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Alf McQueef

First Skoda, and first DSG-equipped car, driven

Only a Fabia estate though, as my holiday hire car in Austria last week!  

Last year we had a Focus 1.5 diesel, which was a good car overall. This time I went for an auto to have one less "wrong side" thing to think about, especially after 5 years driving autos. I knew it was likely to be a VAG car with a DSG gearbox, and this was it.... My first time with a DSG, it is a very smooth gearbox. It lets itself down a bit by (as far as I could work out) not swapping cogs itself in "sport" mode, with no flappy paddles its a pain to shift manually, I wanted a self-shifting mode that did not dive for 7th gear quite so rapidly.

First impressions were good, it's very easy to drive, good ride, good wheel and dials. It felt surprisingly pleasant to drive - however the engine (some kind of small petrol turbo, not sure which) is seriously harsh and lacking in power when extended. VAG seem to be good at making petrol engines that are nearly as harsh as diesels.... These modern small petrols are very pleasant to use when pootling about, with little lag and decent torque, but the lower power models are suggesting they have a lot more oomph than they really do when extended (much like basic diesel engines do) and the one time I overtook a truck it was quite terrifying slow, and really harsh and crappy sounding too. Miles slower than last year's Focus, or our C Max.

However, it used 22.4 litres of fuel for 485km - which I make about 61MPG! That is by some way the most economical vehicle I have ever driven. I think last year's Focus diesel estate was somewhere around the 50MPG mark for the same sort of driving, which tends to be consistent 55 ish mph on decent roads in Austria, on the motorways in Germany I was around 70-80mph and not hanging around on the way back in terms of attempting to accelerate the thing on the motorway.

The interior, bar the dials and steering wheel, was disappointingly low-rent in a way that felt like an artificial means of keeping VW's more "premium". The girls did not like it, at all, though Mrs ALF did drive it and didn't hate it to drive. It looked abysmal. However it had a certain joyful character to it that suggests to me that the more powerful versions like the popular hottish hatch diesel are a lot of fun, if you like your sackcloth and ashes.

Martin

Can we see that picture without the basic Skoda ruining the view?
PhilD

Martin wrote:
Can we see that picture without the basic Skoda ruining the view?


does look lovely doesn't it!
Martin

It does.  I love Austria and the Alps in general, spent many summers in that part of the world as a kid.  We're going to Vienna for a few days for our minimoon.
simonp

Did it not have a sport auto mode on the gearbox?
Bob Sacamano

It does make me want to get in the back of the wardrobe and dig out my lederhosen.

I've noticed that Skoda interiors have plateaued in recent years. They had that tremendous lift in quality after VW took them over but now it is as if any further improvement will encroach too closely on VW.
simonp

The external styling has always been a bit meh, too. Out of all the Golf based models the Octavia is the last one I'd choose, not because it's a bad car, but because I just find it the least attractive looking.
Alf McQueef

Martin wrote:
Can we see that picture without the basic Skoda ruining the view?


I have not edited my pics from Austria yet, but a few straight from the camera from this time:









PhilD

Martin wrote:
It does.  I love Austria and the Alps in general, spent many summers in that part of the world as a kid.  We're going to Vienna for a few days for our minimoon.


Me too. Otherside but looks very similar - Annecy is our favourite place.
Martin

PhilD wrote:
Martin wrote:
It does.  I love Austria and the Alps in general, spent many summers in that part of the world as a kid.  We're going to Vienna for a few days for our minimoon.


Me too. Otherside but looks very similar - Annecy is our favourite place.


Spent a fair few summers in Annecy too and my parents still go there for about 6 weeks every July/August, they stay at the other end of the lake (Bout du Lac).  My Dad loves it as it's totally relaxed and he can mess about in his boat (just an inflatable with an outboard)

Great pictures ALF!
PhilD

Martin wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Martin wrote:
It does.  I love Austria and the Alps in general, spent many summers in that part of the world as a kid.  We're going to Vienna for a few days for our minimoon.


Me too. Otherside but looks very similar - Annecy is our favourite place.


Spent a fair few summers in Annecy too and my parents still go there for about 6 weeks every July/August, they stay at the other end of the lake (Bout du Lac).  My Dad loves it as it's totally relaxed and he can mess about in his boat (just an inflatable with an outboard)

Great pictures ALF!


Just up here on the left?

Martin

That looks very familiar.
PhilD

We stay just across the water, here:


Frank Bullitt

Never really considered Austria as a holiday location, looks nice though

Surely the Fabia has to be seen in the context of ten price point - I know the engine isn't up to the XF-R standards, but as a small capacity petrol go back a decade and I suspect it is plenty better.
Martin

My parents stay at Le Lac Bleu at the bottom of your map and have a pitch right on the lakeside.
PhilD

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Never really considered Austria as a holiday location, looks nice though

Surely the Fabia has to be seen in the context of ten price point - I know the engine isn't up to the XF-R standards, but as a small capacity petrol go back a decade and I suspect it is plenty better.


And how many people on here have said how petrol turbos don't get the MPG they promise in the real world, and yet here's Alf talking about 61mpg from a hire car! Pretty impressive.
JohnC

PhilD wrote:
And how many people on here have said how petrol turbos don't get the MPG they promise in the real world, and yet here's Alf talking about 61mpg from a hire car! Pretty impressive.


I think the improvements in petrol technology have resulted in much better consumption figures but only on cars built in the last couple of years.

My wife's 2013 2 litre TFSI Audi won't do more than low 30's in the gentlest of driving. Low to mid 20's are the norm.
simonp

I get high 40s out of my beast of a 1.4 and I don't hang about. It doesn't do much better on a long run, as I don't believe the COD bit works unless you're doing less than 70mph. Seems a little pointless in the UK!
Alf McQueef

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Never really considered Austria as a holiday location, looks nice though

Surely the Fabia has to be seen in the context of ten price point - I know the engine isn't up to the XF-R standards, but as a small capacity petrol go back a decade and I suspect it is plenty better.


If your other half will only consider somewhere freakishly clean and safe, and on top of a general health anxiety suffered months at the hands of French food poisoning a while back, Germany and Austria score well! Alpine scenery in the summer is heaven on earth to me, though it is torture being there with the girls to an extent - I just want to walk/climb/mountain bike myself into a stupor but they want to do the tiniest of walks and tourist about a bit, which I'm fine with, but I want my exercise/adrenaline hit too! This place was nice as well, in the town we stay in, and we had free passes to it:

http://www.tauernspakaprun.com/en/spa-water-world

The Fabia was a perfectly decent car for what it was. My issue is that is was the same money/class in hire car terms as the Focus estate 1.5tdi hire car we had last year (in fact more when you take , but its a much worse car in terms of equipment, size, performance and so on. They do call it a hire car lottery....
PG

Alf McQueef wrote:
This place was nice as well, in the town we stay in, and we had free passes to it:

http://www.tauernspakaprun.com/en/spa-water-world


I opened that website and looked at a few photos and then nearly spit my coffee out. This one if great - the web designer must have a great sense of humour.

If you can't read the caption it says  - "Feeling good in the skyline pool".


Alf McQueef

Maybe they've got young kids - because when you are sharing a small cabin or hotel room with them, nothing like that is going to happen in your room!
Gurney

The VRS was good but the dsg rattled like a bastard on the over run, the stealer shrugged and said they all do that and after a few minutes googling it seems he was right. Truth be told I preferred the silly speed in the GTA or more correctly the Cambiocorsa.

My old GTA still hasn't broke btw, it's new owner regularly contributes on Alfaowner.
PG

Gurney wrote:
The VRS was good but the dsg rattled like a bastard on the over run, the stealer shrugged and said they all do that and after a few minutes googling it seems he was right. Truth be told I preferred the silly speed in the GTA or more correctly the Cambiocorsa.

My old GTA still hasn't broke btw, it's new owner regularly contributes on Alfaowner.


Welcome back!!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

PG wrote:

If you can't read the caption it says  - "Feeling good in the skyline pool".

Is that Mr Good or Ms Good who is being felt in the pool ?

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