Used Skoda Superb L&K 2.0L TDI AT with 104,000 km on the odo

Plus I have never liked the idea of taking the massive hit in depreciation that a new car comes with.

BHPian harditthind recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I have been looking for a replacement for my Volkswagen Vento Highline 2011 for a while because she has started to look and feel her age now and has covered over 140k kms.

Plus I have never liked the idea of taking the massive hit in depreciation that a new car comes with. This ideology (for lack of a better word) has been reinforced by this forum. For the right price, I always thought that the rewards should outweigh the risks.

Few days ago, going through the local, ads I happened to come across a used Skoda Superb L&T 2.0L TDi AT, 2016 model for sale. I liked it enough that I went ahead and took a test drive.

Things that I like about the car:

1. Single owner (though its registered to a firm, more about that later).

2. Complete service record available. The car has always been serviced at Skoda's dealership, though I haven't verified the records at the dealership yet. I actually have never done that before, and I am not sure what the correct way is. Should I just show up at the dealership? The original owner has no issue with me going through the records.

3. Still under extended warranty. The standard warranty expires this month, however, the owner did purchase Skoda's extended warranty (150k km/6 years) at the time of purchase.

4. Open and upfront owner. He has shared a lot of details about the car's history itself, including details of a minor accident repair done to the front left bumper which includes the replacement of the front left headlamp.

5. Major service hurdles including change of timing belt have been crossed.

6. Body is largely scratch-free and without dents (Par one, see pic below).

7. All original fitments and accessories are with the car. Spare tyre shows no/minimal use.

Things I don't like or have concerns about:

1. High ODO. As it stands today after my test ride, it read 104k odd kms. Those are a lot of kms, for a 4-year-old car. Having said that, my test ride was for a good 30 mins with a mix of city and highway driving. I didn't feel any vibrations on the steering column, brake/accelerator paddle or the gear column. I am really not sure how to 'read' the ODO reading. The car was reluctant to downshift between 3/4 at 40 km/hr when one transits between city to highway traffic. Other than that, it responded well to accelerator inputs.

2. The left-hand side steering wheel control is loose with a visible crack on the toggle wheel (I didn't notice this, the owner pointed it out to me midway through the ride). Estimated repair bill is Rs. 20k. Sorry about the pic quality.

3. Future cost of ownership. The car is intended for long-distance/highway driving and will not see a lot of city use. And I intend to keep it for 10 years if I can. Maybe a long-term Skoda owner can weigh in here on the costs involved. I would appreciate that.

4. RC in a firms name. This is not really a concern but more of a lack of knowledge/information. I am not sure about the paperwork involved with the change of owner in this particular case. Local RTO registered so that part is straight forward.

5. Price? How do I arrive on a sensible residual value of this asset? I really am out of depth here.

So there it is. My first serious dive into the world of second-hand cars. Though my heart says yes, my head is not so sure. What do you think? Is this worth the trouble or should I keep looking?
Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

Here's what BHPian vishy76 had to say on the matter:

It all depends on your risk appetite and the sort of time and money you are willing to put in. 104K km for the 2.0L TDI isn't all that much, but I would be more worried about the electricals which are aplenty on these MQB platform cars and the general wear and tear of the suspension and timing kit which can set you back good money. I will list down the points of failure on these cars:

  • Water Pump is something which can give up on these TDIs. Though the failure rate on the EA288 series engines is a lot less than the EA189s, it still isn't bulletproof in terms of reliability
  • If the suspension hasn't been touched, the control arm bushes, struts, link rods and subframe bushes might need looking into
  • Another known issue on the Superbs and Octavias is the DRLs conking off. They eventually fade to a yellowish shade and then go bad completely. Check if this car has that issue. The entire headlamp needs replacing for this and it's around 1L+ for the pair.
  • The odd niggles such as broken steering mounted controls (like you mentioned in this car), a bad start/stop button, broken ac vents are common. Keep an eye out for these on every example you see.
  • You are also looking at a DSG fluid change around the 120K km mark. That will be around Rs. 8-10K

All in all, I would suggest you find an FNG if you are looking at lowering ownership costs. Dealerships are royal ripoffs for these cars post 80-90K km when it comes to servicing. Also, call the nearest dealer up and ask them to do a thorough once over on the car. They will charge you a fee of Rs. 2.5-3K but do a very good job of telling you what needs changing on this and what doesn't.

And coming to my personal opinion, try and find a car with a lower ODO. Maybe around the 60-70K km mark. That would be the max I would be comfortable with.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

NEVER! As I have often said on the forum, I don't mind owning my own car past 200,000 km, but I would never buy someone else's 1-lakh km car. I simply don't know how its been driven or maintained, and 100,000 km is a lot of running for Indian roads. Merely 10% of BHPians would buy a used car with 1 lakh km - related poll.

Do understand that the Superb is a highly complex car, its parts are very expensive, Skoda's after-sales is shoddy and the cars reliability is average at best. It's a recipe for disaster.

Please avoid and look for other Superbs with lower running. Also include the VW Passat in your search which suffers from massive depreciation in the used market and is quite a buy!

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene