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Old 19th February 2016, 14:48   #1
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Default Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Before I write down about my madness, Here's a picture that is a tribute to my previous rides and gratitude to the one's that will carry me in future (Including my latest acquisition)

"One Life and so many yet to be Driven / Ridden"
Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-teaser.jpg

This was a teaser picture which I had uploaded on my FB page in excitement and anticipation of the new arrival. Needless to say that most of them guessed the car correctly, however some were some were not even remotely close. One even mentioned it as an XUV. But then again, not everyone is a bhpian so I gave him the benefit of doubt and commented that XUV may come in 2018 !!

Now why did I comment so? If you look at the time lines of my rides in the picture, I have never held on to any of them for more than 2 years except for my Pulsar which was with me for a decade. However the one and the most important pre-condition before buying this car from Home Ministry was that I will not even 'think' of changing this car for the next 5 Years. Whether or not, only luck and time will determine.

Last edited by MadAbtCars : 16th March 2016 at 17:03.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:05   #2
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Default re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

This is my first ownership thread here on team-bhp or for the matter it is my first thread ever. Thus it is imperative that I at least mention in brief of my experiences with my previous trusted aides.

But first and foremost, did u notice my user name and also the first sentence of the opening post i.e. "MadAbtCars", "Before I write down about my Madness" respectively. Are you really thinking, Is this really a Mad Man ? Well don't just worry yet, I am perfectly a normal guy. Just that with all my obsession with anything that got wheels my family thinks I am certainly a Mad Person or simply MadAbtCars All said and done, I couldn't have followed my passion without the support of them. So here's to my Father, Mother, Sister and since last 2 and half years my beloved Wife, I thank you all for having stood by me and allowed me to follow my heart even though sometimes it was not logically the right decision. And I hope you will continue to support me in future also.

As I pen down this, here's a picture that my wife just sent me

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Now I will be going in flashback mode for some time now and for those of you who wish can skip the necessary bits and jump to my initial ownership review.

Fast Backwards to 2004 : Bajaj Pulsar 150 - Definitely Male

I was just another teenager stepping into Engineering college with high hopes and dreams of making it big in the corporate world someday. And like every teenager who has just crossed the legal driving / riding age I wanted my own ride. After numerous pleading and so many emotional blackmails I finally had my way. Dad agreed to get my a bike. Mom was totally against it though saying there was no need for any bike. Since my father worked in railways, I had the privilege of travelling for free from home to college (in local trains). To add to that Mom felt I will go rogue and bikes are totally unsafe to be ridden at such young age. Mom's will be Mom's after all, so with a heavy heart she finally said yes.

I vividly remember one dialogue that my Dad said to convince my Mom, "Let him enjoy his college days, I am only buying him a two wheeler, for he is going to buy our first car" - This coming from a very middle class man and spending 56K (which was a huge amount that time) for something which was logically not required but only the heart desired it. Thanks dad for fulfilling my dream and in turn I will keep buying cars one after the other for you !!

If I remember correctly during that time, the popular bikes which I had narrowed down was Hero Honda CBZ, Hero Honda Karizma & Bajaj Pulsar. Karizma was way over budget. I think it was just launched that time. CBZ was my favorite since some time however I fell for the Muscular & Macho image of Pulsar. My personal opinion that the Tagline "Definitely Male" changed the fortunes of Bajaj Two wheeler in general and the Indian Two Wheeler industry in general. Now comes the second round of drama. Somehow, somebody managed to convince dad, that Pulsar is not a very safe bike and because of the bulky Fuel tank, it is prone to accidents. The very design which made it look macho seemed to be in way of my owning it. I had almost compromised on settling for Hero Honda Passion but then again after few more rounds of emotional black mail I had my way. Here's a few pics of my black beauty.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-pulsar1.jpg

During one the highway trips

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In almost a decade I had the bike, I drove it a little more than 45K KMS. A major part of that was in it's second innings when I was in pune doing my MBA (2010 - 2011). I have many fond memories of the bike. The numerous rides to Lonavala some in the rains, some in sunshine and some in pitch black of night. I even learned to ride on this bike. Except for few minor niggles it never gave me any troubles. I used to get a Fuel Efficiency 40Kms/Ltr almost all its life with me. Now why am I specifing this ? This is just to highlight that I never owned any fuel efficient vehicle i.e. with respect to market trends. When other bikes gave an average fuel efficiency of 45 - 50 in that era I was always behind the national average - a trend that all my future cars followed except for maybe the Liva which was maybe near or equal to the market trends

Circa 2008 : Hyundai Santro - The complete Family Car

I did manage to complete my Engineering in 4 Years !! wouldn't say that it was with flying colors, but it was decent enough to get me a campus placement with an emerging company. After working for about a year I made my first switch in an MNC company. And after having worked for about a year, I had saved a decent amount to get my first car. Also I had developed some back problems so riding a bike was not recommended - one the reasons I put forward at home to convince them that we should get a car now. At that time I had no idea of cars, I didn't even know how to drive. Kept pondering at many used car shops looking for a small car. I was confused whether to go for a petrol car or LPG / CNG converted one. I almost feel in love with a grey Accent. But some Mechanic (known through a family friend) said it is high maintenance. So I blindly followed the mechanic and he then showed me a couple of cars. I was so novice that time, that the mechanic actually convinced me to buy a car which was already on it's 3rd Owner.

So that's how I got my first car, learned driving on it and drove her to approximately 12K KMS in about a year and Half that I owned it. I sold it off when I went on to pursue my MBA. It was 10 year old car, so it had its fair share of maintenance issues but overall was actually a great family car. Even though I cursed the Mechanic in having conned me to buy such an old car, he was indeed a very good mechanic and helped me with regular as well unscheduled maintenance issues. In fact he even came to my rescue when I was stranded in the middle of nowhere some 15Kms away from Home and my car just refused to start. He got the vehicle towed back and ensured it was back in running condition within a couple of days. I can not locate much pics of the car though.

Your' s truly on the left..

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-santro1.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-santor2.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-santro3.jpg

In short had many memorable trips with friends and family in this car. As a matter of fact, this is the only vehicle among'st all that I have owned which I have actually driven to GOA. Though I have driven to GOA thrice, the next two times being in friends car. The above pictures are from that legendary Goa trip only. This car will always occupy a special place in my heart being my first car and I didn't have the chance to bid a Goodbye to this car as it was sold when I was out of station.

Year 2011 : Hyundai Getz - Getz you here, Getz you there, Getz you everywhere

I had finished my MBA and started working again and thus the itch to get a car was fresh again. Since I was planning to buy a home, getting a car loan was ruled off. So Used car again it had to be. But this time I was smarter and team-bhp had become a part of my life. So started searching on my own. And as luck would have it, one my college buddy was getting the newly launched Vento TDI as his birthday gift. So that meant his existing drive was up for grabs. I had actually despised the car when he had bought it during our college days. But then I knew this was a beautifully maintained car and It was almost in front of eyes since it was bought. I used to see her everyday. We have had many college trips in this car itself. I knew nothing major would go wrong. so without thinking much I bit the bullet and got the car after some haggling with my friend.

I might have despised the car earlier and bought it only because I thought it was better to own a known devil rather than try my luck with some unknown used car. But Boy O Boy, this remains my favorite car till date. I loved her to bits. Never ever felt bored or tired to drive her. The interior space was / is still a benchmark in this segment. I had got a CNG kit installed and had literally abused her to no end. Drove it for about 50K Kms in about 2 years. But this car did make me realize that even though Hyundai cars are fun to drive and have the oomph factor, they are pretty expensive to maintain. And more so since it had crossed 1Lac Kms and out of which it had run on CNG for 50K Kms, some new niggle would crop up everyday. I had made a vow that I will not own a CNG car again. The fact that the production was discontinued made availability of spare parts a bigger issue. Some pics.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-getz1.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-getz2.jpg

Some time before I parted with her, I crossed the 1Lac Mark on the odo. Had got it when it was about to reach 50K

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-getz3.jpg

With a heavy heart, I finally bid adieu to the car sometime in November 2013 just few days before I got married. And it had nothing to do with me getting a car in dowry. In fact many kept asking whether I got my next car in dowry. Sadly that was not true. If I had the option of getting dowry then I would have certainly bargained for something luxurious (Pun intended) Many memorable and some very embarrassing moments I had during my courtship period with this car around. Once my car refused to start in middle of busy Mumbai street with would be wife in the passenger seat. I had to ask her to take the wheel while I pushed her. So had no option but to let go of this beauty. Period.

