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Old 17th June 2009, 17:13   #1
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Question VW Jetta AT or Skoda Laura L&K 2.0 AT EDIT: its The Jetta 1.9 TDi A/T

Its decision time again, and no automotive decision is complete without the help of this forum.

My family is looking to replace our 2007 model Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDi Rider involved in a horrific accident few months back, with another sedan from similar category.

Some criterions for selection are:

1. Priced b/w 10L and 18-19L
2. Has to be a DIESEL. Obviously that would also mean a car with decent mileage.
3. Slight inclination towards an automatic.
4. Rear Legroom should be adequate.
5. Decent Resale Value


Based on the criterion, following cars were scrapped:

1. Honda Accord : Great car but nearing 20L and is Petrol.
2. Skoda Octavia : Have had it for 5 years now, need a change.
3. Fiat Linea : My personal favourite but ineligible due to price tag.
4. Honda Civic: Petrol.
5. Chevrolet Optra Magnum: Good car with great features but terrible re-sale.


That leaves me with:
1. Skoda Laura L&K 2.0 AT
2. VW Jetta 1.9TDi PD Comfortline AT

- Both these cars are around the same price bracket (~16.5L)
- Powered by similar technology
- Essentially under the same umbrella brand
- German Build quality (?)

Skoda Laura is additionally:
+ More features
+ Slightly better engine (debatable)
- Pathetic Service

VW Jetta on the other hand:
+ VW brand is better than cousin Skoda
+ Build quality better
+ More refined looks
+ 0% Finance scheme
+ AMC Contract
+ Is fresher compared to skoda owned for past 5 years
- Not yet extensively tried and tested on indian roads/market


So, What should the final decision be ? Do you people agree with shortlisting based on criterion ? Is their any other car that I may have missed out ? Are their any other features/shortcomings of these two cars that I may have missed out and could affect decision ? Are there any Jetta owners who could give more feedback on the car ?

Thanks in advance,
Akhil

Last edited by akhilesh51 : 17th June 2009 at 17:21.
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Old 17th June 2009, 17:17   #2
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When you have to choose between tweedledum and tweedledee, toss a coin.

OTOH, Skoda is not going to have any resale value, going by the feed back on this forum. (from buyers of used cars - NOT the service feed back).
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Old 17th June 2009, 18:31   #3
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As you had Skoda, for a change get the VW Jetta.
It has a slight edge on the comparo you have done as well.
Based on the criteria there isn't any other that would fit unless you look @ endy or captiva as well but they are entirely different animals.
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Old 17th June 2009, 19:26   #4
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VW, for the simple reason that they offer a 4 year warranty coverage.
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Old 17th June 2009, 19:41   #5
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I currently use a VW Jetta loaned from VW (just don't ask the hows and whys) and it's pretty good. Ride quality isn't as sorted as the Laura and the ground clearance is an issue over big bumps and speedbreakers where it tends to bottom out. But it's actually very enjoyable to drive and is less prone to understeer and more neutral handling. The steering is quicker and has more feel too.

What I genuinely like is the little features one keeps discovering in the Jetta. For instance the grab handles above the doors have a stopper which can hold in place. They also have dampers so when you release it they don't crash into the crevice like in any other car - Laura included! That's very useful if you have people around who have a habit of latching on to it when you drive. Then the seats can go pretty low and since I drive with the seat just a stop short of the lowest position, it is fantastic. You sit much higher in the Laura on the other hand and it just doesn't go low enough. The head light adjustments are good and since I drive on dark stretches of road, the beam can be pretty strong and useful.

There's more like the cooled glovebox or the motion sensors in the car or even the nice stereo unit. Rear seat space is a bit lacking especially if a six-footer is seated up front and at the rear. Ask me, and I'd plonk my 16 big ones on the VW. It'll just grow on you with time.
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Old 17th June 2009, 19:54   #6
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OT: what sort of accident? Car is completely written off? Hope all are safe.

Since you owned a skoda you are the better judge of the service. What is the price of entry level superb? Might be worth looking at for the simple reason of rear seat comfort.

How about used cars? Here is a recent example where 320D is bought: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/luxury...used-320d.html (2008 Honda Accord or used 320d?)
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Old 17th June 2009, 20:11   #7
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VW gives 4 years warranty, that should be enough reason to choose over skoda.

Look at Sonata transform? Lots of space, diesel engine, bigger than Jetta in dimensions(?) and well, it's a copycat car but thats all up to the buyer. TD it.
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Old 17th June 2009, 20:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinspike View Post
unless you look @ endy or captiva as well but they are entirely different animals.
I have Tata Safari and would not change it for any other SUV even for its small niggles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvmaster View Post
I currently use a VW Jetta loaned from VW (just don't ask the hows and whys) and it's pretty good. Ride quality isn't as sorted as the Laura and the ground clearance is an issue over big bumps and speedbreakers where it tends to bottom out. But it's actually very enjoyable to drive and is less prone to understeer and more neutral handling. The steering is quicker and has more feel too.

