Our "Silver Bull": Skoda Octavia Style Plus 2.0 TDI AT


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The Punky little kid

It was 9 long years since we bought our first car - Zen Estilo, the Innova impersonator [;)]. We are in love with the car and it has become a part of the family. Been with us through our marriage, two kids and multi city adventures due to job. While the previous generation Zen had/has almost revered fan following, we prefer the Estilo, more for the tall stance and the high seating. While it looks boxy from outside, the design inside leaves ample space for the passengers. Also enough boot space to take care of the needs of a small family.

We had done long trips, been on the road for more than couple of days on a stretch on multiple occasions, fun spins late in the night, bachelors nigh outs and the regular visits to the nearby temples. The odo reads 65,000 kms after 9 years. Minor niggles once in a while, tyre change at 48,000 kms, regular MASS visits and front suspension replacement at 55,000 kms and a battery change in the 5th year. Cranks in the first twist, no rattling and perfectly smooth ride and returns an average of 15-16 kmpl. If only for my office commute, the car is an absolute fit for the solo ride. With the kids growing up, the need for a safer car with bigger space started showing up. And it started coming up frequently in our dinner table discussions as well. Estilo is good enough, for a small family, only. The judgement was delivered.

In search of the Unicorn
Once the collective judgement was passed, i was given the task of shortlisting the probable vehicles. There again started multiple discussions and consultations with both side of the family. Now, do not ask me then what happened to the assigned task. It was taken over against my will - only responsibility, no authority. Suggestions ranged from sub 4 m sedans(?) to D2 segment to XUV. Thats when it was decided, lets keep the suggestions aside for a moment and lets agree on whats expected from this new addition

  • Space - Good enough to carry 4 adults and an occasional 5th passenger
  • Power - Been driving a 60 hp motor for long, though its still peppy, wanted to have a better pulling one
  • Interior quality - With the money to be spent, wanted certain features like Touchscreen Music system, good plush seats, beige / black interiors and few other creature comforts
  • Saftey features - While the Estilo carried us in good stead, wanted to have atleast two airbags in the front and if more available, the merrier
  • Ease of maintenance - Wanted to have a trouble free ownership other than the usual wear and tear
  • Budget - And finally the overarching guideline
While we discussed all these, we were clear(?) that we can spend around 20 lakhs. With these parameters plotted we started listing down the probables.

On both sides of our family, parents had different cars - Ford Fiesta Classic, ANHC I-Dtec and a VW Jetty. With the experience of the Diesel mill and effortless pulling, with easy on pocket averages, decided to go for a Oil burner as my commute had increased to 60kms everyday. While these cars were great to drive, as these were already in the family, were struck from the short list.

List the vehicles considered:
The list started with all the C-Segment sedans, Ciaz, Verna and City. Did not want to go for any SUVs or Cross overs. With the City already struck from the list, planned for the test drives.

  • Ciaz - As a wholesome package, we all liked it from the first time we sat in it. Quiet spacious both in the front and for the back seat passengers. Diesel mill was quiet refined and though there was turbo lag in comparison to my experience of the I-Dtec, the pull was good and smooth over the curve. As a wholesome package we ticked it as a first choice.
  • Verna - Next pit stop was at Hyundai for checking the Verna. Unfortunately, with the previous experience of I-Dtec and the Ciaz test drive, Verna felt more boxy and claustrophobic (no offence to Verna owners, its just the feeling that you are sitting in a bit dark room).
While we were not impressed with the Verna from a space and utility perspective, though the 1.6 CRDI was quiet powerful, we chanced to see the New Elantra on display. To say the truth, we were quiet impressed by the elegant design and obviously the spaciousness. Checked out the price and the diesel top end was a couple of lakh above the budget. When going on variant below, felt that even the basic features like speed-sensing door lock, which was there even in our 9 year old Estilo, was missing. This was quiet disappointing, when the vehicle costs above 20 big bucks. Then thought, why don't we check the Japanese and the Czech?.

Visited both the Toyota and the Skoda showrooms on the way. Unfortunately in both the locations, the vehicles were out for TD and the sales managers showed us the display vehicles and promised to send in the vehicle the next day morning to our home for TD. The New RAPID was available for a test drive. We took it for a spin and was quiet impressed. Though it was not as spacious as the Ciaz, the build and finish gave a lot of confidence. Thats when the devil woke up [evil]. Having checked the Elantra, the display Octavia captured our attention and awe.

Thus began a new search.

Picked up the brochure from both the places in addition to the Elantra brochure picked up already and headed home. The entire evening and night was spent in comparing the feature list and checking online on various automotive sites on the reviews and comparisons. Thankfully there was no dearth of writeups and video reviews. Octy worked out to the the costliest of the lot, with the new Elantra a good two lakhs lower for the top end Diesel manual. The Altis was in between. With the price check on various sites, Octy looked to be in the range of 21-22 lakhs, if we were able to work on the insurance and push for some cash discount. Hyundai sales person had outrightly said no to any discount other than the corporate discount of Rs 20k. With the power comparison, Altis lost out as the diesel looked completely under-powered compared to the Octy and Elantra, even before driving it.

Called up the Hyundai and Skoda showrooms and asked them to bring the TD vehicle in the second half of the day. One at 3 pm and second at 5 pm. Murphy's law came true, yet again. Both of them landed up at 4.30 pm. Drove the Elantra first and then the Octy and drove the Elantra again. Filled up the feedback farm and told them, we will confirm the next day.
The Elantra was more sleek and plush to ride. Took it to high speeds around the deserted sector roads in New Gurgaon. Engine was peppy, good response at the low and mid end. But started gasping for breath at the top end. The issue of basic features missing, with only two air bags, stood out like a sore thumb.

The Octy was elegant and more majestic. The look and feel was more classic and it boasted of enough gizmos to make you feel curious like when you buy a new flagship smartphone. Ride was more planted but not as soft as Elantra, in the low end. Pot holes and thuds were transmitted due to the stiff setup of springs. On the mid and top end of the drive, the Octy came into its elements. Felt more solid and planted and did respond to quick throttles and steering inputs very well. In short gave more confidence to drive faster.​
While driving the Elantra second time, got convinced to go with the Octy as it gave a ride equivalent to the Jetty back at home, but had more gizmos to keep one happy. Also it had 4 air bags in the TDI Ambition Plus Manual and had almost all the features of the Style Plus, except 4 compared to 8 airbags and electrically adjustable driver seat and rear-view camera with navigation in the central console. This was quickly discussed in the family and called the Skoda RM and confirmed our preference to pickup the Ambition Plus TDI Manual one immediately. The RM confirmed that he will check up the inventory list and come over to pick up the booking amount of Rs 1 lac, the next day morning. All along, the issues highlighted in reviews about the reliability of the vehicle and delay in availability of spares was playing in back of the mind. With Skoda stepping up and offering 4 years Warranty with 4 years Road Side Assistance and 4 years Service Package and the vehicle being a manual option, felt confident of going ahead.

Did not receive any call the next day and though i thought of calling the RM, due to monday blues at office, got occupied till the day end. While returning back to home, felt a bit annoyed about the indifference of the RM and dropped him a message. Did not get any reply. Got a call the next day morning while i was getting ready for office. RM told me that he checked the inventory and TDI models were not available. Was in a fix. Thanked him and then called up the dealership in Delhi, Arya Skoda, which was on the ad in TOI that day morning. Got a prompt response and the TD vehicle was sent within few hours. The RM had accompanied the vehicle and as we had already finalised the vehicle, sat for negotiation. RM confirmed that MY17, VIN17 vehicle will be provided. Started with a Rs 40k discount then 4 Year service package worth Rs 40k was thrown in as a freebie. Once the RM felt that i am ready to give the booking amount, Corporate discount was also discussed and the total discounts worked out to be Rs 110k. With this the Ambition Plus TDI Manual worked out to be around Rs 22 lacs. Gave the booking cheque and asked the RM to work out additional discounts. Finalised the Brilliant Silver colour.

Got a call promptly from the RM the next day morning and to my delight, confirmed additional Rs 30 k discount, with the total discounts at Rs 140 k. The booking cheque was banked and financing documents were collected by the dealer team and was promised delivery on 10th April as we wanted to take the delivery on auspicious day. This was on 26th March. As there was about 15 days to go for we were happily and eagerly waiting. No message from the RM post that till 2nd April. Gave him a call to enquire about the Financing and the delivery confirmation. While he confirmed that loan has been approved to the amount we wanted, he was not clear about the delivery. This raised the red flag and i called up his supervisor who had earlier spoken to me after the booking. Supervisor was clear that the TDI Manual in Ambition Plus variant was not available in the inventory and they were waiting for the factory to release the new inventory. That set me off. Was furious as to why this was not conveyed to us and if thats the case why the booking cheque was banked. No answer. Then the supervisor told there is an Onyx edition car which was received the day before and was on display. While the rate card mentioned Rs 27.6 lacs, due to the miscommunication from their end and as a goodwill, as mentioned by the supervisor, they were ready to offer at Rs 25.5 lacs OTR. While it did raise the expectations and eagerness [;)] , it was well beyond our initial stretch of Rs 22 lacs. So had to say no. Then the option given was to wait.

