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Old 21st November 2011, 20:33   #1
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Default The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

I have been on a hiatus for a while now ( quite a long one at that). Now that a lot of water has flown under the bridge, it is time for me to dust off the rust and get my social and personal life back of which this forum is an integral part, albeit in a passive way.

Now with the niceties out of the way, I wanted to share a dilemma that I have been grappling with of late. A snapshot of the situation in my life is as pretty much similar to the song "Aint no sunshine when she is gone" from Notting Hill. The song in which Hugh Grant walks to his bookstore and time flies by with seasons changing,a woman goes from being a damsel to a pregnant woman to a young mother, the essence being that years go by and you are mute spectator to the changes around.

It has been 5.5 years since we bought our Palio 1.6 Sport, in the time that passed by, multiple road trips have been completed, Northern states toured, moutains flattened and deserts traversed. On the personal front,we have gone from being DINKs to DIOKs, moved from Delhi to Mumbai, took up new roles within the organization,etc etc, you get the drift, right?

And now comes the predicament, my Palio 1.6 is 5.5 years old and like most women, is ageing beautifully. Not that I have outgrown her, am still as much in love with her as I was on Apr 10, 2006, and she will remain with me for times to come. It is just that I will need something more bigger to do the road trips with a kid and the paraphernalia in tow. With our son turning 6 months old in the coming two months, we have decided to make him road ready and hence need a steed to do the duties on weekends away from home. Also tipping the scales towards a new car is my company's car lease policy which will allow me to save some money in terms of reducing my useless contributions to GOI.

Now, comes the choice of cars....though the temptation to give into the Diesel bug is in the air, I don't think that I can never become a convert to the oil sippers. I love the free revving nature of the petrols and I believe that life begins after 4000 rpm.Also, given the fact that I travel most of the time and have cabs for local meetings, I don't need a diesel car. So, that elimination done, there are just two obvious choices for me....the Linea T-Jet and....the Laura TSI Active. Unfortunately, the Fiesta 1.6s is no longer around and the new crop of compact sedans, read the New Fiesta, the fluidic Verna and the Vento don't make the cut.

Delving a little deeper into my choices:

The similarities:

I have driven both these beauties and enjoyed their poise, power and refinement every bit. Both are European and have the solid thunk we have gotten used to. Both are turbocharged petrols and provide all the adrenalin rush that I need. Both have very attractive price points in the respective segments- 8.5 L and 13.44 L OTR Mumbai. Last but not the least, both have notorious service networks. And this is where similarities end....

The differences:

The Linea has looks to die for while the Laura is understated elegance. The Italian beauty comes loaded to the hilt while the Czech princess is just adequately equipped. While the T-Jet is a first in class, the TSI is in a different league altogether.

The Choice:

As many similarities and differentiators I may list out, finally it boils down to a Heart Vs Soul debate, the mind is out of the equation as I am planning to buy turbo petrols .Heart says TSi where as soul says T-Jet.
The price point of the Linea makes it a steal deal where as the Laura will make us tighten our budgets for the coming year atleast. While the T-Jet would be a complete solution which can be driven home, the TSI would be a WIP project, atleast for the coming year, with a list of must have upgrades which include 16 OE alloys and tyres, the RS spoiler, Stanley leathers and the usual add ons. Not to mention the additional lac to be spent on these.

So, as my business keeps me away, i spend sleepless nights pondering over which beauty I will choose, and sometimes am calculating the cash flows while sitting in presentations.This is certainly a difficult situation to be in. It brings back memories of my teen years when a pretty lass who came in mid year during the academic session managed to spoil my nights and not to mention my concentration in lectures.

Which way this will swing, time will only tell, but I have a feeling that it will be the beauty from Praha and I hope that my gut turns out this time. In the meantime,I welcome views!
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Old 22nd November 2011, 14:33   #2
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Default Re: The Heart Vs.Soul Debate

Forget the frills... If you can afford, then TSI all the way!

