Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 4th April 2015, 23:17   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Our new Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI Elegance DSG was delivered on 20th March 2015. This car is on lease, with the option of buying it at the end of the lease period.

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_0_1200.jpg

The Good:
+ Styling: I don't think anyone would hate the Combi's looks from the front or back. The side profile, IMO, is good for an estate car. I really cannot decide which looks better, the sedan or the estate.
+ The 1.6L TDI engine makes adequate power and torque for my needs
+ Respectable mileage figures so far
+ DSG: Makes life so much easier. Gear shifts are quick and almost imperceptible, especially for passengers.
+ Big on space inside and the big boot
+ Adaptive cruise control: The system is an absolute joy to use, especially when maintaining a decent distance to the car in front is not considered a "crime" by the other drivers on the road. I love this feature.

The not-so-good:
- Position of the 12v socket: When I use a navigator, its power cable sometimes get entangled with the DSG lever. It's not a big issue for me, but it could be an issue for cars with MT. It would've been better if the socket was somewhere a little further ahead.
- DSG+ACC: The combo makes life very easy behind the wheel, but I sometimes wonder if it makes life too easy and driving a bit monotonic.
- Braking seems a bit too aggressive when using the cruise control stalk to reduce the speeds.

The Background:
When I left India in July 2013 and picked up a job abroad, one of the things that didn't make it to my to-do list for the new place was buying a car. I didn't even sell my Punto in India. Maybe I wasn't too sure how things would work out. Luckily, I could rent a place from where my office, my daughter's school and a major shopping centre are easily accessible. That combined with a pretty good public transport system meant that I didn't really miss a car. More importantly, my family didn't complain. But the temptation, however small, to go for a car was always there at the back of my mind because of the company's pretty good car lease policy.

More than a year later, I was more assured of my changed situation and sold my car in India in September 2014. Around the same time, a few more things happened. A change of location of my office was almost confirmed for mid-2015. A change of location for my dauther's school was also confirmed for mid-2015. A colleague of mine opted for a company car and I helped him a bit with his research. Looking at various cars during the research made the temptation to go for a car stronger. I also came to know through him that the company car policy could change at the end of the year. I couldn't imagine leasing costs becoming any cheaper if policy changed. I still thought of a car as a bit of a luxury and money down the drain (especially when leasing) but I guess I also came out of the "Save every penny and send to India" syndrome and decided to enjoy life in Europe a bit more. All these combined to change the "Why get a car?" question in my mind to "Why not get a car?"
StarrySky is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2015, 01:33   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Options..or to be more precise..confusions!

Buy or Lease?
To buy the same car, the annual outflow (EMI + insurance + maintenance + annual taxes) was of course more than I would pay with a lease. Leasing is hassle-free - just pay the leasing cost and forget about everything else. I spend quite some time making the calculations. But then, as they say "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Every person in my team who has a car, has a company-leased car. That finally answered questions on which would be better.

What was I looking for in the car?
- Safety Features: Very important, but with atleast 6 airbags and ABS/EBD/ESP standard across the range for most cars, this wasn't a big differentiator between the cars or variants.
- Interior Space: The Punto had enough space for my family. My budget allowed me to look at bigger cars than the Punto. Moreover, rear leg and headroom were not a big concern since adults would rarely occupy the rear seats. So I was sure that most cars in my budget will offer us enough interior space.
- Boot Space: I wanted a boot that can take two suitcases plus maybe a small bag or two. Or alternatively my son's stroller plus one suitcase.
- Creature Comforts: Having owned the top variant of the Punto in India, I wanted the creature comforts which were available in the Punto and then hopefully a few more.
- Reliability: I surely didn't want to visit a service centre every other day, but this wouldn't technically be "my own car", so I wasn't too concerned about the reliability factor. Reliability issues would be irritants, but if the car is off the road for repairs, the leasing company is liable to provide me with a similar car.
- Hatchback or sedan? My wife is a big fan of SUVs, but those were very much above my budget. I wasn't too keen on a sedan as I thought a big hatchback would meet our space requirements.
- For ride and handling, and the overall feel while driving, the Punto was my benchmark.