Was feeling a little low and thought of just checking with some other showroom, as by then it was clear that we cannot take the car by 10th April. Checked on google and dialed up Grand Auto Capital. Again prompt response and was put onto Ms Kanchan, RM. Once i told her that i was looking for a TDI Ambition Plus Manual, she was upfront in telling that they have TDI Style Plus Automatic MY16 and 1.4 TSI Ambition Plus Manual MY17 in stock and do not know when the TDI Ambition Plus variant will be available. As the Style Plus variant was MY16, they can offer some good discount on it. And the vehicle was in Brilliant Silver, our choice of colour. Immediately discussed with family and decided can stretch the budget a lac or so and asked her to come over to discuss. Met the RM in office and started the negotiation. Asked her to share the VIN details and checked out. VIN was of Nov'16 and RM also confirmed that the vehicle reached their yard in March second week. With further discussions and in consultation with her seniors, as i confirmed immediate booking and delivery, finally agreed on a OTR of Rs 24 lacs all inclusive, a good 10-11% discount on the rate card. Promptly gave the booking cheque and the financing documents. Told her clearly that the cheque to be banked only after i see the vehicle in person the next day in their yard. RM agreed and PDI was arranged for the next day morning. Went over to check the vehicle and it was in factory condition with the plastic wrappers still on the bonnet and the side panels, all around. Checked the VIN and the ODO. VIN matched to the earlier VIN shared and the ODO read 20kms. Drove around for few Kms and checked for abnormal sound, engine bay, tyres, rubber beadings, wipers, under the mats for dust/rust and other functions in the gizmos. Was satisfied and gave the green signal to go ahead for processing. Agreed for taking the delivery on 21st April. All set.

PDI1.jpg
PDI2.jpg

Thus started our journey of moving to a bigger car and from a Ciaz finalised, ended up with the Silver Bull.

On 21st took the day off from office and landed up at the Grand Auto Capital Skoda showroom in Pitampura in the afternoon, with wifey and kid. Processing was a breeze as the financing documents were signed off and cleared couple of days back. We were received courteously and taken care of with refreshments. Earlier had spoken to the RM that we will be reaching there in our Estilo and wanted the Estilo to be dropped back later by their driver, which was agreed immediately. Had a cake cutting ceremony and was handed over the keys by the RM, Ms Kanchan and her Manager. Daughter was elated and loved the sunroof feature the most. Got the vehicle file with Invoice and receipts and the navigation SD card. Got rubber mats all around including the luggage bay, couple of pillows, scuff plates in the front driver and passenger side and front mudflaps as part of the essential kit. Insurance included zero dep and skoda drive assure which covers the consumables and glass and rubber parts as well. Distributed sweets to all in the showroom and thanked the RM and team and we started off.

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Straight away went to the Siddhi Vinayak Temple and did Vahan Pooja and then reached home as proud owner of the Silver Bull.​
 
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Re: Our "Silver Bull" - Skoda Octavia Style Plus 2.0 TDI AT

Congratulations on your new car [clap]. Enjoy, happy & safe mile. [:D]

The car looks very beautiful, feels premium & rich.
 
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Congratulations on your new car, it is certainly a best sedan under 30L.

I am waiting for face-lift model and might go for it (if priced correctly).
 
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Congrats on the beast of the car! A friend has the MY17 diesel style plus in the same color as yours and boy is she so good. Love the car and it would be my pick in the segment albeit the expensive price tag.
 
Thread Starter #6
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Falling in love with the car and its handling. Few pics of the interior.

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The Engine Bay. After multiple failures of the Videshi Batteries, finally the Made in India, Exide battery. Hope this holds.

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The cavernous boot space, with the Jopasu duster and wipes

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The reliable Goodyear(s) NCT 5. Good grip, but a bit noisy. Have to see how long they retain the composure

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The neatly laid out Central console and the Sunroof controls along with the reading lamps for the driver and front passenger. Good sharp lights. Will LEDs be a good option?[confused]

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The clear Instrument Cluster with the MID and the Dual Climatronic controls. Good option of keeping them in sync or in different mode by a single click.

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The right stalk taking care of the wipers and the auto function. Seen tucked inbetween, the paddle shifter [:D] . The left stalk withe the headlight controls - low and high beam - and the super responsive Cruise Control. Love it. So smooth. Could use it only for about 30kms of highway drive so far. Gurgaon is crowded. The knob on the door arm rest area for adjusting the side view mirrors. Turn to the left and leave it, the left mirror tilts downwards while reversing, helping in seeing the objects below the camera angle. The first few days were khatta meetha, with the functions in exactly opposite sides of the Estilo. But now i think i have mastered them.

