviews about the old and new verna and found a couple of complaints by the majority of owners
1) Nervous high speed manners and boat like feel at high speeds.
2) Emergency braking is scary
3) Steering feedback
4) Unsettled ride quality on bad roads at low speed.
I might not be driving at or above 140kmph all the time. But, those sore points are deep-rooted in my head already and will keep pricking throughout my ownership if I go ahead and own one. Halfheartedly, I had to let Verna fluidic off my list.

Fiat Linea - I liked this beauty in every aspect except for the inconsistent fit and finish. But, the fact that Tata is in charge of the service maintenance drove me away. I hear your voice that Skoda is no better in service. Yeah, I agree. But, somehow I was not compelled to own a linea.

Volkswagen Vento - I liked the car very much. Be it interior or exterior, things were fairly simple, conventional and straightforward which was to my liking. In any reviews, whenever somebody writes about a European car, some words are used very liberally - 'THUD', 'fit and finish', 'finese', 'solid', 'built to last', 'build quality', etc... Yes, all of these things are evident in this car.

Skoda Rapid - In the same time around, I read news floating around about Skoda Rapid. I got more interested when I knew
- Rapid is Vento and Vento is Rapid
- But, price of rapid < price of vento.
- more variants than Vento(when i booked)

I test drove Rapid thrice in two different showrooms (twice from Tafe, hosur road, Bangalore and Tafe, St.Marks Road, Bangalore). Me and my wifey liked the car very much. The sales adviser, upon insisting, gave me the spare parts price list. He added that there may be a little variation in the price in the range of hundred or two for some components. Below photo shows the price list. I was told, the new reduced price is due to localization of components.

Parts price list
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_7149.jpg
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_7150.jpg
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_7151.jpg

When sales adviser was ready to give spare parts price list to grab customers, i felt how serious Skoda is about the product. This, in turn, seeded a thought that there will be a considerable level of improvements in after sale service as well (I was proven wrong later. More on this in the Service maintenance section). Now, my mind is full of Rapid, Rapid and Rapid only. Yes!!! decided. Deciding on Rapid, I chose to stick on to the Ambition variant which made much sense for me for the following reasons
- OEM stereo was not great (Must upgrade if I buy Elegance)
- Missing features were - alloys, electric mirror adjustment, ergo lever, climate control, passenger airbag, OEM audio system
- I can comfortably live without all the above features except for the passenger airbag. At the same time, I was not ready to shell out additional 1.2L extra for those features. Hence, zeroed down to Ambition TDI. There were no votes from either of our family for skoda. But still, me and my wifey went ahead and booked the car in Tafe Access, St.Marks road, Bangalore. I know, at some later point, I might have to hear someone in my family say - "I told na.. that day itself...", etc.. But, I've already made my mind up and i can't disobey myself.

Pricing (Ambition TDI):
Base Price - 8,40,053.00
Insurance - 33,452.00
RTO(The killer) - 1,40,544.00
====================================
OTR Price - 10,14,049.00
====================================

Booking and Delivery Experience:
- Just Average. Nothing much to be say about.
- Got my car delivered on the day promised - Only thing I am happy about delivery process.
- Sales Adviser did not know much about the car (Probably because the car was new that time). But, that can't be an excuse anyway.

Me and a friend of mine went to the yard a day before delivery and did a PDI (Of course, TeamBhp PDI checklist). Next day, that is on 25th Jan 2012 Me, my wifey and the same friend took our car delivered at around 5.00 pm from Tafe Access, St.Marks road, Bangalore and headed straight to the accessories shop (Glamour accessories, koramangala). Yeah!!! We neither did go to a temple nor did any poojas. Both me and my wifey are not atheist. But, poojas and prayers just don't resonate with our line of thoughts. Back to the main stream...

