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Old 6th February 2017, 16:30   #1
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Default The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

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I had owned a Volkswagen Vento from February 8th 2014 up until December 2016. It was a great relationships and till date remains one of the happiest I've felt while driving a car. The car was a Manual TDI Highline in Pepper Grey which had covered around 52k kilometres.

I did feel an itch now and then when I saw new cars at times but towards the end, I did feel satisfied with the car and wanted to drive it as much as possible. I really enjoyed every moment with it and that includes using a manual in Bangalore traffic on a daily basis. The ownership was trouble free as well. I didn't have to do much apart from the regular tyre puncture fixes and brake pads.

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Unfortunately, shortly prior to my wedding ~ 2 weeks, my friends and I met with an accident while returning back to Bangalore from Gokarna. You can find details regarding the accident in this post and thread below.


The car was initially told to be repairable but after the quote came, the car was called off as a total loss. The IDV was 7 lacs while the quote came to 6.5 lacs. I was out of the country at the time with my family in Bahrain. I grew up there and my parents still reside there.

The hunt for the next car began then since I have to travel a minimum of 34 kilometres each day (17 km one way) and more depending on my need which meant that cabs and other services will turn out to be costly. I also carry around a lot of gear such as gadgets, cameras, tripods etc for my jobs which will be a whole lot easier with a car.

Having gotten used to driving a car for nearly three years, it becomes difficult without having one all of a sudden. I started doing my research on the prospective cars and decided that I will test drive them upon my arrival back to Bangalore on 22nd January.

Selecting the Car

I had always wanted to get a German car as my next whenever that was and although this was earlier than expected, the crash only enforced my decision to go for a German car due to the fact that we were unharmed by Godís grace and also German engineering. I also didnít mind trying an American or even Japanese brand if I felt that reassurance.

The process would of course involve a lot of reading on team-bhp as well as other websites.
Here are some of the parameters that I would be considering when getting the new car:
  • Automatic Transmission - I still love a manual gearbox however my wife is used to automatics we were planning to get her a second car after the marriage but instead changed the idea and decided to get a bigger car instead and a secondary car perhaps sometime in the future. So we needed an automatic gearbox which was easy to use but still engaging enough so that it is fun to drive (for me). So an automatic car would make it easier for her to drive when she wants and also when I travel (which is quite frequently). Plus, it would also make it easier for me on my daily commutes.
  • Petrol - I always love petrol cars because of the quieter ride and also feel like petrol cars feel better when mated to an automatic transmission compared to Diesel cars. My Vento had a cracker of a Diesel engine and was manual which is why I didnít mind it. So this time around, I was considering petrol.
  • Spacious - The Vento was a really spacious car especially thanks to the huge boot. However, with my work equipment as well as personal belongings, that too felt less at times and now with my wife also in the picture, we wanted something that could carry a lot of luggage as well as accommodate people comfortably.
  • Comfort - The ride quality should be good and should be good for long trips as well as intercity travel.
  • Safety - This is a big priority, always has been but I have become more paranoid after the accident perhaps and I wanted as many safety features and precautions as possible.
Now onto the possible contenders:
  • Hyundai Elantra - The Hyundai Elantra is right under our price range however it is a Korean car at the end of the day so this was ruled out directly. I had also driven the Verna earlier and found the high speed dynamics and build quality to be poor. It is loaded to the brim with features but this is a car afterall and not just a gadget. Everything comes secondary to the driving experience and safety.
  • Toyota Corolla Altis - This was an option that a friend of mine suggested but I was quick to dismiss it since I generally find Toyotaís to be a bit too bland. Their cars are bulletproof in terms of reliability but they really arenít driverís cars. Perhaps a few years down the road, I would want something like that but at the moment, I still needed something more involving.
  • Chevrolet Cruze - The Chevrolet Cruze was perhaps the first car that came into my mind when I was looking for the next car. I had taken the test drive of the facelifted car back in the beginning of 2016. My friend was looking to buy a new car and I fell in love with the Cruze. I had tried the manual variant and I learnt that the car now had an Automatic variant as well. Build quality and safety is still on point however I had heard a few horror stories about their engines so this too was dropped. Another issue was the rear seat legroom which surprisingly felt even lesser or at max on par with the Vento which didnít make sense when going up the ladder.
  • Toyota Innova - The same issue of a bit of blandness arises with the Innova as well. The Crysta looks great now after the facelift but still feels very much like a taxi or something that a soccer mom would drive. I wanted something more classy and also considering the fact that 90% of the time its just me or my wife and I, the extra seating isnít really needed.
  • Volkswagen Jetta - The Jetta was probably another easy entry since it made perfect sense to upgrade from the Vento. Having had a trouble free ownership with the Vento and even fairly good service experience, the Jetta was pretty much in. The only issue was a lack of a Petrol DSG variant and also a not so exciting 1.4 TSI Manual variant. I also found an issue with the looks since it was too similar to the Vento. My wife on the other hand liked the looks and despite the slightly ďinferiorĒ feature set, what did the car away at the end was the lack of a 1.8 TSI DSG variant.
  • Skoda Superb - Toyed with the idea for a bit but then decided against it because of the cost factor. I would want to get the L&K variant if I was going for the Superb but the price difference would be almost 10 lacs if not more compared to the Octavia. The main advantages would be the cooled seats and extra rear legroom. But its not deal breakers and the rear legroom wonít be used by us since the car will be self driven and 90% of the time, its either 1 or 2 occupants only. A very exciting car especially after the facelift but we shall cross paths in the future perhaps.
  • Other Candidates - I had also thought of getting a 7 seater SUV. The Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour were the only two options on my mind but the pricing threw me off. The other possibility was the Skoda Kodiaq. however, with an expected and unconfirmed release date towards the end of 2017, it wasn't possible to wait for that long.
  • Skoda Octavia - This was always my first priority and having read about it briefly in the past, it left me quite excited. However, I wanted to read about every single detail before making a decision and I had read the official review thread fully to understand the car completely before narrowing down on it and also the variant that I wanted to get. The 1.8 TSI DSG seemed the perfect fit. I had already fixed my mind on it and had started wondering about how soon I can get it. My friend in Bangalore called up Vinayak Skoda while I was in Bahrain and they confirmed that they had a white car in stock. This made me excited since I have heard about long waiting periods in the past and I didnít want to wait for long. I still wanted to do a test drive before I got it to see just how good it was and before pulling the trigger.
Test Drive and Booking

