It is not always the distance we travel that makes the destination worthy of #wanderlust tags. Even a short weekend drive can put an amazing week-long grin on your face, and when the destination is a lake-side camp and the car in question is the Skoda Rapid, things start to look up even more. It’s not all fun, games and free rides though at the evo India office. Not that the Rapid needed a checkup, but with all the talk about Skoda transforming their service experience, my holiday had to be preceded by some actual investigative work.
The service experience at Skoda service centre
It starts with the My Skoda App where everything is at your fingertips and for a susegad goenkar like me, it was time and unwanted muscle tension saved. What the app does is make the entire ownership experience transparent – from what is required to be done at every service interval, to even the parts prices involved. No guess work on how much a service will cost anymore. Using the ‘Book Service’ option, I got an appointment and a quick confirmatory call followed. The next day I was at the Ethix Skoda service centre in Pune, exchanging pleasantries with their service executive and the Rapid was hoisted on the lift and readied for inspection.
I have to admit that I was in quite a hurry to drive away with the car but one look at the list of things that needed to be inspected and I was sure that I wouldn’t be hitting the road for a long time to come. The technicians at the service centre however assured me that the Rapid would be spick and span in no time. Yeah right, I thought.
While I helped myself to a rejuvenating cup of hot tea, the Rapid was drained off all its fluids. A few hours of wrenching later, the beautiful Lapiz Blue paint job got a thorough wash, along with some interior pampering. My forebodings about the amount of time it would take only increased. So, imagine my surprise when Skoda handed me the car within a few hours! Okay, let me clarify that – it took just two hours. Suspicious me was pretty sure at this point that they must have just given me some express servicing and charged me extra. But a quick look at the service bill, and I realised it was just 500 bucks more than the six grand it was estimated on the app. Excellent. No need to worry about servicing for the next 15,000km then. It’s those huge service intervals really that massively reduce the cost of ownership of the Rapid.
“The Rapid, which shares its genes with cars that scorch race and rally tracks across India, was great fun on the twisties but it really came into its own on the last bit to the campsite that was all dirt roads”
Taking the Skoda Rapid out for the weekend
As soon as the keys were handed back, I got onto the highway. I had only a few hours to myself and did not want to waste one bit of it. A drive to Pawna lake outside Pune would soothe my soul, and it did. Out on the highway, the 1.5-litre diesel motor thrilled your motorsport correspondent with its immediacy and punch, while the DSG gearbox lived up to its tag of the best and quickest shifting in its class. The Rapid, which shares its genes with cars that scorch race and rally tracks across India, was great fun on the twisties but it really came into its own on the last bit to the campsite that was all dirt roads. I played out my rally driver fantasies as the Rapid soaked in all the bumps and delivered a ride quality that was positively sublime.
As I reached Pawna, the sun was already shying away, making the Lapiz Blue paint look even more mesmerising. This is a very handsome car, no doubt about it. Great to drive too, and as my investigations revealed, not at all expensive to run, with the added benefit of the transparency and urgency on the service front, thanks to the My Skoda App. Everything really is at your fingertips.