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Old 15th August 2017, 20:09   #1
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Default The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Background

It was in mid 2014 that I bought the 2014 Honda City Diesel VX, in a dazzling Golden Brown Metallic colour. Minor niggles notwithstanding, it truly was a wonderful car - one which held a lot of memories for my wife and me - our first date, our engagement, our wedding, movement across 3 cities, some of the happiest phases of our life.

Being a diesel, the City was really light on pocket without compromising too much on performance. It was the perfect family car. We rode along for 45,000 km in a matter of 3 years. At the end of it all, she was still as beautiful as she was, the day I first brought her home.

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-img_9584.jpg

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-city.jpg
3 years and 45,000 kms later.

By July, 2017 three years had been completed and it was time to move the car from my company's name to my name (I had bought the City under our Company Car Scheme). Moving it to my name would imply that whoever I sold it to later would become a 3rd owner, thereby adversely impacting the value of the car. The other option was to sell off the car right then, at maximum value possible, and go for a new car. This meant that I would get maximum value for the City, and whoever bought it would also have good resale value.

The heart finally gave way to the brain, and I decided to go for Option 2. The hunt was on to locate a good family for the City - one who would take care of her as well as I did. After a search of close to 2 weeks, we got our City a nice family to take her in. A true enthusiast, and one who I was sure would take care of the City a well as, if not better than I did.
The formalities dragged on for quite some time, and after close to a month, the time came to bid adieu to the City. My 3 year love story with her came to an end.


That's my wife you hear around 0:19 saying "Uyyo" while trying to catch a tear in my eyes. Women!!


Hunt for the next Love


Since the City had set such high standards, finding a vehicle to fill that void would no doubt be a pain. Since the brain had won in the previous round, it was the heart's choice this time round. Hence, we decided to buy a Petrol. And so, we set about shortlisting potential candidates.

1. Volkswagen Vento TSI DSG


Pros:
a. Superior Build Quality
b. Superior Interior Quality
c. 1.6L Petrol engine with 7 Speed DSG
d. All the works (Rain sensing wipers, LED headlamps

Cons:
a. Would be the 4th Volkswagen in the family - that's too many VWs in one family.
b. Not much of an upgrade over the City. Same class as the City
c. Low VFM. Not worth the premium commanded.
d. Infamous DQ200 gearbox.

"Are you crazy? Why do you want to buy the same car we already have?" My mom's question did make a lot of sense. 1 Vento & 2 Polo's is too much for one family, as it is. A 2nd Vento to add to that would be overkill.
I've come to love the Vento a lot over the last 4 years, with occasional drives in dad's car. And although the Vento is a really good vehicle, I wouldn't really be making an upgrade. The Vento too would be from the C Segment, one which I wanted to upgrade from.

Verdict: REJECT

2. Toyota Corolla

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-corolla.jpg

Pros:
a. Fuss free ownership experience
b. Good VFM
c. Killer Looks
d. Upgraded class from the City.

Cons:
a. Uninspiring Driving experience. The 1.8L Petrol Engine didn't quite feel like a 1.8.
b. Felt like the family man choice all over again. The enthusiast in me was highly dissatisfied after the TD.
c. Drab Interiors. The City had a far better looking interior than the Corolla.

The Rahul Dravid of cars - the Toyota Corolla was a very good car - a very sensible one. It was the dependable one - went easy on your pockets and took good care of you, with very less attention.
That said, it was absolutely boring (unlike Dravid, of course) to drive. I didn't find any improvement over my City, be it the driving experience or the interior quality or the overall feeling of the car.
The absolutely tension free ownership that accompanies a Toyota did play a lot on my mind, but then the realisation that I'm on the better side of 30 and have many more years to settle for something sensible kicked in.

Verdict: REJECT

3. Audi A3

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Pros:
1. The unmistakable quality, fit and finish of an Audi.
2. Superior brand image compared to VW, Toyota, Skoda, Hyundai etc.
3. Fun 1.8L Petrol Engine and S-tronic gearbox

Cons:
1. Extremely small. Same cabin size as the vento for thrice the price.
2. The rear suspension was the worst among all cars considered. Very rough ride.
3. Not too many features. The car felt like a poor man's Audi. Even the SA agreed!

Halfway into the TD, the wife had already taken the decision for me. She would prefer her Maruti Alto to the A3!
To see what all the fuss was about, I climbed into the rear seat and immediately understood her point. The suspension was extremely bad. I'm not sure it was something unique to this particular vehicle or if all A3s are this bad, but it was indeed comparable to our Alto, as far as the rear suspension was concerned. Even the smallest of potholes were felt prominently. And by prominently, I mean spine crunching prominently.
Since I wasn't too keen on getting a spine replacement surgery any time soon, the decision was clear.

VERDICT: REJECT


4. Mercedes Benz CLA

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Pros:
1. Killer Looks.
2. Mercedes Brand. Impeccable Quality, fit and finish.
3. Good, reliable Dual Clutch gearbox
4. Full weight of the famed Mercedes After Sales experience.