I was traveling back to Bangalore on 21st and would reach on 22nd. Reached home and I called up TAFE Access on St Marks Road as well as Vinayak Skoda near Palace Grounds to see if theyíre open since it was a Sunday. TAFE was open till 6 PM and I enquired about the 1.8 TSI being available for a test drive. I told him that I would be coming sometime the same day or else the next day.

Since only one showroom was open, I decided to visit the next day. Headed out to TAFE with a friend of mine. Upon reaching the showroom, I met Madhu with whom I had spoken on the phone the previous day. He immediately called in his manager Deepak who then proceeded to show us the car and arranged for the test drive vehicle. Quite liked the clean and simple look of the showroom which was expected considering that they had just recently renovated it. I knew where it was but had still managed to ride past it since it didnít register in my mind. Deepak was very courteous and answered every question I had. We saw the Octavia in Silver inside the showroom as well as another White colour Octavia behind the showroom.

The car was quite comfortable and I really liked how it handled as well. I couldnít even remotely tap into its potential due to the traffic. Wouldíve loved to have gone longer but I was still sold on the car already. Laid the facts on the table. Told Deepak that I want the car ASAP and that I would be making the payment in full upfront via cheque. He said asked what colour I was looking for and I said its either Black or White. He said Black, White and Silver he can guarantee delivery by 30th which seemed quite fast and fair since it was 23rd.

I was fine with the dates and then we talked numbers. He gave me his quote and then I told him that I would confirm in 2 hours as I wanted to visit Vinayak also. Rode to Vinayak Skoda and the reception was cold. We were just walking around for a while before finally proceeding to ask for a test drive ourselves (my friend didnít get to drive the 1.8 TSI so he was keen too). The showroom wasnít really welcoming and the cars too werent spotless and well presented like at TAFE. Luckily, we got to see the Magic Black Octavia here and that confirmed my decision to go for the black.

Unfortunately they only had the 2.0 TDI DSG for test drive but friend said heíll try that at least. He wasnít too impressed nor was I and reinforced my decision for the 1.8 TSI. I asked for the rate before entering the test drive and he told me that the list price is the best what we can do. When I told him that we already got a quote from TAFE and that I would book the car on the same day, he got excited. He spoke to his manager and gave a deal that was lower than TAFE by a fairly good margin. However they could deliver the car by 3rd or 4th of February only.

Even that was fine but the cold welcome and weird showroom vibes made me want to get the car from TAFE itself. I called Deepak and told him the new rate they had given. He said he will call back. In around 15 minutes, got a call with a small difference in price. I was happy and told him that I would confirm in 15 minutes. Called Vinayak and told them that I got a better offer so will go with it. The main reason however is what I mentioned earlier. Didnít get a good vibe from them. They tried hard to keep me interested but I went with TAFE at the end. Deepak also confirmed a free essentials kit and no extra price for the navigation SD that will come from Skoda themselves.

Went to the showroom handed a cheque of 20l since Deepak said he would need to work out the pricing details before taking full payment. I would get the car on 30th with or without registration and I can see it on 29th. He gave me the price in writing so I was alright with paying only a part. I was alright with any colour apart from Rio Red. I personally feel that bigger cars don't look that great in Red. My personal favourite was White and Black. Wife liked Black as well so we went ahead with it. It looks great but the usual disadvantages of a Black colour such as dust being more apparent and heat would be there but we were still favouring Black.

I booked an MY17 Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI DSG in Magic Black manufactured in 2016. Opted for the Return to Invoice Insurance and the 4 Year Maintenance Package. The car does come with free 4 years warranty and 4 years roadside assistance as well.

Make : Skoda
Model : Octavia
Variant : 1.8 TSI DSG AT
Fuel : Petrol
Colour : Black
Price : Rs. 26.45L (After Discount) - Original Price was 27.63L
Booking Amount : Paid 20L Upfront - Rest upon delivery
Discounts : 1.18L
Booking Date : 23/01/2017
Delivery Date : 30/0/2017
Dealer & City : TAFE Access, St Marks Road, Bangalore
Freebies : Basic Accessories Kit


On Sunday 29th, I had just gotten back from a trip to Bombay but wasnít able to reach Deepak and wasnít able to see the car.