Getting Hitched 2013 : Toyota Etios Liva - The Waku Doki car

My very close friend and partner in lot of crimes that we did during and even after our college, works in Toyota. Ever since Toyota launched this car, I have been telling him that this was actually a joke and will only tarnish the brand Toyota. But it seems destiny had other plans and I was destined to own this car. As mentioned above during the twilight period of Getz, it was giving me a lot of trouble and I was forced to think of another car. This time around I was firm that it wouldn't be used car now. But also I had serious budget constraint keeping in mind that my marriage was around the corner and the already huge burden of existing Home Loan. So budget was around 6Lacs and stretched budget of 6.5Lacs. CNG vehicle was ruled out and considering my run of about 25K KMS a year Diesel was logical choice. Test drove quite a few car. The Grand I10 was just launched and I was in awe of the segment first features on offer. However the lackluster 3 Cylinder Engine was big turn off and having owned two Hyundai's earlier I knew service and maintenance would be very expensive. Next had toyed with Ford Figo. It was great car, absolutely VFM and the last but top model at 6.7Lacs was near my stretched budget. The only reason this Car didn't make it to my garage was the absolutely casual approach of the Sales Personnel. I had contacted AVK Ford and Shreeji Ford. Inspite of repeatedly calling them for final price and to get my car evaluated they kept saying they will call back but actually never did. And voila both of the dealerships have shut shops recently.

There was a FIAT showroom next to the Ford showroom near my home. So one day I casually walk in the FIAT Showroom with no intention of owning a FIAT. The Sales person offered me TD and I was simply awestruck by the car; Punto it was. After Inquiring about the pricing, the base model came with mouth watering discounts and was costing me something around 6.4 Lacs. I was like "This is the car I would be buying" I said to myself. After lot of discussions with Family and would be Wife I had even decided on the color i.e. Tuscon Wine. One fine day I walk into the showroom with my Cheque book in my hand to book the Punto. But destiny had other plans again. Due to some technical issue I was not entitled to get the exchange bonus which was around 50K-60K. With a heavy heart I had to leave the showroom without booking the car. Following few weeks I tried a lot to sort out the technical glitch but none was helpful.

All along this, I was in touch with my friend who works in Toyota. After my failure to book the Punto I was feeling very tensed. I was barely a few weeks away from my marriage date and I was yet to book the car. I had planned to book the car and complete all formalities before I leave for the 3 weeks vacation for getting married and honey moon. I wasn't sure what to do now. Then suddenly my friend says that he has a few Liva's at one of his dealership's which were actually the pre-facelift version. Toyota had introduced some minor changes in Etios some time in March 2013. And the cars which were lying with them were Feb'13 manufactured. I just casually called up the dealership and checked out the car. Now even though it was pre-facelift the interiors were all done up at the dealership level. i.e. two tone beige painting, wood finish on door's, steering wheel, art leather seat covers and OEM music system. And these were actually the changes introduced in the face lift by Toyota. I was only missing out on the Adjustable Head rests on front seats and different ORVMS + give or take few more minor things. I thought I could live with that. The Dealer said that, before the Minor Model change they used offer all these as accessories at dealership level and charged around 40K for the same. They were giving it as free (Not that they could undo it, as it was already done on the car and lying with them) and additionally were giving a discount of 70K. So overall I was getting a benefit of 70 + 40 = 110K. I cross checked with my friend and he said it was a fair deal.

I said to myself it is a Toyota, so rock solid reliability, cheap to maintain and good fuel efficiency. I had always listened to my heart than head when it came to cars, this was the first time I was taking a logical decision; a decision made by the head and not heart; A decision which made me realize that I should always listen to my heart rather than my head. Now why did I say so ? You will find the answer sometime later in this thread.

Time was running out so I went ahead and booked the car completed all the formalities within a week and took off for my marriage. The dealership said they will do all the RTO registration and other formalities and have it delivered to my home before I return from my vacation. The dealership experience was top notch and even during my entire ownership period, all my experiences with Sales and Service Person was just exceptional. A big round of applause to Toyota for maintaining such high Customer satisfaction standards. Some pics during my ownership.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-10364126_10152481601689343_4408887186945445655_n.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-img_7048.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-img_7068.jpg

Overall it was fuss free ownership experience. It took me from Point A to Point B. I mean after all that's what a car is supposed to do isn't it ? But for some of is it's just not about getting from Point A to Point B, It is about finding a reason to go from Point A to Point B. And very recently I read in one the ownership reviews of a bhpian, "If you don’t look back at your car after you park it, you’ve bought the wrong car”. So I was out there to find a car which I would look back too !

Last edited by MadAbtCars : 17th March 2016 at 12:54.
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Old 28th February 2016, 17:56   #3
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Post re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

The Need for a New car:

As I had mentioned sometime in the thread earlier that I regretted going with the head's decision than my heart's. The Liva was a perfect and trouble free car. Absolute peace of mind, easy to drive in the city and rock solid on the highways. But I was missing something. Something wasn't just right ever since the day I brought her home, I wasn't connected to the car. I was missing driving. The very crude NVH levels would actually give me headache sometimes. Agreed it was reliable, but there wasn't any peace of mind when I was actually driving it. Additionally my city commute had increased a lot and Mumbai traffic is going from bad to worse. The extremely hard clutch of Liva wasn't helping either in bumper to bumper traffic. So essentially I had decided in my mind that it was going to be an Automatic car now. I remember once upon a time, I always advocated that a real car needs to have three pedals. But it's ironical how perception changes time to time.

Some time during Aug'14, I had the serious thought of getting a new car. Yes you read that correctly, it wasn't even a year with Liva and I was wanting to change it already. You can imagine my discontent with the car. The Zest AMT was launched during that time. I was already very impressed with TATA's offering and liked the car very much. It even went on to become team-bhp car of the year 2014. So one day walked into a Tata dealership and TD'ed the Zest AMT. However it left me in a very bitter taste after the TD. The lag in between gear shifts and the jerky kind of gear shifts was a big big turn off. I had mentally made up mind that I wouldn't be getting this car. However then thought that the next alternative in Diesel Automatics was going to in the range upwards of 12 - 13 Lacs with the likes of Verna & other cars which would even be segment above. So asked the Sales Advisor to evaluate my Liva before I make any decision of buying the Zest. What I heard back from them was enough to forget about getting a new car for the next 1 or 2 years I feel. So I walked out of the showroom and new car purchase went on hold indefinitely.

So a year passes by. Meanwhile I even had a change of job and the new office is even further away from my home. So travelling in bumper to bumper traffic and already existing disconnect with my car made me very irritable. The new job entitled me availing of Fuel & Maintenance from Company. So in spite of average travel of about 2000 Kms a month, I toyed with the idea of Petrol Automatic as it would allow me to have a wide choice. One thing I was sure off was that it had to be a fun to drive car which appealed to my heart. I didn't want it to be another car which I unwillingly live with. So all the options with AMT were discarded. (No offence to any AMT owner, it's just my choice). Also it had to be an upgrade from my existing ride. I also knew for a fact that I would be losing out a lot on depreciation, but the heart had already made it's decision.

So keeping in mind all the above, this what I had shortlisted in no particular order:

1. Hyundai Creta
2. Volkswagen Polo GT TSI
3. Volkswagen Vento / Skoda Rapid DSG (TSI or TDI any of them should suffice)
4. Ford Ecosport Automatic (DCT)
5. Honda Jazz CVT
6. Renault Duster
7. Used Verna CRDI Automatic
8. Used Vento TSI

Now all the above thought process and idea of getting a new car had only started in my mind as of now, I knew it was still a herculean task to convince everybody at home that I am selling my perfectly fine car giving me no problems whatsoever and buying a new car. Thus there was no specific timeline of purchase, so I had included Renault Duster as well since there were rumors of an automatic version soon to be launched.

From hereon it will focus on how my casual TD's with no solid intention of buying a new car finally resulted in bringing home the new love of my life

Hyundai Creta
Had been closely following the Hyundai Creta thread, though in my heart I knew that it was going to be priced very steeply. And when it was launched I said to myself that it was just not meant to be mine for now. Even though it had the perfect ingredients and was indeed a fabulous offering from Hyundai, I never even took the TD and crossed it off my list.