Cons:
1. Coupe design meant an impractical rear bench. Poor leg and head room.
2. Extremely poor on features.
3. Far less car for far too much money.
4. Low boot space. The space saver spare eats into an already limited boot space.

This was a car with a solid chance. Mercedes was THE LUXURY BRAND that 90s kids like me grew up aspiring. And here, I had a real chance at owning one myself. The 3 pointed star's charm almost swayed me into buying this one. The plethora of buttons, the unique gear design, auto hold and neutral functions -
I loved the car ever bit, as a driver. However, the fact that the CLA was a coupe meant that cabin space was limited. Considering this car was to be a family car, I was not sure of the utility aspect of the CLA. Adding to it the fact that OTR prices in Mumbai were close to 36 Lacs, meant that VFM was not really a strong point of the CLA. Guess my time to buy a Mercedes hadn't come yet.

VERDICT: REJECT


5. Hyundai Elantra

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-elantra.jpg

While I did try and check out the Elantra as an option, the experience was not quite what I expected. You can read the full episode in my Quora post. Not representative of the Hyundai experience, but this incident put me off from buying the Elantra altogether.

VERDICT: REJECT


6. Skoda Octavia Facelift
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-skoda-octavia.jpg

Pros:
a. Best TD I've ever had. The 1.8L TSI with 7 speed DSG was mind blowing!
b. Fully Loaded! LED Adaptive Front Light System, 8 Airbags, 12 speaker Canton music system, Apple CarPlay, Sat Nav, Auto Parking, ISOFIX, KESSY, Panoramic Sunroof. The works.
c. Money's worth of car. Well built, SOLID vehicle.
d. Extremely stable compared to the City. Felt planted & raring to go even at triple digit speeds.
e. Plush interiors. Felt like a 25 Lakh car.
f. 4 Years Warranty and 4 years Skoda Maintenance Package. Rs. 40,000 for all maintenance in 4 years.

Cons:
a. The very infamous Skoda After Sales experience. (Would reclassify this as after booking experience, post my personal experience)
b. Reliability issues with the Octavia. Reading through adi_petrolhead's ownership thread scared the shit out of me.
c. The TD car had some rattles, which the SA assigned to some loose items in the boot. Wasn't quite a convincing argument, and the sound felt out of place in a 25 lakh car.

If the Corolla is Dravid, the Octavia is Virat Kohli - on crack!!! 1 Test Drive and I knew this was what I wanted. To reassure myself, I took 2 more test drives. The first was in city traffic, to see how easy/practical it would be to switch to N every time I idled (among the to-do's for the infamous DQ200's).The other 2 were in a mixture of highway & city traffic conditions.
With each drive, my desire for the Octavia just kept increasing. It was such a pleasure to drive! My heart was definitely set on the Skoda.

That the 4 year warranty and 4 year maintenance pack was there to bail me out in case of any issues helped in settling my nerves. And given what I gathered from some acquaintances who owned Skodas in Mumbai as well as posts here on TBHP, the Skoda service network has gotten better by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years.
I decided to jump in.

Verdict: APPROVED

Booking Experience

While we had test driven the 1.8 TSI Style Plus model, we were informed by the SAs at JMD Skoda & Autobahn Skoda that the Style Plus had been discontinued and would be replaced by the range topping L&K. The L&K would have a 9.1 speaker Canton System instead of the 8 speaker system in the Style Plus. Some accessories like the waste basket and parcel net would also be thrown in. L&K badging would also be additional (not much of a benefit there).

Being a D Segment car, there was an expectation that I had of the dealer experience. However, there was however a stark difference in the experience at the 2 dealerships.

The SA from Autobahn Skoda seemed to be some intern or so, who didn't have too much info about the features of the car or the policies with respect to pricing. The standard response was "I'll enquire and let you know." Of course there was no letting me know that followed. They were also not taking any bookings for the L&K, and did not have any pricing information available for it. Autobahn was also rigid in that I had to take the Insurance from Skoda only and HAD to buy the Essential accessories package (worth some 15k). Some BS to do with it being an inventory price given by Skoda.

JMD Skoda on the other hand had sufficient information about the L&K variant, and was also flexible in pricing. They agreed that I could take the insurance from whoever I wanted (they would match if they could but decision was mine) and agreed that I could pick and choose from the Essential Accessories package. Both dealers were giving a 30k Corporate discount as well as charging a Rs. 15k handling charge, which has already been declared illegal by the MH RTO. Wish some concrete guideline comes in regarding this, such as in Kerala and other states.

Given the wide disparity in experience between the 2 dealers in Mumbai, I decided to proceed with JMD Skoda. Called the SA up the very next day after the TD (14th August, 2017) and gave a cheque of Rs. 50,000/-.