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Next day, he called me and told that he had a family emergency so was unable to come to the showroom. I was fine with that since he had been quite helpful and professional so far. He said that the car is ready and I can take delivery of it without registration. Since the balance amount was due, he said he couldnít process registration. So I decided to take the car on the same day especially since on 31st, my wife and I would be completing 1 month since our marriage. We reached the showroom along with my friend who came with me while booking the car. We took a look at the car and everything was fine. Got the documentation and made the balance payment. The temporary registration number was stuck to the interior of the car.

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I had read a post by a fellow BHPian which stated that many Octavias were getting batteries replaced to Indian Exide units. Fortunately, mine came with one right from the start.

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Told Deepak that we intend on traveling to Kerala over the weekend so it would be great to get the number plates fitted before that. He said he will try his best but there is a chance that we might not get it. He said he will give me the temp registration details to show to the police in case they ask. I also needed to get the navigation SD and the door sill protectors installed. Took the car to the temple for Pooja on 30th itself at the Ayyappan temple in Vijaya Bank Layout.

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Came to the showroom again on Thursday i.e 2nd February and he gave me the additional documents as well as the SD card and fitted the protectors. On 3rd, went to the RTO to get the car inspected which was a hassle free 15 minutes process. Overall, I had a really good experience with the showroom and SA Deepak. If anyone of you is planning to get a Skoda from there, please do contact him. If this is a sign of the service centre quality then I am hopefully that it could be good.

Last edited by Rehaan : 7th February 2017 at 14:40. Reason: Uploading the Vento pic to avoid a sizing issue :)
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:58   #2
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Default re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

First Impressions

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Driving - First off, the primary difference between my Vento and the octavia would probably be the gearbox itself. The first few days that I drove the car were all within the city and I canít stress enough on how much of a difference it has made to my daily commute. Sure, the added comfort of the superior ride quality, suspension, seats and much more do help but not having to press the clutch every 2 inches makes a big differences and makes sure you donít get tired easily. I wouldnít still mind driving a manual even in Bangalore daily but if I had a choice, I think I would opt for an automatic.

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The engine is very quiet. You can still hear it when you are giving it a push but not intrusive unless you want it to be. Perhaps, I am noticing a bigger difference since I am coming from having driven a Diesel car for 3 years. It feels very refined and the power delivery is very linear.

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The 7 speed DSG does a phenomenal job at shifting gears seamlessly whether its in traffic or on the highway. Unless you are planning to really floor the throttle, the D mode will be more than sufficient for your driving needs. It will still deliver all the power to you albeit a bit slowly. With regular driving, it does have the tendency to upshift at around the 2k rpm mark in order to conserve fuel. However none of these gear changes are felt while driving and it seems like you are driving an electric car. Sports mode is made to kick you in the chest and send you back to your seat. You would not expect this kind of pull to come from a car that is so calm and composed in D mode. It is very free revving and can get you from 0-100 and above in no time. I like the fact that there is the Tiptronic mode as well and the paddle shifters for manual input whenever needed. I haven't used the paddle shifters much as of now and the Tiptronic only a bit more. But thats perhaps because I am enjoying the car way too much even in automatic mode. Perhaps a few months down the line, I would be using it more often especially on highways.

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The brakes are really great and is a quantum leap over the setup I had on the Vento. The Vento used to shudder at times when braking but this feels totally at ease regardless of whatever speed you are doing. On the highways, I got a mileage of around 12.5-13 kmpl while city mileage depends on the city itself. In Bangalore, Iíve gotten anywhere between 5.5-8 kmpl. I also feel that the mileage is slowly improving as I am driving the car more and more. Not sure whether the car is getting tuned to my driving or I am getting tuned to the way the car works but I see an improvement definitely. A major flaw or drawback I find is with the petrol tank capacity. The Vento had a 55 litre tank while the Octavia has only a 50 litre tank. With an inferior mileage, it would've made quite a lot of sense to include a larger capacity fuel tank to try and stretch the car's legs as much as possible. Maybe a 60 litre tank or even the same 55 litre tank would've been a much better option. Sure, there maybe reasons as to why they opted for a smaller tank but its just my observation.

Lights - The headlights on the Octavia are Bi-Xenon headlamps with dynamic leveling and cornering functionality. The headlight is much brighter than most of the other cars that I have used and I personally love the white colour. I had changed the headlamps on my Vento to Matrix headlamps with DRLs but they are no where as good as the ones on the Octavia in terms of brightness and usability. The DRLs on the Octavia are possibly the simplest implementation that I've seen on a car but they do the job well and accentuates the entire look of the call.

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The headlights have a massive throw and are really powerful when you are driving with everything becoming easily visible even without the high beam. But when you require that additional throw and power, the high beam does a wonderful job as well. The cornering function is great when you are driving on dark roads at night and the light turns according to the steering input. When you are going slow, even the fog lamps come on selectively to aid in driving. I haven't yet used the fog lamps practically yet but they are yellow in colour as they are supposed to be and should be good. Will update more on that once I have used them in such situations.

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There is an auto mode for the headlights which does take sometime to activate but once set, it can automatically switch on or off the headlamps based on the ambient light. I find that at times the headlights come on too soon, at least for Indian roads. Perhaps it is tuned to judge the situation as per European standards. The DRLs are active always when the car is on and you can also disable them from the settings if you want. The indicators are nice and powerful too but would've been nice to have a progressive set of LEDs like on Audi's and Mercedes. The tailights are really well done too and the LEDs look really elegant. There are even hazard lights on the interior of the front two doors which can come in handy in tight situations especially on the side of highways to make drivers more aware.

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Paint Quality and Visual Appeal - The paint is called Magic Black and it looks absolutely stunning especially when you pass through areas with a lot of colour as it reflects it surroundings well. The paint isn't actually a Jet Black but actually has some sort of specks of glitter as well that is revealed only upon closer inspection. The main downside with a Black paintjob is that it is a total dust magnet. other colours too would collect dust but it wont be as apparent as it is on the Black. Especially in a city like Bangalore, this is one of the main issues I found with a darker colour. However, the dust becomes less apparent especially at night and thats when the colour shines even better.

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I love the entire chiselled and crystallized theme that Skoda have adopted with the Octavia. The light and all other elements are an extension of the crystalline body design. The subtle chrome bezels look really good along the front grille and the windows. The boot deck spoiler on the 1.8TSI variant also looks quite sporty without being too boyish for an upmarket car such as this. The grille too could've used some chrome up front like the new Superb but I am not complaining. It still looks pretty classy and the new Black Skoda logo fits in perfectly with the Magic Black car.

Comfort, Seating and Controls - The comfort levels are totally from another planet even coming from the Vento. The Vento is a solid car but I always felt that it gave you perhaps too much feedback from the road. Not just on the pedals or steering but also to the seats. Despite the solid build quality, I think there are other cars in the same segment that perhaps do better when it comes to comfort compared to the Vento. The Octavia however is in a class of its own and the tyres provided don't do justice to the kind of comfort that this car is capable of offering. We shall talk more about the car later on. The seats are also really comfortable. The quality of leather is seemingly better than on the Vento and some other cars in this price range. The only issue I found with the seating is with the passenger side where you need to turn a knob to adjust the back support. A regular lifting mechanism would've been much faster and simpler to use. The legroom is quite good at the back as well as the front and the car can comfortably seat 5 people. However, the raised hump in the middle at the rear is somewhat annoying especially for long distances. A more subtle hump would've been appreciated especially in an upmarket car such as this. The rear armrest is pretty sturdy and the built in cup holders are a nice touch. I personally like to use the rear one instead of the on in the centre console to reduce any obstruction while driving.

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The cabin does a great job at isolating you from the outside world. Once your windows are rolled up, you feel at peace and enjoy the drive even more. I also donít see any door creaking so far on the Octavia but it did take a while to show up on my Vento as well so I am not keeping my hopes up too high. The door handles feels really good to hold and use and are of high quality. The interior lighting is in yellow and is quite powerful when you switch them on. For ambient lighting, there are two small white LED's that provide a moonlight sort of effect which helps a lot on the road especially to read information on toll tickets etc. The same ambient light is also found in the small storage compartment in front of the gearbox. It would've been great to have ambient lighting strips all around the dashboard and the front two doors like the Superb even if it was just on one colour.

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The driver seat is great at providing very intricate methods of adjusting the position to your liking. It takes a bit of tampering but once set, you will be really comfortable in your driving position. Luckily, there are 3 preset settings that you can store to remember the driving seat position as well. A tap on each will automatically set the seat position for driver. The only downside is that the ORVMs need to be adjusted manually on the 2nd and 3rd position as it only remembers the position for the first slot. I am not the biggest fan of the knob adjustment provided on the Octavia. Its a more advanced version of the one I had on my Vento and its more difficult to operate as well as a higher chance of breakage I assume. The knob on my Vento just broke off for no reason prior to the accident. The only good thing is that the orientation is now correct i.e facing the driver as opposed to being sideways like on the Vento. However, it is cumbersome to turn the knob beyond L to fold in and back to the default position to open them out again. A simpler toggle button much like the window lock would've made more sense.

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For the defogger, it makes sense since we don't use it quite often. I haven't used it yet but I have had instances in the past in other cars where I wished it had a defogger after rain or foggy conditions so this should come in handy. The ORVMs also have the ability to be configured for automatic folding and opening when you lock and unlock your car. The ORVMs also have built in indicators on the outer side as well as a small one on the inside which helps inform cars following you also of your intentions. The ORVMs and IRVM also seems to have a tinted inner glass that reduces glare at night from traffic behind you. The visibility is great on the ORVMs however, the visibility through the rear window is quite compromised due to the rear window sloping a bit too much. This is where the parking sensors and the rear camera come in handy.

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The parking sensors notify you of any objects both in front, the back as well as the corners of the car. This can get a bit annoying at times in traffic where there's almost always some biker trying to make his way through the stagnant traffic. Initially, it is helpful while you are coming to terms with the size and dimensions of your car but after a while, it might become annoying to some. There is an option to turn this off I believe but I will be keeping it on for a while longer. The rear camera along with the sensors are pretty good and shows you where your car would be headed based on the steering input. There are different levels of beeping as well based on the proximity to the other vehicle or objects.

