I worked at Skoda in my early years, so I always have a soft corner for the brand. Although I worked on the assembly line and was responsible for wheel balancing.
BHPian EmpyreanKnight recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Why a new car?
I read in an ownership review; The gentleman very accurately described the reason for buying his new car, Khudak – a north Indian slang for any unnecessary itch to do something.
In my case, in addition to Khudak, it was also a Chul – the kind of feeling when you want something desperately and cannot wait any longer.
It started at the end of 2020 when I got a new job in Mumbai; here is how it went:
Impatient Me: “Since Mumbai is only 350 km from our hometown, and we plan to come home every weekend. We should get a new car! We can keep the Elite i20 Asta at home for family use and have another car for Mumbai; it totally makes sense, right?”
Wise Me: “We still need to go and join the office, find a place to live, and set ourselves up in Mumbai, and you are already thinking about a car; just do the basics first, and then we will decide on the car?”
Impatient Me: Still keeps looking for options and visiting showrooms for discounts on to be discontinued Creta, waiting for new Seltos, as if I had to buy it in a week.
Basically, I had all the symptoms of a person in possession of Chul.
When I traveled to Mumbai and joined the new office, all my thoughts about the car went away because instead of Chul, now I was possessed by a stronger feeling called home-sickness
I never stayed away from my family, except when I traveled for short work-related trips. But now, moving to Mumbai and staying there most of the time and only going to home on weekends suddenly seemed too hard to live with. Driven by this homesickness, I got into the following routine – Monday to Wednesdays in Mumbai > Overnight travel to home town > Thursday to Sunday in hometown > Return to Mumbai on Sunday night.
This continued till March 2020, and then as you are all aware, COVID struck. Fast-forward to Sep 2021.
Impatient Me: “It has been years since we thought of purchasing a new car, let alone even buying one; let us at least see what options do we have. We can get an SUV this time.”
Wise Me: “No! we do not need a new car, the i20 works like a charm, and there is no logic in buying a new car; an SUV does not add value to our use case at the moment.”
Impatient Me: “This wise guy is so stringent; let me trick him.” “Listen, wise guy. We are paying so much in income tax. We can save a lot with the car lease policy. Don’t you think it will be a win-win!”
Wise Me: “Yea, that makes sense; let’s see what options we have and what budget we are okay with.”
Once this argument was settled in my brain, I started to shortlist the would-be cars. Please read on to the next section for the selection process.
Which new car?
Since I did not have any specific need to upgrade to a new car, all I wanted was an SUV, and at least it should have all other features that were already part of the elite i20. So you may find some reasons illogical for rejecting a car.
Kia Seltos: Seltos was my first choice; it had all the bells and whistles that one cloud ask for. It also had a diesel automatic, which was definitely a plus point. I instantly made the booking, and the wait started, but the long waiting periods and uncertainty of the delivery date made me cancel the booking.
Jeep Compass: The Compass had everything I wanted in a car. The facelift made it more desirable, but the top-of-line variant was costing above 30 lakh, and it was too much to spend on a car. I could not justify the cost to my family. They are so practical that I thought, why was it so expensive when it does not carry any more passengers than our humble i20. I did consider the preowned options but did not find a well-maintained example, except for one car whose owner was a Jeep India employee; his car was in pristine condition, but we could not agree on a price and that was end of Jeep Compass.
Tata Nexon EV: I considered this seriously. I wanted to be a part of the “Reducing your own carbon footprint movement,” but Mom disliked the design, and I saw some discouraging YouTube videos. That was the end of Nexon EV. On a lighter note, It does pop into my head when visiting fuel stations, hehe.
MG Hector: The Hector felt like most value for money. It gave me a sense of luxury. It also had the road presence, but all these didn’t add up after I test drove it. It lacked handling, and maybe its big size makes it more perceptible.
MG Astor: I didn’t feel like I was upgrading from the i20, don’t get me wrong. It is an upgrade in every sense, be it interiors, features, or overall size, but maybe the hatchback-like shape put my heart off this one.
Tata Safari: I did consider the Safari for a short period, primarily due to the OMEGARC platform and its benefits; also, it was a seven-seater, that could make it future proof for when I am traveling with complete family but again, it was getting too expensive, and I had to drop the idea.
Hyundai Creta: The following ownership report made me consider it. In spite of my disliking about its looks. Dropped it due to primarily long waiting periods.
Honda City: I know one of the essential criteria of the new car was to be an SUV, but after reading this review, I dad to consider the Honda City. I loved it in its Radiant Red metallic color, but it was rejected by my wife, saying, “After one year, you will again desire an SUV; better buy an SUV right now.”
Volkswagen Taigun: I had to check this car out. With so much buzz around its launch and chic-looking European design, it demanded an audience. I was mesmerized by the legroom available for rear passengers. I thought this was it, Volkswagen, please take my money. I booked the car, but I was not happy with the showroom staff. It felt like they were doing me a favor by selling me the car. For example, they told me it was compulsory to buy insurance from them. I had to purchase the accessories pack from them. I had to buy the maintenance pack right at the time of car purchase, and on top of it, they didn’t give me a receipt of the booking amount and told me to collect it the next day. I thought let’s not reject the car due to these reasons and went home, but I had a tough time sleeping that night, thinking about all the bad things that could happen to me. The next day I called the sales executive three times to collect the receipt of the booking amount and every time he said: “Sir, sending you in 15 mins.” My next call to him was to cancel the booking. I could not trust them; I thought it was better safe than sorry.
Skoda Kushaq: By this time, I was fed up with the long waiting times and was unable to come to a decision. I thought, let’s buy something available off the shelf. My next call was to Skoda because I knew they would have a car available, considering their problems with EPC and fuel pumps, and no surprises there, they had a white color available with them. I again made the booking by paying 25k. I was completely aware of the issues with the Kushaq, but I still went ahead with the booking for the following reasons. (First two reasons are in case I face a problem and the third reason is purely for my heart).
- My city is the home of Skoda in India, which means I know a few people who work there.
- The workshop manager at the Skoda showroom is my cousin’s friend.
- I worked at Skoda in my early years, so I always have a soft corner for the brand. Although I worked on the assembly line and was responsible for wheel balancing. It still made me feel proud back then!
How did I get a new car?
To continue on the journey of my car purchase, things were still not settled. As you know, I booked the car, and they had white color available. I requested them a PDI, and they agreed. Upon checking the VIN, I realized it was an August 2021 manufactured car, and this was November. I simply said no to that car. During my PDI visit, I saw the demo car in Tornado Red color, and I could not take my eyes off it; it looked so sexy! I told my sales executive to change my booking to Tornado Red, he did show his regular tantrums, but I didn’t budge, and the wait started for a Tornado Red Skoda Kushaq 1.0 AT Style.
I got a call on 29th Nov Monday, and my sales executive said they could deliver the car before the end of the week if I could make the complete payment. I agreed and got into arranging the finance. I told my sales executive to expect the payment by the next day, and the delivery date was agreed as 3rd December.
Picture Abhi Baki Hai Mere Dost (There is more to the story)…I purchased one more Skoda:
My humble Elite i20 was sold at cars 24, and we were without a car for almost a month. That was one of the reasons to get a car as soon as possible. During my visits to the showroom and test drives, sometimes dad accompanied me, and he somehow developed a phobia that he won’t be comfortable driving such big cars in the city. Mom and I decided that maybe, we buy a small preowned car for him that could also be used for small city runs. we told our plan to Dad, and he agreed, thus began a search for a small car; I will not go into details about the purchase process but will describe in short what happened. I looked at numerous Honda Brios and Swifts, but none could pull the heartstrings. I then came across a 2010 Skoda Fabia, which did look good in pictures and was claimed to be used only for 35,000 Km. I did not believe it, but then I thought, what’s the harm in checking it out. When I test drove it, I was mesmerized by the silent cabin and the way it pulled. I found what I was looking for.