Coming to the colour, there were two choices which the High Command and I agreed on - Quartz Grey and Magic Black. The Octavia looked super sexy in both colours, with the black looking absolutely dapper inside a showroom and the grey looking mesmerising in the real world.
Of course, maintenance of the Black Skoda would be an absolute pain. As my wife put it, "Life's too short to maintain a black car."
After a lot of thought, we finally chose the Quartz Grey Colour and booked our Octy on Aug 14, 2017.

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-td-car-f.jpg

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-td-car-b.jpg

Test Drive Vehicle in the Quartz Grey Colour

Since the GST Cess (additional 10%) was around the corner, JMD agreed to refund the entire amount if I chose to cancel the booking on account of price rise. I requested the SA to get the car billed before the Cess became applicable, which, in typical salesman speak, he promised to try. Of course, in the end, he could/would do nothing to expedite the process.

In parallel, I sent the quote of the car to my uncle, who retired recently from National Insurance Company. He contacted some of his old colleagues, as a result of which I got an offer I couldn't refuse. The quote was Rs. 45,000 for a Nil Depreciation Insurance. Comparison of the insurances are as below:

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-insurance-comparison-2.0.jpeg

Given the difference of 31k, the hassle of getting claims approved outside Skoda seemed trivial. Even the higher compulsory deductible felt okay, as it would take 12 claims a year to bridge the gap in premium. I'm pretty sure, rather I sure hope, I wouldn't be making 12 claims a year!! And so, it was decided - the insurance would be from NIC.

And so began the excruciating wait... And the anxiety on whether the car would be delivered before the Cess rollout or not.

Last edited by krishnadevjs : 12th December 2017 at 08:31.
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Old 21st August 2017, 20:14   #2
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Default re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Accessories Chosen

Since I had a lot of time for my Octy to get delivered and I felt Skoda was ripping customers off with their Essential accessories kit, I decided to search online and buy the accessories I wanted.

From the accessories offered by Skoda, I bought the Front Mud Flap (Rs. 2500), the Rubber Boot Mat (Rs. 3,000) and a Car Body Cover (Rs. 2,200).
Rear Mud Flaps, Waste Basket, Net below parcel shelf, Door Sill covers etc. came standard with the L&K.

From outside, I bought the following accessories:

1. Noodle Mats (Vheelocity brand from Amazon.in; Cost - Rs. 1,200 a set)

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2. Additional Waste Basket (Silicone material from Amazon.in; Rs. 599)

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3. Memory Foam Cushions (2 cushions from Amazon.in; Rs. 540)

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Sep 9, 2017 - The GST Cess: The GoI comes in with the decision to increase GST Cess on luxury cars by 10%. This would imply a price increase of close to 80k on the Octavia L&K! Just my luck!

Post Booking Experience

The initial lead time mentioned for the Octavia was 6 weeks - a decent timeframe, considering that the car was newly launched and was a CKD. 6 weeks meant I was to get the car around Sept end. I happily planned for a Dussehra delivery. Boy, was I wrong or what!

Dussehra: JMD SA says there's a slight delay. Delivery assured by Diwali. I escalate to the Skoda RM just in case.

Oct 7: JMD SA tells me my vehicle is ready. 2 mins later, the SA and Skoda RM are on concall with me, telling me the vehicle is further delayed and I can expect it by November 1st week.

End Oct: I mail the Skoda RM requesting an update. He calls me and tells me the committed date was December and not November. Goes without saying that I lost it! Escalated to Mr. Ashutosh Dixit, the marketing head of Skoda India.

Nov 1st: Mr. Dixit gets me in touch with Mr. Mahesh Tiwari, the ZSM for Skoda. He checks his production schedules and confirms delivery by December 15!

Dec 5th: Skoda RM informs me that production of my vehicle is scheduled from 18th Dec, thereby implying a delivery date of end Dec or early Jan '18. So much for the December 15 commitment. Mails to Mr. Dixit and Mr. Tiwari go unanswered.

Dec 9th: Skoda RM calls me and informs that they've managed to 'tweak their production schedule', and that my vehicle has been made. It'd be billed and dispatched to Mumbai on 11th.

Dec 12th: Got confirmation from Skoda that the vehicle had reached Mumbai. I get the proforma invoice for the car and make full payment for the on road price (except Insurance, Skoda AMC and Handling Charges). JMD quotes 7 working days post receipt of money in their account, for delivery.

Dec 23rd: Finally, the Oct gets delivered!


If there were any car from another manufacturer, as good as the Octavia, within a Rs. 10 lacs range, I would have definitely cancelled my booking and gone for the alternative. But then, this car is so good that despite all the delay, it was worth waiting it out till the end.

From an initial delivery commitment of September end, the final delivery happened in 4th week of December, a delay of 12 weeks!

Now, I understand that any vehicle - be it a 4 lac Alto or a 26 lac Octavia, would have lead times. But the point is that the Sales team has to be honest about the same. If they had given me an honest feedback of 12 weeks or 15 or even 20, I would have planned my finances accordingly - not taken 26 lacs out of my investments and waited for 12 weeks!

When I had bought my City in 2014, the car had just launched. Honda had a massive backlog of orders. But the SA back then was honest enough to tell me that upfront, and quoted a 6 month waiting period. I accepted that, and booked the car. 5 months later, he called and said that the car was ready, and I brought her home. That's how things should work - with transparency, clarity and respect for the customer.

Skoda needs to get their shit together in this aspect.

Negotiations & Savings

As mentioned above, I did not opt for the standard Skoda insurance. Went for an insurance with National Insurance Company which cost me half as much.
Post an extensive argument, the 'Handling Charge' was also waived off.
There was a corporate discount of Rs. 30,000 offered by Skoda.
Not opting for the essential accessories kit and choosing whatever I wanted saved me some more.

Final result of all negotiations is as below:

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Last edited by krishnadevjs : 23rd December 2017 at 21:49.
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Old 30th October 2017, 23:05   #3
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Delivery Experience

23rd Dec, 2017

You know that feeling you've probably had, way back in school, on the night before a picnic. Well, that was me on 22nd night - crazy excited. Managed to make it past the night, and through half the day. Finally, at 3PM, we landed in JMD Skoda, Andheri.

The SA handed over all the documents and papers, explaining all the details. There was a discrepancy in the financial bit, which their accountant explained and resolved. All paper work done, we went down to see our Octy.

The Octy was covered with a white cloth, much like a new model unveiling.
This was a good gesture by JMD.

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-unveiling.jpg

Customary Puja.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-pooja.jpg

We were handed over the car kit, which contained:
1. All papers of the car
2. A Ganpathi idol
3. Sweets
4. Keychain
5. Service Center Contact Details

I asked my SA to explain the features once to me. His reply, "Sir, you Team BHPians probably know everything there is to know in the car- more than me for sure! Just teach madam how to use the Ambient Light function. That's her favourite feature in the car!"
And with that, we were off! A nerve wracking drive through crazy Mumbai traffic to home.

Some Shots once we reached back home
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-20171223_212423.jpg

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-20171223_212237.jpg

First thing on the agenda was to remove all the strings and ribbons. Second, of course, was a thorough Puja of the car at the Ayyappa Temple in Powai
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-20171223_211824.jpg

Initial Impressions

As of writing this review, I've completed 14 days and 1400km in the Octavia. If I were to describe in feeling in one word, I'd have to go with Mindblowingly Superlative! (No, one word ain't sufficient). The car rides and handles so brilliantly and predictably. I'll break down the experience into multiple facets, so as to explain it better.

1. Acceleration

A light tap on the accelerator is all it takes to keep the Octavia moving in city speeds. I've almost never had to accelerate hard or floored it to get up to the speed i wanted. A slight push on the gas is all it takes to take her right up to cruise speeds, in no time.
The car effortlessly pulls off from stop signs. Without any effort, it easily picks up speed faster than anything else that I've encountered as yet on the road. The seamless gear changes add to the perceived notion of rapid acceleration, which brings us to the second feature:

2. Gearbox

Reliability concerns aside, VAG has done really good engineering in the construction of their dry clutch DSG gearbox. Gear shifts are instant and impossible to perceive. One moment you'd be driving at 20kmph in D2 and in hardly any time, you'd be at 60 and on D5. Just when you give a bit of throttle, the gearbox downshifts immediately and thrusts the vehicle forward. After 5 months of driving my wife's AMT Alto, I can only describe the Octy gearbox as magical.

The magic wand. Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive & Sports. a light downward tap when in Drive switches you to Sports mode. Another tap downward takes you back to Drive. There is a tiptronic mode you can activate by giving the gearbox a tug to the left, when in Drive/Sports. Shifting can be done via the gear or the paddle shifters in tiptronic mode. Downshifts happen automatically post braking.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-dsg-.jpg

3. Suspension

This was one of the things we loved in the Octy right from test drive. Despite the pathetic state of Mumbai roads, the Octy delivers wonderful ride comfort. Better than what we felt in both the Audi A3 and the Mercedes CLA - cars that cost 10 lacs more than the Octy.
Smaller undulations on the road are not at all perceivable. Even the bigger ones are gobbled up effortlessly by the all wheel independent suspension.
At higher speeds, there is very little body roll or instability. In fact, on a stretch of the Palm Beach Road, I inadvertently accelerated like I used to, back when we had the City. Before I knew it, we were at very high speeds!! The reason I didn't realize the speed was it did not feel anything above 120. Having said that, this is quite dangerous until I get used to the suspension of the car. I've decided to keep a close eye on the speedometer till I can master the vibration - speed correlation on the Octy.

The multilink suspension in the rear gives a superior ride comfort. This makes the 1.8 TSI unique from every other variant in the Octavia lineup.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-multilink-rear-suspension-l.jpg

4. NVH & Audio System

The car is very well insulated from road noise. You find yourself cocooned inside a oasis of calm - away from the madness outside. At highway speeds, the wind from the ORVMs does tend to make a racket, but it's easily drowned out by the thumping 9.1 Canton Audio System. Once the Audio system is turned on, it's easy not to hear any sound from outside. At mid range of volume, we had to really strain to hear each other's voices (co-passenger & driver).
Definitely one of the better OEM Audio systems offered in India - especially in this price band and even on a class above.