Steering - The steering wheel actually feels a tad bit small for the car but the handling is exceptional. It is really light and makes handling this big car feel like a breeze. I wish that they had provided a flat bottomed steering though which would've made it easier on the thighs and also made for better aesthetics. Nonetheless, the steering looks very classy and all the controls and elements including the stitching are of high quality. You can control nearly everything from entertainment to the MID directly from the steering itself and that is a big relief. The scroll wheel in particular is one of my favourites and makes it easier to change the volume or scroll through items on the fly as opposed to pressing up and down cursor keys. I have put a steering wheel cover on top of it since I had issues with the leather tearing in parts due to sweaty palms while driving. Don't want that to happen on this car as well.

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The horn is pretty easy to press but you need to get the location right or else you wont hear any sound. I love the sound of the horn. it is really loud but you never notice how loud it is from isnide the cabin. Once you blare the horn with the windows rolled down is when you notice jus thow loud it is. It will easily grab the attention of any other motorist or pedestrian or animal on the road.

Safety, Ride Quality and Suspension - One of the weird things I find with German cars is the fact that any passenger at any given point of time can just open the door. While that's alright if you have adults in the car, it becomes difficult with kids especially when sometimes they themselves may not intend to open but will just be playing with the handles. So its extremely important to set a child lock when a kid who is perhaps too young to understand the consequences or the way German cars work gets in. I read that its a safety feature but at least on Indian roads, it becomes more of a hazard than anything. While it is impossible to test the airbags, having 8 of them in crucial locations makes the heart a bit more stable when driving on highways especially. Every small aspect to make the car safer is welcome.

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One of the main issues I faced with my Vento is the rear bumper or the bottom of the car scraping or hitting the hump or similar surfaces when traveling. This only intensifies when there's more load on the car. Luckily the Octavia doesn't face this issue despite having a lower ground clearance of 155mm. I guess the main reason at least in my variant is the multi element axle at the rear with one longitudinal and three transverse links and torsion stabilizer. I have not yet sat at the back but the passengers have loved sitting at the back so far and I look forward to trying it out soon as well. The supension at both the front and rear seems to be quite soft and feels like an air cushion. However that doesn't mean that it sinks too deep and hits humps like the Vento. It also does a great job at absorbing road gutters and bumps with ease.

I also noticed that there is very little body roll as well. The entire car seems much more planted to the ground than my Vento which itself was in a league of its own amongst competitors when it came to handling and cornering.

Storage - The boot is massive. No other way to talk about it. Everyone whom I have shown the car to has been amazed with just how massive it is. 580 litres sounds like a lot but its even bigger than what you envision in your mind. The light at the boot also helps when loading or unloading things in the dark. The Vento weirdly doesn't have an exterior button to open the boot. You either had to press and hold the boot unlock button on the key or open it from inside. Luckily, there is a button on the boot on the Octavia as well as on the key. Pressing and holding the boot button will unlock it and you only have to lift it up. Its hard to tell that the boot is unlocked since it only lifts itself barely from the default position unlike the Vento which would leave a big gap between the boot and sides when open. The hydraulic lift mechanism is buttery smooth and the tab inside also makes it easy to close. You only need a gentle tap to close the boot. (However, I am pretty sure that securities at the mall are going to be smashing it everytime I enter one). Would've really loved a self opening and closing mechanism or at least a self opening one. While coming back from Kerala, we had a lot of wedding gifts as well as luggage to carry back which meant that we had to fold out rear seats down completely and it took everything we had to carry and was perhaps as close to utilizing the 1580 litres of space as we would get in the future too.

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There are nice bag holders in the boot as well to help keep your shopping in place and to prevent it from falling out. The quick access compartment hidden behind the armrest is also a nice thing to have especially on road trips where you want to have a clutter free cabin. Since the boot is massive enough, you can store stuff there and take what you want through the access without having to pull the car over to the side. The glovebox is cooled and has a built in light which is great for storing drinks. However, the cooling is only minimal and it does more of preventing the drinks from getting hot rather than actually keeping it cool. The glovebox is smaller than the vento's because of the entertainment hub there which houses both the SD card slots. Its weird that they still have kept the size the same despite having no CD drive slot. The storage underneath the centre armrest is pretty spacious and compensates for the glovebox being quite small. There is also a small sliding storage potion in front of the gearbox which also has a small ambient light inside it.

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There is also a storage portion to the right side of the steering wheel which can be used to place tickets, receipts coins and much more. There is even a ticket and coupon holder on the glass in clear plastic. However, I haven't used it since I am afraid of scratching the glass and also causing smudges.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-acventfront.jpg

Air-Conditioning - The Octavia comes with dual zone automatic climate control air conditioning. You can use the physical knobs and controls or make use of the touchscreen to make adjustments to the cooling. The air conditioning is pretty effective and while I have experienced better cooling such as the one on the Chevrolet Cruze, this is miles ahead of my Vento which had an issue of becoming inefficient once the fuel tank had gone below 50% in capacity. The cooling is quite fast and effective but I find that the vents for the legs on the drivers sides to be quite uneffective. Not sure if its because of lack of space but the passenger side seems to get more air flow with the same settings as opposed to the drivers side. One major advantage over the Vento is the ability to close the rear AC vent since most of the time there is no one at the back. On the Vento, you could close all the vents up front but the back would still be open. The AC vents are of high quality and so is the closing/opening knobs.

