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Old 8th December 2013, 21:20   #1
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Default An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

Greetings to all! I live in Bangalore and work for a private firm. After a long time of passive usage of the forum, here I am writing my first ownership report. Before I start about my new car purchase and ownership experience, let me explain on the car i already had for close to five years. It was a Black Fiat Palio Stile 1.6 Sports and what a car it was! I thoroughly enjoyed driving it. But after around 5 years and close to 50000 km on the odometer, i decided to look out for a new car preferably diesel since my monthly running was close to 1500-2000 km. Since the only car i owned and driven a lot is Palio, you will find a lot of comparisons with the new car Rapid in my ownership experience.

Here is a snapshot of my car before i sold it:
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Last edited by Rehaan : 10th December 2013 at 16:03.
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Old 8th December 2013, 21:26   #2
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Deciding the car

I got my Skoda Rapid (Ambition Plus) on 5th of July 2013 and have covered close to 10000 kms when i am writing this review. When i decided to buy a new car, my preference was towards diesel since my usage demanded it. If not for this "diesel" factor, i would have zeroed in on "Honda City" by default since it is one of my favorite cars. I was fascinated by the design and reliability of it. However, had to look out for other options in diesel. I also decided that it should be a sedan. Hence shortlisted Toyota Etios, VW Vento and Skoda Rapid. I somehow found the design of Hyundai Verna too funky and did not even bother to test drive it. My friend had bought Skoda Rapid and I was quite happy with the car after driving it. I drove all the shortlisted cars and ruled out Etios. The car I went for a test drive rattled a lot and did not feel good after that. Then, i had to decide between Vento and Rapid. By now, two of my friends from my office had Rapid and were happy with the car. So, after lot of thoughts and discussions with my wife, went ahead with "Rapid".


Dealership Experience

Quite easy to explain the dealership experience in one word : "Pathetic". This, in spite of all three of us (including two of my friends who bought Rapid) buying from the same dealer through company lease. We bought in TAFE Access, St.Marks Road, Bangalore. Since it was a company lease purchase, the booking amount that we initially pay to block the car had to be refunded. Both my friends faced some issues with this in terms of delay in getting back the refund. Hence, i told the dealer that i would pay the booking amount which they could convert into "Extended Warranty" later and hence no need for refund, for which the dealer agreed. I was told i would get the EW after one month. Though the purchase and delivery process was fairly smooth, I will explain the dealership woes later when i state my first service (free checkup) experience.

Details on the price and discounts

Ex-showroom : 857959 (after a discount of Rs.60000)
On-Road Price : 1001286 (The insurance was from the company lease service provider)
Freebies : Reverse parking sensors and Floor mats

So, after a few hiccups on the exact delivery date, i took the delivery on 05th July 2013. From the showroom, headed to the temple to offer the customary prayer.

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Last edited by Rehaan : 10th December 2013 at 16:04.
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Old 8th December 2013, 22:14   #3
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What I liked
  • Solid build quality.
  • No Turbo lag at all. The engine is eager and fun to drive.
  • Steering very light in city and is a boon in the traffic. Weighs up nicely in high speed but my Palio had a better feedback.
  • Comfort. The suspension is well tuned to absorb the road undulations.
  • Very good speed masking and comfortable handling.
  • Confidence inspiring brakes.

What I did not like
  • Diesel clatter. With music on, its much better. In higher speeds, its quieter.
  • The stock music system is just average.
  • No dead pedal. (benefited from this a lot on the long drives in my Palio)
  • AC is not the best I feel. In Bangalore, it is sufficient but need to check the performance in summer. However, its better than Palio in this aspect.
  • The headlights are not very powerful.

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Experience with the Car

Interior

Rapid has a spacious cabin. The doors shut with the "thud" that you would expect from an European car and I did not miss this aspect in Rapid after transitioning from a Palio. The plastics used are of acceptable quality but I feel the stalk controls are a bit flimsy. For instance, by mistake I managed to bring the headlight switch to "OFF" state without switching off the fog light (To switch on fog, you have to lift the switch up) and the headlights stayed on. Then I had to switch on and off again to make it proper. From then on, I am very careful in operating the switches especially the headlight switch. The dial is good and has green illumination which is pleasant on the eyes. It doesn't distract when you are driving in the night. Storage spaces aplenty with bottle holders on all the doors, in front of the rear AC vent and cup holders as well. The internal rear view mirror though is smaller in size. The boot is also huge with plastic cladding in the edges to avoid damages when you are loading or unloading the luggage.

