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Old 16th July 2015, 11:54   #31
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

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Originally Posted by Dieselritzer View Post
Dude, are these places real? What a beautiful place to live. If I post the pics outside my office based in Chakala, Andheri, one of the busiest parts of the city, you'll start praying for me. ;-)
Yes, those places are real That said, I have seen equally beautiful photos from India in our Travelogues section. Some of those travelogues inspired me to try this road trip.

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Originally Posted by Dieselritzer View Post
The quality of roads is just brilliant.
We could find the odd place where the surface was broken, especially on the more remote roads up north, but in general the roads were brilliant. There was, however, one particular section of the road where the road surface wasn't completely level. Combined with the relatively high speeds (limit = 100kmph), this caused some movement in the rear seats and our 3-year old threw up.

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Originally Posted by Dieselritzer View Post
Just a question, a sign board read always use head lights, I understand they wont be stupid to put up any sign boards, but what does it really mean?
This refers to the EU-wide law to keep the lights on at all times while driving - the reason why DRLs have become common.
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Old 6th August 2015, 02:57   #32
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Default Weekend trip

With just a few more days left before schools reopen, we took the opportunity to go on one more weekend trip. This time we chose to Turku Archipelago Trail. The trails is about 222km long, of which 191km is covered by road and the rest by ferry. We covered the trail in two days, choosing to stay overnight at one of the islands on the route. The total round trip from home was just over 500km.

Here is the trail from Google maps:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-saariston_rengastie.jpg

When you are hopping from island to island, you end of spending a lot of time of ferrys:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_56.jpg

And, when you opt to stay on an island, the beach and sea cannot be too far away:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_57.jpg

Garmin seemed to know where we were headed!
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_58.jpg

However, Garmin wasn't completely reliable on this trip. It made 2 routing errors. We were a group of 3 families, so we could compare the directions given by our navigation devices and choose the correct route.

I reached some of my highest average speeds during this trip:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_59.jpg

The FE naturally suffered, but I think not all of it was due to the high speeds, but due to DPF regeneration during this leg of the trip. In my usual trips around town, I rarely touch 2000rpm and certainly don't maintain high rpms for any significant length of time. I guess the car took the opportunity to perform a regeneration during the highway run. I returned via the same route and the FE (MID) was significantly higher during the return trip.

Trip statistics from MID:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_60.jpg

The FE via tankful-tankful method was 18.6kmpl. Not bad considering that about half of the trip was done at constant speed of about 120kmph (GPS indicated).

Niggle/Rattle: There is one rattle that appears and disappears randomly. It is quite audible, even for the front passenger. It's coming from the driver's side, but I am not sure if it comes from behind the steering wheel or the AC vent at the driver's end of the dashboard. I will get it looked at sometime soon.
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Old 9th August 2015, 15:34   #33
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

A friend of mine is currently looking to lease a new car and is in test driving various cars now. I had a chance to take a TD of the A3 sedan along with him. I drove the A3 sedan for about 80km/1 hour. The A3 was equipped with 1.6L TDI+DSG combo as in my car. On the same route, my friend had taken a TD in my car a few days back with me in passenger seat and my previous road trip was also on that route. So I had pretty good data to compare the A3 and my car.

NVH: I was quite surprised with the NVH levels in my car in the early days of my car ownership. Having been used to it for a few months now, here was a chance to compare it to a more "premium" car. The noise levels inside the car felt pretty much the same in both cars. The noise level measured by SoundMeter app in my phone in both cars was pretty even. There was, however, a difference in what kind of noise was heard inside the car. In my car, the engine is more audible inside than in the A3. However, the wind and tire noise seemed higher in the A3. In certain sections of the road with newly laid tarmac, the A3 therefore felt even quieter than my car.

Steering Feel: In both cars, the steering is quite light at parking speeds and nicely weighted at speed. The steering in my car felt marginally heavier at high speeds (~120kmph) than in the A3.