Attachment 1604875

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-rear-ac-vent.jpg

Entertainment - The headunit is great and provides you with so many different ways to access your content (AUX, Bluetooth, USB {Android Auto or Apple Car Play}). The MID also shows so much information and in different ways that you feel that you have a personal assistant taking down your driving habits and car's performance figures. The 8 speaker system is pretty incredible in terms of quality. I remember thinking to myself and several of my friends and relatives would agree with me on this that the Vento had a really great stock soundsystem. However, I did feel like upgrading it once or twice but resisted myself from the temptation. On the Octavia, I don't think that question even comes to mind. The quality of the sound outputted is amazing. It does really well in terms of the clarity, the bass, mids and treble. I guess only the highs could've been a bit better but thats just being picky.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-headunit.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-shark-fin.jpg

The shark fin antenna on the outside looks really nice and adds to the entire upmarket look and feel of the car. It does a good job at picking up radio signals as well but I have noticed some disturbances from time to time although my guess is that its not the fault of the car but more of the speakers being really good enough that it highlights the flaws of the broadcast even more.

The car is really smart and it reminds you to take your phone when you exit the car. It also automatically asks you if you want to find nearby petrol stations when the fuel is low and also gives tips such as reminding you to roll the windows up when the AC on for better mileage and efficient cooling.

Tyres - Was initially thinking of changing the tyres to Pirelli or Continental while keeping the size the same for better comfort and lesser road noise. However, the owner at the tyre shop that I frequently visit (S.L.N.P Pitstop in Jayanagar) advised me to stick to this itself. He could've told me to change and made earnings for himself but being a loyal customer, he chose to be honest and saved me from splurging un-necessarily as well. The Goodyear tyres that comes with the car are quite comfortable but I feel that they don't really do the best job possible at keeping a car like this at its performing best. The rims are 16 inches and actually looks pretty correctly sized on the Octavia. I am planning to paint them in a glossy black colour to match the paint job.I might upgrade to a 17 inch in the future but will wait to hear feedback from fellow BHPians who have already done the upsize to know what the pros and cons of doing so are.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-wheels.jpg

There is a big variation in the recommended tyre pressure for the Octavia based on the number of passengers and the luggage in the car. I have set it to 33 PSI for now and it took all the luggage that we brought back from Kerala with ease even after utilising the full 1580 litres of boot space. Perhaps to be a bit more safe, it would be good to fill the tyres up to 36 PSI instead. Will take a look in the future. The TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) will notify you of any fall in tyre pressure. All you have to do is set it after filling all the tyres to the same levels. I haven't yet received a warning about dropping pressures though.

Key - The key is in typical VWAG fashion with the metal part neatly hidden only to be revealed when the button is pressed. There is an indicator for low battery as well as three buttons for lock, unlock and boot open functions. Holding down the unlock button will open all the windows and the sunroof while holding down the lock button will close them all. If you open just the boot, the car will auto-lock itself after the boot is closed which is a good thing. Despite having the key in the pocket most of the time, it would've been nice to have a place to keep the key especially when there is another passenger in the car, you don't want it to go off. There seems to be a placeholder for this but no actual slot like on the European variants.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-ignition.jpg

Keyless entry is as easy and simple as it gets. All you have to do is get near the car and place your hand in between the handle and the door to request for an unlock. Once done, it will unlock the car and open the mirrors as well as enable the puddle lamps for you. Once in the car, you can start the car by just pressing the start button. Note that for ignition, you will need to press the brake in. The car does notify you if you step out of the car with the key by issuing a key not found message.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-logo.jpg

Sunroof - Despite not being the ideal city to use a sunroof because of dust, I have always loved sunroofs on cars. Primarily to use them to look up without the shade as it lets in more ambient light. The shade of the sunroof cuts out light but not completely. It filters light to say 80-90%. There are several different modes of opening the sunroof. You can either just raise it for ventilation or open it in various stages. There is also a wind deflector to prevent too much air from entering inside and creating noise as well. It isn't apparent on the black variant but on the others, it seems like the entire roofline is done in a black colour due to the large sunroof glass.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-sunroof.jpg

You would be surprised when you see that the opening on the inside isn't as large as the glass indicates from the outside. The glass also gets quite raised a bit when its fully out and looks like a roof rack has been mounted on top of your car.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-front-profile-1.jpg

Overall, I am really happy with everything the car has to offer. No car is perfect and even the Octavia is surely not perfect but for now, I think its the closest thing to perfection that I can buy and am happy with the decision that I made.