Comfort and Ergonomic Aspects

The seats are comfortable especially the front seats. I was able to find comfortable seating position by adjusting the height of the driver seat and the steering which is adjustable for both reach and rake. Another noteworthy point here is that of the comfort of the front centre armrest. It is extremely useful even in city traffic when you are shifting gears quite often. It is also adjustable in height which helps you to find the right position to rest your left arm elbows. The suspension is stiff but the long journeys are comfortable for the passengers. The rear seat though is comfortable only for two due to the hump in the middle. Ingress and egress is a tad uncomfortable and elderly people may find it difficult.

AC and Music System

The air-conditioner vents are on a higher side due to which sometimes I feel the air blowing right on my face. The AC is sufficient but not the best i would say. After parking in hot sun for a long time, the AC took some time to cool the cabin. In my friend's Rapid which has automatic climate control, I felt the AC is better may be because the ACC adjusts according to the temperature set. Also, of late there is some noise from the AC noticeable when the music is off and it goes off if I switch off the AC. Need to check this during my next service.

The music system is very basic with CD, Aux in and SD card slots. It reads the SD card pretty fast though. The sound is just average and i had already upgraded the speakers, the details of which i have mentioned in the "Accessories" section.

NVH, Engine, Driveability and Handling

Switch on the car and the diesel clatter is inevitable especially till the engine warms up after which it settles down. Out on the highways with the music on, the engine noise is not evident at all and it is quite comfortable in the cabin. There is some vibration in the clutch pedal though but manageable. The engine is eager to respond in all gears and the driveability is excellent. No turbo lag at all and 2nd and 3rd gear helps a lot in the city traffic. I can comfortably get over speed-breakers in 2nd gear. The gear shift is smooth but sometimes shifting from 4th to 5th is a notchy. The clutch is neither soft nor hard and I did not feel any major difference from the one in my Palio. The body doesn't scrape in huge speed-breakers (for which Bangalore is notorious) but with full load though, the mud flaps scrape the ground. Overall, its a gem of an engine and fun to drive. I am enjoying the "turbo"

The steering is also very light which is a boon in the city traffic. Short turning radius ensures that U-turns on narrow roads are easier. The handling is very good and the speed masking is also excellent. I feel very comfortable in corners and the steering weighs up a lot in the highways. But my palio's steering was better in this regard since it had a nice feedback. Overtaking in highways is a breeze and the brakes exude confidence. One minor irritant is lack of dead pedal which I found very beneficial in my Palio. In a nutshell, you will definitely love this car for its highway manners.

Miscellaneous

The stock headlights are not at all sufficient since I do a lot of driving in the night. I upgraded to "Philips Xtreme vision" which is way better. The remote lock comes with an option to open the boot lid also which is good. There is also an option to roll the windows up in case you have forgotten to do so after coming out of the car (by pressing the lock button for a longer time). The fuel efficiency is also good but i never measured to get the exact numbers. The doors get auto-locked after the car reaches certain speed (18 kmph I guess) which is a nice feature.

Accessories
  • Alloy Wheels and tyre upgrade (Yokohama 195/60/15)
  • Seat Covers (Art leather seat covers and full leather steering cover) done at Ovion. I am extremely happy with the fit and finish.
  • Philips Xtreme Vision bulbs for the headlights. Much better than the stock bulbs and happy with these.
  • Upgraded the speakers to Ground Zero components in the front and coaxial at the rear. Kept the stock head unit intact. Will post the exact model and details later.
  • 3D Floor mats. Brand : Dezigner, got it from eBay.

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An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI-seatcover.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th December 2013 at 14:25.
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Old 8th December 2013, 22:21   #4
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Default Re: An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

Dealership woes and First-free checkup (at 6600 km)

Now, starts the dealership woes. After 2 months, i inquired them regarding the extended warranty for which i had paid close to Rs.12,000. After several follow-up calls, there was absolutely no action from them for more than a month. Got fed up and by this time, i had also completed around 6500 km. Since i was planning to travel to my native, i wanted to complete the first free checkup earlier than the suggested 7500 km. So, i booked for service in Vinayak Motors, KR Puram (since it was closer to my home) and gave the car in the morning. I get a call in the afternoon saying they are done with the free checkup but unable to add the job card to the system since there was some "PDI form" open by the dealer (TAFE Access) and they have intimated them to close this form. I thought it is a simple procedure and will get over. But to my surprise, it did not happen and the next day, Vinayak motors service person called me and informed that TAFE did not do anything about it and asked me to collect the car. They prepared a manual bill and i took the car. The Vinayak service person was very good and i was satisfied with the service.