Petrol or Diesel?
Conventional wisdom suggests that a combination of lower price, lower annual tax, negligable difference in fuel costs and low expected running would naturally favour petrol cars. But, the leasing cost depended on CO2 emissions. This made the petrol variants as expensive or in most cases, more expensive to lease than their diesel counterparts. This was especially true for MT variants. Leasing also meant that I had to budget only for fuel costs and not for extra maintenance costs for diesel cars. Add to it, my soft spot for diesels having owned a MJD Punto, and the question was decided pretty quickly in favour of a diesel.

What Car?
As always, the hardest question to answer. In about 2 weeks' time, I narrowed the list down to five cars (in order of preference):
- Audi A3 Sportback 1.6TDI MT Business
- VW Golf 1.6TDI MT Comfortline
- Volvo V40 D2 Momemtum MT
- BMW 1-series 116d MT
- Skoda Octavia 1.6TDI Elegance DSG

The preference was set based on:
- the desirability factor in my view (I left out cars from Toyota, Ford and Opel)
- how I felt the car would meet my requirements
- VFM factor (features vs leasing costs) (this eliminated Mercedes)
- online reviews (relegated Peugeot to "if nothing else works out then I'll check it out" status due to comparatively less favourable reviews)

In mid September, I started going to the showrooms with my family to have a look at the cars. I wasn't planning on any test drives yet, so I went without appointment everywhere. After having a look at each car on the list above, my new order of preference was as follows:

1. Volvo V40: Superb interiors, good looks, good cabin space
2. Audi A3 SportBack: Superb interiors, good looks, acceptable cabin space
3. Skoda Octavia: Good interiors, good looks, great space, inferior brand
4. VW Golf: Acceptable interiors, acceptable looks, acceptable cabin space
5. BMW 116d: Poor interiors, good looks, poor cabin space (all relative to the others in the list) - Eliminated

More confusion, permutations and combinations
During this time, I did not have a valid permanent license, but only a temperory one. I decided to wait till I get a permanent license to start the test drives. I assumed it would give me 2-3 weeks to try and learn more about the cars, read online reviews and compare features.

I remembered that the Team-BHP official review of the Skoda Octavia had mentioned the difference in ride quality and handling between the diesel versions with torsion beam setup at the rear and the 1.8TSI with the multilink suspension. The Volvo V40 was the only car in my list with multilink rear suspension.

Another feature that I was interested in was the City Safety automatic emergency braking system in the Volvo V40. The Octavia also offered a similar system (Front Assist) as standard in the Elegance variant. Audi and VW offered this as an option. The good thing was that all cars offered quite a few optional features. I then began checking the leasing cost including some options. It became quite clear that the Octavia had the best combination of space, features and cost. But, I was still not quite convinced. And the V40 was still my favourite car in the list.

The other confusion I had was choosing between a manual or an automatic. It's not much pain to drive a manual in traffic here, so AT wasn't a must-have feature. But if I were to choose an automatic, the Octavia was the cheapest and the only one to really fit in my budget once I added the options.

Test Drives:
When my permanent license did not arrive even after 3 weeks, I decided not to waste more time and start the test drives. Typical TD process went like this:
- Book the TD for whatever time required - I learned later that dealers let prospective customers keep the car for a day if needed.
- Show up for the TD, sign a form mentioning our liability in case of an accident caused by our fault. The liability was a few hundred euros, starting from about 500-odd euros for Toyota and 800-odd for Audi. The start and end time of the TD was mentioned on the form.
- The sales executive then took us to the TD car, explained a few basic stuff and then we were off on our own. We could take the car anywhere as long as we return it at the specified time.

All the showrooms are at different points on the same road, so the TD route was about 75% same for all cars. There was first a city section, followed by a motorway section, then back to the dealership through a combination of motorway and non-motorway inner roads. The TD route was about 50km long.

Volvo V40: I drove the MT V40 D2. We had requested for a child seat for my son and the dealership provided that (only dealership to do so during our testdrives). I could instantly find a good driving position. The ride was very good and the car was super stable at 3-digit motorway speeds. The 6-speed manual gearbox was smooth to operate. My family was happy with the comfort levels in the car. In short, we didn't see any reason to knock the Volvo off the top of the list.

