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Old 3rd November 2010, 12:29   #46
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You are welcome GloryManUnited, purpose of the forum is to share information and am glad it was helpful to you.

True, Ambiente doesn't come with automatic climate control, but its got semi-automatic as per Skoda-speak which is not bad IMO. The main difference is climatronic of Elegance and above feature dual channel climate settings for driver and front passenger and heaters for the front seats but climatic is single channel. I was not expecting any great AC performance due to bad feedback from pre-facelift Laura but the new ones are well rectified in this aspect with a new compressor which thankfully are not problematic.

One important feature I miss in Ambiente vis-a-vis Elegance though is the powered folding of mirrors and of-course leather seats. Though the seats can be taken care of thanks to aftermarket solutions like Stanley, mirrors remain uncorrectable. Its quite an irritant in dense traffic when there is a need to close them manually and also to reach the left side from the driver's seat, a big compromise IMO for something which costs 16 lakhs. However, that engine makes up for all the shortfall, forget every fault in the car, so no worries.

As for wheels, the difference in circumference is a very marginal -0.4% from 195/65 R15 to 205/55 R16 and it also is the standard Skoda size. So, nothing to worry since upto 2% variance is permissible. Also, I don't think the calibration of odo or suspension would be any different in both the variants from the factory. Only compromise though is the ride marginally but benefits in favour of handling.

Last edited by v.anand : 3rd November 2010 at 12:33.
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Old 9th November 2010, 05:01   #47
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It will do no harm if you test drive Cedia on the same stretch where you drove Cruze & Civic. Cedia is the most versatile and practical car that matches the other two on almost all the features and perhaps provide even more. It is priced lesser so it is even better Value for money. Khoj is absolutely right in his assessment of this car, it is far superior to Corolla, Civic, Cruze in my opinion.

Last edited by GTO : 20th November 2010 at 13:06. Reason: Lets not indulge in name calling of other cars. We are too mature for that
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Old 18th November 2010, 16:18   #48
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I drove the Laura DSG today. I had actually gone to TD the yeti but due to a snafu couldn't drive one today. I did see the Yeti but I will reserve my comments about it till after I drive it.

So anyway getting back to the Laura, I quite liked it in the DSG variant. The gearshift lever is nice and snug (compared to the awkard longish on the Cruze automatic). The 140 Horses in the DSG variant is quite a powerful engine. I thought it was even more powerful than the Cruze automatic atleast in terms of feel. You do get a push in the back when you floor the A pedal. The gear shifts are smoothe and the shifting matches what you would do if it were a manual.

The tiptronic mode of D is good as well. It holds on the redline and so you can drive it like a manual.

The best part was the sport (S) mode. In this mode the shifts happen only when you almost touch the redline. The car is most fun to drive in this mode. The Cruze automatic does not have the sport mode.

I am sold on the DSG. So if I buy the Laura, the DSG elegance is the flavor I will pick.

Last edited by GloryManUnited : 18th November 2010 at 16:19. Reason: More info
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Old 19th November 2010, 13:24   #49
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So I finally drove the Yeti today. I had been keenly following this car since an year when I first heard of its India plans. And I had been patiently waiting for its launch and today is the day when I finally got to lay my hands on one.

There has been a lot of discussion about the small size of the car. My impression was that from the exterior, it is a fairly big car. The SUV styling makes it appear bigger than it actually is. It is quite a good looking car in my opinion. Full marks for styling.

On the inside the front seat is the best part of the cabin. It is high on the premium feel. The large touch screen display on the Elegance trim is neat. The parking assistant looks good and useful on this screen. The steering wheel is small and has very good quality leather on it. The cubbyholes are a little too small. The storage is adequate. This trim also has an SD card reader to that is a respite since USB is missing. The wing mirrors are small and lack electric retraction. But they are day-night variety and are heated. Their size is adequate too. Don't stick out too much so less risk of breaking. The front seats are very comfortable. You sit nice and high which is a boon for night driving.

