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Old 31st August 2011, 01:05   #1
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Default Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

I've owned a few turbo cars abroad before so do excuse me if my opinions are a bit clouded.

I'm a driving enthusiast and in my search for an affordable enthusiast car in 2010 to buy in India, I came across the obvious two choices- Laura TSI or Fiesta SXI.

I had read a lot of bad experiences with Skoda and was weary, but the turbo push was addictive and finally I decided on the Laura for the sheer reason of the TSI engine's grunt, and seemingly endless midrange power (perfect for Indian Roads).

Now one+ year down the line, and one major accident later, I'm still loving the car.

Observations:
  1. Rims and Tires: The 15 inch rims and tires are PATHETIC.... no other word to describe it. Its SO HARD to find a set of affordable 16-17 inch rims that would fit 215 tires for this car, its RIDICULOUS.. I am almost to the point of diving into a set of Borbets or HRS.
  2. Steering Issue: My steering went off center to the right about a few months past the delivery.
    Went to dealer - fixed problem, 2 months later its came back - went to dealer - fixed problem, 2 month later came back - fixed problem, 3 months later came back - went to dealer - fixed problem.
    Now 3 times - same problem.. there must be some major parts/QC issue here.
  3. Engine : As for all turbo engines, drive it like you stole it policy worked beautifully to break in the engine.. Bad quality gas in India does end up choking it over time, but nothing a full tank of Speed97 doesn't solve. I've noticed that once in a few months if I get a full tank of Speed97 instead of regular Speed, it really peps up the motor as the ECU can increase timing incrementally, and it = NICE POWER BUMP.
  4. Transmission: Best short shift gearbox i've driven, (Even shorter shifts than my Evo 8 and 2005 STI). 6 Gears is a little overkill for indian roads but it helps extract every BIT of usable power from the 1.8TSI.
    City Driving is a pleasure provided ur willing to shift down to first in low speeds, 2nd gear takeoff's are a NONO. 1-3-5-6 for normal cruising. Max speed without shitting in my pants - 170something kmph. And the only reason i was shitting in my pants was because of the dam Rims & Tires.
  5. Interiors: Nice gauge cluster, clean dash, functional and good form as well.
    CRAP cloth, my i20 has better quality fabric than this. Easy Fix by Stanley - Perforated Center black leather seats. Looks delicious.
  6. Suspension: One word - SWEEET! I know most people will say its not the best handling car due to the raised ride height and subsequent roll, but give it a lil time to settle, and learn to use the roll to thrust around the corner and its a rewarding experience. My way of taking corners in this car is - Brake before a corner, ride into the apex at 0 or part throttle, and go WOT on the apex hit. Use the chasis's reaction to acceleration to catch the body roll midway and you'll see the smile it puts on ur face. For a car with such a high(read GOOD in India) ground clearance, sway bars would be too much and could damage the struts badly without dropping the car. Given indian road conditions the car is a perfect balance of handling and comfort. I'm actually hoping the 215/17's would only work to improve this.
  7. Safety- INCREDIBLE. ROCK SOLID CAR. Had a bad accident about 11 months into the car, when a motorcyclist at night came out of no where and (well i was going fast too - 80kmph) and I ended up hitting him and blowing both my airbags with the front left fender headlight etc etc all gone.. Now here's the amazing part. CAR STILL Worked. I put the guy in the back seat, drove nearly 2kms to the hospital in the SAME CAR. Hats off to German toughness. Had it been any of my jap cars.. u cud say bye bye to the car. No frame damage no mechanical damage, no engine damage .. NOTHING. Just rip to old body panels and broken plastics off and put new ones on, replace airbag system.. and BACK AS NEW.. cant even make out...
    Skoda Service - Surprisingly turnaround time - 8 days!!! and felt as good as new!
Now somebody suggest me a GOOD SET of 17 inch rims which FIT the odd wheel size, can carry 215/225 tires and doesn't cost 25k a wheel.

Pics to follow shortly.
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Old 1st September 2011, 16:57   #2
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the ownership reports. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st September 2011, 17:09   #3
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Glad to see positive news on the Skoda service. I am surprised, why are you still struggling with a tyre upsize, as I have seen many on this forum do to their brand new tsi's.
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Old 1st September 2011, 17:14   #4
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Short and to the point report., prithwi-81.


TSi is one car I would like to buy and trash it around like nothing else. Great little car for Indian driving enthusiasts.

About the alloy upgrade, the problem with Laura is its PCD is 112, hard to find! In case you find it, choice is very limited. Want my advice, ask your Skoda dealer for 17" alloys, he should be able to provide you. Asking price may be a bit hard to digest but hey, sometimes we don't have choices, right!

Good luck with your TSi and keep clocking miles on her! Drive hard and drive safe, mate.
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Old 1st September 2011, 17:23   #5
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Nice !! This car would put a smile to your face everytime. Please put some pics of interiors, I am very interested in knowing hoe your leather seats look with black centre.
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Old 1st September 2011, 17:52   #6
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Happy to see that the TSI has treated you to a good overall ownership experience.

Your best bet for alloy upgrade is OE Skoda alloys due to the non standard PCD of the wheels. You will be surprised to find that you have a good choice of designs in 16 and 17" rims with the Skoda dealer himself. I was actually shown a full page catalogue and was asked to choose from some 7 or 8 designs available. Good tyre choices are also easily available in the market for 16/ 17 inchers without changing the overall dia compared to original 195/65 NCTs on 15 inchers.

Some pics would be nice!
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Old 1st September 2011, 19:24   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Nice and crisp report there. Which city in India do you drive your TSI around and which service center did you choose?

What is your reaction about the Skoda air conditioning being insufficient for our conditions?
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Old 1st September 2011, 19:39   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Your co-ordinates point to NY, so not sure where in India the car is located. I am guessing that you bough the Classic as that is the only one which comes with Rims and not Alloys. Why are you not considering changing to alloys. They look good on the car and i don't think there is any handling problem reported on the forum because of alloys.

Glad to see some nice report from a Laura owner, also nice to see the car back in fully fit shape after accident.

Finally, some pictures would have done better justice to the beauty of the car.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 01:36   #9
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

cedricsg - I use Giriraj Skoda Service Center in Gurgaon. Initial service experience was BAD, but I did some major bitching, and now I get great service. Also the Service Advisor - Sandeep, is the best one there. He gets the job done, other's are not that great.

Santoshbhat - I know that Skoda has a accessories catelog, but its ridiculous that most dealerships are completely unaware of its existence. With the weird Offsets, I'm tending towards OEM Alloys (17inch), or may grab the 16inch ones off the RS. I saw them in person today and REALLY liked the look of them on the car.

ethanhunt123 - Yea the TSI is a great car for India. Its actually the ONLY affordable entusiast car available here. I come from Evo 8(2003 USDM), STI (2005 USDM), Subaru Legacy Spec B(2008 USDM) and finally an Evo X MR(2009 USDM). So I'm no stranger to turbo cars.. infact this is the least powerful, but for Indian road conditions its PERFECT.

mayankjha1806 - I am in Gurgaon, I've the TSI Ambiente(2010 May). Will post the pics up shortly. Black Seats look awesome. Got the center section perforated, so its different, and Stanley does a GREAT JOB!
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Old 2nd September 2011, 16:52   #10
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Red face Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

First Pic of Accident, 2nd Pic of 20k Kms on the car with a nice average!

Interior pics coming soon:-)
Attached Images
  
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Old 2nd September 2011, 18:41   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

First Service - Oil Change, filter change, oil filter change done at 8000Kms.
2nd Service -Full Service done at 19000Kms.

Speed97 is definately a boost for this car. One full tank and the car behaves like its on steroids..

Exhaust light came on last night, took it to skoda service today morning, cleared it with VAS Tool, and paid 600 for it. Faulty O2 sensor replaced under warrenty, (bad feul responsible for cloggin it). Now its back as new.

Also asked the service guys about the 17 inch rims - estimated 13-14k per rim (but in my opinion worth it for 225 with Tires).
Lets see when bonus hits the bank a/c..

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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 6th September 2011 at 10:25.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 19:03   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Interior Pics are up.. Enjoy!
Attached Thumbnails
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Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report-img2011090200010.jpg  

Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report-img2011090200006.jpg  

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Old 2nd September 2011, 19:48   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Quote:
Originally Posted by prithwi-81 View Post
Exhaust light came on last night, took it to skoda service today morning, cleared it with VAS Tool, and paid 600 for it. Faulty O2 sensor replaced under warrenty, (bad feul responsible for cloggin it). Now its back as new.
So if O2 sensor was bad and they required VAS to identify this, why pay for the VAS scanning? This is ridiculous.

And you tank up with speed97 once in while, then what bad fuel clogged it? Or was it the speed97 itself? I have been tanking up my TSi with the regular petrol for last one and half year and did not have this problem. Strange!


BTW: Car looks really smart in black. I was in dual minds when I bought mine (white or black) as both look nice on Skodas.

Last edited by anandpadhye : 2nd September 2011 at 19:50.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 19:59   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

VAS was used to read the error code.. I know I know it should be free.... but what can I say.. CAPITALISM!

I generally stick to Speed or Premium Petrol. Over time the ECU pulls timing due to the wide variety (read inconsistency) of petrol available in Delhi/GGN. When I feel the car getting sluggish, I get a full tank of Speed97, and the car SPRINGS back to life. Its truly a night and day difference.

Lets be real.. Speed97 is expensive, so after the tank gets over i go bak to speed or premium, and let the car die down, and repeat the process over again.

Speed97 reaction - Power up/Comes on sooner (a sure thing with Turbo cars increasing timing with better feul.) Milage definately goes up as the A/F leans out, even at WOT the car is more feul efficient than its on Speed or Premium..

Another thing to note with Speed97 or similar octane feul - the Exhaust is cleaner and hotter which help to burn out residue in your exhaust (which deposit in the CAT and the Resonator and the $@&$%!%$ O2 sensors). Its been over 2 months since i tanked up on 97... time to goto delhi and get some good juice!
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Old 3rd September 2011, 14:58   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI -> 1+ Year and 20,000Kms of ownership report

Quote:
Originally Posted by prithwi-81 View Post
First Pic of Accident, 2nd Pic of 20k Kms on the car with a nice average!
That was a bad shunt. How did it happen and what were the repair bills like and what parts were changed?
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