The next steps followed:
- Dad test drove it and loved it.
- We got it checked by our local mechanic, and he gave his nod.
- I checked the car’s service history, and the mileage of 35k km was genuine.
We bought the car.
This way, I ended up having two Skodas in two months.
If you remember, I originally planned to buy a car on the car lease policy for tax-saving purposes, but that did not work out due to multiple reasons, and I ended up financing from SBI, which was hassle-free and quick. I got the loan at a 7.25% interest rate, with no foreclosure or part payment charges.
I did get a discount of 10k on insurance, but that is it, nothing more. I am not a good money negotiator.
On road price:
- ₹1,089,654 – Ex-Factory cost.
- ₹152,552 – CGST @ 14%
- ₹152,552 – SGST @ 14%
- ₹185,241 – CESS @ 17%
- ₹195,942 – Road Tax.
- ₹15,800 – Tax collected at source @ 1%
- ₹59,860 – Skoda Insurance with 0% dep ( after ₹ 9,941 of discount)
- ₹18,799 – Essential Accessories kit.
- ₹600 – Fasttag.
- ₹1,871,000 – On road price (sum of above)
- ₹7,500 – RTO charges for choice number.
- ₹2,500 – Agent fees for choice number.
- ₹6,670 – Loan Franking Charges.
- ₹24,999 – 4 yrs Maintenance pack.
- ₹29,498 – 2 yrs Extended warranty.
- ₹71,167 – Total (sum of above)
Total charges paid up until delivery – ₹ 1,942,167
I have requested a refund on the maintenance pack, as Skoda was offering the maintenance pack at 16k when I purchased the car. I have assurance from the regional customer relationship manager of Skoda that they will credit my Skoda service account with the difference amount.
Finally, the delivery day arrived. I took the day off and planned to visit the showroom early. I intended to call the family members when everything was ready at the showroom. On my way, I picked up three boxes of Cham Cham sweets, one for the showroom, one for the sales executive, and one for home.
I saw my car getting cleaned and prepared for delivery upon reaching the showroom. I completed the paperwork and downloaded the My Skoda and Skoda Connect apps. They took my mobile number for Skoda connect and told me activation would happen by the next day. They warned me if I had ever downloaded the Skoda connect earlier and logged in to it with my current mobile number; if so, I would need a different mobile number for activation. I told them I did play with the app some days ago and used my mobile number, but still, I insisted they go ahead and try my current mobile number for activation. (More on this later).
Once everything was ready, I called my family, and they were at the showroom within a half hour. The celebration began, with all the showroom staff gathered near the car. We clicked photos and made a short video when they pulled the car cover and showered the confetti; then, the sales executive handed the car keys to my father. The sales executive offered to show all the car features, to which I politely said no since I knew everything about it from the detailed Team-BHP review. Then he showed me all the car accessories that I received in the accessories pack, and all the things were kept in the car boot. The sales executive told me to bring the car the next day to fix the number plates, and then we all left the showroom happily.
Everyone gets something & everyone is happy:
Parked at home with the elder sibling, our Fabia:
What happened in the first few weeks of owning the car?
I will write my likes and dislikes in a separate section below; here is what happened in the first few weeks.
What Paint protection?
I originally planned to get a ppf coating from Brotomotive Pune; I got in touch with them and asked for a quote; here is what I got:
- Option 1 – Garware PPF at ₹650 / sq ft (5 yrs life & warranty) approximate cost of an entire car was quoted to be ₹1,62,000/-
- Option 2 – Xpel PPF at ₹900 / sq ft (10 yrs life & warranty) approximate cost of an entire car was quoted to be ₹2,25,000/-
Irrespective of option 1 or 2, ceramic coating charges ₹9,000/- for coating all glasses, alloy wheels, and exterior trims.