But, on a relative thought, going for a company car lease means you will sell the car in 5 yrs but only get 1/3rd of the purchase price! But a diesel will fetch you atleast 50%
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Old 22nd November 2011, 14:43   #3
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Default Re: The Heart Vs.Soul Debate

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd November 2011 at 19:25.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 15:09   #4
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Default Re: The Heart Vs.Soul Debate

Are these the only two contenders? More importantly, are you looking only at a sedan?
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Old 22nd November 2011, 15:11   #5
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Default Re: The Heart Vs.Soul Debate

If these are the cars that you have shortlisted on the basis of performance and overall package that meets your needs, then the Laura TSI is in a different league altogether. I would vote for the Laura. the premium that you pay is well worth it.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 15:32   #6
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Default Re: The Heart Vs.Soul Debate

Originally Posted by mnemonic View Post
Finally it boils down to a Heart Vs Soul debate, the mind is out of the equation as I am planning to buy turbo petrols .Heart says TSi where as soul says T-Jet.
I was hoping you would say the Soul says Laura, as the connection is much much deeper and much beyond this instance of the object called body. To me at least Laura appealed so high and deep its like being on high for the whole day (In no way i am advocating getting high and driving) .

Anyways, on the choices listed i would any day recommend the Laura, i am sure you are aware of the horror stories of Skoda (That, and only that is keeping me away from Laura).

Also the trim you are referring to is Laura Classic (It comes without the Alloy wheels and the basic comforts, is this correct?). This would be too basic for a luxury car. Do check it out.

In my test drives, as i am looking for cars in this segment. I liked the Civic as well. May not suit if you are a european fan.

Alternatively you could also check out the VW Vento (Petrol with 1.6 Lt Engine) is said to be very capable performer. Do check out @noopster thread, although his is automatic.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 22nd November 2011 at 15:39.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 18:15   #7
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate

Well, if it's a stuck choice between these two cars only, I'd say take the Fiat Linea T-Jet, only, and if only you can't stretch your budget to accommodate the Laura VRS.

The VRS solves the problem of the car being a "work-in-progress", as it'll come with all the goodies that you want.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 19:43   #8
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

This may sound like a comment made to support the T Jet as I have just booked one, but it is not. If you are getting a T Jet for 8.5lac on the road, please close your eyes and buy one.

I have never driven a Skoda Tsi. I am quite sure it is on another planet when it comes to quality of plastics, the drive, interior and exterior fit and finish. It really is sitting at another price point to justify all the benefits. Fiat India could have done better with the plastics and fit and finish.

I have yet to come across anyone struggling with owning the new line up of Fiats. Tata are actually doing a fantastic job.

The longevity of Skoda engines and overall reliability of the mechanical's, electrical's is a hit or miss.

When the time comes to change parts, I am sure the Fiat will cost half that of a Skoda. Oh and the Fiat Linea is available with a 2 years extended warranty and it is not really a scam. You must go through the extended warranty terms that talks about parts that are covered and you will realize that, except for a couple of core things like ignition coil and stereo, everything else is covered on the Fiat.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 19:43   #9
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

A predicament indeed. Sure required some thinking at this end.

After a lot of thought, I have to recommend the Linea T-Jet to you. Reasons:

- You are clearly going to be stretching your budget and, at a 5 lakh difference, the Laura costs over 50%. Plus, it's not an apples to apples comparo as you are choosing between a well-equipped Linea T-Jet & the bare basic Laura version.

- The Laura has the better engine by a mile, there is no doubt. But I'm not one who thinks that more power = more fun. Rather, it's about the overall package. The Linea's steering is F-A-R better than the unit in the Laura, and the Skoda has a much softer suspension as well. The Linea's ride & handling beat the Laura TSIs as Skoda softened the suspension way too much in the facelift. Of course, if you could spend more $$$, then the Laura would be the choice, with money spent on an after-market suspension etc. But stock to stock, the T-Jet gives you more bang for the buck. On my favourite driving road (close to Mumbai), I've had the most fun in the T-Jet (Link to thread (Fiat Linea T-Jet : Test Drive & Review)).