Renualt Duster

This was one car which I had really liked ever since it was launched. I had in fact had a TD on the day it was first launched. I remember waiting in queue for short TD of few hundred meters. This was a car which drove like a sedan and felt like a SUV. However the bland interiors were always a turn off and pricing always seemed to be inflated. But the Hyundai Creta gave an altogether new definition of inflated pricing and suddenly the Duster seemed VFM. But it didn't come in Automatic. After the launch of Creta there were news reports of Duster bringing in an automatic version. But there was no clarity on the launch date. I had guessed it would be after the Auto Expo only so maybe around March-April 2016. Moreover I knew even if priced lesser than Creta it would still be higher. So let go off it. And glad that I did so. Only few days after I had booked my car, there were reports that the Duster Automatic would actually be an AMT. Phew what a sigh of relief.

Used Verna

Meanwhile as part of daily routine life, I kept browsing team-bhp and couple of other car websites to check about happenings in car industry and the classifieds. One Hyundai Verna CRDI SX (O) Automatic in silver colour caught my attention, So called up the dealer and went for a TD. The car seemed okay, was maintained properly and would have been a good buy. The only negative point about it was the 4 Speed Automatic. He was quoting a price of 7.75Lacs for 2 year old car which had clocked ~45K Kms. I asked what would I get for my existing Liva which was less than 2 year old and had done about ~40K Kms, he gave all sorts of reasons and explanations even before quoting the exchange price which he finally quoted at 3.75Lacs. How ironical, the depreciation value of a B2 segment hatchback is far much more than that of C2 segment sedan. Looking at his tone and body language I assumed that the deal would have been closed for couple of thousands here and there. So I left it at there.

Honda Jazz CVT

The erstwhile Jazz which was a very good car was a failure in India. So a lot was expected from the all new Jazz. I believe Honda became too greedy and priced a little too high. I TD'ed the Jazz CVT. All in all it was a nice car, extremely precious, had the reliability of being an Honda but somehow the CVT gearbox still left something more to be desired. Though it was an altogether different experience from the AMT which was the earlier Automatic that I drove. Somehow I felt shelling out close to 10Lacs isn't worth it. After all it wouldn't be an upgrade in true sense. At similar price point I can buy the Ciaz VXI Automatic I said to myself. (Although I never really considered the Ciaz any time before or later)

Used Vento TSI

By this time reading about the numerous ownership and official reviews at team-bhp, my mind had already been corrupted and I had almost decided in mind that my next purchase would be a DSG. Since the Vento TSI was launched not very long ago, it had very few offerings in the used car market. Came across 2 advertisements, while one said it has just been sold when I called the other one invited me to have a look at it. The other was actually a demo car which was never registered. So I would be the first owner and get standard factory warranty of 2 years. He quoted 10Lacs, I said 8Lacs and that was pretty much the end of discussion. I even pointed out to him that the new Vento Comfortline TSI was selling at some 10.XX lacs. Agreed that his Used car in question was a High Line model, but even the new Comforline TSI had more features (Cruise control, White back lit Bigger MID etc) so no body will buy that car at such price point. But he seemed adamant and so I bid him Good Bye.

Ford Ecosport

At the expense of not annoying or meaning any disrespect to any owner, I have never really been a fan of Sub-4 Meter sedans or SUV's. Yet if you want me to still pick some one among'st all Sub-4 Meter Sedan or SUV I would Pick the Ecosport. Tried getting hold of an Automatic version for TD but could never really find one. Also even on Team-bhp there was only a solitary ownership review I guess. All these coupled with the lack of enthusiasm of the Sales personel I stayed away from Ford. Apparently it seems none of the FORD dealers are any eager to sell any vehicles. They just want customers to come and buy if the wish. Kind of very arrogant attitude I think. I am saying this from the behavior I encountered when I had inquired about Figo, 2 years earlier and now when I was visiting them for Ecosport. On the earlier occasion the dealership were AVK Ford and Satyam Ford, both of which have shut shop and now presently Shreeji Ford.

Volkswagen POLO / Vento TSI

By Now it was certain that it would be DSG now. So one fine day walk into a Volkswagen showroom and discuss about Polo TSI and Vento TSI. The Polo TSI is indeed a very special car. TD was actually not needed. However had one just for the sake of it. And I was in love again. Now this was going to be my only and primary car, which would mean the occasional need to seat 5 adults in comfort and the Polo is far from being and ideal vehicle for that. I remember ridiculing my friend who had bought he first gen Polo about this issue. In the occasions of we having to get into his car with three passengers in the back seat, we literally fought with each other as to, who would be occupying the middle seat. So Polo was off the list. Now Vento was little more comfortable at the rear and had the same TSI engine. However the additional weight didn't actually make it as interesting as the Polo TSI. Still it was a better car than all the options I fiddled with so far. So discussed about the final pricing and kept in hold for a few days and meanwhile discuss at home before finalizing. I would have been penning the ownership review of this car, had the below not happened.

The Skoda Rapid DSG : The Dark Horse in Black and White

I had my heart on Vento TSI. With ever reducing price difference between Diesel and Petrol paying 1 - 1.5Lacs premium for a Diesel vehicle never made any sense. Also I had a very very stretched budget of about 11 - 11.5Lacs. So Vento TDI DSG was never in contention. The Skoda Rapid was one car which I had secretly admired. I remember I had Inquired about the Skoda Rapid earlier also when I had bought my Liva after seeing some advertisement about buy now and pay 2 years later. However even with that scheme I couldn't get the Rapid home in 2013 and Liva it was that time. This time I had not initially thought about the Rapid since I was planning on Petrol Automatic and the Rapid Automatic in petrol was the conventional torque converter and not the exciting DSG. However knowing that December is the month when car offers are best and Skoda was also advertising "Buy Now and Pay in 2017", I walked into a Skoda showroom one day. when I heard about the pricing and discounts on the Rapid Diesel DSG, I was like , it was only some XX thousands more than the Vento TSI High line. This changed all the equations. I asked whether a TD vehicle is available, the SA said it wasn't there right now and will bring the vehicle to home the same evening. I thought it was fair enough and even my wife will get a feel of it. After all, Home ministry's approval has the final verdict. So true to her word, the SA got the vehicle and I took a good TD on the highway. It was only then did I realize how the adrenaline rush of 250NM torque feels like. On the way back home, there is a ramp which you have to take to enter my building and just show off, I stopped midway and let go off my feet from all the pedals and the car held itself at the same place without rolling back. That's how I explained to my wife what is Hill Hold Assist Overall it was a good experience and we came with a grin on our face. I did a quick analysis of the difference in features between Vento & Rapid

Positives in favor of Rapid :
1. Discount of ~1.4 Lakhs (Which makes it just a little more costlier than the Highline Vento TSI even after discounts)
2. Projector headlamps
3. Black Package
4. Automatic Rain sensor
5. Auto dimming rear view mirrors

Few points in favor of vento which I would miss out on Rapid :
1. Flat bottom steering wheel
2. Foot well lights
3. Voice command i.e. Push to talk (PTT) on steering wheel

These were at the time I booked the car in December'2015. Some of the differences are now nullified with the new features addition in Vento in 2016.

Thus after some discussions at home, family said yes to Skoda Rapid. They already knew that I had decided in my heart so didn't really try to reason with me much. Wife however made me promise that I will not think of selling this car for next 5 years.. or was it 4 Years. I actually don't recollect it exactly. Meanwhile some things were happening simultaneously in the world that we live in :

Volkswagen Diesel Gate Scandal Link (VAG's emission fraud - VW cheats in emission test)
VAG group recalling cars in Indian market for some software updates Link (Official: Volkswagen recalls 3.24 lakh cars in India over emissions fraud)
Skoda Dealership shutting shop after conning customer Link (Booked Skoda, paid in full, showroom shut down! Now what?)
Skoda Dealerships charging RTO & Insurance wrongly Link (Skoda dealers charging RTO tax & insurance on old (higher) price, not new (lower) price)
Skoda Service Horror stories (You can find innumerable links on this)

So on One hand I was head over heels for DSG and was wanting to get her home at any cost, whereas on the other hand a part in me kept saying do you really want to take such a huge risk ? You are living happily with Toyota's reliability then why take such unwarranted risks ? One casual chat with fellow Bhpian Frank Mehta who had recently got home the GT TSI and was doing some wonderful mods helped seal my decision. He said "Logical decisions don't really make any sense for people like us". So that was it. In spite of all the negativity and wrong doings surrounding Skoda, I went ahead and Did Something Good - Booked my Skoda Rapid TDI 'DSG'

Last edited by MadAbtCars : 16th March 2016 at 19:23.
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Old 8th March 2016, 17:01   #4
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Default re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Dealership and Booking Experience :

After Senator Skoda decided on shutting shop after duping few people, I was left out with only Two Dealerships i.e. Autobhan & JMD. (JMD stands for Jai Mata Di - A fact I came to know during my car buying process). At the time when I booked the car, both JMD & Autobhan had two Sales outlets at Thane, Navi Mumbai & Andheri, Prabhadevi respectively. While I visited JMD's Thane showroom only, I had visited Autobhan's both the showrooms. In any case my job entails lot of travelling in and around Mumbai so that made it easier. In fact I was also thinking to drop in Viraj Skoda in Pune while I was there on some official work but that didn't happen. Anyways coming back to the initial dealership experiences, both the Autobhan dealerships were very cold hearted in their response. None of them actually bothered to follow up even once. They were not very transparent in their offer as well. I found the quotes to be inflated as compared to what I got from JMD. On asking about discount's they were very firm on the amount (1Lac) of discount and said it is the maximum they can offer. It was kind of take it or leave it type of statement. Only when I said I have a much better offer from JMD, they said they will match whatever JMD was offering. I somehow never felt very comfortable and walked away from them.