I called up TAFE and explained them the problem and requested them to do the needful so that i can get my bill and in future, this issue does not arise. Vinayak person also kept calling for the next few days and he gave up after no response from TAFE. After a week, due to some small mishap in Bangalore traffic, a small dent occurred on the rear right fender above the wheel arch. I went to Vinayak again to get it tinkered and painted. I was quoted around Rs.7000/-. To my shock, the service adviser was still unable to add the job card and my first job card was also pending. Again, i called TAFE and tried to follow-up for the next 2-3 days,but in vain. By now, i decided to go directly to TAFE (St Marks Road) and talk to the manager. I denied to talk to the service adviser and called for the manager. I explained the whole episode including my pending "Extended Warranty". I also escalated the same to Skoda Customer Service these issues already. Hence, they gave me the EW the same day and promised to resolve this PDI form issue soon. But it got resolved only after a week. Finally, got the bills for my first free checkup (had some oil top up and interior cleaning done) and the paint job. Overall, i was very satisfied with the service at Vinayak but totally dissatisfied with the TAFE (St Marks Road) dealership support.


Service & Maintenance Cost

First Free-checkup : Only oil top up was charged (~ Rs.500). Since I had opted for Interior cleaning, the bill was around Rs.2000.
Dent Tinkering & Painting : Rs.7000 (Right side above wheel arch had a dent and had to be tinkered and painted)

Will keep this thread updated with my experience going forward.

Last edited by spradheep : 12th December 2013 at 13:40.
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Old 12th December 2013, 14:26   #5
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Default Re: An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th December 2013, 14:53   #6
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Default Re: An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

Congratulations on your Rapid! I admire you for having taken the plunge to go in for a Skoda inspite of all the horror stories out there. Hopefully the EW case is the first and last sour incident for you. Congratulations on your new car!
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Old 13th December 2013, 08:19   #7
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Default Re: An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4321 View Post
Congratulations on your Rapid! I admire you for having taken the plunge to go in for a Skoda inspite of all the horror stories out there. Hopefully the EW case is the first and last sour incident for you. Congratulations on your new car!
Thanks a lot. Yes, I was a little apprehensive about Skoda but I liked the car and took the plunge. Actually, I am quite happy with the service and response of "Vinayak Motors" and hope it stays that way.
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Old 13th December 2013, 15:06   #8
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Default Re: An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by spradheep View Post

Interior

For instance, by mistake I managed to bring the headlight switch to "OFF" state without switching off the fog light (To switch on fog, you have to lift the switch up) and the headlights stayed on. Then I had to switch on and off again to make it proper. From then on, I am very careful in operating the switches especially the headlight switch. The dial is good and has green illumination which is pleasant on the eyes.
Congratulations on your ride!!!

About switching off the fog, from what I have observed, it is a feature that when you turn the knob extreme Left, the headlight as well as Fog lights get switched off. Did you check whether the fogs were still running when you first turned the knob to extreme left.

If you are missing the MID from the top version and need to check the Fuel Consumption, I suggest you buy an OBD Bluetooth device. It fits in very conveniently and is very useful to monitor the vital parameters via an Android Phone Application.

For me, I sorely missed the Average Fuel Consumption Feature and I am really happy now.
Will soon be posting the Pics for the OBD port in Rapid and how the device fits in.

Last edited by achopraa : 13th December 2013 at 15:10.
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Old 13th December 2013, 17:16   #9
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Congratulations, spradheep!

Rapid is a good choice. I like it's styling compared to other cars in same segment. The alloys look good too.

How does your company lease work? Means do you have a fix RV system or what? Because I think without that lease is a risky proposition. Would you mind sharing the details?

Wish you many happy miles with your ride!
Cheers!
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Old 14th December 2013, 10:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
Congratulations, spradheep!

Rapid is a good choice. I like it's styling compared to other cars in same segment. The alloys look good too.