- Neither is an angel to own. But I'd rather spend 8.5 lakhs on the devil, than 13.5

Buy the T-Jet while you can. Special cars don't hit the market that often.

P.S. To add a twist to your tale, check this car out.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 19:49   #10
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

I would say Laura.

I am a big Fiat fan, but the Indian Tjet does not have intercooler. Apart from the turbo, the 1.4 engine is pretty old tech.

Laura TSi has direct injection, variable valve timing, turbo, intercooler, 6 speed GB...it's really fun to drive. Did not find Linea Tjet as fast as I was expecting during the TD.

There are plenty of threads and posts scattered all over team-bhp detailing highs and lows of the Laura.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 19:55   #11
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

mnemonic, I think you'll have a fair idea of Fiat a.s.s since you've owned a Palio for the last 5+ years.

I would recommend a T-jet+ , it would be a VFM buy at that price point. Are you sure it's 8.5L OTR ?

PS - The used car http://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy-...da/Laura.html/ is certainly interesting, but company lease plans usually don't allow used cars.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 23:19   #12
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

I recommend T-Jet+. Its the absolute VFM package. With December around the corner, I can say that you can get a steal deal on T-Jet's.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 18:49   #13
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

If you want space, then a SUV is the way to go. The way petrol prices are moving a diesel makes more sense, especially when the diesels are catching up with petrols in power, while they are well ahead in the low end torque stakes - a definite plus point for city driving.

In my opinion, the Yeti would be an ideal vehicle for you. It is a "Sedan" with high GC. It is as spacious as a Laura, higher GC and if forum members are to be believed extremely frugal. Plus it is a go-any-where car, so your long drives would be a pleasure. Additionally it comes with most of the goodies you want to add to the Laura, hence not much extra for WIP.

As discussed in another thread the TSi, requires higher RON petrol, which may be difficult to find out side metros. Add to that the extra cost of 95 or 97 RON petrol, coupled with low FE, driving will become an expensive proposition. OK if money is not a factor, but pinching for most of us. The Fiat engine though, does not have this drawback.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 19:09   #14
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

Wow man! Choosing between the two BEST petrol engines under 15 lacs is a very tedious job.

Even if you have lot of money to spend, I would say buy T-JET+. You will get every feature under the Sun (almost) and surely much more than the Laura Classic offers(not even alloys). Both are equivalent on the following factors IMO:

1) Cabin Space (T-Jet is slightly better, since Laura's hump and the AC tower are too bugging for the 5th passenger)
2) Boot space (Again T-Jet has slightly more liters of space)
3) A.S.S.: People bash and thrash right and left for their so-called poor A.S.S., but Skoda is pretty infamous for it 'horror' stories. So, A.S.S. cant be a deal breaker.
4) FE: FE for T-Jet stands anywhere between 9-12 and Laura TSI doesn't deliver anything drastically better. (I remember my friend telling me he got 13.2 on his TSI calculated using TFTF method, I will check the credebility)

Advantages of T-Jet:
1) Cheaper by atleast 2-3 lacs
2) Spares are much cheaper
3) Amazing ride quality, especially for the rear-seat passengers. Laura is not too bad, but T-Jet is tailor-made for Indian road conditions.
4) You get all 5 wheels as alloys. Yes, even the spare wheel is an alloy.
5) Tata-Fiat service centers outnumber the Skoda service centers by a narrow margin.

I am sure there are going to be some raised eyebrows here. But I am open to criticism, so shoot.

Wishing you all the best for your decision making process. Do update us.
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Old 24th November 2011, 02:26   #15
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Default Re: The Heart Vs. Soul Debate : Linea TJet versus Laura 1.8 TSI

I guess what you mentioned are the two best options in petrol. Both cars are known to be good driving machines. I will say, go for the excellent T-Jet motor, and savings from the price difference will come handy for the fuel bills. Happy shopping!
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