JMD on the other hand was very professional. I enjoyed talking to them during my entire process of car purchase. They were very transparent on the pricing and discounts. The Sales Person initially was pushing me to go for the Style Plus model sans the black package. She said since the variants nomenclature have recently undergone a change, (i.e. top model was renamed from Elagance Plus to Style Plus) there is not any clarity whether the Black Package would be available or not. I first said that Style Plus in black package is mentioned on official Skoda website and I further conveyed her, that the only reason I am interested in Skoda Rapid is because of the Black Package wherein I would get those lovely Black Alloys and the projector & fog lamps in smoked black finish. She had a quick chat with the Showroom Manager and Viola, magically she produces the price list of Skoda Rapid Style Plus TDI A/T in Black Package in no time. That was the only moment wherein I felt they were trying to be not true to me, but overall I was happy with their offer so I let it pass. In fact the entire time I was super happy with them. However this feeling was to be curtailed the very next day I took delivery. More on that later in the post.

On Road Price and Discounts :

Ex-Showroom Price : 1,140,229
Skoda Shield : 56,807
RTO & registration Charges : 144,328
CRTM & Depot Charges : 6,000
Drive Assure : 10,495
Total : 1,357,858

Total Discount offered : 138,023
Final On Road Price : 1,219,835

Since I stay in Mumbai Suburbs (Thane) and recently LBT was abolished, I got a benefit of about 60,000. It can't be considered as discount but On-Road price is now lesser if get your car registered outside Mumbai district limits. So if I had been staying within Mumbai city Municipal limits, my On Road Price would had been 12.8 Lacs against 12.2 Lacs

Skoda Shield included 1st Year comprehensive Insurance, 2 Years Road Side Assitance and 2 + 2 Years warranty.

Drive Assure is basically the premium for Zero Depreciation cover. The dealership gave an option to either pay the Zero Dep premium to the Insurance company or Pay JMD instead and get an exclusive JMD club membership wherein all the benefits (+some more) which are covered by the Zero Dep premium through the Insurance company will now be covered by JMD dealership instead. I confirmed whether it would be possible to have the Zero Dep cover through Insurance company when I renew my Insurance next year to which they confirmed in affirmative. So I choose to have the JMD club membership as I was very impressed with them till now. I hope I wouldn't repent this decision in future.

The Skoda Standard discount Scheme during December 2015, the month I made the booking was 100,000 (This was also the final Discount which Autobhan was offering me). Now we all know that all automobile dealers include charges like Depot, CRTM, agent commission, etc in the On-Road pricing. Now these charges are merely aimed at maximizing Dealership Profits and are actually not required. Also not to mention the Insurance payouts the dealerships receive from Insurance companies as commission . So did some quick Maths :

Depot & CRTM Charges : 6,000
Agent Charges : 7,500 (Part of the RTO & Registration charges mentioned above)
Insurance Payout : 17,000 (Considered 25% of Total Insurance + Extended warranty)
Total : 30,500

Thus I inferred that the dealership was actually passing on these benefits in the total discount and it was a fair deal in my opinion. So I did not contest or raise any issue on these charges and made the booking my giving them a token amount of 25,000 on Sunday Afternoon of 20.12.2015. This was after almost 2 months after I made my first visit to JMD. yes you read that correctly I had walked into JMD showroom sometime in beginning of November. It was during my first visit that I had got my Liva evaluated with them and they gave a quote of 3.8Lacs. After that I tried to sell it on my own thinking, if I get a direct buyer might as well be able to extract some additional 20 - 30K. But more than a month and numerous ads posted on various site all I could was get some calls from people and the offers they were making were ridiculous. So had no option but to give it in exchange to JMD only. And even though >45 days had passed since they had made the offer they didn't make any fuss or tried to re-negotiate again. Full marks to JMD on this. Up to this point was supremely impressed by them.

Since it was already nearing year end, the dealership suggested that I take delivery in new year itself. Also in the remaining days of the year there were many government holidays and additionally it was financial year end in my company so I was to be super busy, hence decided I would bring her home sometime in the new year only. They ordered the car as per my exact specifications i.e. Skoda Rapid Style Plus TDI A/T in Black Package and the car reached their stockyard on 29.12.2015. I had informed them earlier only that I would be making further payment only after I do a PDI and they had gladly accepted to it. Only thing they said was that I wouldn't be allowed in their Stockyard and they will get the vehicle to their dealership and once I give my thumbs up, they shall send it back again to their stockyard since there will be some days in between for me to complete my payment & the vehicle goes for registration and they wouldn't stock a customer's car at their dealership. I somehow was not comfortable with the Idea of my car making so many to & fro trips from their stockyard to dealership even before registration so I asked them to give me the VIN number instead. I decoded the same and found it to be December 2015 manufactured. I was informed during booking, that vehicle may be from October, November batch and here I was getting a December manufacturing model. I couldn't be more happy and my trust and faith in JMD goes even further up. I informed them that I am skipping the PDI for now, but will still do a PDI a day before it goes for registration, which they happily agreed too.

So next few days I was busy with Year end closing in my company and then on 02.01.16, I hand over my Liva car keys and make balance payment except for 6Lacs which I was taking as a top-up loan on my existing Home Loan. Though it has its own benefits of taking top up on an existing Home Loan, it is more time consuming than taking a car loan and more so since it was delaying in getting my beloved car home.

During the weeks in between, quite a few thoughts / decisions happened simultaneously. I had contemplated not taking the 2 Years extended warranty initially. Not that I didn't want it, I surely wanted it since I know what can be in future considering its from VAG stable. I only thought that since it can bought later also why spend on it now. Had got it confirmed from JMD before booking, that 2 years extended warranty can be bought later as well and they had confirmed it whereas Autobhan on the other hand were adamant that take it now or you won't get it later. During this period had a few conversation's with the Zonal Sales Head (West) from Skoda Auto India and even he had confirmed that it can be bought later on. Overall I was very impressed with all the communications so far both from the dealership as well as Skoda Auto, - A fact which wouldn't be lasting much now. Both the dealership as well as Skoda Auto were to show their ugly side of customer satisfaction soon - On that just a little later in the post. However finally decided to take the extended warranty at the time of Car Purchase only.

At the time we had got the Liva home, during one casual conversation with my wife, I had said that next time we get a car I will get us a choice number representing our marriage date. ( I thought it was a fool proof way of never forgetting our anniversary , Since I will never forget the number of any of my past, present or future rides). So to remember our anniversary date I needed the number 0612, which would also add up to 9. I checked with Dealership and they said that a new series has just been started and I might very well get the choice number 0612 easily. Since it would be within next 1000 numbers from the current number in the series, the official charges would be 5,000 and additional 3,000 for agent charges. I generally prefer not involving agents as much as possible hence the next day I go directly to the RTO and trust me, it is very easy and people are very helpful. I just had to get a form which costed 1Rs and was available right outside the RTO. Filled up the form (basically a format of declaration and there is no official form to be filled up for this; just an application is all that is required), attached the necessary documents and walked up to the designated counter. The present number which was allotted was MH 04 XX 0237, so that mean 0612 should be available. But sadly some one else had already booked it. Now I had two options, jump the series and thereby pay 3 times the fees i.e. 15,000 or chose some other number. I thought that instead of an dd-mm representation of my anniversary date why not go for mm-dd format representation. So I checked for 1206 availability which would also fall under 5,000 fees category. Yes it was available. I felt it was a better trade off than paying three times the fees, so booked it. The entire process involved filling up form, taking signatures from 2 - 3 windows and paying the fees and doesn't take more than 15 - 20 mins. It worthwhile to get these things done by oneself than relying on agents. It only takes some time and effort.