What I genuinely like is the little features one keeps discovering in the Jetta.
This is precisely what I was looking for when I asked for owners' review. The fact that the car gets better with every passing day is more appreciated than some features well advertised but rarely used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
OT: what sort of accident? Car is completely written off? Hope all are safe.

Since you owned a skoda you are the better judge of the service. What is the price of entry level superb? Might be worth looking at for the simple reason of rear seat comfort.

How about used cars? Here is a recent example where 320D is bought: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/luxury...used-320d.html (2008 Honda Accord or used 320d?)
Its not a total write-off but knowing skoda service, An accidented car would be too high on maintenance. Entry level Superb (Diesel) is above 20L bracket. Used cars is a strict NO. And main reason for us buying a 10-20L car right now is so that we can altogether move to 5 series in coming 2-3 years.

IMO, It is way better than settling for 3 series or C class (20L-30L) car today and sticking with them for 5 years when you know all you are getting is the badge.
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Old 17th June 2009, 22:00   #9
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its VW Jetta without any doubt!

4 years warranty and german quality and service!
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Old 18th June 2009, 02:22   #10
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Both cars come from the same group and share components etc. VW is the mid level brand as opposed to Skoda which is the entry level (bargain basement) brand for this group. That in itself should steer you towards VW.

The extended warranty should clinch it in favour of VW. The features list on the Skoda might be longer but, the VW is not really lacking in that department.

Cheers,
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Old 18th June 2009, 03:20   #11
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Hi Akhil,

I was in exactly the same situation a few weeks ago as you are right now. On the same budget and with the same cars on mind. I did extensive research on both cars but finally closed in on the VW Jetta. I did take a look at both cars closely and im glad ( looking at most of the responses being in favour of the Jetta ) that I took the decision. My car has not come as yet but will be here shortly. The reasons for my decision would be:

1. The VW is a true German car. Having worked with Mercedes-Benz for almost 4 years has really made be a big admirer of everything German. My budget did not allow me to strech to a Benz, BMW or Audi but I figured this would be the next best thing. The obsession for safety is clearly evident with the fact that the car has 8 airbags.

2. The build quality of the VW is a notch above the Skoda. Not that the Skoda isnt nice, but the VW just feels a tad better built. Notice how the glove compartment is lined with felt and doesnt make the slightest noise when shut. Or how the doors are actually sealed with a dual layer of rubber lining. This you will notice especially when you open and shut the door while the engine is on ( while being seated inside ) Small things that make a big difference.

3. The Jetta is built on the Golf chassis and you cannot doubt the fact that the Golf is a great car when it comes to handling. The Jetta is also one of the highest selling cars of its category in the US and one of the first 'Clean Diesel' cars to be permitted within the state of California that has very strict laws when it comes to emissions. ( Yes the engines offered in the US are slightly different, but it only shows the commitment and technological prowess of the brand )

4. Of course, I did log on to this forum and read about peoples experiences with their Laura's. Honestly, there are more people with HORRIFIC experiences than not. It just made me a little nervous about buying a Laura.

Lastly, as a brand, the VW Group will always position Volkswagen as a slightly more premium product than Skoda. Yes they are similar cars with a lot of common parts, engines etc. That is also evident with the fact that the Superb diesel gets the old engine from the Passat. Again, the Superb definitely has more to offer on the feature front, but is still cheaper than the Passat.

I would definitely advise you to buy the Jetta.

Cheers,

Gautam.
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Old 18th June 2009, 04:34   #12
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I would support Guatam's view on the vehicles. Not only do I believe VW is more German than Skoda. It will remain premium than the other always. Am certain the resale will be better as a personal car or Taxi.

So the Jetta it is with eyes closed. Even though I am yet to lay hands on the new Laura and have driven the Superb, which actually is a very nice car. I am yet to come across anyone who has not had service issues with Skoda. This dissuades me very much.

Cars are mostly bought keeping convenience in mind and lesser the worries the better it is. If you already have had some problems with the Octavia and Safari, you may be better off with lesser issues in the new purchase.
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Old 18th June 2009, 10:47   #13
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I would look at the VW. A couple of things to consider

1: The Golf VI is out when does the Jetta counterpart follow ?

2: Will the Passat's CRDi engine find its way into the Jetta to distance it from the Laura
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Old 18th June 2009, 11:02   #14
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Is the Sonata Transform a complete no-no? Same price bracket, far more comfortable car. Yes, the A/T is cranky but if you can live with the 6-speed M/T, you have an underrated but fantastic sedan for a choice. If the A/T is a priority, then I agree with everyone here on the Jetta, the DSG is unbelievably good.
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Old 18th June 2009, 11:30   #15
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I agree with FlyingSpur, the sonata falls in the upper end of your budget but will have more on offer than the others in terms of space and equipment even if the resale value is not that great and the Auto box isn't anything special either.

There is also the option of waiting for the rumored (but unconfirmed) diesel Corolla. That is another excellent option in terms of the equipment on offer and the space that you get.

If you have your mind set on the two options you had listed above, then my vote is the same as others. VW hands down.
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