Ride and Handling: The ride did not feel noticeably different in either car at any speed. On the highway at high speeds, the A3 felt slightly more nimble during lane changes. I thought the nimbleness would be because of lighter weight of the A3, but I was initially surprised to find that A3 is actually slightly heavier than my car (by about 20kg). I later found that the weight specified for A3 (in the country-specific brochure) includes weight of driver (75kg) and assumes fuel tank to be 90% full. The specified weight for Octavia does not include weight of fuel. That makes A3 about 20kg lighter than Octavia. Also, when I drove my car in the same section of the road, it was fully loaded (2 adults+ 2 children + luggage for road trip), whereas there were just two of us in the A3. I did not take the A3 much beyond the speed limit of 120kmph, but my friend took my car to 150kmph for a short while during overtaking. I didn't notice anything different till he pointed it out.

Engine+Gearbox: Both cars have same engine + gearbox combo, so there is not much to choose from here. However, out on the highway when quick acceleration was required, the A3 felt slightly more responsive that my car. My car now has just above 6700km on the odo and I have read that the DSG adjusts to the driving style. My driving style is normally very relaxed, so it's no surprise if the DSG in my car has learned to be lazy Also, as noted above, the Octavia was heavier when I drove it.

Space and Features: It's a win by KO for the Octavia in this regard. It is possible to add optional features to both the Octavia and the A3, but to add the same feature, it usually costs twice as much on the A3. At the front, A3 seat is quite comfortable. But the edges of the front seats felt slightly more rounded than in the Octavia, resulting in a bit less support. The rear seat base is shorter than in the Octavia, but there is enough knee-room for a person of my height (5'8"), sitting behind my driving position. However, there isn't much room to relax or to shift positions during a long journey. The boot space is much lesser in the A3 (about 185L less compared to my Octavia). The boot opening is also much narrower and the boot height is less.

So, what is premium in the A3? It's not just the badge, but I would say that the interior layout at the front feels more premium. The pop-up screen, minimalist dashboard, rounded AC vents and the layout around the gear lever gives the A3 the edge. The steering wheel is also nice to hold. This is truly where the A3 justifies a premium over the Octavia. Without taking into account any mitigating factors, I would give A3 a slight edge in responsiveness and handling as well. The A3 also has a slight edge in visibility from the driver seat - especially the A-pillar seemed less of a hindrance to me. In other words, the A3 has a slight edge from the driver's perspective. For the cars offered in India (diesel variants), the Audi should have more definite edge in ride and handling due to the multi-link suspension setup at the rear. The 1.6TDI Audi A3 lacks it.

Would I recommend the A3? It is a good car for a couple with no kids. When kids come into the picture, the A3 becomes less attractive. I cannot imagine making the road trips we made this summer in an A3 sedan. The Octavia wins big in certain areas (space/features/VFM) and loses out marginally in some others (interiors, driving feel). The TD just helped me to confirm that I made the right choice for my requirements.
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Old 19th August 2015, 03:28   #34
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Default Completely OT!!

Probably OT for this thread, but hey, I made a short trip in my car to watch a guy having some fun out on track today!
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Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-kimi_1_1.jpg  

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-kimi_2_1.jpg  

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Old 13th December 2015, 04:29   #35
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

I haven't updated this thread for some time now, mainly because there has been nothing special to report. The car has been running reliably (touchwood). My running has been quite low in the last couple of months, as with winter setting in, we prefer to stay indoors during the weekends.

Speaking of winter, one of the main effects on the car has been that the fuel efficiency has nose-dived. My last tankful returned a paltry 11.21 kmpl. I believe a combination of factors has contributed to this:
- Lower temperatures: Winter has been pretty mild so far this year, but still temperatures are around 0-5 degrees.
- Short trips: My trip to office are only around 6.5km, with speeds of upto 50kmph. Sometimes I take a slightly longer route which allows a few km at 100kmph to let the engine heat up a bit more. I am also concerned that the DPF may not work as intended if I don't let the engine run a little longer a few times.
- Winter tires: I put on studded winter tires about a month back. My guess is the added grip in lower temperatures would come at the cost of fuel efficiency.
- Winter diesel: Only winter fuel is available at the fuel stations now and it gives lower fuel economy.
- Parking Heater: The Webasto heater in my car consumes about 0.2l of fuel for every 20 minutes of usage, according to the brochure. I use it every morning and evening, 5 days a week. Theoretically, the consumption of the heater is less than what the engine would consume if it's not heated at all.
- Other heating systems: I often use the seat heater and the windshield heaters.
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Old 13th December 2015, 16:30   #36
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

An earlier post on this thread on the service interval of my car was quoted in a thread in the Technical Section (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ml#post3860209 (What oil change interval do you adhere to?)) a few days back. So I checked the information displayed in the car:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_61.jpg

The number of kms to go before the inspection seems to be closely following the odometer, which was around 8900km when I took that picture. The oil change interval is slightly lesser. I will check this again after the winter to see if the kms to go before the oil change drops faster through the winter.