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-v40.jpg

Audi A3 Sportback: I was interested in the MT version of A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI. However, I learned from the Skoda showroom that Octavia DSG was not available for TD. So I decided to TD the A3 1.6TDI AT, which comes with the 7-speed S-tronic gearbox. I believe this is the same DQ200 gearbox available in the Octavia. I really loved the convenience of the automatic. I could not really find a big difference in the ride compared to the Volvo in the city or on the motorway. There was, however, a small section of village road with a few potholes where I felt a difference. My wife too felt the same. However, half way through the TD, my lower back felt stiff. I stopped and tried to adjust the seat again, but I guess the damage was already done. I felt quite uncomfortable for some time after the drive.

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-a3.jpg

Skoda Octavia: A third testdrive within a week on the same route, and I was a little bored. Although the Octavia was a bigger car than the other two, it still felt quite easy to manage. Since I had had a bad experience with the seats in the A3, I took my time adjusting the seat to my liking. The Octavia felt very much like the Audi in terms of the ride. It felt quite stable at motorway speeds. The missing 6th gear meant that at 100+ speeds, the engine did not feel as relaxed as in the V40 or A3. But overall, I was happy with the driving experience.

The Golf being at the bottom of my list anyway, I decided to leave it out and skip the TD. I had told the sales executive at Volvo that I will make my decision by the end of October, which was still about 2 weeks away. But at the end of those 2 weeks, I wasn't any closer to making a decision.

The twist in the tale:
At the end of October, the Volvo sales executive promptly contacted me. That was a sort of wake-up call for me that instead of comparing between HP, torque, creature comforts and leasing costs in the "virtual world", I should check out a very important detail in the "real world" - how much space would be left in the boot once I put my son's stroller in there? The A3 was readily available for a 2nd TD and I brought it home. I put two suitcases in the boot (the ones we use as checked-in baggage during air travel). The boot swallowed that with some space left - exactly like my requirement. Next I took the suitcases out and put the stroller in. And then, like SRK's character from Chennai Express I was left thinking - "Never underestimate the volume of a common stroller". And it wasn't even the big-tyred stroller that we use in winter. There wasn't room for one suitcase with the stroller in the boot. And more importantly, our weekly grocery shopping (3-4 bags) wouldn't also fit in the boot after the stroller. This was a big disappointment. It meant that the V40 with almost 50L smaller boot would be worse.

I wasn't happy about my favourite car in the list losing out on boot space. It's quite possible that our son will be using the stroller for the next 18-24 months or so - basically about half of the lease period. I tried to find reasons why boot size shouldn't be a problem (basically trying to make the problem fit the solution ). After two days of trying to convince myself that the smaller boot will not be a compromise in any scenario, I finally rejected the V40.

Back to square one:
I then started looking at cars with bigger boot. The Octavia obviously made the list. I briefly considered the Audi A3 sedan. The Golf estate (called Golf Variant), Ford Focus estate, Ford Mondeo, VW Jetta and Toyota Auris Touring Sports Hybrid were also considered. From the features and space perspective, the Focus was inferior to the Octavia. The new Mondeo and Jetta turned out to be above my budget. The Golf Variant ComfortLine Edition and Highline Edition variants, quite close in specs and identical on space to the Octavia Combi Elegance, were not available in my company's list of available cars. The Toyota Auris, however looked interesting. The top-end Hybrid Premimum variant had more gizmos than the Octavia - including sat-nav, automatic parking system, electric seat adjustments etc. It was cheaper to lease and an automatic (e-CVT) too. It was a very attractive option on paper. I decided to take a TD.

Toyota Auris Hybrid: The car looked OK from the front and not so good from the rear. From the side view, I didn't really like it. I drove the entry-level Comfort variant since the Premium version wasn't available. I first checked the boot and it seemed big enough. The batteries are placed beneath the rear seats, thus not compromising on the boot space. However, the interiors disappointed me. But I thought the look and feel would probably be different in the Premium version I was interested in. I started the TD and in the initial city section of the TD itself I had a "problem" with the e-CVT - I just didn't like it. Just as we were entering the motorway, I asked my wife how fast she thought we were going. She said 80 and we were doing 60. On the motorway, the lousy transmission made it impossible to make quick progress. And the noise! The car whined under acceleration as if begging me to stop flogging it. Things would probably have been better if I had switched off the ECO mode, but then what is the point? Although "fun to drive" was not my top-most priority, I didn't want my car to be disappointing to drive either. My wife too wasn't impressed with the interiors and that made it easier to reject the Auris.