Canton Badging on the front door speakers.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-canton.jpg

The extra bass provided by the subwoofer is a major differentiator between the Style Plus and the L&K. Maybe not worth the 40k difference, but definitely a significant addition.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-canton-subwoofer-.jpg

The Lord will always get to listen to our music at highest clarity, thanks to the Centre speaker. The Canton system allows the user to optimize the audio experience for all occupants OR front occupants OR the driver alone. Each setting is distinctively different.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-centre-speaker-.jpg

5. The Adaptive Front Light System

The Octy L&K comes with an AFS. This essentially means that you do not have to touch the light settings even once. Light sensors sense when ambient light conditions are poor and turn on the headlights on their own. While in the city at low speeds, the headlights give a wide and short dispersion of light - so you can see clearly when the dog or the man/woman decides to jump on the road in front of you. Of course, you can select whether you're driving in a LHD or RHD country, and the light pattern is adjusted accordingly, so as to not blind drivers in the oncoming lane.
While on the highway, at speeds in excess of 70kmph, the light beam becomes narrow and long - so that you can spot that cow parading itself in the middle of the highway from far away!

Auto's all you need. Options to engage just DRL, Parking Lights & Full Headlights available. Pulling it towards you once activates front fog lamp. Another pull activates rear fog lamp.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-afs-control.jpg

Short and wide lights in the normal Auto mode
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-normal.jpg

Switch to high beam and you can see all the way across. Very powerful lights
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-high-beam.jpg

The AFS system has cornering lights too. The fog lights double up as cornering lights.
Steering turned towards left in Left frame, centered in the center frame and turned towards right in the right frame. Notice the cornering lights in 1st and 3rd pics.

The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-cornering-function.jpg

Finding your way to the Octavia will never be a problem. Puddle lamps beneath the ORVMs guide you in the dark after you unlock the vehicle OR after you turn the ignition off.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-20180103_180052.jpg

6. Space

The car is HUGE! There are oodles of space, wherever you look. The big sunroof, along with large windows and quarter panels add to the airiness of the car. The light beige interiors also chip in with this. The result is that you actually feel you're in a BIG car. If all cars were to be compared for cubic inch of space per rupee, I'm sure the Octavia would rank pretty high in that list.

The 5th passenger could have easily fit in here, if it weren't for that obstacle course in between.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-rear-seat-.jpg

Light colour scheme aids in the airiness of the cabin
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-cabin-.jpg

The sunroof lets in a good amount of light, thereby making the cabin feel so much more spacious than it is. It also frees up quite a bit of headroom.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-sunroof-.jpg

Even when the cover is fully closed, it lets some light in through it.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-sunroof-closed.jpg

Me: Siri, where can I hide a body?
Siri: Have you seen the boot of your Octavia? You can fit in an entire cemetery in there!!

Wide loading area is susceptible to quite some scratches. Planning to get a PPF film done here.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-boot-.jpg

7. Air Conditioning

Despite being a huge car, the Air Conditioning on this car is pretty efficient. It comes with a dual zone climate control - driver and passenger can both be in the car, without one freezing to death and the other sweating all over the seats. The air con sound is in fact the only indication you get that the ignition is switched on, in this car. Otherwise, it's absolutely silent.
Climate control temperatures can be set both using the aircon controls on the front center console and the aircon controls in the infotainment system.

Aircon controls on the central console. The Sync button synchronizes both temperatures. The AC is pretty powerful and cools the big cabin pretty fast.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-aircon-controls-.jpg

Rear Passengers also get their own aircon vents. This can of course be completely closed. Throw is pretty good - better than the City in any case.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-rear-aircon-.jpg

Even the foot aircon vent has a good throw. No more sweaty feet.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-rear-foot-aircon-.jpg

Last edited by Eddy : 8th January 2018 at 15:50. Reason: Mention of high speeds on public roads
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Old 27th December 2017, 20:32   #4
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Default re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

The smaller yet significant things

The Octy is full of surprises. With each passing day, I'm finding out one more feature or the other. Some of the interesting things I've found till now are listed below:

1. Central Infotainment System

The Amundsen central infotainment system on the Octavia come with a host of features - AM/FM, Bluetooth (multiple devices at a time), AUX, Streaming over WLAN, Telephone Connectivity and SD Card. The list of options is so exhaustive that 2 weeks later, I'm yet to open up all the Settings. One among the many good features is that one device can be linked via bluetooth as the phone and another can be linked as the Music source. Pretty nifty when the wife wants to become DJ, but you want your phone linked for any calls.

