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Old 28th August 2007, 15:19   #1
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Default Skoda Laura AT - My experiences [YMMV]

Hi guys - planning to start an ongoing thread WRT the Skoda Laura as I have not found too many here.

I got this used, 1 year old [to the date], with 10K km on the odo and in pristine condition [white] for 16.3 L [including dealer commission]. Picked it up on 11/08 at about 4pm.

Enjoyed the drive back to Indiranagar from Hosur Rd [as much as you can enjoy driving on Hosur Rd]. While the car was in pristine condition externally, the interiors were pretty dirty but not damaged. Made a mental note to get a polish and interior detailing done at the earliest. Found that the ORVMs were pointing down every time I got in the car even if I had set them before. Thought that this was a fault and only later realized that they have a memory which needs to be set.

Came home and went out for a party close by so no chance to drive much. Next morning went for 20-30 Km drive on ring road. Tried all the functions, tiptronic as well as the sports gear.

Came to notice following were not working: [Still with a year of warranty so was not worried]
  1. Audible as well as visual indicator for seatbelts
  2. Audible alarm for low fuel, door open etc
Driving:

There is a very marginal lag between when you press the accelerator and the car really picking up - just a few milliseconds and then the torque comes in and it surges. Pick up to 100 is better than any car that I have owned and the feeling is exhilarating. Torque and pick up compare very well with the Accord which was my other choice but decided against it because of it size. Low end torque is great and gear changes are buttery smooth - far smoother than the only other Indian AT that I have driven, the Accord. This is probably because of the DSG box. Reached top speeds of 120 only as ring road has loads of traffic even at 7 am.

Suspension seems a bit firm but that was what I had expected from talking to other owners, the test drive and the reports that I had read. Certainly firmer than the Accord, but I think the handling is also better because of this.

Loved the feel of leather all around and the steering is very comfortable though the horn takes a little getting used to.

Cruise control is great but not much chance to use on this drive.

Parktronic is integrated into the stereo and is great for parking. Word of caution here - it takes a wee bit of time to detect the change in distance so if you are driving a bit fast you may make contact [bang into ] the obstruction before the increase in pitch of the audible alarm has time to warn you. It gives a continuous sound when you are 30cm from the object. Another word of warning - this will not detect [I think] low lying obstructions like high kerbs/dividers etc.

While the Tiptronic is great fun, I dont see myself using it that much [I may be wrong here though as I have yet to do a long highway drive]. The sports mode really lets the engine rev higher before gear changes.

More on the driving aspects as I get to drive more [need to wrestle the keys from the wifeys hands to get my hands on this car].

Bit of tyre noise which reduced when I corrected the tyre pressures - one was 4 psi above the recommended level [after the service too]. Manually checked the oil and it was on the lower limit. No obvious leaks however and it was changed at the service.

The car feels very solid with solid doors and no hint of any body noise/rattle.

Goodies:

Here is a list of goodies which the Laura has that are not advertised so many [like me at least] don't know of.

Doors, Entry, Windows & Seating

  1. Seat/mirror memories for different drivers and different keys
  2. Coming home and leaving home lights - duration of which is adjustable and will not come on in daylight
  3. Removable rear seats to increase carry space hugely
  4. Doors which can be set to lock when car speed crosses 15 kmph [unlike my earlier cars where doors would lock with ignition and I had to open the doors for passengers yet waiting to get in
  5. Opening/closing of windows with the remote/central lock button inside the car
  6. Single touch closing/opening of all windows from the drivers seat
Driving

  1. Xenon headlights which automatically adjust to load and slope
  2. Auto dimming int/ext mirrors
  3. Auto light control - lights come on automatically when required
  4. Rain sensors and auto wipers - speed of wipers change with rain and car speed and sensitivity of this is user adjustable
  5. Mirror which automatically tilts down in reverse to see the kerb while parking
  6. Wipers give a courtesy wipe after 5 seconds of final wipe after a wash/wipe
  7. Traction control, Electronic Differential Lock, Electronic Stability Control, Brake Assist, ABS
  8. Slope assist where the brake stays on for a while even after the foot is removed to prevent roll back
  9. Tyre pressure monitoring
  10. Parking sensors come on automatically in R and goes off when more than 15kmph in drive - can be manually put on/off too
  11. 2 trip meters with complete details incl dist, time, consumption, avg speed, fuel remaining etc
  12. Heated windshield washer nozzles and rear mirrors - may be of use in the north?
  13. Wipers which come to rest in alternating positions - supposed to extend the life
  14. Of course cruise control which is advertised - would have preferred to have this on steering but its on the left stalk
Comforts
  1. Cooled glove/center storage boxes
  2. On steering remotes for audio
  3. When the car is put into reverse gear, the climate control goes into recirculation mode to prevent fumes from getting into the cabin
  4. Headlamp washers
  5. Under RVM light to light the area under your door at time of entry/exit
  6. Heated seats - again for the north?
  7. Sunroof
  8. Lovely interior lighting as well as rear armrest
  9. Retractable sun shade for rear windscreen
  10. Climate control works great with a seven speed blower and individual driver/passenger temp controls
  11. Pictorial display of which door is open when the doors are opened
Safety
  1. Airbags all around
  2. Pretensioner for the seat belts - its in the manual but dont know if its provided
  3. ABS, Stability protection etc
  4. Foot pedals that move away in the event of a crash
Stereo-Quality of sound is very average
  1. Stereo volume adjusts automatically with speed
  2. 6 CD MP3 in dash Changer with display of ID3 tags
  3. Volume can be set to reduce in reverse for parking
  4. On steering controls
Next day I left it with Ahmedjan on Ulsoor Rd for an exterior polish - 2.5K and the car looked like out of the showroom. Filled gas at Shell and set the tripmeter to check mileage

Service

Monday gave it to Tafe Skoda for the minor stuff. They said that the second free service was due, carried it out and consumables cost 5.4K. While the service was very pleasant and people were nice they said that there are no lose connections and the errors need to be rectified with computer coding which they have asked for from Skoda and will get it next week. Offered to come to my house with a laptop and do the needful. Today I spoke to them and they said that they have the info but I need to bring the car in which I will do sometime next week. Skoda kept the car for 2 days as I had left it a bit late and it was without an appointment.

Few short highway drives and plenty of city drives and I just love this car. Mornings spent with driving lessons for my wife hwo has driven an AT only a couple of times before. This will actually be her car while I am sticking to my trusty Lancer and will use this car for my long and night drives. She is a great car buff and loves this car too.

Gave the car to Pit Stop, Indiranagar for a detailing and he did a great job - 1.3K. Now the interiors look new too

Mileage

After about 400km , I topped up and the mileage it had given was 10km/l. This with crazy city driving, high speed accelerations on the ring road, and 2 days in the workshop where it was probably idling for long whiles. All with the AC on. Anything around or above 10kmpl will keep me very happy.

The on board display had at the same time shown a consumption of 10.8 km/l so I guess its off by about 1km/l. This from what I have read is user caliberatable if I get the VAG-COM software and the cable. Will look into that next.

Last edited by deepakvrao : 28th August 2007 at 15:34.
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Old 28th August 2007, 17:06   #2
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That is some detailed note on the Laura!

Quote:
gear changes are buttery smooth - far smoother than the only other Indian AT that I have driven, the Accord. This is probably because of the DSG box.
Totally agreed. That DSG slushbox of the Laura is fantastic. Just too darn smooth. I preferred to keep it in "D" rather than tiptronic too!

Quote:
Pick up to 100 is better than any car that I have owned and the feeling is exhilarating. Torque and pick up compare very well with the Accord which was my other choice
The Laura surely feels faster than its actual horses, but pickup / acceleration is no match for the Accord.

Very nice review. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 28th August 2007, 17:21   #3
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fantastic review there -- not many here fancy the Skoda Laura -- since its more of an elder brother of the original Octavia -- but this review could be an eye opener for many ; DSG Gearbox -- now that should be the standard all ATs and CVTs should aim for ; too bad that VAG is planning to discontinue it since it costs a lot more that the regular ATs or CVTs
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Old 28th August 2007, 17:39   #4
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This part looks "picked up" from another thread on Laura

But all in all a very nicely done review..!!

Last edited by Rtech : 29th August 2007 at 09:47. Reason: Do not quote the entire post in your reply
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Old 28th August 2007, 18:18   #5
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>> a courtesy wipe <<

But that is quite a list of features and accessories. Enough to make a swift owner weep! But, hey! it's 10 lac more than my new swift, so I guess one gets what one pays for.

Really nice touches, like putting the AC into recycle when the car is in reverse. It's odd things like that that sell a car to me!

Here's a hint I was given, and always use, when getting used to an auto... keep the left foot tucked back to the seat and away from the pedals. After a while you loose the inclination to "put it on the clutch" --- but it takes time.
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Old 28th August 2007, 22:00   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revved_up View Post
This part looks "picked up" from another thread on Laura

But all in all a very nicely done review..!!
Yup, that was from one of my earlier posts so its not plagiarism. Just that I have sorted them out here.
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Old 28th August 2007, 22:02   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
>> a courtesy wipe <<



Here's a hint I was given, and always use, when getting used to an auto... keep the left foot tucked back to the seat and away from the pedals. After a while you loose the inclination to "put it on the clutch" --- but it takes time.
Thad,

Tried that but the ankle hurts after a while - position is awkward. I have got used to shifting from an AT to MT but my wife still struggles a bit when she drives my Lancer. Doesn't help that the Laura has reversed stalks for headlight/wiper either.
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Old 28th August 2007, 22:07   #8
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Gto,

Absolutely right - the Accord is faster but for the FE of this car and the goodies and the smaller size I felt it was worth the swap. AFAIK the 2.4 L Accord does 0-100 in 10.4 sec while the Laura takes 11.8 sec. While that is a significant difference you have to realize my earlier Innova lumbered along at about 18 sec so this is faaaast for me.

KPBhatt,

I pointed this out just because most people think its a relaunched Octy. It is in fact much more loaded.

Last edited by deepakvrao : 28th August 2007 at 22:12.
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Old 28th August 2007, 23:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
... ... Doesn't help that the Laura has reversed stalks for headlight/wiper either.
That is just so confusing!

If you asked me what side they were on my UK Rover, I couldn't tell you! But I know that I regularly flash headlights at people when I want to wash my own windscreen!
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Old 29th August 2007, 08:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Absolutely right - the Accord is faster but for the FE of this car and the goodies and the smaller size I felt it was worth the swap. AFAIK the 2.4 L Accord does 0-100 in 10.4 sec while the Laura takes 11.8 sec. .
The engine can be remapped to give 140bhp if you are desperate!
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Old 29th August 2007, 09:11   #11
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Deepakvrao,
Wow, Thats a nice review. Never knew that Laura had so many goodies. I presume that you have bought the L &K version, do all these goodies come with Elegence model also?
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Old 29th August 2007, 10:34   #12
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Fantasic review Deepak. Its the very first comprehensive review from the end user on the forum. The DSG box is fabulous on the Laura. You seem to have got a great deal on the car. Now how about a adding a Petes box?

Do update this thread regularly on your ownership experience. I'm very keen to know the service and spare parts costs.
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Old 29th August 2007, 11:17   #13
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Awesome report dude.. didn't know the laura came with so many goodies!!
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Old 29th August 2007, 11:31   #14
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Hey Deepak,
Cool review of the Laura.
Would you mind sharing the name of the used car dealer where you picked up the car?
Cheers
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Old 29th August 2007, 11:39   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
- Doors which can be set to lock when car speed crosses 15 kmph
- Xenon headlights which automatically adjust to load and slope
- Mirror which automatically tilts down in reverse to see the kerb while parking
- Wipers give a courtesy wipe after 5 seconds of final wipe after a wash/wipe
- Slope assist where the brake stays on for a while even after the foot is removed to prevent roll back
- Parking sensors come on automatically in R and goes off when more than 15kmph in drive - can be manually put on/off too
- When the car is put into reverse gear, the climate control goes into recirculation mode to prevent fumes from getting into the cabin
- Foot pedals that move away in the event of a crash
Wonderful car Deepak. I have been seeing the count of Lauras increase on Mumbai roads, but never ever knew of the features!!

The ones I have shortlisted above are amazing and truly well thought during the design stage.

Could you or someone else please let me know what does "Auto dimming int/ext mirrors" and "Foot pedals that move away in the event of a crash" mean?

All Laura owners,... have a great time with your car.
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