How does your company lease work? Means do you have a fix RV system or what? Because I think without that lease is a risky proposition. Would you mind sharing the details?

Wish you many happy miles with your ride!
Cheers!
Thanks. Yes, the Residual Value is fixed at 30%. I opted for 4 Years.
Total financing amount : 7,49,309 (Excluding road tax and insurance which will be borne by the company)
Residual Value after 4 Years : 2,40,513

As you might already know, the tax benefits on the EMI, fuel and maintenance costs made it attractive.

Quote:
Congratulations on your ride!!!

About switching off the fog, from what I have observed, it is a feature that when you turn the knob extreme Left, the headlight as well as Fog lights get switched off. Did you check whether the fogs were still running when you first turned the knob to extreme left.
Thanks. Yes, this happened on the very next day after I took the delivery of my car and don't remember how did I manage to bring the knob to such a state where it is in OFF but the headlights were still on. Nevertheless, being careful in handling since then.

Quote:
If you are missing the MID from the top version and need to check the Fuel Consumption, I suggest you buy an OBD Bluetooth device. It fits in very conveniently and is very useful to monitor the vital parameters via an Android Phone Application.

For me, I sorely missed the Average Fuel Consumption Feature and I am really happy now.
Will soon be posting the Pics for the OBD port in Rapid and how the device fits in.
That sounds really great. I never knew about such a device. Please share me the details on where will I get the OBD.
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Old 14th December 2013, 14:09   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spradheep View Post

Thanks. Yes, the Residual Value is fixed at 30%. I opted for 4 Years.
Total financing amount : 7,49,309 (Excluding road tax and insurance which will be borne by the company)
Residual Value after 4 Years : 2,40,513
Fixed RV of 30% sounds good. Which leasing company is it? And is there any scope of negotiation regarding RV? 20% would be awesome!

Edit: road tax and insurance will be borne by your employer or the leasing company? And what's the emi for 7.5L? Sorry for asking so many questions but would be helpful to me if you could answer them. Thanks!

Last edited by the_skyliner : 14th December 2013 at 14:18.
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Old 14th December 2013, 16:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
Fixed RV of 30% sounds good. Which leasing company is it? And is there any scope of negotiation regarding RV? 20% would be awesome!

Edit: road tax and insurance will be borne by your employer or the leasing company? And what's the emi for 7.5L? Sorry for asking so many questions but would be helpful to me if you could answer them. Thanks!
I'm glad to provide you the details.

The leasing company is "Lease Plan". I don't think there is any negotiation possible for RV. If I remember correctly, the RV is around 20% for a 3-year lease. I will check and confirm this. Road tax and insurance will be borne by the employer. EMI comes around to Rs.19,900 which includes VAT of around Rs.2500. The interest rate was 13.75%.
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Old 14th December 2013, 18:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spradheep View Post
That sounds really great. I never knew about such a device. Please share me the details on where will I get the OBD.
Have a look at -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post3319668 ("Leisure"ly enjoying the Skoda Rapid TDI)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...dian-cars.html

You can get the device from ebay for less than a grand. Search for Bluetooth ELM327, OBD Scanner.
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Old 15th December 2013, 17:23   #14
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Default Re: An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

An unfortunate incident happened this week. When I was driving in Bangalore-Chennai highway, some stones from the lorry in front of me hit the windshield. One of them cracked the windshield. I need to replace the windshield

Now, need to check with the Windshield experts and Skoda for a quote. Will get it replaced in Skoda itself if the difference is not much.
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Old 15th December 2013, 22:47   #15
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Default Re: An Avalanche : My Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI

I would suggest getting it done on insurance from Skoda- i've gotten mine done for 2.5k from skoda for my Octavia RS. Insurance covered the rest.

2.5k breakup-
1k for the insurance claim fee
1.5k for the windshield glue (silicon glue, highly overpriced. but who cares)

The windshield is the only glass which is covered 100% no matter what the age of the car is in all comprehensive insurance packages. (This was till some time ago. I hope the policy hasnt changed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by spradheep View Post
An unfortunate incident happened this week. When I was driving in Bangalore-Chennai highway, some stones from the lorry in front of me hit the windshield. One of them cracked the windshield. I need to replace the windshield

Now, need to check with the Windshield experts and Skoda for a quote. Will get it replaced in Skoda itself if the difference is not much.
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