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Old 16th October 2013, 20:32   #1
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Talking Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Hello All,

My first post in Team-Bhp. I am in Bangalore market for a used Skoda Laura TSI or a Honda Civic, typically less than 4 years old and nothing more than 50 thousand kms. in the meter.

I want to know the various pros and cons with these and if you Pro's have anything else to recommend.

Requirements,

1. Powerful and fun to drive car, i will not do any mods other than headlamps if needed. How much difference one can feel between a Civic and a Laura 1.8 TSI?

2. Not willing to spend a fortune for maintenance, I am okay spending about 1 Rs per kilometer which is typically 15000 Rs per service per 15000 kms.

3. Safety, and Build Quality, which has the best?

4. Mileage in City i am expecting 8 to 10 from both of these and 10+ on highways. Is this realistic?

5. The most important part i want a hasstle free ownership, parts may fail which is understandable but i do not want to have my car sitting in garage for months as this will be my only car for the better part of next 2 years. I plan to keep this atleast 3 more years.

6. Any sticking point for the TSI engines? (Can i use regular Octane Petrol?) or the Civic? (like the engine mounts).

Are TSI engines generally known to be reliable mile munchers? (like say over 150000 kms easily before any kind of overhaul)

7. Last would be back seat comfort for those times when the car would be loaded. How are these in comparison to each other?

Any further suggestions are most welcome.
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Old 16th October 2013, 23:34   #2
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Default re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

The difference in performance between a stock Civic and a stock TSi is massive. It's huge. No comparison at all.

If you want a fun to drive car with huuuuuge performance boosts (in the future with mods), the Laura TSi is a no-brainer. However, be prepared for hassles from Skoda dealerships. TSI engines are generally reliable and milemunchers.

However I feel 1Re per km is a little less if you want that kind of fun.

The Civic is good if you want hassle free ownership and rear seat comfort. But that's about it.

Safety build quality wise I think both are about on par.
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Old 17th October 2013, 09:23   #3
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Default re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Laura Advantages (Over Civic):

1) Better engine & performance
2) Better features
3) Much larger boot space
4) Better high speed dynamics (on fast but undulating roads, for example)
5) Suspension won't bottom out as much as the Civic.

Laura Disadvantages (Over Civic):

1) Poor steering feel.
2) Could have a higher maintenance costs over time.
3) Poor backseat space/comfort
4) Not as good looking.
5) Comparitively higher entry prices (Civic has been around for long time, hence entry prices are lower).

Last edited by smartcat : 17th October 2013 at 09:27.
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Old 17th October 2013, 10:02   #4
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Default re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

For you kind of needs, I would say go for pre-owned but lesser used and a younger City. Its more liveable on a daily basis.

A 4 year used car will generally command more than 15000/year if you want everything spic and span. Generally suspensions tend to give away around the 50000km mark.

Rather than Civic or Laura or City, select the car which you get in the best possible condition. Test drive thoroughly to feel which you can connect to better.

In City 2,3 and an occasioanl 4 gear traffic, you can expect 8-9 max from the Civic and the Laura. Laura on the highway @ constant 80km (I dont know why would you really) can streach to around 15kmpl at max. But at constant 120s, expect around 12kmpl from both.
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Old 17th October 2013, 10:15   #5
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Default re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

This is another hear vs mind debate.
If you are keen on Fun-to-Drive factor, go for Laura. Else Civic should satisfy your other needs (reliable, low maintenance, rear seat comfort, etc). Also Civic is neither sluggish on highways, but the low end torque feels insufficient.
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Old 17th October 2013, 13:43   #6
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Default re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

If performance is your main criteria then go for the Laura TSI with your eyes closed. The Laura TSI is one of the cheapest cars to sport this gem of a 1.8 litre turbocharged engine. With all the torque on tap the 160 hp car feels more like a 180 - 190 hp car. The 1.8 TSI engine has been pretty reliable and you'd be hard pressed to find an unhappy owner. It runs fine on 91 octane. City mileage figures may be on par with the Civic , but highway figures are bound to be better. It was sold in only one trim - the Ambition, so it is not loaded with a lot of features.

Go for the Civic only if you are worried about the Skoda factor. Skoda service can be a hit or a miss. But as far as the cars are concerned, the Laura TSI is a far better overall package.
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Old 17th October 2013, 15:55   #7
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

As an owner of a pre-worshiped Civic, I'll tell you this : Go for the Laura TSI MT. Reasons:

- Engine, engine, engine, engine. Man, what a turbo-petrol!! It blows the Civic's 1.8 N/A out of the water. Good torque, high-revv friendly and reasonably fuel efficient (for the power on tap).

- And that's only in stock form. 30K on the Civic's naturally-aspirated engine won't get you more than 10 - 12 BHP. The same $$$ on a TSI remap will get you 20 BHP at the minimum.

- The Laura TSI also has outstanding after-market support for mods.

- The MT is good. All the horror stories are with the DSG AT.

- Been seeing a couple of low mileage Laura TSIs now and then. They're going for tempting prices.

Have fun
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Old 17th October 2013, 16:26   #8
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

I was in a similar boat as you are, till a couple of day back. Finally, I bought a used Civic A/T.

I had the same requirements with an exception that I was strictly looking for an A/T. Because of the horror stories of the DSG, I opted for the Civic. But that is the only reason.

Rest assured, the Laura M/T is better than the Civic M/T in almost every aspect, except back seat space, dashboard styling (for me!) and maybe maintenance costs.
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Old 17th October 2013, 16:48   #9
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
If performance is your main criteria then go for the Laura TSI with your eyes closed. The Laura TSI is one of the cheapest cars to sport this gem of a 1.8 litre turbocharged engine. With all the torque on tap the 160 hp car feels more like a 180 - 190 hp car. The 1.8 TSI engine has been pretty reliable and you'd be hard pressed to find an unhappy owner. It runs fine on 91 octane. City mileage figures may be on par with the Civic , but highway figures are bound to be better. It was sold in only one trim - the Ambition, so it is not loaded with a lot of features.

Go for the Civic only if you are worried about the Skoda factor. Skoda service can be a hit or a miss. But as far as the cars are concerned, the Laura TSI is a far better overall package.
To Santosh's well-reasoned explanation above, I would also add one more point to consider regarding the Civic. My close friend has a Civic and has heard his dealer mention about potential paucity of spare parts since the line has been discontinued in India. So, the lower maintenance costs argument vis-a-vis the Civic could prove to be a red herring.

While the parts availability scenario is obviously hearsay and should be suitably considered with caveats, it is worth factoring in
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Old 17th October 2013, 19:51   #10
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

In my Opinion the Honda Civic ticks all boxes in this context. We all know Honda is comparatively easy to maintain and also hassle free. Civic is a definite killer in the looks department and I do not think till date any car in the Indian market in this segment can compete with a Civic on the style quotient. Iam sure nobody will have second thoughts on Honda’s proven petrol engines around the globe.

Since you are looking for a car below 50K on the ODO , Japanese cars are almost considered to be Virgins at this mileage as they are known to perform reliably up to 2L KM.

I also noticed that this discussion happened in the past and you can refer to the thread in the link below
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/what-c...ura-civic.html (Need Help deciding between Laura or Civic).

Also to add there is an excellent & exhaustive thread on TBHP on Honda Civic Maintenance which is also considered to be the Bible for all CIVIC owners , I would request you to go through this as well and make the choice accordingly.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...-must-dos.html
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Old 19th October 2013, 13:47   #11
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdma View Post
Since you are looking for a car below 50K on the ODO , Japanese cars are almost considered to be Virgins at this mileage as they are known to perform reliably up to 2L KM.
I believe the "reliability" of Japs are overhyped. I bought a 28k run Civic under the same impression that atleast till 60k, the Japanese car wont show any problem. But soon after purchase, i heard from fellow Civic owners that 40k is a 'major service' for the Civic and it always has a HUGE bill.