They also shared the ceramic coating quotes with me at various price points; please see the details below.
- Option 1 – Gtechniq crystal serum Ultra – ₹48,000 that includes (10H Ultra base coat + 2*Exo topcoat ceramic coating with nine years warranty.
- Option 2 – Gtechniq crystal serum Light – ₹36,000 that includes (9H light base coat +2 * Exo topcoat ceramic coating with five years warranty.
- Option 3 – Eco-Ceramic coating – ₹22,000 that includes 1*9H Mafra base coat + topcoat ceramic coating with two years warranty.
After receiving the quotes, PPF was out of the question due to budget constraints. I was tempted to get the ceramic coating done from them. From their YouTube videos, they seem entirely professional & knowledgeable in what they do, but traveling to Pune and staying there for two days would easily add 10 to 15k to the expenses. So Brotomotive was put on hold.
I called up the 3M showroom in my city and fixed an appointment with them. Upon visiting the showroom, I asked them about ppf charges, but they plainly said: “Sir, we won’t be able to PPF on the complete car.” For ceramic, they quoted me ₹32,450/- which included ceramic coating and PPF at essential places like door handle cups, door edges, ORVM, and door sills. It also included one free car wash and maintenance check after six months. I agreed and left the car with them to take delivery the next day. Let some pictures do the talking:
Sibling Taigun was also getting a ceramic coat:
Have I said earlier I love this Tornado Red colour?
Overall they did a pretty decent job. Recently I got scratches on the bonnet due to a dog trying to be playful with my car; I tried rubbing the scratches to check how deep they were and found that they may be removable after a good wash and rubbing. I took the car to 3M and showed the scratches to them; upon inspection, they told me they could get rid of them; I took a sigh of relief! They informed me that I would get a call from them whenever they get another car in-house for ceramic coating. I got this done after a few weeks at no extra charges. I liked their service and would happily refer them to other people.
All the fuss with Skoda Connect:
Skoda connect did not work for me. When I visited the showroom to fix the number plates, I told my sales executive to get it checked, and he promptly called a mechanic from the workshop. The mechanic unplugged the jio dongle and plugged it back again. I was told it would work within 4 hours (I knew it won’t, but I didn’t say anything).
After a few weeks, I got a call from the showroom, asking me to visit the showroom for Skoda connect issue. When I visited there, I met one of the supervisors who exclusively handled the cases related to Skoda connect issues. He made me sit next to his chair and showed me the interface that they have to check the data about all the cars; he showed me a few examples where he could see the live data of the cars, for example, the current speed of Kushaq. (I wonder how Skoda handles topics like privacy and misuse of data). He then tried activating the Jio dongle of my car again, but it was in vain. Then he wrote an email to the Jio team informing them about my problem. He told me he would call me as soon as he got a solution from Jio.
Again after a few weeks, I got a call from the supervisor himself; He told me to provide another mobile number to register with the Skoda connect. I promptly gave my wife’s number. He called again after a few minutes and asked me if I could visit the workshop for 10 minutes. Since it was a Saturday, I said why not. When I reached the workshop, the supervisor and a mechanic greeted me at the gate, and the mechanic again unplugged and plugged in the Jio dongle. The supervisor told me the try to register on the app again, and Voila! It worked this time. So, the issue was maybe with the mobile number; if I had not played with the app and per-registered it before activation from Skoda’s end, this could have all been avoided. My cousin, mechanic, and the supervisor went for a short drive to test the app, and I stayed back at the workshop. I could easily track the location of the car. Although it was not as smooth as GPS tracking, it was okay. It shows the data approximately 2 mins late.
Contiue reading BHPian EmpyreanKnight’s review of his Skoda Kushaq 1.0 TSI AT Style for BHPian comments, insights and more information.
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