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Old 27th May 2011, 16:33   #1
buz
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Default Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Many a page have been written for the new Skoda Laura TSI 1.8 and I am sure many will be written. Here are my two bits on the exhilaration we have been experiencing since the last week of April.

To start off, the itch to change from our ol' trusty - The Corsa 1.6 GLS, became more apparent with niggling issues that kept on cropping and the fact that almost half the car had undergone change (ok, not half, but many parts got replaced) with official spares coming in very expensive due to the car having gone off the production lines 4 years back. The decision was waiting to be made though one thing was quite clear - it had to be an upgrade and quite a substantial one at that. Now, I am quite a believer in the concept that looks of a car do not score over the interiors and performance of the vehicle considering 99% of the time is spent inside the vehicle. So options like the Fiesta, Dzire, etc. were out as they were the same segment as the Corsa. Linea was very early written off despite the turbo version coming in. TDed the Vento. Somehow the interiors just didnt pass the cut. The corsa wasn't a luxury vehicle but somehow GM managed to give a great look to the interiors package that is yet unparalleled in many 3 boxes prevalent today. Didn't want to go in for the Verna (the new Verna might have been a close contender though) and I never really liked the feel to the Honda City ride. So, the next obvious contenders were the Civic, Corolla, Cruze and the Laura. One other thing that we looked for in the new vehicle was the experience of driving it over the highways. Though much of our lives will get spent negotiating crawling traffic in the cities, the Raison d'tre for the vehicle had to be the performance it gives on the highway.

Corolla - great car, scant interiors. Cruze - rear seat legspace is quite a bummer, diesel not an option for me, Civic - good, but it still didn't feel right to pick it.

Laura - TD vehicle arrived in office from JMD at Andheri, Mumbai and 5 of us got into the car!
Exteriors - check: good
Interiors - check: plush
Space - check: enormous
Storage - check: excellent
Music system - check: great
Usb - check: not there but aux suffices
Engine noise in cabin - check: are you kidding? i almost yanked the engine twice while it was on
Rear seat leg space - check: nothing like the civic but good enough for comfortable seating for 6'2"s like me even with front seat totally pulled back
General niceties - check: mostly in place with great MID and the usual bells and whistles and rear parking assist
Drove really easily till I reached BKC and there is when the decision came about - the first proper rev to the engine and the sound (or lack of it) of a 160 horses galloping - there was no looking back!

Started paperwork for the booking and booked it on the last day of the fiscal to get the necessary discounts and also in fear of the CKD ruling striking soon enough. Guess the hurry was uncalled for but who knew then. Anyway, it took about 3 weeks, few rounds of negotiation that finally settled at 14.6L OTR with Skoda shield package and 8000 bucks worth of accessories, added the wood finish interiors (as in the Superb, didnt like the Silver look) and on April 26 we took delivery of what I can describe as a TSI package...

Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated-img_18981.jpg

Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated-img_19021.jpg

Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated-img_19081.jpg

Have driven more than 1000 kms since delivery and taken it over both city roads, highways and the expressway. Here are my thoughts on the initial ownership:

1. Dealership experience: Top notch. JMD is, as has been mentioned earlier on TBhp, a very professionally managed setup and their sales people are very prompt and helpful. My sale was being managed from their Thane outlet though I took the delivery at the Andheri outlet. Have no complaints whatsover. They even arranged for a PDI at their Vashi outlet as they couldn't get the car into Mumbai before payment of Octroi.

2. PDI: Had read through the entire post on PDI and was quite keen to do one as much in detail myself. Learnt one thing and will also suggest this to others who want to do it: please avoid doing it in summers and especially when the car is out in the sun Nevertheless, did my share of the check and left the rest in the able hands of The One Noted the VIN (which in this case doubles up as the chassis number) and cross checked that to ensure that it was indeed a Feb 2011 vehicle. The car had just done about 60-70 kms on the odo, so that seemed right as well. Paint, interiors, etc. was all well protected.

3. Driving the car in city traffic: Driving a rental vehicle of this size in the US is one thing. Ploughing one's own savings of the same order through the muck of daily traffic in Mumbai is another. Accepted what has to happen will happen, bowed to Mr. Murphy and started driving the vehicle. Stalled a couple of times due to habits that don't die easily (2nd gear driving with half clutch in back to back traffic). Learnt quite early to use the 1st gear only for that. Cabin noise is negligible. The ride is stiff. At 32 psi, it is even stiffer. But the fun in the run is when speeds exceed 40-50 kmph. The feeling one gets sitting behind the wheel is that of an SUV or a X-over. It is almost like driving a powerful tank with a speedometer. Solid drive feel to it.

4. Driving on the highway/expressway: Haven't yet redlined it, but intend to do so soon, maybe at some time when the Pune Mumbai expressway is fairly empty for a long stretch. But then, even in the lower level of revs - this is one powerful machine. Before one realizes, you get thrown back and pushed forward... the push doesn't stop. It continues till you can't accelerate further - not because the car doesn't accelerate, but because further acceleration brings objects on the windscreen closer than they appear - it is almost like the Doppler effect. Reached 160 on the speedo and then backed off for a later date. The car held steady and stuck firmly to the road. Bends were navigated with ease without slowing down. To summarize - fear was only within. Realized one more thing - time taken to accelerate and the sense of speed that I used to get in the Corsa at 90-100 kmpl came about at 120-130 kmpl in the Laura Here's to better average speeds over highways!

5. Fuel efficiency - Two tank ups in the city and the average has been close to 7.5 kmpl with full AC. MID fuel efficiency shows 8-12 kmpl depending on type of traffic though my sense is it overstates it by 0.5-1 kmpl. Highway driving MID fuel efficiency came to 14 kmpl. Couldnt do a tank to tank on this as our run wasn't that long.

6. Music system - It is quite a stunning boombox. Lack of USB hurts for a car worth 14 lacs but then, the quality of sound is fantastic.

7. Beige coloured floor mats - someone please tell Skoda we are buying their cars in India, not UK.

8. AC - definitely requires an upgrade. If the Superb has a better AC, can one get a second hand compressor retrofitted?

I have had a few questions on the car but haven't found any answers on the forum yet:

1. There is supposed to be an MDI cable outlet somewhere. Haven't found it yet. This can make my iphone controllable from the skoda swing head unit.

2. The head unit has an option for bluetooth but it probably doesn't contain the bluetooth physical interface. Any one who has had retrofitting experience on this or #1.

3. I never waxed or polished the Corsa. But with the Laura I don't want to take any chances. Read through the forums and realized that polishing can be done once in a while but waxing should be done periodically. What frequency should one do it with and any quick recommendations on the product to use?

4. I don't plan to put up dark tints on the windows but is the 3M transparent sun film worth the investment?

5. Apparently the main odometer resets after it reaches 9999 kms. How does one keep track of how many kms has the car run? It might become relevant at the time of selling the car.

All in all, this car has been a nice change for us. Highly powerful engine and a noiseless cabin - couldn't ask for better. My personal ego booster: the same TSI engine is used in the Superb and the A4

Note from Support: Please go through the rules of the forum. Not more than 2 smilies are allowed per post.

Last edited by Eddy : 27th May 2011 at 17:20. Reason: Note Inline
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Old 27th May 2011, 16:43   #2
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Attachments not visible, mate! Can you please post them using Team-BHP attachments tool? Thanks!
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Old 27th May 2011, 16:46   #3
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Congratulations on a buying a drivers car. It is really an amazing car and you would love to drive. Wish you many happy miles with it. Pictures are not visible, please check.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 27th May 2011 at 16:47. Reason: Forgot to add something
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Old 27th May 2011, 16:50   #4
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

A nice writeup there. and congratulations on your new black beauty.
Glad to hear that you did 2 vital things - the PDI and VIN check. Both courtesy Team-BHP.
Wishing you many miles of motoring joy with your black beauty.
Drive Safe!

P.S the pics have not come through, please check.
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Old 27th May 2011, 17:01   #5
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Hi buzz,

Congratulations on your Skoda Laura 1.8 TSi. Nice write up but I guess something went wrong while attaching snaps, please try again using the attachment tool of team-bhp.

Wishing you many years of Happy and Safe driving.
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Old 27th May 2011, 17:14   #6
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Congrats on getting a driver's delight! Wishing you many more happy miles with the beauty
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Old 27th May 2011, 17:17   #7
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Thanks everyone. Pics reinserted.
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Old 27th May 2011, 17:38   #8
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Quote:
Originally Posted by buz View Post

Reached 160 on the speedo and then backed off for a later date. The car held steady and stuck firmly to the road. Bends were navigated with ease without slowing down.



8. AC - definitely requires an upgrade. If the Superb has a better AC, can one get a second hand compressor retrofitted?



3. I never waxed or polished the Corsa. But with the Laura I don't want to take any chances. Read through the forums and realized that polishing can be done once in a while but waxing should be done periodically. What frequency should one do it with and any quick recommendations on the product to use?

4. I don't plan to put up dark tints on the windows but is the 3M transparent sun film worth the investment?

5. Apparently the main odometer resets after it reaches 9999 kms. How does one keep track of how many kms has the car run? It might become relevant at the time of selling the car.