Here goes the accessories list...
- JVC Double din music system with bluetooth adapter
- Front JVC Component speakers
- Rear JVC Coaxial speakers
- Damping for the front doors
- Vinyl flooring (Later removed it and moved on to Kagu 3D mats)
- Artificial Leather seat covers (I ordered two days before itself)
- Reverse Parking sensors
- Garware sunfilms for all the doors and rear windshield
- Llumar sunfilm for front windshield
- Philips relay kit with 100/90 bulbs

It took 4.5 hours for the whole work to be completed. When we were back home, it was 11:45 pm. My wifey got completely bored when the accessories were getting installed. But, she did not complain much. I was hurrying so much as the idea was to take the car to our hometown (Coimbatore) on the next day itself(26-Jan-2013). That's why, installed everything in one go on the same day of delivery.

She was all loaded and set for action now. We named her "Bumblebee". From here on, let me use "Bumblebee" liberally. The day when we buy a SUV, we'll christen her as "Optimus Prime".

First drive -
It was a long first run for Bumblebee from Bangalore to Coimbatore which was 370kms. We took two breaks in this journey. Unknowingly, many times, i crossed 120kmph on this journey which I didn't really want to. Oh my bad!!! that was irresistible. But Yeah, had to control my temptations.

Initial Impressions -
-Torquey, responsive engine with power readily on tap.
-Excellent gear ratios well suited for city as well as highway runs. Does not demand a downshift for most of the overtaking maneuvers. Just press the pedal, the car will zoom.
-Nicely calibrated suspension setup and is very pliant even at very high speeds. Suspension is better tuned than in Vento (You can feel the difference when you drive it back to back).
-Steering feedback and weight is spot on. Never felt any sort of under-steer or over-steer at all.
-Brakes are good though many has got the rotors changed. I have not faced any issues so far.
-Seats are very good. Again, I liked Verna's seats better.
-Bright and Airy interiors - thanks to the beige and brown theme. Top quality interiors and plastics.
-Even the glove box shuts nicely unlike Hondas which comes with hard plastics.

Mileage -
Yeah, it's a great car with good high speed stability, excellent cornering capability, built to last, this and that. But, Kitna deti hai??? Indeed It all boils down to this question. Isn't it? Yeah, the figures are quite good and convincing. All the figures below are measured using full tank to full tank method.
- Best mileage (highways) - 21kmpl (driven between 80 to 120 for most part). Smooth acceleration/ deceleration, Engine braking.
- Worst mileage (highways) - 16.4kmpl (hard-footed driving)
- In Bangalore City traffic - 13.7 to 14.2kmpl (mix of bumper to bumper and moderate traffic. I turn off my car in almost all the signals. To give better perspective, I cover 13kms in 35-45 minutes that includes two signal stops)


Service Maintenance -

Accident Repair at Vinayak, TC Palya-
Within a month after purchase, I went through a small accident in Kanakapura road on my way back to Bangalore. I would have been in the speed range of 50 to 60 kmph range when a street dog suddenly jumped in my way. I am still clueless how the dog came out of nowhere. Lucky dog!!! It actually bounced upon hitting my front bumper and ran away. It did not look hurt. Unlucky me!!! Front bumper was dented heavily with a big crack underneath and damaged the front grill as well. Sadly, left the car on Monday morning to Vinayak, TC Palya. Trust me, they delivered it in one day (Yes, I paid the whole amount from my pocket. Was not ready to leave my brand new car in a garage overnight). Sooper fast !!! I was impressed with timelines and the work done. There is a guy called Murali who takes care of body work. A big thanks to him. Invoice shown below (Compare the price in the invoice with the price list above. There will be a very marginal deviation only).
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-accident_maintenance.jpg

First free checkup done at 7500kms @ Tafe service centre, hosur road.Was charged INR 282.00 for oil top-up. Nothing much happened here to rate the quality of their work.
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-free-checkup7500.jpg

First service @ Vinayak Skoda - Approx INR 7286.00 (Excluding wheel alignment and balancing, Pollen filter which costs INR 650 approx).
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-first-service.jpg

Yes, the twist here is that pollen filter was not replaced. Check the service jobs mentioned in the manual below.
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-service-manual.jpg

It clearly says that the pollen filter needs replacement every 15000 kms. But, that was not in the invoice shown above. When checked with the service adviser, he told that the old pollen filter itself is in a good condition and don't require replacement. In fact, I bought what he told. Within a few days, AC started to sound too loud and the air inflow was terribly low. By then, I was in my home town. I took Bumblebee to a known, local mechanic who showed me the pollen filter. It was all clogged and noway air can inflow properly. I felt irritated that I was misguided by the service adviser. But, was not in a mood to call him back, shout or argue which won't change a thing. Then, with the help of the local mechanic, I replaced the old pollen filter.