The FE calculation on the MID has been off by about 5-10% each time so far. But this time, it's off by about 30%!! My tankful-tankful FE was 11.2, but the MID showed 16.1 Maybe the fuel used by the parking heater cannot be accounted by the MID, but even so MID FE data is one to be taken with a bucketful of salt on my car.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_62.jpg
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Old 12th January 2016, 03:37   #37
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

After a warmer-than-expected start to the winter, the weather has turned quite cold during the last 2 weeks, with temperatures staying below -10 degrees Celsius most of the time. The temperatures even dropped to -24 degrees Celsius and thereabouts for a couple of days last week. There's snow everywhere. I took delivery of my car towards the very end of the last winter, so using the car in such weather has been a new experience for me. So I follow three basic rules - drive slower than normal, avoid sudden/heavy braking and after taking turns, wait till the car is straight before accelerating.

Other than the expected digging the car out of the snow, here's what I have experienced/observed so far:

1. Rear end sliding: It happened twice, both times it was when I was starting off after stopping on an upward slope in the snow. I was sort of expecting it in that situation and it occurred at very slow speed, so the car never went out of control. I could feel the rear move about before the tires gripped and I was able to go forward. I was fully focussed on the road, so I don't know if any of the dashboard lights for the electronic goodies were lit up. There were no warning beeps, but I guess some of the electronics would've certainly helped me.

2. Frozen windscreen washer liquid: I specifically bought winter-ready liquid rated for upto -20 degrees Celsius. I guess it worked exactly as advertised and froze up once the mercury dropped below the rated temperature.

3. Low battery charge warning: I have a parking heater which uses the battery to run the climate control system to heat up the interiors. But I was surprised when the warning came up, because the previous time I used the car, I had run at least 25km and I was expecting the battery to be recharged during the running. Then I came across this:

Quote:
Batteries can die at any time of year but it's more likely in winter when cold temperatures hit car batteries with a triple-whammy:
  • power output drops
  • ability to accept a charge drops, so the battery doesn't recharge as quickly when you're driving
  • load increases – lights, blowers, wipers, heated seats, rear-screen heater etc are all used more
Add in the fact that many cars stand unused over the Christmas holiday and it's no surprise that the first day back to work after New Year is always one of the busiest of the year for the AA
The warning came on a day after I hadn't used the car for the previous 4 days, two of which were bitterly cold. So, no surprise then! The charger I had ordered with the car was then used for the first time and I haven't seen the warning since.

4. Rear window heater fail!!: I mean the heater switched off automatically (after 10 minutes as per the manual), before the rear window could be completely cleared. Another first in my experience.

5. Adaptive Cruise Control usage: I am in two minds with the ACC, whether it is really safe to use under these conditions. When I try to go from, say 40 to 80kmph with ACC (in dry weather), I have seen that the car is happy to drop gears and the acceleration is rapid. I don't know if ACC takes into account the road conditions. I hope it does. My real concern is the acceleration with ACC, especially since I have had the rear sliding out twice. But, in both cases, I was controlling the A-pedal, not ACC. So a part of me thinks that maybe ACC would take the conditions into account and do a better job than me. The workaround I have is to accelerate only in small increments with ACC. So going from 40-80kmph can be done in 4 steps. Anyway, once I am at the desired speed, I engage ACC with larger than normal distance with the car in front. The car has always reacted to slowing traffic faster than me, and I could really use all the help in this weather

6. Roof rails look nice, but they are a hindrance when one is trying to clear the snow from the roof of the car.

With much lower temperatures than in the last month, I was expecting the FE to drop further. But, I was surprised when the car returned better FE than last time - but still just 12.3kmpl for a full tank. I am not sure how it has gone up, but here are my pet theories:
- I have changed the temperature setting in ACC from 25-26 degrees to 22. I figured that while entering the car from sub-zero temperatures, even 22 is warm enough. I guess I am putting less strain on the climate control system and it has a positive effect on FE
- I was on leave for a few days. So the daily short trips stopped and when I took the car out, it was for relatively longer trips.