So I completed the payment on 12.01, car reached dealership on 13.01 and did the PDI, found everything in order and gave them the go ahead and requested them for delivery the next itself, however the dealership requested to take delivery the after i.e. on 15.01 since it was Makar Sankranti an auspicious day. Not that I am a very religious person, but it doesn't hurt to do something good on a festival day. So here's a few pics from the delivery day. Post which I will share how the super excellent experience so far started to turn totally opposite.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-delivery1.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-delivery2.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-delivery3.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-delivery4.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-delivery5.jpg

The delivery day experience was also nothing less than stellar from JMD. The only downside was that the stock Tyres came with MRF rubber. I hadn't planned on Tyre change anticipating the stock rubber would be Apollo's. However MRF would certainly not do justice to the 250NM that was to be laid down on the tarmac. So right after delivery I headed straight to the authorized Michelin Tyre Dealership. Was absolutely smitten by the Primacy 3ST and that would also mean an tyre size upgrade since 3ST doesn't come in the stock size of Rapid. The error was also within the 2% band, contemplated a lot and somehow I didn't want to take chance with Skoda not honoring warranty and wanted to keep the car as stock as possible. So finally went with XM2 series which are available in stock size of 185/60/R15. He quoted 5,400 per tyre and gave a buy back price of 3,500 per tyre for my MRF's. So total damage to the pocket = 7,600

The ugly side of Skoda Experience :

The moment I drove out from the dealership and had not even covered 2 - 3Kms, I could feel the car was drifting considerably towards the left. Since I was in a hurry to reach somewhere, I didn't bother much. The next day I took it up with the dealership and they told them about the issue, they asked me to get the car to their workshop. And here I was visiting the so famous Skoda Service center within the first week of ownership. Here's my car being checked for wheel alignment :

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-alingnment.jpg

Having experienced the Toyota Service for past two years and having read all those Skoda horror stories, I had already decided not to set my expectation very high. But what followed made me realize that I shouldn't have any expectation from them altogether. First day they kept the car half a day and finally returned me saying the problem was sorted. I drive out of the service center and come back after driving not more than 500mtrs. Asked their senior most technician to come for a test drive with me and he was also convinced that the problem still existed. Since it was closing time, they asked me to come back tomorrow. The next day also they keep the car the whole day and return me saying it's now finally sorted. I drive for a few kms and still feel the car drifting to left. Fed up, I take my car to the Tyre Dealer from whom I switched to Michelin's. He confirmed that the wheel alignment was still out and corrected the same. I wonder what is the competency level of these technician who work at Skoda.

Now even after getting it checked & corrected I somehow felt it was still pulling left. Took the local mechanic on a long ride and he kept saying that the alignment is perfectly fine and the car won't just keep going in a straight line if you don't hold the steering wheel. It is bound to go left or right. Mostly left since Indian roads have right - left banking. I guess, I was only getting paranoid since it was a Skoda. But then again though the Skoda Service people tried hard to satisfy me and were very polite and courteous all along, the fact remains that they are extremely clueless of their own vehicle and can only do the routine service work - This fact scares me a lot !!

Now take a look at the below snap shot, before I say about the other misery I faced :

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-discrepancy.jpg

Now, as the prevailing RTO taxation, for any Diesel car with Ex-Showroom price more than 10Lacs is taxed at the rate of 12%. So as per the Price List given by JMD while booking and also mentioned on their website, the RTO tax should have been 1,140,229 x 12% = 136,828. This was approximately the value mentioned in the Invoice given to me at the time of delivery. The next day when I got the actual Tax receipt I was shocked to see the amount paid as RTO taxes. The Tax receipt indicated an amount of 128,187 has been paid as life time taxes. Also from past experience of owning cars, irrespective of whatever discount the dealer offers from his Insurance payout, the value on the policy remains the same. In my case the policy should have come with a value of 39,008, however the cover note was for an amount of 25,891. So this is the following conversation I have with the Manager of JMD dealership.

Me: Am I correct in my understanding that whatever discounts you pass on has to be adjusted from anything except from RTO taxes.
Manager : Yes Sir, the price list of any car is made available to RTO authorities by the company directly and irrespective whatever promotions or discounts, the RTO will tax as per the taxation rate and price list available with them.
Me : Am I correct in my understanding that whatever discount you give out of your Insurance payout, the Insurance policy value won't change
Manager : Yes Sir, you are absolutely right in your understanding.
Me : Then why does the RTO tax receipt doesn't match your Invoice but in fact exactly tallies with Ex-Showroom value mentioned as per Invoice.
Manager : (takes out a calculator, 1,068,220 x 12% = 128,127).. sirrrr, sirrr, sirrr, I will check with my team and let you know.
Me : And how would you explain the difference in Insurance value.
Manager : Mmmm, Mmmmm.. Sir why don't you write me a mail about this issue and also mark a copy to the Sales Head of Skoda Auto India (West).

I write a mail to all concerned with all necessary documents. Follow it up with the Manger and Skoda Auto Sales Head for West. It's been almost two months and no one has bothered to clarify anything.

At the time, I had booked my car there was a team-bhp thread as to how, Skoda dealers are over charging on RTO fees. Hence I was keeping track of the RTO charges in particular. Somehow the price list on Skoda website was constantly saying "Page under construction" This was the time when I first started interacting with Skoda Auto Western region's Sales Head. I asked him as to why is the price list not updated on website and asked him to share the price list for Rapid. To which he reassuringly said that he would certainly share the price list with me and also check as to why is the price not update on website. I followed up with him but he never shared with me any price list. The website however was now updated with the price list and it was the same that was quoted to me by the dealership. So I never thought that anything could go wrong.

The way I look at it, there can be only two reasons for the difference in RTO fees. Either Skoda Auto wrongly mentions the price list on their website so that they can make the customer feel that they are giving out huge discounts or the Dealership has found out some way of underpaying the RTO taxes. Either way I am not sure, in case in the future the RTO raises some issue who will be at fault ?

Also the dealership has not yet given me the Extended Warranty certificate and gave me a lame excuse that it takes 45 days for the same. I feel it's total non-sense and only a way of utilizing the amount for 45 days by the dealership. It's almost two months since I have took delivery and no sight of any extended warranty yet. I am pretty sure unless I take it up with them again, they will be least bothered to send me the extended warranty.

I do not know whether I made the right decision of not pursuing the above matter any further. I thought it's better to enjoy my drive rather than breaking my head. Bhpians please advice whether or not to take this issue any further.

Coming up next, my initial ownership report and pictures.

Last edited by MadAbtCars : 16th March 2016 at 19:26.
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Old 13th March 2016, 17:57   #5
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Default re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

First Two Months Experience

At the time of writing this report, the car has done ~4,500 Kms. So that's an average monthly running of 2,250 Kms. My daily commute is 70Kms to & fro from Home to office. In last two months, the car has had two highway runs to Pune and one highway run to Ahmednagar from Mumbai. So I believe I have driven the car considerably both in city as well as highway before giving my views and penning down this ownership report.

Crossed 1K mark within the first 15 days of ownership.Here's a pic celebrating the mark :

And what better way to celebrate, than doing so at full Speed. (Before I pick up an Infraction, please see the gear the car is in. How to do this party trick - Some of you might have guessed it correctly, others check the answer sometime later in the thread)

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-1celebration.jpg

The Skoda Rapid DSG has been beautifully reviewed by team-bhp : A review which I read multiple times before purchasing the car. So have nothing more to add to it. Some features were subsequently added in the course of time. The same I have briefly mentioned in my next post.

But one thing which I would like to share my views / thoughts about is the Auto Gear box - The DSG : The one and only reason why I decided to buy Skoda Rapid. It was that one positive which outweighed all the negatives concerning the purchase decision.

Here's a pictorial representation of what I think about the DSG :

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-dsgconnect.jpg

Now, you might be thinking what does it actually mean ? I believe everyone might have seen the movie Avatar or atleast know about it. In the movie a Na'vi or the Na'vi human Hybrid (Avatar) can establish a Neural-level connection with any animal (in fact with any part of Pandoran Eco-System). This connection mostly serves as a means for the rider to command the beast with his or her mind with apparent little effort, and without use of their hands.