The rear-seat is small in size possibly because of the modular capabilities. The legroom isn't a problem at all. There is sufficient legroom available after I found a comfortable driving position. The problem is in the thigh support. It is perhaps an inch too short. The space under the front seats is tall so the leg sits comfortably. The width is on the lower side. Overall not the best of rear-seats. Laura's is better but then the rear-seat is not as uncomfortable as the Cruze as well. Overall the rear-seat is a weak point for the car.

The boot is not massive either but since it is possible to create more boot space by sliding the rear-seats, the boot size is not an issue at all. Overall the cabin feels big and the headroom is excellent. The all-round visibility is right up there too.

Turn the key. The growl of the engine is audible but I liked the note. I felt the engine noise was fairly quiet. Over NVH levels were low. The engine is quite peppy. There is the tendency to stall but you quickly learn to emerge from speed breakers in the 1st gear. The shifting is excellent. I could shift gears with the slightest touch of my fingers.

The steering was a bit too light for my liking. I am not sure if it weighs in sufficiently at higher speeds. But at low city speed it is very light. Makes maneuvering easy but at higher speeds does rob away the feel. On the sister Laura, the steering was much better weighted. The turning radius was outstanding. I did not need a 3 point turn even on a very narrow road. The ease with which I was able to turn the car around was amazing.

The car pulls away with a nice push in the back when you ask for it. The 3rd gear was especially impressive in this regard. The car is fun to drive and easy to drive. I purposefully drove over all potholes on the road and fast over short speedbreakers. The car maintained the composure throughout. Even when thuds were heard, we did not feel them in the car. The body roll is almost nil for a tall seating car.

My wife liked everything else but the rear-seat in the car. So it looks like a very close race to finish between the Laura DSG and Yeti. I am likely going to drive the Jetta tomorrow and then I will make a final decision shortly after that.

Last edited by GloryManUnited : 19th November 2010 at 13:29. Reason: More details
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Old 20th November 2010, 13:09   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryManUnited View Post
So anyway getting back to the Laura, I quite liked it in the DSG variant.
The VW group DSG is atleast 3 - 4 generations ahead of the Cruze AT gearbox. There is simply no competition in responsiveness, feel and refinement. Of course, when things go wrong, the DSGs are frightfully expensive to repair as well.

Nice report on the Yeti drive. I'm going to copy your Yeti post to Rehaan's review thread. Thanks!
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Old 22nd November 2010, 11:11   #51
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Jetta will not be as exciting to drive as Laura is, though it exhibits brilliant German engineering and build quality. However Jetta is easy to drive in city and doesn't have an evident turbo lag. But the biggest factor which goes against Jetta is that it is going to be replaced next year with the all new Jetta.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 13:00   #52
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Jetta will not be as exciting to drive as Laura is
I would beg to differ on the driving experience bit. I own neither the Laura nor the Jetta but with whatever limited exposure I have had driving the two cars (in their diesel avatars) I felt there are instances when the Laura reminds you time and again that it is just a well appointed commuter whereas the Jetta shrink wraps around you and is a hoot to point and shoot. The exterior looks of the two vehicles are completely misleading what with the Laura with its aggressive macho front and the Jetta with a more rounded laid back kind of face.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 13:27   #53
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Originally Posted by khoj View Post
I would beg to differ on the driving experience bit. I own neither the Laura nor the Jetta but with whatever limited exposure I have had driving the two cars (in their diesel avatars) I felt there are instances when the Laura reminds you time and again that it is just a well appointed commuter whereas the Jetta shrink wraps around you and is a hoot to point and shoot. The exterior looks of the two vehicles are completely misleading what with the Laura with its aggressive macho front and the Jetta with a more rounded laid back kind of face.