There is a proximity sensor as well on the center console, thereby displaying detailed menu descriptions when you bring your hand closer to the console.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-proximity-sensor.jpg

The stereo offers multiple settings - you can choose the equalization, the level of Canton Surround, Canton Subwoofer level, Personalisation (all occupants/front occupants/driver alone) etc.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-canton-settings.jpg

The phone screen allows you to keep favourites on the home screen itself, so that you can call them while driving without too much of effort.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-phone-screen.jpg

The L&K has an option of Boss Connect. This is basically an option to stream music through the vehicle's inbuilt WLAN.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-boss-connect-app.png

Setup is pretty easy. WLAN has to be turned on, phone needs to be connected to the car's WLAN...
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-wlan-settings.jpg

and Boss Connect App used to stream music.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-wlan-playing.jpg

Music doesn't turn off even when you turn the ignition off. You need to open the driver side door for music to stop. When you do, it reminds you to to take your phone with you.

The Octavia comes with Programmable Ambient Lighting - the colours on the door insert and the infotainment system can be chosen from 10 preset options. I feel this gives the car a very premium feel. It was one of the features the wife loved.
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2. Manoeuvre Braking

It's features like this which reassure me that we are living in the future. The vehicle, while inching forward in traffic or during parking, senses an imminent collision and brings the car to a complete stop! It's a hard stop, with the brake getting fully depressed. A message of "Manoeuvre Braking" comes on the central MFID screen and you need to manually depress and release the brake to get the vehicle moving again.

In office, we have a vertical parking system, which involves driving the car on to a narrow platform. The car stopped itself on a couple of occasions, sensing that the space was too small.

3. Semi-Automatic Parking

Well, this is the feature that adds unlimited snob value to the car. Pull up alongside a free parking spot (perpendicular or parallel), press the park-assist button and watch the magic unfold.

Once you activate the Park Assist system through a button in the center console...
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-semi-auto-parking-activation.jpg

The car senses the free space, and gives you directions on which direction to go through the MFID.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-semi-auto-parking-screen.jpg

Steering control is completely done by the car, and you just have to toggle between Drive & Reverse as well as control the throttle and brake.
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The people who actually end up using this feature would probably be the ones who know how to parallel park. It's just an easier way to get the car do what you would otherwise do. And since you already know how parallel parking is done, you can confidently judge the distance, angle etc and apply throttle/brake.

3. Storage Space

There's a ton of storage space in the Octy, even without considering the cavernous boot. The cabin has multiple spaces for storing all your accessories, like...
this decent sized glove box, which comes with cooling function,
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-storage-glove-box.jpg

this deep storage space inside the center arm rest...
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-storage-armrest.jpg

or this cubby hole with padded interiors just next to the steering...
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-storage-driver-side-cubby-hole.jpg

or even this tiny space with a lid that can be pulled over. This is beneath the center console and it too has padded interiors.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-storage-center-open.jpg

4. Safety - 3 point rear Center Seat Belt

Finally the middle rear seat occupant has been given some consideration. He too gets a proper 3 point seat belt.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-center-seat-belt.jpg

5. IRVM and ORVMs

Both IRVMs and ORVMs have auto dimming feature. This is especially helpful in those highway drives.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-irvm.jpg

Upon engaging reverse gear, the left side ORVM tilts automatically to show you the gap between the car and the curb. Very clever touch indeed.

Both ORVMs have auto folding and de-misting function. Upon locking the car, the ORVMs retract automatically
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-orvm-control.jpg

6. Waste Bin
There's a nifty waste bin as a standard accessory, which can fit into any of the door pockets. You can open up the lid and stow away toffee wrappers or expired parking tickets or any such small thing you might want to throw away
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-waste-bin.jpg

7. Driver's MFID
The Multifunction Information Display (MFID) has been upgraded to a colour display in the facelift Octavia. It gives access to almost all functions in the car.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-mfid-side-open.jpg

8. Electrically adjustable front driver seat.

The driver gets an electrically adjustable seat with memory function. Positions of the ORVMs are also linked to the memory function. Helpful if multiple drivers use the car.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-driver-seat-control.jpg

9. In built navigation

The Octavia comes with inbuilt navigation. There's an SD card which needs to be inserted in SD1 slot. While almost all main roads and highways are covered, along with most destinations and routes, it lacks the superior knowledge of Google. Google Maps gives you alternate options basis the current traffic on the chosen route. Of course, the inbuilt navigation doesn't have this capability.

Given that the car comes with Android Auto/Apple Car Play, it's better to connect the phone and use Google maps for navigation.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-navigation.jpg

Last edited by krishnadevjs : 7th January 2018 at 11:17.
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Old 7th January 2018, 07:52   #5
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Default re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

What I didn't like about the Octavia

1. Piano Black Finish on Front Grille & Door pillars

While I agree that Piano Black finish looks really upmarket and premium, maintaining it is extremely tough. Especially if it is outside the car!