So what does this analogy have in common with the DSG. I may not have any direct neural connection with the car, but the way DSG behaves and reads my mind is nothing but some sort of invisible connection.

Consider this, I slot the gear in D-Mode and star driving sedately, the DSG goes about it's work and shifts at optimum rpm's. I suddenly feel the urge to zoom past everybody and floor the accelerator. the DSG downshifts a gear and starts up-shifting at higher RPM's.

Consider another case, when I am cruising on the Highway at say about 80 - 90KMPH in D7, suddenly I see an opportunity to overtake a slow moving truck and I floor the A-Pedal, the DSG downshifts giving me suitable thrust to overtake and once I am ahead, I ease on the accelerator, the DSG senses the same and again up-shifts to D7.

Though there is D-Mode (Drive mode) & S-Mode (Sports mode) for sedate and sporty driving respectively which mean the former will shift at early RPM's and the later at higher RPM's it depends a lot on your throttle input. There is no fixed RPM at which the DSG will up-shift or downshift in either D or S mode. It combines the throttle input response and Drive mode selected (D or S) and up-shifts & downshifts as per your liking, indicating that it has a mind of it's own.

Somehow, I don't find the S-Mode too engaging - it up-shifts a little too late I feel. It may be too early to comment maybe, since I am not pushing the car too much initially. Maybe will change my judgement after I have driven it for some more time.

Starting from stand still if you floor the accelerator irrespective of whether you start in D-Mode or S-Mode, the adrenaline rush you feel by getting pushed / thrown back in your seat is just mind blowing. And not only me, whosoever seated in the co-driver seat smiles at me and exclaims "This is what you call a Skoda !!"

There's a trip-tronic mode as well, which can be used only with D-Mode. Haven't ever used it. After all it's an automatic with a mind of it's own so why take the pain of manual gear change. Of-course it is very useful in case you are cruising in D-Mode and want to downshift to prepare the car for an overtaking maneuver, but I haven't felt the need of it, as my neural connection with the DSG takes care of it.

I for one, have always felt that an MT is the best thing since it allows you to have full control of the car and make it behave as your mind wanted. I would have never thought that I would have owned an Auto any time, had it not been due to the ever increasing city traffic. But with this DSG, the invisible connection that I share helps me be in total control of the car and make it behave as I want it to. So I am enjoying the boon of Auto-Transmission in city and at the same time, the fun to drive factor on the high way runs isn't missing either. However I am still a firm believer that one can learn good driving only in MT's. With the recent shift towards Automatic cars, I fear future generations wouldn't know how to drive MT's which is the case with most developed nations today.

Quoting a line from the team-bhp official review thread, A line which I have read a Zillion times and conveys all that I have explained above :

Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
This dual-clutch tranny can upshift quicker than a manual transmission with Lewis Hamilton's hand on it!
I usually do not name my cars, but If you ask me to choose one, in keeping with the Avatar analogy I will certainly name her Toruk (In the movie, it was the dragon like predator feared and honored by the Na'vi)

Enough with the drama, here's a few pics of the Exterior :

Look at my eyes glowing on your sight -

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exterior1.jpg

Enjoying the serenity of Sun-rise

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exterior2.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exterior3.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exterior4.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exterior5.jpg

The sun is setting for the day, but I have miles more to go and see so many more sun rise's and sun set's

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exterior6.jpg

The sun shining in my eyes

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exterior7.jpg

Some Exterior Shots in Night :

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exteriorn1.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exteriorn2.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exteriorn3.jpg

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exteriorn4.jpg

Sweet looking black Alloys

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exteriorn5.jpg

The Traditional Skoda C-Motif

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exteriorn6.jpg

C-Motif with the reverse fog lights switched on

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-exteriorn7.jpg

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Default re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Some shots of the Interiors

Steering wheel feels good to hold and is leather wrapped. The fit and finish of the stitch is top notch. The Vento's / Polo's flat bottom steering with red stitches looks much better in IMHO. Also some steering wheel control functions which are present in Volkswagen are missing on the Rapid.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-interior1.jpg

The front seats. Driver seat is adjustable for height and has fair range. Seats have good under thigh and side support. Seat belts are height adjustable too. Thus you can get a very comfortable driving position. Would have loved a lumbar support adjustment as well.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-interior2.jpg

A close look at the art-leather seat cover which comes factory fitted. It's already a pain to maintain the beige color.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-interior3.jpg

The rear bench. They are wide enough but the transmission hump makes it very annoying for the middle occupant. Also getting in and getting out is not that easy.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-interior4.jpg

The control stalks. On the left is for cruise control and indicator lights. On the right is MID controls and wiper operation. The auto wiper gets activated if you keep the wiper stalk in between low & off position. Since we had an un-seasonal rain last month, I was able to test this. They work as a charm and the speed of wiping increases / decreases automatically depending upon the force of rain. Had taken a small video as well. posted it right after the pic. The fit and finish of the control stalks are very classy.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-interior5.jpg

Some pics of the dash at night. Pardon the quality. I am particularly uploading this, since I couldn't find any interior shots (basically to check the green back lighting) when I was researching the Rapid. There were so many pics of the Vento / Polo available though but the back lighting in Volkswagen is red which looks better than the green back lighting which is standard in Skoda I feel.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-interior6.jpg

The door controls & head light switch illuminated in green.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-interior7.jpg

Here are some of the new features introduced by Skoda in the Rapid, some of them whcih weren't present in Vento when I made the purchase. In 2016, all these features have also made it the Vento / Polo

The cooled glove box. It is not illuminated though.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-1.glove.jpg

The automatic mirror folding switch. It doesn't auto fold / open with door lock / unlock. Have been trying a way to get it activated through VCDS software or any other means. No luck so far. The other door controls and storage areas can also been seen in this pic. Also seen in the pic is the boot open switch which I feel is classy than the one's we see in other cars. The door open handle is finished in chrome. One of the very few place's that gets chrome application. IIRC, the only other places where it gets some more chrome treatment is the dash, steering wheel and headlight switch. No chrome whatsoever on the outside and I like it that way. Not a big fan of chrome. In fact the dealership were asking me to go for some chrome exteriors. I simply said No, Thank you.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-2.autofoldingmirror.jpg

ORVM with integrated turn indicators.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-3.mirror.jpg

Auto-dimming IRVM - A boon for all the night drives. I keep it on all the time by pressing the small switch at the center of the mirror. It darkens at the soonest when some bright light of the rear vehicle falls on it and becomes bright no sooner the car has moved away from your rear sight.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-4.autodimmirror.jpg

The RLS or the Rain Light Sensor as you call it. I do not understand the Skoda's strategy of only activating the Auto wiper function and not the Auto head light option when the sensor is present for both. Have been searching on various websites to get a suitable Headlight switch with Auto-function. But all of them which I could find are with different connector at the back than the stock head light switch. Maybe that's the reason, Skoda did not get the Auto Headlight function activated.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-5.rls.jpg

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Default re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

So, now I have to answer the perennial question "Kitna Deti Hai?". Here's a pic taken towards the end of an approximately 90KM highway run (Mumbai - Pune Expressway). I had just done a tank full towards the end of the highway run. So have also captured the Distance to empty figures as well. With a range of over 1000KMs I can almost do a Mumbai - Goa return trip. In achieving the said figures in pic, I had driven sedately between 90 - 100 KMPH for the entire stretch of the highway with cruise control switched on most of the time at 90KMPH (you can see the cruise control switched on indicator in the pics). 23.1 KMPL is the highest that the MID has indicated so far. During this trip I was alone on board, whereas during the next trip on the same stretch with similar driving conditions but with 3 people on board with some additional luggage, the MID never went higher than 19KMPL. I never thought an addition of 200Kgs would have such an effect on the fuel efficiency.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-1.fuel.jpg

Well, I guess the answer to the perennial question is still pending, after all the figures on MID are not a true picture of your actual fuel bills. Here is the snapshot for last 4 tank fulls :

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The fuel efficiency of 16.35 (marked in yellow) was achieved on the Mumbai - Ahmednagar - Mumbai trip with a mixture of spirited and sedate driving. The efficiency of 15.62 & 15.65 (marked in green) was achieved in complete city drive with moderate traffic contributing to 60% of the time and heavy traffic contributing to 20% of the time rest 20% was with little to no traffic. These percentages are only a rough guess of mine. Thus it can be safe to assume that Rapid DSG returns a fuel efficiency of around 15 - 15.5 in city and 16 - 17 on the highway - A figure I can happily live with considering my previous car which was a diesel Hatchback used to give me an efficiency of 17 - 17.5KMPL.