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

And thus after the process of elimination, the only car left on my list was the Skoda Octavia. I was told that if I wait till the end of the year, some of the cars missing in my company's list will be added to the list. But I decided not to wait. I didn't want to risk a change in policy because I knew that going a segment or two lower to stay within budget was no longer an option due to the boot space requirement. I decided to go for the convenience of an automatic and the Octavia was finalised. However, before putting in my order, I made my third trip to the Skoda showroom to put my son's stroller in the boot and make sure that there would be enough space left.

Last edited by StarrySky : 5th April 2015 at 11:21.
StarrySky is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2015, 03:18   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Ordering, Delivery, Additional Options

Why Combi? My wife likes the Combi (shape) better than the sedan version. I too think the Combi looks smart.

Choice of color: There was only one standard color available - Pacific Blue. All other colors cost extra. I wasn't keen on Pacific Blue. I really liked the Race Blue, but it was an expensive option. The choice was then between Corrida Red and Candy White and the choice was easy. I also sent photographs of cars in different colors to family back in India and the unanimous choice was Candy White.

Ordering and Delivery:
17th November 2014: I started the process. While I was entering the order in the system, I was constantly in touch with the sales executive at Skoda, discussing and updating the options list.

The day after, the company announced that there would be no change in the car lease policy in 2015. Buyer's remorse quickly set in and I thought I could've waited till the new year to see what other cars would be made available. But, I was sure that I had made the right choice for our needs with the information I had, so the feeling went away quickly.

19th December 2014: After all the approvals and paperwork, the car order was placed with Skoda. After placing the order with Skoda, the dealer told me that the delivery periods had started to come down a bit and the car could hopefully be delivered earlier than the previous estimate of 5-6 months. The first delivery date estimate given to me about 2 weeks later was 30th April 2015.

22nd January 2015: I got confirmed build week information from the dealer (Week 8 - Feb 16th- Feb 20th). The dealer told me that delivery would be possible at the end of March. The date could not be confirmed until he had shipping information for the car.

18th February 2015: I was informed that the car has been shipped from the factory. Tentative delivery date was set to 20th March.

6th March 2015: The sales executive confirmed the delivery on 20th March at 3pm.

20th March 2015: Although the delivery was fixed for 3pm, the sales executive said I could take delivery a bit earlier if I wanted to. I reached the dealership at about 2.30pm. The car, perfectly clean, was waiting for me. After some minimal paperwork, the sales executive explained the main features to me. Interestingly, he too owns a DSG Octavia. So he was able to talk to me from an owner's perspective. The car was delivered on time with 15L of fuel. It was good enough for me to cover about 180km before the low fuel warning came on.

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_1200.jpg

The Car
The 1.6L TDI engine in the Octavia has the same power and torque ratings as the 1.6L TDI engine that was available on the Vento and Rapid in India (105hp/250Nm). However, this is a new engine (EA288 series) developed for the MQB platform. Another version of this engine with a slightly higher engine output (110hp) is also available, but not with the DSG option on the Octavia. Although I have the Elegance model of the Skoda Octavia Combi, there are some feature differences with the Elegance model available in India.

The main missing features in my car compared to the Indian version (based on Team-BHP review):

- Leather seats
- Electric adjustments and memory function for the front seats
- Sun-roof
- Front parking sensors and Intelligent Parking Assist
- Auto-tilting of passenger door mirror when reverse is engaged

However, there are some additional standard features in my car compared to the Indian version:

- The 7th airbag (driver's knee airbag)
- Front Assist (Autonomous Emergency Braking system)
- Keyless Entry/Start (KESSY)
- Start/Stop System
- Heated front seats
- Color MaxiDOT display
- Powered tailgate (it's standard only on the Combi). Opens and closes at the touch of a button. The height to which the tailgate opens can be customised

I have also added a few factory-fitted options. Here's a list of features I added and why I added them:
- Winter Pack. The Winter Pack includes the auxiliary heater with remote, heated rear seats and heated front windscreen. An engine block heater is probably the most commonly added optional feature here. I also read about the usefulness of heated seats and heated windscreen in winter from other online communities.
- Intelligent Parking Assist - This includes front parking sensors (available as standard in India). With parallel parking being an everyday affair here, I thought this would be a very useful addition to the car.
- Adaptive Cruise Control - I ordered this just because I wanted to have this gizmo, and not due to any "need".
- Minoris alloys - The original specification is the 5-spoke Velorum alloys, but the change to Minoris is a zero-cost option. I liked Minoris design better.
- All-black interirors - This is again a zero-cost option instead of the black-beige combo. I also considered the faux-wood trim (again a zero-cost option) instead of the alloy trim interirors, but decided that alloy trim goes better with the black interiors.
StarrySky is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2015, 03:23   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Exterior