What I like
  • Beautiful Ride Quality and Handling.
  • The Steering is so light and is a breeze to operate. Love the buttons as well which makes it almost completely possible to do everything without taking your hands off the steering.
  • Auto Headlamps with Cornering Function (Really Makes Big Difference)
  • Suspension that absorbs even big bumps and potholes with ease (Guess the superior setup at the back on the 1.8TSI also helps a lot as some of my friends and family have commented)
  • The eletronic seat adjustment makes sure that you get the perfect position for driving unlike mechanical levers. The preset positions are also of great help especially when you have more than one driver on a regular basis. However, I wish the side mirrors too adjusted automatically to each preset.
  • Love the leather as well as quality of the interiors such as the wood panels and the door handles which really ooze luxury.
  • The AC vents too seem really solid and the closing mechanism too feels great.
  • The boot is huge, easily can accomodate two full sized people. And with the seats down, its possible to slide a mattress into the car and let people sleep on it lol.
  • The built in rear sundhade is a boon. I had gotten one fixed to my Vento but it kept coming off. Being designed with it from scratch will make sure that doesnt happen.
  • Android Auto on the Amundsen headunit which is even compatible with Android 7.X phones.
  • KESSY is really a boon when you have your hands full of stuff but I still miss the regular ignition and KESSY does take sometime to get used to.
What I donít
  • I might be being picky but I have OCD and I hate the fact that the volume knob has a power logo that rotates when you change the volume.
  • Mileage is great on the highways and is exactly what I expected but in the city, its a bit below what I expected even keeping Bangalore traffic in mind.
  • The glove box is quite small
  • Fuel tank should've been bigger especially considering the mileage

We drove to Kerala and back on the weekend and as of today, we have received our number plate as well. The car has completed 1290 kilometres so far in a weekís time and I am really enjoying it so far.

Last edited by sandeepsarma : 7th February 2017 at 19:29.
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Old 7th February 2017, 15:19   #3
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Default re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Here are some of the other aspects and parts of the car that wasn't included above along with images.

Ashtray - The ashtray is present at the rear below the AC vents. There a nice slot where you can insert your hand and pull it open.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-ashtray.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-ashtray2.jpg

Boot - The large boot along with the tabs that help you secure your shopping bags in place. Also the storage board that rises up along with the hydraulic mechanism. This can be removed and stored within the boot itself for easier access and loading of luggage. There is an elastic holder here too to secure stuff. You can also see the built-in sunshade for the rear glass.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-boot_2.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-boot_3.jpg

Door Handles - The door handles are of really high quality and have a certain weight as well as feel to them. The glossy wooden trim also looks classy and matches the gearbox plate.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-doorpassenger.jpg

Controls - The controls for the sunroof are present here along with the lights for the front two seats and controls for the light mechanism in relation to the doors. You also can see the two dots which serve as white ambient lights when the headlights are on.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-controls.jpg

Armrest Storage - This is the storage portion below the armrest which is quite spacious. The armrest itself can slide front and back based on the position you want it to be and also be adjusted for height. The storage box will be left open a bit if you adjust it higher but since it isn't cooled, this shouldn't be an issue. You also have the bottle holders in front of it along with the handbrake.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-centre.jpg

Foglamps - The foglamps are quite massive in size but look correctly proportioned on the Octavia. They come on in auto mode when needed or can be manually turned on. The yellow colour lights also activate individually to help navigate the car based on the steering input at low speeds.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-foglamps.jpg

Tail-lamps and Badging - Here are the two taillamps with LEDs as well as the Skoda and Octavia badging which look classy.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-taillights-1.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-taillights-2.jpg

Fuel Tank
- The fuel tank lid is a rectangular one with rounded corners. There isn't any release button inside the car. It can simply be pushed open when the car is unlocked. Unexperienced petrol pump attendant may not be aware of this so you may have to tell them. It also has the tyre pressure recommendations on the inside.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-fuel-tank.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-tyre-pressure.jpg

ORVMs - The lights on the outer side of the ORVMs as well as the small light on the inner edge. They also have puddle lamps that illuminate beneath the ORVMs to help you avoid stepping onto something or into water.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-orvm-4.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-orvm-outer.jpg

Window Controls - The controls for the windows. They all support auto up and down. The driver can also lock the other windows preventing others from opening without permission. I find that the controls are quite forward and I often press the rear window button instead of the front one. Perhaps I'm just used to the position of my Vento's

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-windows.jpg

ORVM Knob - This knob controls the ORVMs. Electronic adjustments as well as the folding and opening mechanism. It also has a heating/defogging mechanism.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-windows-knob.jpg

Light Knob - At "0" only the DRL will be active unless you've chosen to turn that off in the settings. In auto, the car decides what to switch on based on the available ambient light. Or else you can manually switch on the parking lights then the headlights by turning to the right and turn on the front fog lamps as well rear fog lamps by pulling on the knob step by step.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-light-knob.jpg

Instrument Cluster and Steering Controls - The instrument cluster on the Octavia is beautiful. It is large and is backlit in a white colour. The font is also really elegant and well done. The MID shows a host of information including the driving data, navigation as well as your phone information when connected.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-icu-1.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-icu-2.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-icu-3.jpg

All these can be controlled via the steering mounted controls that make it easy to make changes on the fly.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-steering-cont-2.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-steering-cont.jpg

Power Outlet - There is a 12V power outlet in the centre console. Funnily enough there is no cigarette lighter and is a dummy piece of plastic that needs to be taking out to connect your charger or peripherals. Would've been great to have a power socket in the rear as well.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-power.jpg

Hazard Light - There are hazard lights on the driver and passenger side doors that help raise attention to other drivers.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-hazard1.jpg

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-hazard2.jpg

Spoiler - The spoiler is exclusive to the 1.8 TSI and its quite sporty yet subtle which means it doesn't spoil the elegance of the Octavia.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-spoiler.jpg

That's it for now guys, I shall be updating this as often as possible. If you've any questions or feedback, please do go ahead and let me know Have a nice day!