This says it all about the quality of service. Isn't it? On top of it, the service remainder was not reset when Bumblebee was delivered. Please, for God sake, don't commit such a crime. This should have been the first thing in their list. Luckily, I didn't do wheel alignment and balancing there. They would have charged me a bomb and would not even have touched the wheels. Who knows? Do I have to say anything more about the service? Hell No. Trust me, Skoda products are extremely good and it's just the quality of service that drifts customers away from their product line up.

Apart from the regular service and checkup,
- have been doing wheel alignment and wheel balancing @ Tyre Empire, whitefield every 7500 kms. Costs approx 700.
- Get the Pollen filter, air filter and brake pads cleaned every 7500 kms from a local garage.

Here are some dislikes (In the order of most to least significant) -
-After Sales Service (No prize for guessing). IMO, it's the Achilles heel for Skoda.
-Stock bulbs - Needs immediate replacement. Not adequate for highways.
-NVH levels could have been better. Though the noise insulation is good, its not in the league of Verna. Yes. Verna has much better noise insulation and the cabinet is very silent when compared to Rapid/Vento. You will be hard-pressed to tell that it's the diesel plant that is powering Verna.
-Fifth passenger will be a difficult state of affair due to the hump as well as the overall width of the car.
-Turn indicator stalk which is to the left side. Not handy when your hand is busy twisting gear lever all the time while you have to use the turn indicators very often in city traffic. C'mon Skoda, we are in India.
-Electrically foldable mirrors would have been good. It's very important in our traffic conditions wherein lot of bikers fold the mirrors for you.
-Until last month, they don't officially have a component called "Mud Flap" for Rapid.
-Missing the typical "Skoda horn". But,whatever is there is good enough.
-Not both the windscreen wipers are fully lift-able. An uninformed car wash guy will surely gift you with some scratches in your bonnet.

Some Worthwhile Points
-Don't go for art leather seats. It will create rubbing noise especially from the rear seats. Go for leather covers. It gets better and better on using. I will move on to leather in sometime (On cards).
-Don't go for Vinyl flooring. I had it installed in Bumblebee, but started hearing rattling noise from front passenger seat when its not loaded. The issue persisted no matter how tight the rails were. But, after removing it, the rattling disappeared. That's when I opted for Kagu 3D mats.
-Don't fit the hard plastic mud flaps that's available for Vento. I was using it for a while. They brush the humps under fully loaded condition even if I take the humps at a near 45 degree. At last, I removed them, because, the mudflap plastics are stronger than the bumper itself and i did not want it to affect the bumper.
-If there is any minor squeaking noise, just keep your music loud and ignore the noise. The more you try on fixing it, louder it will get. Yes, I was hearing a noise from rear side. The service guy, on hearing my complaint, without much investigation, adjusted the striker plates of both of my rear doors. From then on, I am hearing more music from the doors and they are not able to put it back to the factory settings.

Just last week, visited Pete's head over wheels Smartwax, Varthur road and the link to my review is below.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...x-petes-2.html (SmartWax by Pete's)

Having said everything, I love this machine to the core just for one simple reason - it reflects and resonates with me. Revving happily !!!

It's time for some photos . . .

On our way to Chikmagalur
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_4630.jpg

This was before the sun film ban She was more gorgeous than now.
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc02968.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6933.jpg

Along side her elder sibling 'Superb'
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6948.jpg

Now, she is staring back
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6956.jpg

Some more angles
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6962.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6985.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6987.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc02969.jpg

A couple of shots of Kagu 3D mats. It's a wonderful product BTW.
Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6966.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6975.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_6976.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_7119.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_7124.jpg

Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership-dsc_7139.jpg

Last edited by mksureshhere : 22nd June 2013 at 14:11.
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Old 21st June 2013, 15:57   #2
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid ambition TDI (BUMBLEBEE) - 1.5 yrs - 20000 kms of Ownership - An over

Hello! Welcome to TBHP & congratulations on the new Rapid. Man...180+! thats some speed! You must be lucky to have roads that permit those speeds. In my state, even on the Mumbai-Pune E-way, I rarely dare touch 140! The roads throw surprises so often that they aren't surprises anymore at all.