Now, I would like to point out a few features which I would have loved on this otherwise perfect car and few things which are exemplary

The short antenna. Previous models came with an longer antenna I believe. It wouldn't have hurt to have the Shark Fin antenna. Would have given the car a lot of character I believe

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-2.antenaa.jpg

The Basic door handle. Though it is big step from forward from the ancient flap type door handle's I had on my Liva, it would have felt more upmarket had it been provided with request sensors - A true automatic door unlock. Along with it the Engine Start - Stop button. These are the two features which I would have absolutely loved to have.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-3.door.jpg

The overall paint finish is top notch. The panel gaps are consistent throughout. overall a very sturdy and robust car and love the Thud type door closing.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-4.panel.jpg

The reverse parking sensor. Although the Vento / Polo has four of them, Rapid does the work with three reverse sensor. They work absolutely fine and I do not think I will add a reverse cam any time (though it was in my initiial list of modifications along with the touch screen HU). The sensor's are not OPS type I believe. In the future in case I plan to install the Park Assist system, I might have to change these sensor's as well

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-5.parking.jpg

The paint finish at the bottom looks coarse. Not sure whether it is deliberate or not but looks sore in an otherwise perfect finish.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-6.paint.jpg

The rear center arm rest - cup holder are missing and after you open it exposes the metal sheet of the seat which looks awful

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-7.reararmrest.jpg

DIY / Modifications done :

Right after booking the car, had purchased the VCDS cable (version 15.7 - Clone) from Aliexpress. Following are the list of tweaks that I have already done :
  • Indicator Celebration
  • Lane change indicator from 03 to 05
  • changed time format on MID from 12Hours to 24Hours
  • Enabled Tear drop wiping
  • Set XDS from medium to strong
  • Set HBA from Normal to Early
  • Enabled fuel quantity to replenished on MID
  • Enabled Instantaneous fuel efficiency on MID
  • Rain sensing window closing (Yet to test whether this actually works)

Here's a small video of Indicator celebration from my car. Brings a smile to my face every time I turn on the ignition

Did a DIY for floor mats. Bought the noodle type mats from a local shop and cut them as per size to fit the foot wells. There are still a few issues with them, that I have to sort out. One the mats keep moving a lot. The rear hump mat doesn't fit properly, so have to alter the cut a bit. Also the front mat on the driver side has already started to wear off where my toe rests while driving.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-mats.jpg

DIY / Modifications Planned :

Somehow I little skeptical to fudge with car at all because of the fear of warranty being not honored by Skoda. After all, they are very famous in this regard. So have decided not to make any modifications for the first 06 - 08 months of ownership at least. Post that have the following things to be upgraded / modified :
  • HID headlights
  • Auto Headlight switch
  • Foot well lights
  • Euro style front cabin lights
  • Touch Screen ICE - With navigation

Also my wishlist includes the following, but not sure whether or when will I get them done
  • Maxi dot instrument cluster
  • Paddle shifters
  • Park Assist System

Last edited by MadAbtCars : 17th March 2016 at 13:01.
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Old 15th March 2016, 23:54   #8
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Default re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

So I hope you weren't too bored with the write up. As I come towards an end of my narration, I would like to sum up the positives and negatives of the car along with brief summary of the car. Also recently my close buddy got home the Honda City VX CVT. So I thought to have a small comparison with the Segment Leader.

The Summary first, followed by likes & dislikes and finally taking a dig on the Segment Leader (Pun intended - No offence meant to any owner)

I. Summary

Engine Performance
I have ranted and wrote a lot about the DSG on this thread so no more flattery on it. But the other important part of the car (the Heart actually) without which the DSG would be nothing is the Engine. So what about it ? I have also driven the first generation Vento (If you had read earlier, the friend from whom I bought the Getz had got himself the Vento) which had the 1.6 TDI engine whereas the current Vento / Polo / Rapid gets the 1.5 TDI. Compared to the earlier engine the 1.5 TDI's grunt is not very audible inside the cabin whereas at the outside the sound is unmistakably that we have heard from so long on any Skoda Diesel cars. The engine feels a slightly lethargic (Read turbo lag) initially but once DSG puts it out of 1st gear you wouldn't notice any turbo lag whatsoever. This observation also, I have made after analyzing it from a strong critics point of view. From a daily driving point of view this turbo lag won't be that noticeable. The engine crawl when you slot it in gear is noticeably higher than that in any petrol automatic (mostly attributable to higher torque) - once used to it, I actually find it very useful. With light pedal inputs, you get a very calm and quite ride in the city. On the highway with some strong Pedal inputs, this becomes an altogether different monster as if taunting you saying "Is that all you got". It never feels out of power & is extremely Revv happy. This varied behavior in city and highway makes me feel the car has a split personality like Dr.Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Jekyll in city & Hyde on the highway). Overall the excellent engine mated to the DSG gives you a (invisible) switch to choose between outright power & performance at your will.

NVH Levels
The NVH levels are remarkably controlled in Rapid. Coming from Liva this is a huge huge experience altogether. You can barely feel that you are driving a Diesel from the inside the car. Even at high speeds, hardly any wind noise gets filtered inside the cabin. The Tyre / Road noise though is somewhat an irritant which could be heard when driving at Medium to High speeds. But if you have some music turned on (even at some low volume) you get a very calm and peaceful ride.

Suspension, Steering, Brakes, Ground Clearance & overall handling
Another impressive piece of equipment in this car is the suspension set-up. The car just swallows mild potholes with ease. You never feel the need to slow down. In case your windows are rolled down and you pass over slight undulations / small potholes on medium speeds, you can actually hear the Shock absorbers in action.

The steering doesn't feel very light for an EPS. At highway speeds it weighs up pretty well. But it is not as good as it was with the Hydraulic Power Steering of my earlier cars i.e. Getz & Liva. But it is certainly better than my friend's earlier generation Verna which I had driven previously. The thumb contours along with the stitched leather finish wrap makes it very comfortable to hold as well.

The disc brakes in the front and the drum brakes at the rear do their job pretty well without any drama. High speed braking is pretty good and inspires a lot of confidence during the highway drives. Pedal modulation is nice and you feel that the car is assuring you back and saying "Don't worry, you are in safe breaking hands"

The GC (ground clearance) is stated as 168mm. And so far in 4,500Kms of city / highway with single / multiple persons on board the car has never bottomed out or scraped any speed breaker. Also neither the car feels to low to crawl into nor too high to walk into. It's somewhere in between and feels comfortable to get in and out in the front seats. Getting in or out at the rear though is little uncomfortable.

Overall the car has a very balanced ride both at low speeds in city and those spirited highway runs. The 185/60 R15 rubber on those lovely 12 spoke black alloys feels adequate and planted even at high speeds. The Michelin's (which I upgraded from the stock MRF) offer nice grip levels. The car doesn't hesitate to be pushed at the corners on the highways. Body roll is also well controlled. Sudden undulations and small irregularities on the highway are flattened out by the Rapid with ease.

So, the verdict is that I am supremely happy with my car and totally in love with driving all over again.

II. The Likes & Dislikes

The Impressive things
  • DSG - The crown jewel
  • Excellent Road manners & performance both in city & highway
  • Balanced Suspension ensuring a very smooth ride
  • Solid build quality
  • Superb NVH levels
  • Amazing fuel efficiency
  • Safety Kit : Dual airbags, ABS, ESC, hill-hold Function
  • Feature loaded : Bi-Halogen Projector Head Lamps, cruise control, Auto Dimming IRVM and the list continues

The not so impressive things
  • Tall transmission hump
  • Long term reliability & the famous Skoda After Sales Service
  • AC is not so effective in sweltering Mumbai Heat

III. Vis a Vis the Segment Leader

Growing up, Honda City was one of my all time favorite cars. I am still a very big fan of the first generation City. The 2nd and 3rd generations were also special in their very own way. However the current generation on sale has left me in a bitter taste. The many niggles and other issues faced by current generation Honda City owners (we got a thread dedicated to it here on team-bhp) and to add to it the exorbitant pricing, I never dared to think of Honda City during my purchase plan. My two cents over the debate on which is a better car and which one to buy :