Last edited by sandeepsarma : 7th February 2017 at 18:01.
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:20   #4
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:45   #5
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

[/list]What I donít[list][*] I might be being picky but I have OCD and I hate the fact that the volume knob has a power logo that rotates when you change the volume.

This is SO TRUE!!! I had the Laura and had the exact same issue with that. It was the second most unused part of the car after the horn. As an alternative I used the controls on the wheel but had given strict instructions to the co-passengers not to touch the volume button ever.
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:48   #6
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Originally Posted by Khushrav View Post
[/list]What I donít[list][*]

This is SO TRUE!!!
I do the exact same thing! Glad to know that I am not alone on this! I have seen much cheaper cars handle this button in a more elegant way. Not sure why VWAG cars can't do that too.
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:00   #7
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Lovely review. I did not know the new HU sorted Android auto and car play, do you mind sharing photos/videos of the same?
Since you're in Bangalore. I suggest giving poWer 99 a try

Last edited by GTO : 8th February 2017 at 11:34. Reason: Typo
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:04   #8
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Hey Congrats! Terrific choice. The opening photo is surreal, is it in Cubbon Park?
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:16   #9
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Congratulations on new purchase , car looks great all around , steering wheel cover is not matching the great look of car, may be I am wrong but just thought of expressing it .
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:18   #10
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Originally Posted by H_Dogg72 View Post
Lovely review. I did not know the new HU sorted Android auto and car play, do you mind sharing photos/videos of the same?
Since you're in Bangalore. I sugges giving poWer 99 a try
Thank you

The high octane fuel? How much of a difference does it make in your experience? Not sure of the cost as well. Do you think it's worth the extra rupees spent?

This is a photo of Android Auto when connected to my Pixel XL. Haven't played around with it too much but I love the search feature. Just say OK Google and you can ask it to search for stuff, make reminders etc.

The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG-1486532739952.jpg

Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Hey Congrats! Terrific choice. The opening photo is surreal, is it in Cubbon Park?
Thank you yes it is. The road bang opposite the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:24   #11
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Congratulations Sandeep,

Welcome to the 1.8 tsi gang. Its a beautiful machine, you will enjoy her everyday for sure. What particularly I find amusing in Mumbai is, even after being present in the market of almost 3+ years now, whenever I take the Octavia out, people turn around and look at the car.

Probably, its just the car that they stare at or the black color is really working its magic on them. No wonder then Skoda chooses to call it Magic Black
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:30   #12
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Awesome choice and many congratulations for your black panther! Looking forward for your driving experience of your panther in Kerala!
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Old 8th February 2017, 12:03   #13
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Congratulations Sandeep!!! It surely is a terrific car. I love each and every aspect of it, right from its name - Octavia . I have been in love with it since its earlier models and fell in love with it all over again with this new version of the car.

I myself would love to own one. May be I will get a pre-worshipped car in 2020. I can only imagine driving this car on my Bangalore - Nagpur trips. The feeling of it. The NVH levels would be really low I suppose. I am sure no one will feel any fatigue upon driving 1100 KM one way non-stop (except for the tea/snacks breaks, of course :P)

The pics are awesome. Could you please post some pic of the paddle shifters?
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Old 8th February 2017, 12:31   #14
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Originally Posted by sandeepsarma View Post

Make : Skoda
Model : Octavia
Variant : 1.8 TSI DSG AT
Fuel : Petrol
Colour : Black
Price : Rs. 26.45L (After Discount) - Original Price was 27.63L
Booking Amount : Paid 20L Upfront - Rest upon delivery
Discounts : 1.18L
Booking Date : 23/01/2017
Delivery Date : 30/0/2017
Dealer & City : TAFE Access, St Marks Road, Bangalore
Freebies : Basic Accessories Kit
Congrats sandeep on your latest acquisition and it looks FAB

I currently own the GT (1.6 TDI) and can completely relate to the fun you must have had piloting the Vento TDI.
Having driven the 1.8 TSI on the Octy, I can vouch for the fact that this is in a completely different league altogether.

Personally, I have never liked Sedans/SUVs and I think growing up in Bangalore probably has to blamed. However, if there was one Sedan that I would like to put my fortune on, it has to be the Octy 1.8 TSI DSG

Wish you have a very happy motoring and many more miles to munch on this "Land Missile".

Drive Safe.
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Old 8th February 2017, 12:34   #15
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Default Re: The Black Panther - Skoda Octavia 1.8L TSI DSG

Finally the review is up!

Congrats once again Sandeep! For everyone's convenience, can you please list out what all you got as part of the essential kit? I think it may be a dealer thing cause I was not offered any such kit. Even then i had separately chosen the OE rubber mats, door sill protectors and the front mud flaps.

PS- i suffer from the volume/power button ocd as well. So i use only the steering controls to change volume!

Drive Safe!
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