February 26, 2020
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Notes From My Skoda

Bey­ond the car’s elegance, what scared him was the after-sales service

Notes From My Skoda
The ‘high-maintenance’ car image had hurt Skoda. It’s changing.
Photograph by Getty Images
Notes From My Skoda

Sometime back, Czech carmaker Skoda’s­­ after-sales service evoked dread among car enthusiasts. The fear of busting your earnings while getting up a stalled Skoda forced many to keep away from some of those fantastic cars, inc­luding the powerful Skoda vRS. But ­Skoda has now come out with a one-of-its­-kind warranty service which spans up to four years. Have things changed really?

I was one of the early folks in India to dec­ide on buying the new Skoda Octavia ­immediately after it was launched in 2013. I had to wait for over six months to get the colour and the model (Black, 1.8 TSI Elegance) that I was looking for. During this long wait, I looked at many options, but none came close to the ­Octavia on features and performance. I have been driving this car for over two years now and I still look forward to getting into the car and driving it around to the office, for small errands and the occasional weekend getaways.

The Octavia feels solid and strongly built with great interiors that give the feel of a luxury sedan. Inside it is a different world, far away from the noise and pollution on the road and my family loves it for its solid and spacious feel. Its seven-speed DSG transmission makes driving in Delhi traffic absolutely effortless and also makes the weekend drives exc­iting with its smooth delivery of 177bhp. Its cool features, like auto dimming rear view mirrors, rain sensing wipers, adaptive front light system, cruise control etc. make driving safer and effortless at any time of the day and in any weather. The automatic boot opener is something that I miss in this car, because of its strong built, opening and closing the boot  ­requires a little bit of effort.

I had come across a lot of negative comments about Skoda service on the web and was worried about it while buying this car. But after having used the car for two years and after three visits to Skoda, I don’t have anything to complain on that front.

(The author is Business Director, DuPont Industrial Biosciences—South Asia)

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