Problems in my car -

1) Leaking power steering pump - Warranty claim pending
2) Leaking steering rack - Warranty claim pending
3) Weak engine mount - Warranty claim pending
4) Front wheel bearings gone - Needs to be replaced at my cost (12-14k)
5) Play in Inner ball joint - Again, needs to be replaced at my cost

If all of the above is done in my cost, it would mean a hefty bill amount of Rs. 91000! All this in a car which has done 28000 kms only.

I agree this is a used car, but trust me, the car has been impeccably maintained. Moreover, points 1, 2 and 3 are known issues in the Civic but Honda has never issued a recall for the same. Also, the A.S.S. claim that issues 1 and 2 is not covered under warranty, even though its a known complaint and is not a wear and tear item.

Also, point 4 is again a known issue but since its a wear and tear item, the Honda A.S.S. does not entertain warranty claims.

Another known issue is 'weak suspension', again which has to be replaced under our cost. Luckily, my car does not have that issue... Touch wood.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 19th October 2013 at 13:48.
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Old 20th October 2013, 00:17   #12
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Problems in my car -

1) Leaking power steering pump - Warranty claim pending
2) Leaking steering rack - Warranty claim pending
3) Weak engine mount - Warranty claim pending
4) Front wheel bearings gone - Needs to be replaced at my cost (12-14k)
5) Play in Inner ball joint - Again, needs to be replaced at my cost

If all of the above is done in my cost, it would mean a hefty bill amount of Rs. 91000! All this in a car which has done 28000 kms only.
Iam really sorry to hear about the hard time you have been having with your car. I completely respect your view on the ownership of the CIVIC. My perception of HONDA was built around the 2002 Honda City which we owned till 2011. The car has crunched 6 digit Km 's when it was sold in '11 and I can definitely say that the entire 9 year ownership has been hassle free & very satisfying. Apart from my experience, I personally know a handful of people who have owned a CIVIC and they have always been happy with the car.
Anyways it is definitely disheartening to know that a HONDA has been troubling someone who took very good care of it.Thank you for pointing this out.
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Old 20th October 2013, 21:27   #13
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Cool Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Thank you all for such detailed and informative suggestions.

The scaled in the favor of TSI is significant, so far this is what concerns me more

Civic -ve

1. Revv high to extract power
2. Ground Clearance with a loaded car

TSI -ve

1. Reliability and Service, the second one; one can live with since i am sure there would be mechanics around in Bangalore knowing about these cars.

My only concern now would be Reliability, I was reading about the 1.8 TSI in various other forums and on a few i came across a issue of Timing Chain Slippage.

Any such issues reported here.. Is there a particular batch of engines in the Indian Made Laura's that i should check out?

Websites like these lists the same out,

Cars Guide on TSI

Quote:
Engines, the 1.8 TSI in particular, can give trouble.
Any suggestions on the above would be appreciated.
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Old 20th October 2013, 22:18   #14
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0and1 View Post
Any such issues reported here.. Is there a particular batch of engines in the Indian Made Laura's that i should check out?
Just keep a litre of oil in the boot always, and you won't face any other problems. Oil consumption is the only issue of TSI engines, and it depends on the usage patterns with more oil being consumed in traffic.

As long as you service it on or before time the engine should remain trouble free.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 10:35   #15
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Default Re: Pre-owned Skoda Laura TSI or Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdma View Post
Iam really sorry to hear about the hard time you have been having with your car. I completely respect your view on the ownership of the CIVIC. My perception of HONDA was built around the 2002 Honda City which we owned till 2011. The car has crunched 6 digit Km 's when it was sold in '11 and I can definitely say that the entire 9 year ownership has been hassle free & very satisfying. Apart from my experience, I personally know a handful of people who have owned a CIVIC and they have always been happy with the car.
Anyways it is definitely disheartening to know that a HONDA has been troubling someone who took very good care of it.Thank you for pointing this out.
I too echo thoughts of pdma completely after owning two Honda's - a NHC and Civic AT. Both rides were hassle free and it got to the point of being boring as well! As someone already mentioned elsewhere in t-bhp, that Jap cars are reliable but pure functional cars missing the fun-to-drive factor! German engineering on the other hand have that fun element though cost of ownership is on the higher side. (After raj's experience with his Civic, this also is doubtful now!). So my vote also goes for Laura
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