The Octavia has its front grille...
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-piano-finish-front-grille.jpg

and door pillars finished in Piano Black - it's a pain to maintain!
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-piano-finish-pillar.jpg

Till now, I've been washing the Octavia myself, with all the essential paraphernalia - microfibre cloth, wash mitt etc. Despite this, the door pillars and front grille have developed lines.

2. Sunroof Cover

For all the simply clever features that Skoda built into the Octavia, it missed an obvious one - the auto retracting Sunroof cover. In cars like the Honda City, the sunroof cover would retract automatically when you opened the sunroof - there was a mechanical link between the two. Closing the cover was however, manual. In the Octavia, you have to open the sunroof electrically, and the cover manually. There is no linking.

Thereby giving you this:
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-sunroof-without-cover.jpg

3. Ground Clearance

The Octavia has a low GC compared to other Sedans. However, the GC in itself isn't too much of a concern - it would still manage Indian roads. What compounds the issue is the mud flaps. Rear mud flaps are in fact standard on the Octavia. I've had mudguard scrapes on humps with as little as 2 passengers on board. While it doesn't damage the car per-say, that sound of scraping isn't the most pleasant one around.


And finally, we come to quintessential Indian question for any car, Kitna Deti hai?

For my regular daily commute of 3km (through relatively free roads), I get a mileage of anywhere between 8 to 10 kmpl. There's a single lane subway on my way to work. If I get the signal, mileage drops to 8, if not it's in the high 9.xs.

When we went to Pune last week, we were stuck in weekend traffic at Pune for almost 1.5 hours. This got the mileage down to 11kmpl, but driving back we didn't have too much of traffic. With 5 occupants and a boot full of luggage, the Octy returned an impressive mileage of 14 kmpl.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-14-kmpl.jpg

On an early morning Mumbai - Daman trip, with an average speed of 75kmph, and regular driving at 120 kmph, I got a mileage of 15.2 kmpl. This was with just me in the car, and no luggage.
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-15.2-kmpl.jpg

Overall, in 1400km, it's been through 2 full tanks and is now sipping on the 3rd.

The past two weeks with the Octy have been thoroughly enjoyable. Though the wait has been terrible, it sure was worth it. Here's hoping that the miles ahead too continue to be extremely enjoyable and trouble free.

Parting Shot
The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K-octavia.jpg

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th January 2018 at 14:13. Reason: Removing high speed mention. Thanks!
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Old 7th January 2018, 11:40   #6
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Default re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Mod note: Thread moved to Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports. Thanks for sharing such a detailed report.
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Old 7th January 2018, 13:25   #7
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Default re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Excellent practical review. Thank you and wish you many many kilometres of motoring in your jewel :-)

I have a Rio Red Jan'16 TSI now at 28k km. I enjoy every second of it, and wifey is still mystified at my eagerness to do local errands even on Sunday etc. I am lucky enough to stay in a semi rural area in north BLR which allows me to thoroughly enjoy my commute till such time I hit one of the dreaded BLR bottlenecks.

Have my eyes set on the Superb L&K (or the Superb 4x4 230, if they bring it) or the Kodiaq upgrade (current 148 bhp is too low, needs the 190 bhp tune) as an upgrade in 2019 when I'll have to reluctantly give my Octy to my driver.

Check out skodadop.com and/or AliExpress.com for inexpensive goodies. You will not be disappointed ;-)

Last edited by itwasntme : 7th January 2018 at 13:30. Reason: Grammar
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Old 7th January 2018, 14:03   #8
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Default re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

A very detailed review of an equally beautiful car.

Man, the number of 1.8 TSI owners is increasing on the forum. Just proves as to how potent this engine is. Sad, that the next generation of VAG cars won't be having this block. It will either be the 1.4 TFSI or the 2.0 TFSI. Nothing in between. In fact, the 1.4 is a global replacement for the 1.8 TSI!

The DSG will plaster a smile on your face. Wishing you many happy miles and of course smiles with Dr. Hyde (or is it Jackal?)

Regards,
Vishy

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th January 2018 at 14:12. Reason: Smileys = 2 per post. Thanks!
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Old 7th January 2018, 18:30   #9
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Default re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Excellent practical review. Thank you and wish you many many kilometres of motoring in your jewel :-)

I have a Rio Red Jan'16 TSI now at 28k km. I enjoy every second of it, and wifey is still mystified at my eagerness to do local errands even on Sunday etc. I am lucky enough to stay in a semi rural area in north BLR which allows me to thoroughly enjoy my commute till such time I hit one of the dreaded BLR bottlenecks.
Thanks! I completely understand the sentiment. I'm just looking for excuses to go down and get behind the wheels of the Octavia. I think I may even be in love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Check out skodadop.com and/or AliExpress.com for inexpensive goodies. You will not be disappointed ;-)
I did some shopping on Aliexpress.com and bought myself a door sill protector for the rear door. Only the front comes with stock plates. And yes, they're cheap as well as good looking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
A very detailed review of an equally beautiful car.