Some of my observations in favor of Skoda Rapid :
  • The CVT though better than AMT or traditional torque converters is no where close to the DSG in sheer driving pleasure.
  • The City's build quality feels inferior to the European build quality of Rapid.
  • The boot size of the City reads 510 Liters against Rapid's 460 Liters. But Rapid's boot is far much more deep and usable than City's. I am ready to bet that the Rapid can cary more cargo than the City.
  • The MID functions of City are pretty basic whereas the MID of Rapid gives far much more information. Additionally with the VCDS cable you can activate / deactivate many features
  • The control stalks and overall switchgear of the City is far inferior to what the Rapid has
  • Features such as projector headlights, Rain sensing wipers, comfort opening and closing of windows by remote key and the endless list of features which can be activated / deactivated by certain hardware additions and VCDS coding.
  • The City VX CVT with an On-Road price of 13.4Lacs is 1.2Lacs more than my Rapid TDI DSG - I somehow cannot imagine paying a premium of 1.2 Lacs for a Petrol Automatic over a Diesel Automatic

Quoting an excerpt from the team-bhp Honda City official review. I have highlighted certain parts to drive home some very important point in favor of Skoda Rapid :

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Because of the power on tap, you won't call the City CVT slow on the highway. Spend some time understanding the transmission's characteristics and you can make fast progress. It completely demolishes the likes of the Sunny & Scala CVTs. It's only when you suddenly poke the accelerator expecting instant grunt (say, to overtake the car in front) that the rubber-band effect raises its ugly head. Floor the accelerator abruptly and all you see is a rise in engine rpm, with no corresponding increase in speed. In such a situation, the car will be slow to respond. Even dropping a gear via the paddle shift does nothing. With a CVT, it's important to 'prepare' the car in advance for a quick overtaking manouveur. I found out that the best way to overtake is to move the gear lever to 'S' mode and make use of the paddle shifts. S mode basically makes the engine & transmission work harder, going till the redline before the CVT gets a higher ratio. With the S mode and paddle shifters, you can also extract a good amount of engine braking from the gearbox. Still, in terms of driving pleasure, conventional ATs or the DSG are a whole lot more fun than the boring CVT.

One downside of a CVT is that it's noticeably noisier than a conventional automatic. The transmission is audible inside the cabin, especially when driving hard. CVTs require a different driving style. Be gentle with the accelerator. Pedal to the metal doesn't work here. Again, spend some time understanding its characteristics. Reliability concerns aside, its indisputable that the high tech Vento TSI + 7 speed DSG provides a superior driving experience.
Some points in favor of the City though :
  • Extremely spacious cabin with excellent leg room. Can carry 5 with supreme ease
  • Features such as Door Open sensor, Engine Start stop button, paddle shifts, sun-roof
  • Honda's reliable After Sales Service

If you compare the spec sheet, then on paper the Rapid at 1699 mm is wider than the City at 1695 mm. But if you look at the two placed side by side, the City appears a little wider. A parting shot of mine and my friends car to illustrate the same. Although in the picture the cars are not perfectly aligned and may create a little optical illusion in favor of the City, I have tried making this comparison more than a couple of times and yet find the City appear little wider.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-parting-shot.jpg

Thank you for your patience in reading through my story. Do post if you have any queries. Till then Keep Revving and take Good care of yourself and your Rides.

Last edited by MadAbtCars : 18th March 2016 at 09:47.
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Old 18th March 2016, 10:19   #9
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Default Re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th March 2016, 10:55   #10
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Default Re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Congrats on the new buy. The black package on the white colour looks awesome.
I too drive a petrol car currently and I do miss the torque surge from my father's Jetta.
I guess it is going to be Turbo-Diesels for me in the future, or the TSI .
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Old 18th March 2016, 11:31   #11
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Default Re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Thank you for sharing. That is one well written ownership report. The car looks smashing in that White/Black combination. Great deal also. Wish you all the best.

How would you rate the TDI vs TSI drivability. I recently test drove the Rapid DSG. It felt a little 'choked' as compared to the TSI, but the TD car seemed to be poorly maintained and abused, so felt it was not a fair judgment.

Originally Posted by MadAbtCars View Post
[*]The boot size of the City reads 510 Liters against Rapid's 460 Liters. But Rapid's boot is far much more deep and usable than City's. I am ready to bet that the Rapid can cary more cargo than the City.
Agree. I had an SX4 earlier with a listed capacity of 505 (or 510) liters. I can definitely carry more in my 460L Vento. It could be due to the usability factor, I have also heard that in the Japanese cars the include the area under the boot, where the spare wheel sits in the listed capacity.
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Old 18th March 2016, 11:42   #12
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Default Re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Congrats! I feel a diesel DSG is like the best of both worlds - good fun with the DSG and a good FE to match.

Originally Posted by MadAbtCars View Post
The sensor's are not OPS type I believe.
Nope they aren't. VW and Skoda has downgraded their reverse sensor systems on the facelift cars. On VW cars, the OPS module now is a CANBUS independent system and does not indicate the activity on the HU display when the car is slotted to reverse. Skoda has gone a step below, removing one sensor (making it a total of 3) and has given it a barebone system like the aftermarket parking sensors available in the market today.

Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White-203205jj054630.jpg
(Google Images)

Originally Posted by MadAbtCars View Post
In the future in case I plan to install the PLA system, I might have to change these sensor's as well
PLA/park assist cannot be installed on the Rapid or cars of this series. Only the Jetta/Laura and above supports it. Perhaps you meant PDC (park distance control) with the front sensors.
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Old 18th March 2016, 11:42   #13
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Default Re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Congrats on your new ride! And that was one amazingly well written first ownership review. The DSG is indeed the undisputed king when it comes to auto boxes. As for the issues you have had with the ownership so far, like you have already said, its better to just enjoy the car rather than taking too much stress because of the way things work in skoda. The case is the same with the entire VAG group and hence its better to just get used to it and hope for the best. But, don't have loose ends as well, keep asking them for the details from time to time till they break! So that when you have any kind of trouble in the future, you can at least be safe from your side with all the communication proofs you have. Wishing you many more happy miles with your Rapid!
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Old 18th March 2016, 12:02   #14
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Default Re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Congrats on the new partner.

Very well composed review and thanks for spending time on this. Most of the Bhpians had voted for DSG and the comparison to Honda CVT adds more details.

Any idea on the maintenance cost of SKODA on comparison with Honda.
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Old 18th March 2016, 12:59   #15
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Default Re: Happiness is 'Doing Something Good' (DSG) : My Skoda Rapid TDI DSG in Black & White

Thanks everybody for your comments.

Also a special thanks to GTO for pointing out the missing elements in the ownership review and making this review complete.

Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
How would you rate the TDI vs TSI drivability. I recently test drove the Rapid DSG. It felt a little 'choked' as compared to the TSI, but the TD car seemed to be poorly maintained and abused, so felt it was not a fair judgment.
Well honestly I never test drove the Vento TSI. All the volkswagen dealers here in Mumbai only had the GT TSI as TD vehicle and simply said, "Sir it's the same gearbox & engine that the Vento TSI has, so basically there would be no difference in driving experience" In reply I asked them "So you mean to say I can pay for the GT TSI and take home the Vento TSI" - I simply don't understand what were the SA thinking in saying that the GT TSI & Vento TSI are basically same.

From my TD experience though the GT TSI felt more peppier to drive. However the additional 75NM torque that the TDI has compared to TSI certainly shouldn't give you that choking feeling. Also I didn't have a long'isg TD, so maybe the turbo lag in case of TDI DSG is slightly more than that of the TSI giving you that choking feeling.

In fact I had mentioned somewhere above that had it not been the very small price difference between Vento TSI HL & Rapid TDI Style Plus DSG and those additional features on the Rapid (Projectors, Auto Dimming IRVM, Rain sensors, Black Alloys) this would had been a Vento TSI ownership review instead

Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Congrats! I feel a diesel DSG is like the best of both worlds - good fun with the DSG and a good FE to match.
A special thanks to you as well. You answered many of silly PM's during / after my car buying process

Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
PLA/park assist cannot be installed on the Rapid or cars of this series. Only the Jetta/Laura and above supports it. Perhaps you meant PDC (park distance control) with the front sensors.
Well I didn't have the PDC in mind. why can't be the PLA installed in the likes of Rapid's, Vento's & Polo's ?

Originally Posted by classicselva View Post

Any idea on the maintenance cost of SKODA on comparison with Honda.
I would in a position to answer that in due course of time. Since mine and my friend's City CVT have been purchased around the same time, I will keep a track of the periodic maintenance and other things things from time to time and keep posting a comparison. However I am mentally prepared that the service costs would be more than that of City's.
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