Last, here's a picture of the Skoda magazine I received today. Another first for me in my car ownership experience.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_63.jpg
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Old 2nd February 2016, 21:22   #38
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

My car has entered luxo barge territory as far as FE is concerned. My last tankful of diesel returned a pathetic 8.37km/L

It's in the last few weeks that winter has really taken its toll with temperatures below -10 for many days, combined with short trips. The parking heater in theory saves more fuel by heating up the engine before the trip than what it consumes to heat the engine. I really doubt this claim. Or maybe it doesn't work for short trips. However, the feeling of a warm interior when I enter the car is very nice. So I have decided to apply GTO's motto - "There's more to life than kpl"´- in this context and be happy with what I've got.

With snow and ice, I faced a couple of tricky situations. A scary experience came when I tried to change lanes. There was a fair bit of snow between the lanes. I expected it to be soft, but I it was hardened snow and quite slippery. As soon as I moved to change lanes and hit this patch, I could feel a lack of grip. Unfortunately, this patch between the lanes was quite wide and I was at decent speed (70kmph), so I was afraid to turn the wheel further. I was also afraid of skidding if I braked hard. At that time, the right thing to do seemed to be to take the foot off the A-pedal, and to just let the car slow down a bit by itself before moving to the other lane. Luckily, it worked, probably with a fair bit of help from the electronics. Anyway, lesson learned: slow down before attempting to change lanes.
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Old 25th February 2016, 19:40   #39
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Hit the 10K mark a few days back:

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_64.jpg

It has been slow progress to the 10K mark (took 11 months), especially after I had hit the 6K mark already last July. Part of it is because we don't just get in the car and roam around like we used to in the "new car" phase, part of it due to the winter and also due to my leasing contract which is for 10K/year (30K/3 years overall).

The good bits at 10K mark:
1. Reliability. No niggles to speak of. I do hear a few rattles from time to time, seemingly from the dashboard, but they are too few are far between to consider as a niggle. Could well be due to some external factors. But, more on this later.

2. Huge on space: The boot is especially big. Utilised it fully during our trips in the summer.

3. Adaptive Cruise Control: I love this feature. I added it in the options list just to have a gizmo with a nice name But, now I use it during every drive, every road condition, every traffic condition. I love this feature. There, I said it again.

4. Satisfying to drive: Have gone only upto about 135kph (terrified of potential traffic fines) and it's absolutely rock solid. That is on the motorway. Had more fun in the corners in the interior roads with 80/100kph speed limit. But, I miss the steering on my old Punto.

The not so good:
After the winter has started, the car has been making lot more noises than in the past. Most of it is due to external factors - some snow stuck somewhere, bits of ice caught below the wipers etc. Last week, the passenger side RVM was whistling in the wind at 100kph, presumably due to ice on the surface. But, it spoils the experience of having a relatively "quiet" drive. I need to wait till the winter is over to check if any of these noises persist.

The nasty surprise:
I fully expected FE to fall during winter, especially given my usage pattern. But I was still shocked to find out exactly how bad it had become. But then, a friend of mine with similar usage pattern (but without a fuel-using parking heater like mine) gets barely 11-12kmpl from his MT Octavia. So I'm sure it's not an issue with my car, but shocked - you bet.
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Old 25th February 2016, 19:51   #40
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Aw man, that color MFD looks sweet! It has made it to the new Superb on our shores. Great to read about a Skoda car ownership from the overseas. There's another thread on the Rapid Spaceback from Australia.

Is the lap timer function on the MFD activated by default?
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Old 25th February 2016, 21:31   #41
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

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Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Is the lap timer function on the MFD activated by default?
No, it's not activated in my car. But, I suspect the RS versions have it activated by default.
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Old 28th February 2016, 11:52   #42
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Default Re: Completely OT!!

Its gripping to read about your experiences in the extreme cold with the car. Thanks for sharing with us. The Octavia Combi looks great in white.