Exterior:

From the front, the Combi looks virtually identical to the sedan version, except for the roof rails. I like the minimal use of chrome at the front.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_1_1200.jpg

The front quarter view. Probably not the best angle of the car:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_2_1200.jpg

Side profile - Chrome surrounds around the side windows. The shape of the rear door is different from that of the sedan. The like the estate version of the 3rd generation Octavia compared to the earlier versions.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_3_1200.jpg

The rear quarter view:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_4_1200.jpg

The rear view - Rear window washer and wiper are standard on Combi. Tail lamps are identical to the sedan version.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_5_1200.jpg

The rear view at night. The "C" shaped design is quite crisp and clear thanks to the LED tail lamps. I like that.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_6_1200.jpg
StarrySky is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2015, 03:40   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Interior

Interior:

The all-back dash with alloy-trim interiors:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_7_1200.jpg

Some of the missing features compared to Indian version are captured in this shot - no leather seats and no electric seat adjustments:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_8_1200.jpg

The passenger side seat also gets lumbar adjustment:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_9_1200.jpg

The driver's door with the alloy and black trim:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_10_1200.jpg

Closer look at the buttons on the dash. The button on top of the "SETUP" button controls the (optional) front windscreen heating system. The front seat heating buttons are at either end near the temperature display. Press the button once and the system starts at maximum heating (3 lights). Press it again to reduce heating by one step and so on till the heating is switched off again.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_11_1200.jpg

The buttons in front of the DSG gear selector. Includes the Start/Stop system switch, electric boot opening and the parking sensor control.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_12_1200.jpg

The rear AC vents and the buttons for the (optional) rear seat heating system. The middle seat is not heated:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_13_1200.jpg

The instrument console with the color MaxiDot MID. The resolution is much better than the black and white MID. The MID also shows a white Combi, just like my car I do not know if the color of the car displayed changes if one chooses other exterior colors.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_14_1200.jpg

The boot. The volume is slightly larger than that of the sedan version (610L). No parcel shelf, but there is an adjustable cover for the boot. There is a 12v power socket in the boot. The boot also gets 4 hooks which can be used along with the nets supplied to hold the luggage in place.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_15_1200.jpg

Folding the reat seats is easy - just pull the lever in the boot:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_16_1200.jpg

The boot control button on the rear hatch door. Push the button to open or close the door. Holding the button down for more than 3s at any position will store that position in memory. The hatch door would then always open only until that position.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_17_1200.jpg

No spare wheel. A spare wheel can be added as an option.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_18_1200.jpg

The interiors at night:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_19_1200.jpg

The instrument console at night:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_20_1200.jpg

The soft light from Catvision LEDs falling on the gear selector is a nice touch:
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_21_1200.jpg
StarrySky is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2015, 04:29   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Features and Driving Experience

KESSY Sytem: Keyless Entry/Start is provided by the KESSY system. To enter the car, I can walk up to the car with the key in my pocket and simply pull the door handle. There is no request sensor button. The sensors are located at the back of the door handle. To lock the car, I need to swipe across the door handle (or just touch the depressed portion at the edge). The door cannot be locked from the outside if the key is inside the car. The car does not lock itself if walk away from it with the key in my pocket. I am not sure why it is designed so, maybe there is a security reason. I did not find any options to change this behaviour. To start the car, the key needs to be inside the car. Press the brake pedal with the car in P or N and push the Engine Start/Stop button to start the car. The Engine Start/Stop button is located where the keyhole would be in a non-KESSY equipped car. Pushing the engine start/stop button without the foot on the brake turns on the electrical functions.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_22_1200.jpg

