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Old 30th January 2009, 12:27   #1
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Default Skoda Laura L&K : 20,000 kms review

Hi,

I bought my Laura, L&K, Manual trans. in February 2007. It has run 22,000 Km till date. I thought I should share my thoughts as most other posts relate to cars with the DSG box (auto).

I bought the car for its handling and FE and it has not disappointed me till date. My car is what is called Cappuchino Beige by Skoda, it looks a mix between Steel Grey and Muddy brown depending on the light conditions. I was not too enamoured with this colour but this was the lightest colour with beige interiors - I was clear in my head that I did not want the black intereiors as they make the car look less roomy + have a tendency to absorb heat.

I must say straight away that the car has not disappointed me in the important criteria I set for it. It has a very stiff suspension setup and handles well. The road grip is prodigious and the ESP is kinda redundant even on wet roads. The car has been regularly returning a FE of 13 Kmpl. this goes up to about 14 Kmpl on long runs. I walk to my office so there is no daily commute. I have done about 4 medium distance highway drives on the car till date - Vijayawada, Bapatla etc. I regularly use it for short highway drives - Sanga Reddy, Warangal etc. plus I run it in the city a fair bit.

The service history and costs are as below:

21.2.2007: Purchase date

12.6.2007: Horn failed - replaced under warranty without any fuss

14.8.2008: Service @ 6839 Km (Cost Rs. 4,580/- including Oil, water, Filter, wheel balancing and alignment)

details missing: Service (Cost - approx Rs. 5,000/- all inclusive)

27.10.2008: Service @ 18,621 Km (Cost Rs.8,864/- including water, oil, filters, wheel balancing and alignment, exterior polishing and interior cleaning)

A total of about Rs.18,500/- which included Rs.2,800 for polishing the exterior and cleaning the interiors. Not bad at all.

The play in my clutch pedal has reduced considerably and adjustment is not possible. By my reckoning the clutch might come up for replacement in another 10K to 20 Km and will set me back by about Rs.20K.

All in all I must say I am quite happy and am keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 30th January 2009, 16:21   #2
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
14.8.2008: Service @ 6839 Km (Cost Rs. 4,580/- including Oil, water, Filter, wheel balancing and alignment)

details missing: Service (Cost - approx Rs. 5,000/- all inclusive)

27.10.2008: Service @ 18,621 Km (Cost Rs.8,864/- including water, oil, filters, wheel balancing and alignment, exterior polishing and interior cleaning)
If those dates are correct, the duration between the first and third services is only 61 days and the car has run an average of 193 kms per day in that duration.

Interestingly post that service it has been a sedate 38kms per day.

Moreover could not understand the servicing frequency!

The mileage you have been getting also seems to be a little low for a manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
The play in my clutch pedal has reduced considerably and adjustment is not possible. By my reckoning the clutch might come up for replacement in another 10K to 20 Km and will set me back by about Rs.20K.
Could this be the reason for low fuel efficiency? 30 to 40 thousand kilometres is quite low for clutch life!
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Old 31st January 2009, 10:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trrk View Post
Hi,



If those dates are correct, the duration between the first and third services is only 61 days and the car has run an average of 193 kms per day in that duration.

Interestingly post that service it has been a sedate 38kms per day.

Moreover could not understand the servicing frequency!

The mileage you have been getting also seems to be a little low for a manual.



Could this be the reason for low fuel efficiency? 30 to 40 thousand kilometres is quite low for clutch life!

Oops sorry, that is a typo, the first service is in August 2007 the third is October 2008, the second is somewhere in February 2008 (my accountant has hijacked the bills etc.)

Most of the 20K Km is in the city particulary the CBD with its stop and go traffic. This is the reason for the low FE and suspected increased clutch wear. Incidentally the clutch thing is only my suspicion / deduction from the decreased play in the pedal. The dealer has said that the clutch is OK. I gave him a detailed list of things to check and report to me, when turning the car in for the III service which included things like clutch, brake-pads, underbody damage, etc. etc.

Again sorry for the typo and thanks for pointing it out.

Cheers,
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Old 31st January 2009, 18:02   #4
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Again sorry for the typo and thanks for pointing it out.
Cheers,
No problems. I was just curious to know the details.

I did look at Octavia / Laura when I was looking for an automatic. Laura was too above budget for me and Octavia auto demo was not available.

I settled for the City CVT.
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Old 31st January 2009, 19:18   #5
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Hey Ravveendrra,
In our Warangal trip last Sunday, I saw your car speedo console displaying 17.3 kmpl FE.
Was that the correct reading?
Also, what are the recommended service intervals for a Laura? 3 services in 18 months seems to be kind of long.
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Old 31st January 2009, 23:48   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Hey Ravveendrra,
In our Warangal trip last Sunday, I saw your car speedo console displaying 17.3 kmpl FE.
Was that the correct reading?
Also, what are the recommended service intervals for a Laura? 3 services in 18 months seems to be kind of long.
OMG, I must say you were very observant during that drive! @ vnabhi

As deepak has said before, there seems to be a small error of a little less than 1 Kmpl in the FE displayed in these cars. If the MFD (Multi-Function Display was showing 17.3 Kmpl FE then the actual would have been about 16.4 at that point in time. On reaching home, I checked the MFD for the FE for that day and it showed 16.7 so the actual FE would have been about 15.8 or so for the whole Warangal trip.

The MFD normally shows no. of litres consumed per 100 Km, I found the mental arithmatic required to figure out the Kmpl from the lit/100km too daunting and changed the display to Kmpl. I wonder if the lit/100Km is more accurate.

The recommended service interval for the Laura is every 6 months or 9000 Km. whichever is earlier. *I might be wrong about the 9000 Km bit, and must check my manual, which is in the car. Incidentally the first service is also 6 months after delivery.

@ACM & androdev,

I agree with androdev that the ORVMs are not light-sensitive in Laura (India L&K). (I checked tonite after reading ACM's post!)

@androdev,

My clutch is ok too, just that the reduced play worried me so I had it checked and wanted to know if the play can be increased. Like you, I am keeping my fingers crossed. A member on the Hyd TBHP drive to Warangal asked me not to worry about the reduced play and assured me that my clutch is good for a long long time (god bless him). According to him the clutches last 100 to 150K Km even on driver driven vehicles.

Cheers all,
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Old 3rd February 2009, 10:43   #7
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Default Orvm

Ravveendrra

The MFD normally shows no. Of litres consumed per 100 Km, I found the mental arithmatic required to figure out the Kmpl from the lit/100km too daunting and changed the display to Kmpl. I wonder if the lit/100Km is more accurate.
BOTH lit/100km AND kmpl HAVE AN ERROR OF ABOUT 10%.

The recommended service interval for the Laura is every 6 months or 9000 Km. Whichever is earlier. *I might be wrong about the 9000 Km bit, and must check my manual, which is in the car. Incidentally the first service is also 6 months after delivery.
NOPE IT IS 7500 KMS

@ACM & androdev,

I agree with androdev that the orvms are not light-sensitive in Laura (India L&K). (I checked tonite after reading ACM's post!)

Andro the logic sound very convincing, but 4 points make me feel differently:
1) have actually found the light reflection to change / reduce in the side view mirrors at night time when the light from trucks at the rear would hit the inside central rear view mirror. This change in the side view mirrors and the central mirror did not happen when the rear sun curtain is pulled up.
2) that the side view mirrors are linked to the central mirror's light sensors is mentioned in my manual.
3) my car is from almost the first batch imported into india - feb 2006 registered, dec 2005 manufactured. Maybe the feature was enabled earlier and discontinued later.
4) the black plastic side relector / indicator below the ovrm is different in my laura. (had to get it replaced when the side view mirror was damaged, the currently available plate in stock that looks identical on the outside did not fit - had different connectors - and the plate that i have had to be ordered and arrived in a weeks time - cost rs. 2000 odd.). So definately the mirrors is of a different internal design.

By the way again broke the same place with a slow speed brush with a truck last week. Have again ordered the same, this time the driver side door too has some scratches so that too would need painting work and an insurance claim. Had already required the front bumber and foglamps to be replaced last month after an accident at the same place on the highway with a scooter guy. (bombay to baroda trip on the national highway)

By the way am at 52,000 kms right now.

@androdev,

My clutch is ok too, just that the reduced play worried me so I had it checked and wanted to know if the play can be increased. According to him the clutches last 100 to 150K Km even on driver driven vehicles.

Expect the clutch to last 50k kms only - based on report that i have read on various forums regarding the manual version. Just a opinion that i have formed, may be wrong.

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th March 2009 at 18:58. Reason: Please do not type in ALL CAPS.
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Old 3rd February 2009, 12:38   #8
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The service intervals for the new batch of Lauras- 10000kms or 1 year. The ORVMs are light sensitive ( L&K) I have experienced the difference and yes another change- they say that we can use premium diesel like speed. Earlier there used to be a warning not to use premium fuels.
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Old 3rd February 2009, 15:04   #9
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The Laura is a fantastic car, that is if it proves reliable in the long run. I hope yours does, as some others have typically reported problems after 35 - 40K on the odo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Horn failed - replaced under warranty without any fuss
My Benz is currently on its third horn. I asked the Benz engineer why they can't fit a high quality horn in the first place? Sheepishly he replied "But sir, this horn was never designed for such heavy use. In Europe, we'd touch the hornpad on an average of once a month!! Mercedes, Skoda & BMW suffer from the same horn problem!

Last edited by GTO : 4th February 2009 at 13:38.
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Old 4th February 2009, 09:47   #10
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Default Horn

Yup the prespective from GTO about the horn got a smile on my face.

My Laura too is on it's 4th Horn. (one of the 2 (low or high frequency ones) keeps going off.

Am this time looking at seeing if I can get the existing horn repaired outside the authorized showroom, or if an aftermarket one fits in using the same socket end from the defective horn.

Will update on this if am able to get this executed. (Each horn is 3K and this is happening too frequently)
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Old 12th March 2009, 13:49   #11
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Default Pete's box in the pipeline

After much dilly-dallying and cud-cewing, and brain picking (of fellow T-BHPians - thanks guys), I finally decided to take the plunge and install a Pete's tuning box.

I met the dealer in Hyderabad this morning and placed my order. They promise that it should be here by Saturday. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks Avi for the lead. I met Harshit and he was most helpful.

I shall keep you posted on the progress.

Cheers,
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Old 12th March 2009, 15:27   #12
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What are the peak power and torque figures of the Laura ? Would have been good if you posted some pics of the car in question also with the review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra
I finally decided to take the plunge and install a Pete's tuning box.
What exactly is your reason for getting the tuning box ? More power ? Though I don't know the exact figures, I am guessing that the Laura is a fairly powerful car. And unless you still find it lacking, what is the point in plonking down 30K+ for the box ?

Asking because nothing in your review seems to indicate the car lacking in power or pick-up etc.
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Old 12th March 2009, 17:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
After much dilly-dallying and cud-cewing, and brain picking (of fellow T-BHPians - thanks guys), I finally decided to take the plunge and install a Pete's tuning box.
Fantastic!! With a complicated car, it's always best to take the safer route (box over remap). Do update us with a driving / timing report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
What exactly is your reason for getting the tuning box ? More power ? Though I don't know the exact figures, I am guessing that the Laura is a fairly powerful car.
Well, she has all of 105 horses in stock trim. Not really powerful, but the awesome DSG makes it quick. The Lauras brilliant dynamics deserve more power.
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Old 12th March 2009, 17:39   #14
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Congrats on the order.
Have driven a Pete'd Octavia and it does feel pretty good in compared to the stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Fantastic!! With a complicated car, it's always best to take the safer route (box over remap). \
Being a deisel and the pete's box on offer , it is always better than a remap due to being reversible and not voiding any warranty.
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Old 12th March 2009, 20:29   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
What are the peak power and torque figures of the Laura ? Would have been good if you posted some pics of the car in question also with the review.

What exactly is your reason for getting the tuning box ? More power ? Though I don't know the exact figures, I am guessing that the Laura is a fairly powerful car. And unless you still find it lacking, what is the point in plonking down 30K+ for the box ?

Asking because nothing in your review seems to indicate the car lacking in power or pick-up etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Fantastic!! The Lauras brilliant dynamics deserve more power.

The figures for the stock Laura are 250 Nm @ 1900 Rpm and 105 Bhp @ 4000 Rpm. With the box (at setting 1) it goes up to 300 Nm and 129 Bhp. This for a car weighing about 1350 Kg (unladen kerb weight).

No the car is not 'lacking' but, as GTO has already pointed out - the car's dynamics (road grip, handling etc.) urge you to push it harder. I was looking for more lower end grunt to help in city traffic as well as for overtaking on the highways. The attraction of Pete's box is that it helps achieve top speed faster, i.e. before you run out of road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
Congrats on the order.
Have driven a Pete'd Octavia and it does feel pretty good in compared to the stock.

Being a deisel and the pete's box on offer , it is always better than a remap due to being reversible and not voiding any warranty.
Thanks Abhinav for the positive feedback. Just to be safe, I waited till my warranty is over.

Cheers,
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