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
Probably OT for this thread, but hey, I made a short trip in my car to watch a guy having some fun out on track today!
Wow! That's very cool! Iceman on his turf. Did he bring his other open wheel racer which makes a little more power?
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Old 28th February 2016, 16:45   #43
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Default Re: Completely OT!!

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Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Its gripping to read about your experiences in the extreme cold with the car. Thanks for sharing with us.
At the start of the winter, I was worried about driving during the winter. I don't have experience of driving any other car in this kind of weather and road conditions. But I must say that in this car with these tires (Michelin X-Ice North 3), I can really feel the amount of grip (and more importantly at times, lack of it) quite well. Trust in the car and the experience gained through the winter has made me more confident now.

Last winter (just after I had booked my car), my manager one day showed me a newspaper with reports on 3-4 accidents, one of which was near his home. He said, "People say Finns are skilled drivers. Now see our skills". He then told me, "We are not any more or less skilled than others. We just have a bit more experience with these conditions. If we don't respect the conditions, we will also end up in the ditch."

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Wow! That's very cool! Iceman on his turf. Did he bring his other open wheel racer which makes a little more power?
No, he didn't. However, that event did change one of my perceptions about Finns in general.

I had once met a (former) superstar Finnish Ice Hockey player at a local mall. He was there to sign copies of his biography. People who had bought the book were standing in queue to meet him and get their copies autographed. Others were clicking pictures from far. Yes, there were security guards around him, but they were really not needed as there was no commotion. I thought to myself, "Finns behave so differently around celebrities, compared to us back in India."

Then I went to Kimi's event and saw him getting mobbed. Security guards had to form a ring around him when he moved from one place to another to keep autograph hunters from falling over him. Before you ask, you bet I was among the autograph hunters.
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Old 11th March 2016, 19:12   #44
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Had a bit of a scare the other day while taking the car out.

After starting the car, I moved the gear selector to R and heard a loud warning beep with the MID showing "Move gear selector to position P". Did that and the warning/beep stopped. Switched the car off and back on, tried again, moving to R as well as D, same issue repeated. Having read about many DSG7 (DQ200) failures, my mind started filling up with the worst case scenarios. I thought the dreaded DSG failure had hit me without warning.

Then I thought of trying to move the car a bit anyway, put it in R and slowly released the brake despite the warning. Immediately MID display changed from "Move gear selector to position P" to the door open warning, showing that the driver's door was not shut properly. Opened and closed the door - and no more beeps or warnings. Felt relieved and stupid at the same time!!

Thus I discovered a safety feature which I had no clue about. I don't know if/how it works in the MT variant.

Last edited by StarrySky : 11th March 2016 at 19:13.
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Old 10th April 2016, 15:48   #45
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Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Completed one year with the car a couple of weeks back. The car was all dirty from the end-of-the-winter slush and snow, so I waited till the car was cleaned to take a picture. The odo today stands at just above 10800km.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_65.jpg

The number of kilometres to go before the oil change is due has dropped dramatically over the winter. Over the winter (from December onwards), I have done about 2000km, but the oil change inspection has come closer by about 5000km.

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_66.jpg

Even over the last 2 weeks, I have covered only 200km, but the kilometres due before oil change has dropped by about 700. At this rate, my service will be due much before the 30000km/2 years service interval, probably even by the time I hit 15k on the odo. It would not be very surprising either, as my friend who has now covered nearly 14k km on his Octavia has already had the oil change reminder pop up in his car.

At the one year mark, overall I'm quite happy with the ownership experience. But, as I noted when I posted the update after completing the 10k milestone, the car makes more noises than in the past. I wasn't expecting rattles, even minor ones, from this car, but they do exist.

However, I am still willing to give the car the benefit of doubt since the major rattle/noise issues I have had with the car so far have been my own creations in some way. So I hope to trace the existing rattles to something I have done/not done.

There is a rattle that seems to come from somewhere inside the dashboard. This one is particularly irritating since I haven't so far been able to identify anything loose around the DSG lever or in the glovebox that could be the cause.

Anyway, a note of appreciation for my old Punto (much maligned for its interior quality) - at the end of my 4 year ownership the car had no irritating rattles in the interior.
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