Front Assist: The radar for the Front Assist system is placed at the centre of the lower air dam at the front. This is one visual difference at the front compared to the Indian Octavia. The Front Assist is designed to help with emergency braking situations at speeds of above 5kmph. The system can automatically apply the brakes in case of a risk of collision. I have yet to come across a situation where Front Assist has intervened. Possibly this is because I use adaptive cruise control most of the time. The Front Assist can be switched off via the touchscreen MID, but I see no reason to do so.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_23_1200.jpg

Adaptive Cruise Control: The Adaptive Cruise Control system (ACC) can not only maintain the desired speed, but also a desired distance from the vehicle ahead. If the car ahead slows down, the adaptive cruise control system applies brakes to maintain the selected proximity to the car ahead. The distance setting is not an absolute number (like 5 or 10 metres). The distance can be set for eg: to Low/Medium/High and car maintains an appropriate distance to the car ahead based on the speed. Since my car is an automatic, the system can brake the car to a standstill (if the car ahead stops) and then start moving again when the car ahead moves. With the "Medium" setting for distance, the car stops about a car length behind the car in front when it comes to a complete stop. Another scenario is taking exits from motorways, where the speed limit is lower. The car brakes automatically when the car in front does. When I start moving after stopping at traffic lights, I just resume ACC and the car accelerates to the set speed at the same rate as the car in front. If I am trapped behind slow moving traffic with ACC set to a higher speed and I move to a different lane to overtake, the car accelerates to the set speed. Now, I have always thought of cruise control as something only for the highway. But the ACC has changed that. Since the speed setting can be as low as 30kmph, the system is a boon in city traffic. I practically don't have to touch the A or B pedals. I just the ACC control stalk to increase/decrease speed. Moving the stalk up increases the cruise speed by 10kmph. Moving it down decreases cruise speed by 10kmph. Moving from access road with 60kmph limit to motorway with 100kmph limit? Just 4 taps on the ACC stalk and done! However, the system isn't perfect. As per the manual, it cannot stop for stationary objects. So for instance, if I am approaching a traffic light and the vehicle immediately ahead of me (which ACC is tracking) moves to a different lane and there is a stationary car ahead in my lane, the ACC will not detect it. This is clearly mentioned in the manual, so I didn't have to find it out the hard way. However, in my experience, the car has detected and started braking for stopped cars at traffic signals, so the manual has probably erred on the side of caution. I always brake myself when approaching junctions (if traffic is stopped), so it doesn't really affect me. I guess in such situations the Front Assist will also be of help.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_26_1200.jpg

Webasto parking heater: The parking heater comes with a separate remote. The maximum heating time is about 30 minutes. I can hear the heating system working when I go near the car. It makes the car interiors warm enough to be comfortable. Since the winter has almost ended, I have got away with pre-heating for much less than 30 minutes. It is recommended that the running time after the heater has been used should be atleast equal to the heating time in order to recharge the battery. I also have got battery charger accessory from the dealer. The charger has been fitted in the engine bay by the dealer and I only need to connect the power to the charging inlet provided on the front bumper. The inlet is integrated just below the parking sensor on the left side of the car near the number plate. The system can also be used for ventilation during the summer months. Toggling between Heating/Ventilation can be done using the MID touchscreen display.
Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_24_1200.jpg


The Boot: Although it's not much bigger on paper compared to that of the sedan (only 20L more), I was introduced to the practicality of the Combi on day 1. My car was delivered on winter tyres and the summer tyres along with the OE alloys were delivered along with the car. All 4 tyres fit comforably in the boot. This can't be done on the sedan due to lower usable height of the boot. We put the boot to good use. The stroller is a permanent fixture in the boot and there is still enough space for more luggage.

Driving experience
The 1.6L TDI engine is from the new EA288 series diesel engines. It is quite smooth and pretty quiet inside. My car is still running on studded winter tyres, and once I change to summer tyres I expect the noise levels inside the car to go down further. I have covered only about 400km so far in two weeks and my longest trip (one-way) has been 34km. In terms of speeds, I have gone upto 120kmph.

Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG-octavia_25_1200.jpg

Power is rated at 105HP and torque at 250Nm (1500-2750rpm). The engine feels adequate for my driving style and needs. The maximum speed limit here is 120kmph and the car feels quite capable of doing those speeds all day long. Given the stiff fines for overspeeding, I don't think I will be trying to test the limits of the engine.