The Jetta has one of the most sublime chassis ever. It's almost as good as a Mitsubishi Evo's! After all, the Jetta shares its underpinnings with the Golf to a large extent. The Octavia a.k.a. the Laura in India, also shares it's underpinnings with the Golf, albeit with some differences (The Laura is built on the Golf/Jetta platform).
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Old 22nd November 2010, 13:31   #54
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Originally Posted by khoj View Post
I would beg to differ on the driving experience bit. I own neither the Laura nor the Jetta but with whatever limited exposure I have had driving the two cars (in their diesel avatars) I felt there are instances when the Laura reminds you time and again that it is just a well appointed commuter whereas the Jetta shrink wraps around you and is a hoot to point and shoot. The exterior looks of the two vehicles are completely misleading what with the Laura with its aggressive macho front and the Jetta with a more rounded laid back kind of face.
Its a pity the Jetta gets only the 110bhp version of the 2.0 tdi. If it was 140bhp it would be so much better.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 13:31   #55
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Point taken khoj. However i was referring to seat of the pant feel where laura definitely takes an edge. Jetta has a linear power delivery and never feels low on power however it doesn't have the torque to beat the laura's pace. Also it lacks DSG (but has one of the best MT). Jetta has excellent driving dynamics but laura is not far behind, and with its engine + DSG it offers even better driving experience.
I'm sure the new Jetta will be able to change the equation.

Last edited by ashish22 : 22nd November 2010 at 13:33.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 14:42   #56
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Hi ashish22,

Just remembered you from the barbeque nation meet

I did not mean to score a point there rather just wanted to share my point of view. It is indeed a shame that VW stopped offering the Jetta with the DSG and never equipped it with the stronger version of the power plant as in the Laura. Hopefully the upcoming model will address both of the shortcomings.

Ciao
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Old 22nd November 2010, 15:44   #57
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Yes sir it was nice meeting you at BBQ Nation. Had a good experience sharing and discussing various things with you and other guys.

And yes indeed you made a valid point and i took it in positive sense. Jetta definitely has the excellence of the golf platform and that itself ensures it a dynamic nature. Pity that it doesn't come with DSG and the 140 bhp version.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 17:06   #58
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Gloryman, you seem to be going through the same predicament I went through just a few days back. We went and TD-ed the Laura Elegance and were completely won over. It was close to PERFECT but then there were the horror stories of Skoda's ***, far too many to be ignored so we balked. The Yeti looked weird from most angles except the front, lacked the bootspace we were looking for, given that we do a lot of long distance travel. And then there was the Skoda scare, of course. Spend 18-19 lakhs and then lose sleep? No, thank you. I will settle for something less perfect, without regrets.

The Jetta was expensive and the looks didnt excite me, too uncle-types. The Fortuner was handsome to look at, great to drive but spartan and uninspiring from the inside. If I am going to be paying 22 lakhs, I sure expect some nice interiors and comfort. The HM showroom was sealed because they didnt have fire safety provisions in place( at least, that is what the security guard told us) so we couldn't TD the Prado or Outlander. In any case, we would be really stretching the budget for anything beyond 20 lakhs. The Santa Fe was beyond reach @almost 27 lakhs.


Then we went to TD the Cruze and found that Gallops, Ahmedabad couldn't arrange for a TD car that day. So we asked them to call us back when they had one ready. No call. We went back to the dealership a month later. Same thing happened. NO TD car and no calls. So I decided to write to Chevrolet. Guess what?? I got a reply the next day and they made arrangement for the TD of the AT model, which they generally do not provide. The dealership called back and we took the TD the same day. I was impressed, both by the stonkin performance of both the LTZ and the AT models and also Chevrolet''s responsiveness.

So yeah, booking the LTZ next week as soon as the finance paperwork is settled. White diamond it is! Kicked to bits and already planning the accessories like angel eyes headlights, LED tail lamps, bootlip spoiler and tyre upgrade, for starters. Can anyone tell me the dealers in MUmbai or Pune from where I can source the above items? There seem to be none here in Ahmedabad or maybe I am wrong
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Old 22nd November 2010, 20:39   #59
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Gloryman, you seem to be going through the same predicament I went through just a few days back. We went and TD-ed the Laura Elegance and were completely won over. It was close to PERFECT but then there were the horror stories of Skoda's ***, far too many to be ignored so we balked. The Yeti looked weird from most angles except the front, lacked the bootspace we were looking for, given that we do a lot of long distance travel. And then there was the Skoda scare, of course. Spend 18-19 lakhs and then lose sleep? No, thank you. I will settle for something less perfect, without regrets.