You got the OEM peep-peep horn I presume? Did you also upgrade that? Or any plans for it? I'd suggest to change to Roots Windtone / Bosch Twintone / Minda trumpet seriously. The car deserves a better & premium voice.

Waiting for your service experience that you're going to provide separately.

I see the car already has TBHP stickers! Cool.

Wish you & your family unlimited safe & happy miles with the Bumblebee!
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Old 23rd June 2013, 14:43   #3
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid ambition TDI (BUMBLEBEE) - 1.5 yrs 20,000 kms of Ownership - An over

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 15:12   #4
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid ambition TDI (BUMBLEBEE) - 1.5 yrs 20,000 kms of Ownership - An over

Hi mksureshhere, welcome to T-BHP!
Heartiest congratulations to you for your Skoda. Welcome to the club, I myself own a Rapid MPI AT. Hope you have endless happy miles with her!

You have nicely compiled the report with pictures of the beauty, the Bumblebee! One question: Do you face any problem due to the A-Pillar while driving through junctions? In my case, the A-Pillar and the ORVM (right) obstructs my view of the traffic coming from the right.

P.S. There are 3 smileys in your opening post. Do correct that, maximum limit is 2 only.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 15:41   #5
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid ambition TDI (BUMBLEBEE) - 1.5 yrs 20,000 kms of Ownership - An over

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
You got the OEM peep-peep horn I presume? Did you also upgrade that? Or any plans for it? I'd suggest to change to Roots Windtone / Bosch Twintone / Minda trumpet seriously. The car deserves a better & premium voice.
Waiting for your service experience that you're going to provide separately.
Thanks Reinhard.
Though I miss that peep-peep horn, stock horn is adequate enough. No plans for upgrade as of now. I've added my service experience to the report now. Please check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loud View Post
In my case, the A-Pillar and the ORVM (right) obstructs my view of the traffic coming from the right.

P.S. There are 3 smileys in your opening post. Do correct that, maximum limit is 2 only.
Thanks Loud. Whenever I take a right turn, a look through the right window will aid much better visibility. But, never faced any vision obstructions as such.
Sure thing mate. Will ensure to have a check on smiley usage.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 15:53   #6
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid ambition TDI (BUMBLEBEE) - 1.5 yrs 20,000 kms of Ownership - An over

Hello and welcome to Tbhp and congratulations on your rapid. That is a nice review.

Just curious, did you TD Vento at the time of your purchase and whether you considered Vento CL vs Ambition.

Happy mile munching !
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Old 23rd June 2013, 16:19   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid ambition TDI (BUMBLEBEE) - 1.5 yrs 20,000 kms of Ownership - An over

Quote:
Originally Posted by stringbh View Post
Just curious, did you TD Vento at the time of your purchase and whether you considered Vento CL vs Ambition.
Thanks stringbh.

At the time, Vento had only two variants - Trendline, Highline and no comfortline in place. Trendline was bare bone whereas Highline was fully equipped. On the other hand, Rapid had three variants with the Ambition variant having almost everything I was looking for, except alloy wheels and passenger air bag. Since the gap between Vento highline and Rapid Ambition was a more than 1.5L, decided to stick with Rapid Ambition.

Cheers,
mksureshhere
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Old 28th June 2013, 13:00   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Ambition TDI - 1.5 years, 20,000 kms of ownership

Congratulations on our new car!!!
However, I feel your description does not do any justice to the Dzire. The car is total VFM and extremely spacious. The maintenance cost is also very economical and moreover Maruti is known for their brilliant after sales services. In its category its one of the best and would have been a good buy!
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