A big change from my experience with the Punto is the lack of turbo lag. I believe the DSG plays its part in keeping the lag to a minimum. Acceleration is very smooth. On my way home from the city, I take a motorway where the speed limit is 100kmph. Right before I join the motorway, there is a traffic signal where I have to take a turn to enter the motorway. I set the speed in ACC to 100 while I am waiting at the signal and resume ACC as soon as I have made the turn. The car picks up speed very fast and with minimum fuss. With the ACC is use, I haven't seen a big difference between D and S modes. Even in S-mode, the gear changes occur at about 2500rpm, and I haven't really experienced any pinned-to-the-seats feeling when the car (with ACC) accelerates. However, the ACC also has a separate Driving Mode control (which can be changed via the touch screen MID), where I can set the acceleration profile to Eco/Normal/Sport when ACC is in use. I have left it in "Normal". Once I am past the first 1000km, I will try changing it to Sport and also try accelerating manually in S-mode to see how different it feels.

I have tried TipTronic mode only once, and I think I will not be trying it very often. I felt that it takes half the control away by making the downshifts automatically. Even just tapping the DSG lever to make the upshifts seemed a bit "unnatural". And then there was the ultimate insult displayed on the MID: "ECO TIP: Move the gear shift lever to D" I totally agree with the purists who say that the manual mode in AT cars don't provide the same feel as gearshifts in an MT car.

There is nothing to complain about the ride on the roads here. The straight line stability is very good and 100+ speeds. The steering is light at parking speeds and weighs up nicely at speed. The Punto's steering used to be rock hard at highway speeds. Just holding on to it gave a sense of stability. I loved that feeling. That feeling is missing in the Octavia, although the stability is not. Even at 120kmph, the Octavia is quieter inside than the Punto used to be at 80-90kmph.

The car has not disappointed me in terms of mileage so far. I haven't planned my trips well enough to use the full capabilities of the Webasto parking heater. So I usually start with a very cold engine, with some short trips ending before the engine reached its optimum temperature. The average (as per MID) since I got the car has been about 15.3kmpl. On my longest trip, where the speed limit varied between 30 and 120kmph, I averaged about 17.6kmpl. Given the circumstances, I think this is a pretty respectable figure.

The car feels like an upgrade compared to my previous car - which is exactly what I had expected it to be. I am happy with my choice.
StarrySky is offline   (31) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2015, 18:03   #7
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,302
Thanked: 23,860 Times
Default re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
Aditya is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th April 2015, 23:48   #8
BHPian
 
harsh.m06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Bareilly (UP)
Posts: 50
Thanked: 67 Times
Default re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

brilliant stuff! I always feel that combi variants should be made available in India as well. They have loads of practicality with them. I wouldn't hesitate to put down my money on estate variant rather than the sedan body. Congratulations!
harsh.m06 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2015, 13:05   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
S2!!!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,810
Thanked: 9,104 Times
Default re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Congratulations for owning a very practical estate car. Wish you many happy miles ahead. I have always had a soft corner for estates and I keep wondering why they never sold in India, despite being more practical than their sedan/hatchback siblings.

It would have been great had this car been available in India, but the only question that would be is how many would be willing to plonk in their money on something that isn't a sedan or an SUV?

One thing that I've noticed in most of the cars abroad, is that they are sold without a spare wheel. Can you state why is this done? I'm asking cause here, in India, we flame the manufacturers for not offering a full sized spare wheel but in international markets, spare wheel isn't given that kind of importance.

Last edited by S2!!! : 6th April 2015 at 13:06.
S2!!! is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2015, 13:15   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,883
Thanked: 9,705 Times
Default re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post

One thing that I've noticed in most of the cars abroad, is that they are sold without a spare wheel. Can you state why is this done? I'm asking cause here, in India, we flame the manufacturers for not offering a full sized spare wheel but in international markets, spare wheel isn't given that kind of importance.
1: To cut costs
2: To save weight since most cars in Europe are taxed in terms of emissions. More weight means more emissions. No spare wheel and less extra boot space means major weight saving
3: Abroad, punctures are few and assumption is one can drive to a tyre repair station and obtain a new tyre within range. Not practical in India though
ajmat is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2015, 14:39   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Congratulations for owning a very practical estate car. Wish you many happy miles ahead. I have always had a soft corner for estates and I keep wondering why they never sold in India, despite being more practical than their sedan/hatchback siblings.
Yes, I think the extra practicality of the estates compared to sedans is not appreciated in India. But, the conditions are also different. People really use these estate cars even to move house here. In India it isn't so expensive to hire a transport to move house locally.