The Jetta was expensive and the looks didnt excite me, too uncle-types. The Fortuner was handsome to look at, great to drive but spartan and uninspiring from the inside. If I am going to be paying 22 lakhs, I sure expect some nice interiors and comfort. The HM showroom was sealed because they didnt have fire safety provisions in place( at least, that is what the security guard told us) so we couldn't TD the Prado or Outlander. In any case, we would be really stretching the budget for anything beyond 20 lakhs. The Santa Fe was beyond reach @almost 27 lakhs.


Then we went to TD the Cruze and found that Gallops, Ahmedabad couldn't arrange for a TD car that day. So we asked them to call us back when they had one ready. No call. We went back to the dealership a month later. Same thing happened. NO TD car and no calls. So I decided to write to Chevrolet. Guess what?? I got a reply the next day and they made arrangement for the TD of the AT model, which they generally do not provide. The dealership called back and we took the TD the same day. I was impressed, both by the stonkin performance of both the LTZ and the AT models and also Chevrolet''s responsiveness.

So yeah, booking the LTZ next week as soon as the finance paperwork is settled. White diamond it is! Kicked to bits and already planning the accessories like angel eyes headlights, LED tail lamps, bootlip spoiler and tyre upgrade, for starters. Can anyone tell me the dealers in MUmbai or Pune from where I can source the above items? There seem to be none here in Ahmedabad or maybe I am wrong
I was equally jazzed by the Cruze. It was like love at first sight. I had never seen an engine performance quite like that. The next time I drove the AT version and was even more amazed. I had never seen an automatic quite like that. So far so good.

Then I requested them to come to my home since I wanted to TD with my wife along. That is when it all came apart. This time the drive was on a different road with speed breakers ranging from small to criminal. That is when I realized this car has a really really bad GC. It was a horrible experience, really. I was scrapping on some medium sized bumpers as well. These variety are aplenty in Bangalore and so that day I decided I will give the Cruze a miss.

So if your city is devoid of maniac speed breaker everywhere, do go for the Cruze. Its a sheer pleasure to cruze on that car !! Otherwise its GC is just like the Civic.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 20:51   #60
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Lots of you chimed in with your Jetta experience. Co-incidentally I test drove one yesterday. So here are my 2 bits ...

First the drive. It is brilliant machine to drive. The 2.0 Crdi engine has lot to offer on tap. The gearshifts are butter-smoothe. The car hugs the road and is a joy on the twisties even at high speeds. The engine power is adequate and I was quickly able to accelerate to 120 kmph in the 4th gear itself. Ran out of road before I could play with the fifth.

The car is very comfortable in the front seats and the premium feel of the interiors is well documented. The rear-seat was too low for my comfort and the legroom quite compromised. Surprisingly, my wife was of the opinion that the backseat was quite comfortable. Infact she was quite impressed by the Jetta overall and has chosen this car to be the overall favorite among all that I have test-driven and documented in these pages.

For me the downer again was the GC. Though not as bad as the Civic and the Cruze, it was certainly not as good as the Laura and the Yeti. I scrapped some medium breakers; not all. Another negative is the low seating. I find low seating quite irritating to drive in the night; this is one thing I had hated in the Ikon. So to buy another car with a similar character may not come easy to me.

But I will still rate Jetta to be up there and the car is a certain contender in my list.

So here is where I stand as of today: Jetta comfortline, Laura DSG Elegance, Skoda Yeti Elegance. One of these 3. I have not been able to pick the winner among these yet but I should come to a conclusion in a few weeks. I have test driven all the cars I wanted to; so now its just weighing each car's pros and cons and making a judgement call. Unfortunately this is the toughest part. So close and yet so far. Sigh :(
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