Man, the number of 1.8 TSI owners is increasing on the forum. Just proves as to how potent this engine is. Sad, that the next generation of VAG cars won't be having this block. It will either be the 1.4 TFSI or the 2.0 TFSI. Nothing in between. In fact, the 1.4 is a global replacement for the 1.8 TSI!
Thanks mate! I feel there's an overall preference shift to petrol cars all around. This may be attributed to the uncertainty around diesel engines >2.0L and the availability of peppy petrol engines in India now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
The DSG will plaster a smile on your face. Wishing you many happy miles and of course smiles with Dr. Hyde (or is it Jackal?)
The DSG is keeping those smiles plastered on my face as of now. It really is the smooth, calm Dr. Jekyll in Drive mode and the crazy, powerful Mr. Hyde in Sports mode. Just hoping that there won't be any issues with her. As of now, I'm switching to N for any short stop in traffic.
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Old 8th January 2018, 10:36   #10
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Default Re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Excellent review & welcome to the club.
It’s practical, well equipped and offers excellent driving experience and those simply clever touches makes it a perfect car.

On the side note, Where do you stay in Mumbai?

Echoing @Vishy76 - The DSG will plaster a smile on your face.
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:12   #11
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Default Re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Excellent write up and a very practical review. Will be interesting to see a long term ownership review of the DQ200 behavior. Provided the budgetary constraints permit, I am myself considering this car, hence following all the ownership threads and reports !!!

I read your post on Quora and its a horrible way to treat anyone. You should drive to their showroom in your car and give their salesman a box of chocolates and inform the sales manager how he helped you with your purchase
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Old 8th January 2018, 12:20   #12
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Default Re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Off topic but chanced upon your profile in Quora and saw you too are a NITIEian I am from 2005 batch and good to see our lot investing in these delicious VW engines.
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Old 8th January 2018, 13:18   #13
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Default Re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Great car and good crisp review. As you observed and as commented by many others elsewhere, the entry level German trio cars possibly carry only the benefit of the badge ( except the CLA - which I feel is an amazing looker ) in comparison to the D segment options from VW. Maintenance and depreciation wise too, these cars will cost you substantially less over the lifetime of the car. But of course, your next upgrade invariably will take you into the premium German door step so its just a matter of time !

reg your pt. around the SA having to be transparent with delivery timelines, this, i feel is a common Indian trait -i.e. over commit and under deliver. We prefer to hear people giving commitments that sound good to us rather than commitments that actually can be kept up. Most people out there wouldn't have liked it if that SA had said ( back in August ) that the earliest delivery is December. Maybe, even you may not have ( ) - probably you might have considered the next best option. So its a vicious cycle. Unless a large part of the population starts appreciating such attributes, people will largely continue to over commit and under deliver.

Anyway, now its time to enjoy your car - wishing you many happy kilometers ahead
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Old 8th January 2018, 13:52   #14
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Default Re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Congrats on your new car. Wishing you many more happy and safe miles ní smiles. Curious to know why the 2.0 vRS was given a miss.
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Old 8th January 2018, 15:44   #15
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Default Re: The Beauty AKA The Beast - My Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSi L&K

Quote:
Originally Posted by shahbaz63 View Post
On the side note, Where do you stay in Mumbai?
Thanks shahbaz63! I stay in Vikhroli.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrk_18 View Post
Excellent write up and a very practical review. Will be interesting to see a long term ownership review of the DQ200 behavior. Provided the budgetary constraints permit, I am myself considering this car, hence following all the ownership threads and reports !!!
Thanks shrk_18! If you're considering a car in this segment, you should definitely try this. A test drive of all the cars in this segment should give you a clear idea. The DQ200 is a risk, but it's so bloody awesome to drive! Hopefully, nothing goes wrong. Fingers crossed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells Bells View Post
Off topic but chanced upon your profile in Quora and saw you too are a NITIEian I am from 2005 batch and good to see our lot investing in these delicious VW engines.
Hey! Small world indeed. I'm from IM 2013 batch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
Great car and good crisp review. As you observed and as commented by many others elsewhere, the entry level German trio cars possibly carry only the benefit of the badge ( except the CLA - which I feel is an amazing looker ) in comparison to the D segment options from VW.
Thanks! As I mentioned above, the CLA was probably the only car which gave the Octavia some competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
. Most people out there wouldn't have liked it if that SA had said ( back in August ) that the earliest delivery is December.
I have a different opinion here. I feel an honest timeline from the SA upfront goes a long way in inspiring confidence. When I bought the City, I was quoted a lead time of 6 months, and I still went ahead with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajeevMD View Post
Congrats on your new car. Wishing you many more happy and safe miles ní smiles. Curious to know why the 2.0 vRS was given a miss.
Thanks! Honestly, I'm not one who drives very sportingly or likes flooring the pedal once in a while. I prefer sedate, comfortable driving, with the full knowledge that I can zoom past anyone if I choose to. That being the case, I felt I wouldn't do justice to the amazing features of the RS. Hence, the 1.8 TSI.
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