Also, I think all the estate versions of sedans launched in India - Octavia Combi, Baleno Altura or Indigo Marina - looked like the rear portion had been stuck on a normal sedan. It wasn't good looking IMO. To me, the new generation Octavia Combi has a more natural estate shape and is more pleasing to the eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
1: To cut costs
2: To save weight since most cars in Europe are taxed in terms of emissions. More weight means more emissions. No spare wheel and less extra boot space means major weight saving
3: Abroad, punctures are few and assumption is one can drive to a tyre repair station and obtain a new tyre within range. Not practical in India though
True, the question the sales executive asked me when I asked about the spare wheel was "How many punctures do you expect to have in 3 years?". It all depends on one's luck, but even with the Punto in India, I had just 1 puncture in 3 years and 37K kilometres.

For someone like me whose car use will primarily be restricted to urban areas, I can be reasonably sure that no nails/sharp objects will be left on the roads, even near construction zones. My lease contract includes 24h EU-wide on-road assistance, even for punctures. So I felt comfortable enough not to opt for the spare wheel. But, I have seen many people who live in more rural settings opt for the spare wheel.
StarrySky is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2015, 17:01   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 29
Thanked: 10 Times
Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Hi StarrySky... Congratulations on an intelligent & good looking purchase . I'm also thinking of buying a new car and could relate to many of your purchase considerations. If only we had such proficient estate cars available in India - large boot with convenience of sedan without any additional real estate consumption - but I guess its subjective as some (or most!?) may prefer sleeker looks over practicality.
Slightly off topic - How is the after sales service (ASS) of Skoda in Europe? We've read & heard many horror stories about the ASS for India.
Congrats again and wish you many miles of happy driving! Chak-de Europe
epuneet is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th April 2015, 17:32   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: EU - Nordic
Posts: 1,563
Thanked: 953 Times
Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Quote:
Originally Posted by epuneet View Post
Slightly off topic - How is the after sales service (ASS) of Skoda in Europe? We've read & heard many horror stories about the ASS for India. Congrats again and wish you many miles of happy driving! Chak-de Europe
Thanks for the wishes!

Well, if you look around the web, there are enough stories from Europe about Skoda unreliability (even for the current generation) and dealer apathy. But from what I have read, the company itself seems to be slightly more responsive than in India. In my case, there is also the leasing company involved, so I hope the dealer will treat one of their biggest customers well My next scheduled visit to the dealer will be for the first service at 30K km or 2 years. So if I do not face any issues, I will probably be visiting the dealer only once during the lease period.
StarrySky is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th April 2015, 10:54   #14
BHPian
 
Engine_Roars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pune
Posts: 199
Thanked: 400 Times
Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Congratulations Sir, wish you many happy miles ahead with this lovely looking machine. I am more of " I want to die in India" guy, but whenever I think of Cars & Bikes, I feel like changing my plans and shifting abroad.
Engine_Roars is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th April 2015, 16:59   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
VeluM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,296
Thanked: 663 Times
Default Re: Ownership Review: Skoda Octavia Combi 1.6L TDI DSG

Congratulations on the car, and thanks for the detailed and well written review. I prefer the sedan version as Indians do in general, apparently, but I do appreciate the practicality of an estate.

You mentioned the rear suspension setup which is different in India for the 1.8TSI, but didn't say if yours comes with an independent rear suspension or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
My next scheduled visit to the dealer will be for the first service at 30K km or 2 years. So if I do not face any issues, I will probably be visiting the dealer only once during the lease period.
Is 30k Kms the service interval, even for the first service??
VeluM is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My Skoda Octavia Ambition, TDI DSG joethomasv Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 98 13th April 2017 21:07
Skoda Laura, Ambiente 2.0 TDI DSG : Ownership Experience luky_13 Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 82 26th February 2015 16:08
Black Lightning: My Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI DSG-UPDATE: DSG box replaced! Swanand Inamdar Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 130 10th September 2012 13:01
Suspension problems Skoda Octavia Combi narry Technical Stuff 12 26th March 2010 15:55
Skoda Octavia Combi karthik247 Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 3 21st October 2005 08:13


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 07:43.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks