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Old 1st December 2010, 21:50   #1
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Default Skoda Laura DSG CR 140 - Ownership Experience.

Skoda Laura DSG CR 140 - Ownership Experience.-img_3881.jpg

The Decision Process-
The Hyundai Elantra CRDi i have been driving was just the perfect car for me. It perfectly took care of all my requirements. Even for a car that had done more than 140k kms it never threw a tantrum. Since the car had logged too much miles and i had kept the car for so many years i wanted a upgrade.

My must have checklist for replacement car-
  1. Diesel with more Power and Torque than the Elantra CRDi.
  2. A good Automatic Transmission.
  3. Better dynamics- that includes Ride, Handling and Stability.
  4. Better Looks- Very important since Elantra was not actually a stunner.
  5. Around the same size as the Elantra.
  6. Interior space was not very important, but front seat had to be very comfortable.
  7. Interior Quality- Since i'll be spending a lot of time in the car for the years to come.

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I have been on a lookout for a replacement car for more than 6 months now. The new car had to have all the good qualities of the Elantra plus addition power, better looks and better dynamics were a must have.

There were not many upgrade options, especially since it had to be a Diesel. The Magnum was a downgrade, the Laura PD was way too noisy. Options started getting better with the launch of the Chevy Cruze, It had all the extra power i wanted, the dynamics were decent, the pricing was great, Later an good Automatic version was added too. The Laura was upgraded too with new engines. Toyota came up with a Diesel variant of the Corolla Altis.

Both the Cruze with the great engine, aggressive looks and decent dynamics(the steering is bad though, even worse than the Elantra) and the Laura DSG with equally good engine and the awesome DSG 'box were top contenders till final decision came in. The Corolla Altis was struck off the list even before it came out, no prizes for guessing the reason. Hyundai Sonata was within the budget but it's too dated, more focussed on the rear seat, a bit dull to drive and too large for my requirement.

I drove all variants of both Cruze and Laura several times before taking the decision. I finally picked the Laura DSG, not that the Cruze AT was not good but Laura suited my requirements better. The Cruze was cheaper, had more fancy gadgetry(Compared to Ambiente variant i picked) but i did not like the low GC and comparatively dull to drive experience. The steering(Particularly very important for me) spoiled the experience too. Overall i could not go wrong with either of the cars, both cars were fitting into my exact requirements.

There are not too many color options for the Laura. White has always been my favorite in Sedans and SUV's(Though i still like the sporty hatchbacks in bright colors like Red and Yellow), i picked White. The Ambiente version comes the essentials i needed minus Leather seats and ACC. The price difference between Ambiente DSG and Elegance DSG was too much for little extras(Also the budget the already stretched). I finally settled for the Ambiente Diesel Automatic.

Laura comes with the same Common Rail version of the TDi engine in 140hp tune as the Superb and Passat(Maybe the Audi A4 2.0TDi too). Being lighter it's faster than both these cars. Skoda claims a 9.5sec 0-100kph time, ACI also reported a similar time in their recent road test. The claimed top speed is 209 Kph. The ARAI tested FE is 18.42kpl. It comes with the lightning quick DSG gearbox.

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Things i like-
  • The refined and Powerful Engine with very broad powerband(For a Diesel).
  • The Awesome DSG gearbox is very intuitive and lightning fast. It does not affect the FE much too.
  • A very nice balance of Comfortable Ride and great Handling.
  • The premium feel of interiors makes Altis and Cruze feel a segment inferior.
  • Looks good even after being around for years, especially the rear boot with coupe like slant.
  • HUGE boot- Estate practicality, Coupe looks and Sedan classification.
  • The OE ICE sounds very good.
  • Powerful and well setup Brakes.
  • Steering feels good at Speed yet lights up at parking speeds. Good to hold too.
  • Very low NVH at low engine speeds.

Things that could have been better-
  • The rear seat is set up a bit too upright.
  • Rear seat space is not as good as my previous car- Elantra.
  • The Loaded L&K variant is too expensive, equipment list on lower variants could have been better.
  • The Steering feels too fake at parking speeds.
  • The absence of torque-convertor is felt at times in city traffic at very low engine speeds(the torque wave arrives early though, so not as annoying as the PD version).
  • LHD dipper and indicators layout.

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Driving Impressions-
I have not driven the car much yet so just posting a brief report.

This 2.0 CRDI engine is shared amongst Laura, Yeti, Passat and Superb. This engine comes with the 140bhp state of tune. The PD Laura was very loud with a very prominent turbo lag, with the move to Common rail engine the shortcomings have been covered. Now the engine pulls very strongly from as low as 1400rpm uptill 4500rpm. This wide powerband along with sensibly chosen gear ratios and DSG trademark rapid shift makes the Laura a fast car.

There is a slight delay at startup(Normal for DSG 'box, as this 'box does not come with a torque convertor), things get better soon as the car moves upwards of 1400rpm. If driven with a light foot the car shifts up quite early to achieve good FE. Overall i have found the gearbox to be very intuitive, i adapts to the driving style very quickly and is always in the right gear.

Good FE comes as a freebie with the DSG box. I was shocked to see this car return better FE than the Elantra MT. The Highway figures were better than even my Punto. But it's too early to reveal the FE figures, let me log on a few more miles before i comment anymore on the FE.

The ride is very absorbent too without being bouncy. The suspension is much more softly tuned compared to the first gen Laura. As a result it feels more comfortable. The Electro-Mechanical steering is not as good as the good old Octavia, but does feel better than the competitors like Altis, Jetta and Cruze.

More on driving experience to come after i log on a few more miles...

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Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by .anshuman : 20th September 2011 at 23:55.
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:02   #2
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Talking

Adding some pics.
EDIT: Some Pictures in this post were added on a later date.

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Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by .anshuman : 11th September 2011 at 12:59. Reason: More Pics added
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:02   #3
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Default Interiors

Interiors-
Overall the Interiors have a premium feel to them. Even when it is the base variant, the Interiors do not feel like they are missing something. Only those who have seen the Elegance and L&K can tell the difference. The expected Euro solidness with doors that close with solid thump and a solid feel is very much present.

I miss the Leather seats just because they are so much easier to clean and maintain. The fabric upholstery has already started getting dirty. Even the carpets are easier to get soiled compared to the Elantra. Looks like the car will have to be sent a detailer every month.

I find the front seats to be quite comfortable. Both the front seats get height and lumbar support adjust. The slide adjustment has very good range. The Rear seats feel too upright to me, though i haven't got a chance yet to travel on them. Overall the Interiors are spacious, though my Elantra felt more airy. The comparatively higher seating is supposed to be more comfortable on long drives.

The rear seats get individual AC vents, there are under seat vents too which may be quite useful in winters. The middle hump at rear may get uncomfortable for the third passenger at the back. Also the handrest in the backseat makes the experience for the third passenger bad. Overall the car is best suited for 4 persons only.

The boot is HUGE. Because the boot lid opens like a hatchback bigger items can be easily loaded. The rear seats fold to create a flatbed like an estate. The boot can also be accessed through the folding armrest. The front armrest can be adjusted back and forth.

The steering wheel has both Tilt and Telescopic adjustments. The nicely sculpted steering feels nice to hold. I miss the steering mounted controls too. The stalks are set up in LHD layout.

The MFD displays consumption and trip data. Sadly it does not display FE in Km/L, it displays the FE readout in L/100km(or maybe i could not figure out a way to change it). Automatic wipers and power mirrors are standard, the mirrors get heating too. The driver side OVRM is not convex meaning limited viw range. Both the front glovebox and the storage below the handrest are cooled, a nice touch in our hot climate.

The OE music system sound very nice for an OE system. It's decently punchy for an ICE without a sub. I read somewhere there is an amplifier below rear seats too. It's too early to say whether the OE speakers would require to be changed. The OE HU is very easy to use. Steering mounted controls and USB support is not available in this trim. Aux-in is standard though.

Rear Reversing sensors are standard. The detection range is good. The sensor system uses the HU screen to display the distance. The IRVM is auto-dimming too.

It's too early to comment on AC's performance.

Safety kit includes ABS with EBD, Dual rate brake assist, Twin Airbags and Disc brakes all round. TCS/ASR is standard too.




Skoda Laura DSG CR 140 - Ownership Experience.-dsc02468.jpg
^^ Max and Min Legroom.

Skoda Laura DSG CR 140 - Ownership Experience.-dsc02469.jpg
^^ The Rear AC vents. Can be closed too.

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^^ The vents below seats.

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^^ Lots of hooks around.

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^^ The hump is still present unlike the Civic.

Skoda Laura DSG CR 140 - Ownership Experience.-dsc02478.jpg
^^ Note the huge boot.

Skoda Laura DSG CR 140 - Ownership Experience.-dsc02482.jpg
^^ The boot can be accessed though the handrest too.

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^^ Lots of hooks and straps to tie things.

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^^ The rain sensor.

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^^ Cooled storage.

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^^ Auto dimming IRVM.

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^^ The front passenger seat gets all the adjustments too.

Skoda Laura DSG CR 140 - Ownership Experience.-dsc02491.jpg

Updates:
A Comparison to Skoda Yeti- Pg.4
2500 kms. Update Pg.5

Last edited by .anshuman : 27th December 2010 at 10:55.
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:04   #4
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Congrats Mod. Another beauty to the garage. How much is the on road price?

Please post detailed review and pics. Eagerly waiting for more.

Rgds.
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:29   #5
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I did not realize that DSG with the new CRDI was already available.
I thought that DSG was in wait mode for both Laura and Jetta for the new engines. When was this released?
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:35   #6
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Thats a great combo
Laura and Punto.

COngrats
I am sure Laura is a much better car than elantra.
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I did not realize that DSG with the new CRDI was already available.
I thought that DSG was in wait mode for both Laura and Jetta for the new engines. When was this released?
Skoda never stopped the DSGs, only VW did. The DSGs are 140bhp and manuals are 110bhp.


Congrats anshuman, even we are considering the Laura as the next car, probably sometime next year. I think the L&K is brilliant.

Get some nice stanley seats, luckily you can customise it. And use VAG-COM and activate some nice features on your car.


EDIT - MileCruncher - 6 speed DSG, no paddle shift. Only the Superb comes with paddle shift, and the tsi comes with the 7 speed.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 1st December 2010 at 22:58.
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:45   #8
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Congrats on the Laura!

Btw is it a 7 speed DSG with a paddle shift?
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Old 1st December 2010, 23:05   #9
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Congratulations! Mine is a white too
Here is my ownership report and some neat VAG-COM tricks - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...g-vag-com.html (New Laura Elegance 1.9 TDI A/T EDIT : Customising with a VAG-COM)
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Old 2nd December 2010, 00:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Skoda never stopped the DSGs, only VW did. The DSGs are 140bhp and manuals are 110bhp.
Thanks. I was not aware of that. Thought both had stopped. That combo should be awesome. Congrats Anshuman.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 01:23   #11
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Fantastic buy anhuman and a big congrats from side! One of my absolute favourite cars right in the segment right now! Your building a great garage!

Can't wait for more detailed pics!
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Old 2nd December 2010, 09:57   #12
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Congrats on the buy anshuman. The white Laura looks very elegant.

Enjoy many more happy miles with the Laura and trouble free ownership.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 10:18   #13
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Congrats on the Laura! The DSG is sure to make extensive mile-munching a piece of cake !
By the way, apart ACC, what are the other features that the L&K has that the other 2 trim levels dont ? specifically yours ?
Also is the 160hp tsi Laura now available in L&K trim ?
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Old 2nd December 2010, 10:19   #14
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Congrats .anshuman,

Nice car and color.DSG is really a boon to drive and more FE too compare to other AT cars.
Everytime i am in the buying process of cars, Definitely Laura is in the list.Once i booked and canceled too after a lot of dilemma.
Still It's my dream machine....
One day i might buy a Skoda Laura L&K DSG in Balck or Cappuccino Beige shade.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 11:49   #15
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Good choice Anshuman.

You bought this from Giriraj or Jai Auto? Please do share the buying experience also.

The Ambiente trim looks quite good. What did Elegance offer on top of this and for what kind of a price difference? The L&K is by far the best trim Skoda has but it sure is pricey.

Also by any chance did you enquire about any possibility of the Laura RS trim (that was on display during the Auto Expo in Delhi) coming to our shores?
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