Congrats. Wish you many happy and safe journeys !
3M sun film is definitely worth it. I went for the most transparent one for the windshield and windows . Got it done at JMD itself. The only glitch there was the 3M guys broke the toll ticket clip/holder. Watch out.
I went for Stanley leather too again at JMD.
If you use the wash and wax shampoo (turtle wax) every week, waxing with carnuba may be needed only once a quarter.
Odo does not reset after 9999 even though the manual seems to hint at that.
Keep a can of Skoda spec engine oil and check regularly .
Don't ride the clutch !
Laura TSI is stable even at 210kph on the expressway( don't attempt though). The engine is a gem.
If you need the Ross tech cable for any diagnostics let me know. It helped me once when I got the service interval indication after the first service.

Last edited by Ravich : 27th May 2011 at 17:44.
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Old 27th May 2011, 17:41   #9
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Quote:
Originally Posted by buz View Post
The feeling one gets sitting behind the wheel is that of an SUV or a X-over. It is almost like driving a powerful tank with a speedometer. Solid drive feel to it.
Congrats buz,
for owning a tank with a speedometer!
Wish you happy miles ahead.
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Old 27th May 2011, 23:06   #10
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

congratulations the laura is an amazing car. the diesel is fantastic but the 1.8tsi is a hoot to drive. wish you lots of happy miles.
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Old 28th May 2011, 00:50   #11
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Congratulations on possibly the best machine this side of 30 Lakhs. And on behalf of all petrol heads let me lend out a huge note of Gratitude.

Thank you for buying the 1.8 TSI. In this era where Petrol heads are threatened by the logical sense of Diesel lovers, Its nice to see a 1.8 Tsi coming along.

Last edited by azeemhafiz : 28th May 2011 at 00:51.
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Old 28th May 2011, 01:21   #12
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Congratulations alot on buying the India's hot favourite Driver's car -Skoda Laura 1.8 TSi.
It looks really gorgeous in Black & well matched to its Sporty intentions.
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Old 28th May 2011, 08:00   #13
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Congrats buz! Happy and safe motoring!

The first pic with a red ribbon on the black door handle and pebble-floor looks beautiful! The Laura in black colour looks amazing. I have a 4 yr old black Laura (TDI though) and it simply rocks! The more I drive other cars, the more I appreciate what a great car this is. We have a 1.4 corsa too - good ride but bad motor :-)

The 9999 stuff is for the 2nd trip meter. As you know 1st trip meter stores current journey and resets itself after every 2hr break in journey. The 2nd trip meter resets itself after every 9999km. The odo meter doesn't ever reset just like in any other car.

I strongly recommend you learn to drive the TSI for max mileage - with a manual transmission, you will be amazed at the KMPL figures you can get on VW engines. I get phenomenal results with Pulse-and-Glide technique without losing any fun of driving. Actually with the real time KMPL display, it is almost like playing a game!

Here is a quote from 50.3 Mpg - TDIClub Forums

Quote:
"Accelerate faster (scanguage should read 20-30mpg instant), and get off the throttle. The engine uses the fuel more efficiently at higher loads. More importantly, you are building inertia when you accelerate, and you're increasing the amount of time you can spend gliding vs. accelerating (pulse). If you can accelerate up a slight hill and glide down, even better.
The trick is to use your fuel to build inertia as efficiently as possible, and to avoid using fuel just to maintain inertia. Using just a little extra fuel for one mile will allow you to save most of your fuel during the next two miles. I find it is helpful to count the seconds spent accelerating and the seconds spent gliding. If you can spend 1 second accelerating (in an efficient engine range) for every 2 seconds spent gliding, you will improve your economy dramatically. I usually count to either 6 or 8 seconds when accelerating, then I try to get 12-16 seconds of gliding before I'm back at my original speed. Winds and steep grades will reward you or fight you depending on which way you are traveling.
It takes a lot of planning and a lot of paying close attention to a scanguage!"

Last edited by androdev : 28th May 2011 at 08:02.
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Old 28th May 2011, 09:34   #14
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Congratulations buz, Laura is one hell of a car. Black looks stunning. Drive safe and enjoy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Here is a quote from 50.3 Mpg - TDIClub Forums
Interesting perspective there androdev, thanks for sharing.
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Old 28th May 2011, 09:44   #15
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Default Re: Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

Congratulations on the car.
Regarding your concern about the odometer resetting, this car has quite a few of them. If I remember correctly, our vRS and our current VW Golf have 3 of these to measure distance and a 4th to tell you how far you are from service, I think. The main odo will never reset as it measures the overall distance traveled. However, the secondary ones can be thought of as trip-meters which can be reset manually or will reset at 9999 km. So no need to worry about that.
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