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Thread Starter #7
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Few more pics of the Information display unit.

Getting an average of 14-15 kmpl in Gurgaon traffic. At late in the evenings when the traffic eases up, average goes upto 18-19 kmpl.

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Options to activate and control various features.

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Finally the Navigation screens. Pretty accurate and has the option to store the favourite addresses. No traffic updates in India, yet. [frustration]

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Did some car care activities. Will be sharing later. [:D]
 
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Skoda has really upmarket this car with lot of features.
The ride and handling is also great. I would love this car to have an option of AWD.
This car is value for money. Congratulation!
 
Thread Starter #9
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Did the PPF work couple of weeks back. Had visited the 3M Car Care, Golf Course Road, Sector 27, Gurgaon, few months back to pamper the Estilo. After seeing the quality of work signed up for the annual package.

So the day after delivery, took the Silver Bull to get few things done. Priority list was
1. PPF
2. Paint sealant treatment
3. Nomad mat for the rear seat Hump area

Discussed with the 3M centre owner Mr. Anurag. The total cost of PPF for the whole vehicle worked out to be around Rs 1 lakh. This was way beyond the makeup budget. Cost per sq ft, including installation, was Rs 530/sq ft. Hence decided on doing only the three essential items - Front and rear bumpers, Side view mirrors and Door handle wells. The total cost worked out to be around Rs 21k. Nomad mats were not available. Hence reserved for the next visit.

Silver Bull getting a good wash in preparation for the PPF

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Bumpers sprayed with soap solution

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PPF being installed

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Odo reading

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Now two immediate items pending:
1. Nomad Mats for the rear seat Hump - the mats given as part of the essential kit does not have the Hump mat.
2. Paint sealant treatment - Full body PPF was out of budget. Hence this is the second best option.​
 
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So the day after delivery, took the Silver Bull to get few things done.
Congratulations on buying one of my favourite cars in India...!!!
No SUV in this price would have given you the features and the quality the Octy has.
The Octavia is indeed a bull and if well kept, lasts really long. 100k for the PPF is indeed an overkill and not needed. You have it at the right places now and is sufficient. LED cabin lights actually make the cabin too bright and hence I prefer the regular bulbs that are in the car.


Skoda has great discounts going on at the moment and it is one of the best times to buy an Octavia.

You'll be glad you were able to upgrade from the Ciaz to the Octy.[:)]
 
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Thread Starter #12
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Congratulations on buying one of my favourite cars in India...!!!

LED cabin lights actually make the cabin too bright and hence I prefer the regular bulbs that are in the car.


You'll be glad you were able to upgrade from the Ciaz to the Octy.[:)]
Thanks. Yes, i too was thinking about it. The current set of cabin lights are giving a soothing yellow base light. So will leave them as such.

Definitely, i am glad that we landed up with Octy. Though we could have got two Ciaz'es for the same price.[embarass] But then would have missed on the solid drive / road presence and better creature comforts on the road. With a holding period of more than 7-8 years, believe Octy will keep us happy [fingers crossed]
 
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With a holding period of more than 7-8 years, believe Octy will keep us happy [fingers crossed]
It definitely will. I've seen Octavias done more than 200,000km in India and they still feel new. It is a very durable car and with proper maintenance, will last you a decade easily.

Just one tip: -
The most vulnerable part of the car is its DSG gearbox. Hence, I would suggest you shift to neutral as soon as the car comes to halt, avoid creeping in traffic at very slow speeds (lower than those needed to engage 1st gear) and read up on how the DSG works so that you know how to avoid it heating up. Apart from that, there is nothing to worry.
 
Thread Starter #15
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It definitely will. I've seen Octavias done more than 200,000km in India and they still feel new. It is a very durable car and with proper maintenance, will last you a decade easily.

Just one tip: -
The most vulnerable part of the car is its DSG gearbox. Hence, I would suggest you shift to neutral as soon as the car comes to halt, avoid creeping in traffic at very slow speeds (lower than those needed to engage 1st gear) and read up on how the DSG works so that you know how to avoid it heating up. Apart from that, there is nothing to worry.
Thanks for the alert. Will handle it with care. Read about the handling. Many users advice to engage manual and use the paddle shifters when the traffic is crawling. Have to practice it. As of now very limited crawling time, only at the toll.
 
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