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Old 21st June 2011, 23:34   #1
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Default Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

THE Question:

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1582-copy.jpg

The Answer: My Silver Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI

What I like:
  • The smile on my face whenever I know a drive is coming up
  • Being pushed back into my seat whenever I get an opportunity to put pedal to metal.
  • The solid build quality.
  • Excellent driveability even in the city & obviously gets better out on the open road.
  • High speed stability.
  • Humongous Boot.
What could have been better:
  • Skoda's treatment of its customers.
  • Seat ergonomics, yet to find a comfortable position for long drives.
  • Rear visibility (need to install a rear camera for parking??)

Why TSI?


I wanted a driver's car & have been lusting after the TSI ever since it was launched in 2008. Been following every thread on the TSI here on T-Bhp.

Test drove the T-Jet & the Civic, as well as the Altis (because the Toyota showroom was very close to the Honda one I visited for a test drive), and each had its merits, but...

.. with the TSI it was love at first acceleration once I got behind the wheel of the test car.

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1630-copy.jpg

Dealership Experience

JMD are supposed to be the better of the 2 dealers here in Mumbai & the experience was just about satisfactory. The booking was made towards the end of April and they tried to allot a February manufactured car. However I insisted on March manufactured car & was given one after some initial reluctance. Once things were settled & payments made, delivery was effected in one week. One thing that annoyed me was that the sales team were pretty aggressive about pushing accessories (which had overblown markups), but I guess they have their targets. So, as I said the overall experience was just borderline satisfactory.

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1570_ed.jpg

Engine Performance

I was restraining myself during the run-in period by keeping the revs below 2.5k & it sometimes involved super-human levels of self-control especially when 800s would zoom past on the highway.

But with the 1000km mark coming up I decided that the Mumbai-Pune Expressway was the best place to complete the run-in & let loose. I must confess here that the lure of the open Expressway on a Sunday afternoon finally proved too much & I floored the accelerator & held it there till I hit the 200 kmph mark well before the 1000kms were up. Was there for about 10 seconds till I ran out of runway Felt like I could have gone quicker, had I more room to play with.

In-city performance has been good. Initially I confess I had stalled a couple of times, before I got used to the clutch. But, overall driveability is great, both in the city & out on the highway. Power is always on tap, even in 4th & 5th & cruising is effortless.

Having read through the other Laura threads here, I knew about the excessive engine oil consumption in the first 5000 odd kms. Hence I have been regularly monitoring the Oil levels & recently got a top-up done.. 1L Shell Helix Ultra 5W 40.

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-photo-copy.jpg

Ride & Handling

The stock tire set up was 195/65 R15 Goodyear NCT5, which I promptly replaced with Michelin PLCs of the same size. Was looking for better shoes but the dealer quoted 65k to upsize to 205/55 R16. Also the Laura has a non-standard 112 PCD so sourcing after-market alloys was a problem. So I had to settle on the LCs for a compromise of performance & comfort. They've been good so far.
The only chance I've had to test the handling has been on the Lonavala section of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The steering was well-weighted but there was a bit of roll at higher speeds.

Equipment Levels

The Ambiente is the base level variant & so the bells & whistles are limited. Comes with all the usual safety features found in the segment, as well as TCS, which is a nice addition. ICE is above average with an 8 speaker set-up that produces a nice clean sound.

The headlights appear to be inadequate though. Low is practically non-existent & the high beam appears to be designed to blind oncoming traffic. I've been to the workshop twice about this problem & they were indifferent about it, saying that everything is alright. Would appreciate if some fellow-owners can share their experiences here..

Also, if you've seen some of the other Laura threads you'd know that Skoda has screwed over its customers once again. Basically they've 'deleted' a few features from the Ambiente TSI and left me feeling a bit short changed. If I wasn't so happy with the car I'd have taken up the issue a bit more aggressively. The one that stands out is the fog lamps. It is a useful safety feature and not some cosmetic add-on like the auto-dimming mirror & the rain sensing wipers that I can manage without. Am following the other threads to see what we can do to resolve this matter. Thanks to @cedricsg & @buz for keeping us updated.

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1619-copy.jpg

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1622-copy.jpg

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1595_edited-copy.jpg

Accessories added so far:

- OE Rear Spoiler
- OE Twin Exhaust
- V-kool sunfilm
- Kagu 3D mats (Thanks @cedricsg, been following your thread)

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1605-copy.jpg

Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente-_mg_1609-copy.jpg

A few of the many threads I found invaluable while making my decision about the TSI.

Laura TSI Initial ownership experience

My Turbo Beast: Laura TSI 2011 : CS

Black Ambiente Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI - Total satisfaction incorporated

BMW 320d CE Initial Ownership Experience and a comparison to Laura TSi

Skoda Laura Technical guides/Problems/solutions thread

Tyres for a Laura

ARTICLE: Find your car's date of manufacture (VIN)

Insurance with 0% depreciation on plastic parts - it really worked for me.


That's all folks! My apologies if you found this post too long.

Last edited by decced : 26th June 2011 at 01:11.
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Old 28th June 2011, 13:19   #2
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Public Forum. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th June 2011, 15:01   #3
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Its pouring- No not that rains, but Lauras on TBHP!
Congrats on the purchase decced. The beast sure puts a smile (rather, a grin) on the face when you put pedal to the metal.

The rear view mirror looks a bit different than the '10 models. Is this a new design or am I missing something?

Be very careful of the beige interiors! One year with beige on my TDi and I am running for leathers.
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Old 28th June 2011, 15:33   #4
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Congrats @decced! Welcome to the Laura TSI club

Sweet and crisp review and agree with all your points. I have a month old TSI and yet to hit the higway to test the headlights. But I felt they were not up to the mark after being used to the 130/100 on my Cedia. Haven't had a chance to use the high beam.

The only negative I see with this beautiful package is the omission of previously existing features! You should be writing to Skoda and asking them for a solution as Fog lights have been resumed now in TSI Ambiente models. Some of us have been writing to Skoda and there has been favorable response from them yet. Nevertheless you should be writing to them so that they know customers are affected by this move.

This is their customer support email: CustomerCare@skoda-auto.co.in
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Old 28th June 2011, 16:31   #5
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Hearty congrats decced. The Laura TSI is a stunner when it comes to looks and a stonker when it comes to acceleration and driving experience. You are going to enjoy this sweet monster for many more years to come. The spoiler and the twin exhausts enhances the looks to a great extent.

Finally, once again .
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Old 28th June 2011, 16:55   #6
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Its raining Lauras on T- BHP! Nice to see so many going for the TSI. Congrats decced on your new Laura TSI. It is one helluva machine.

I am also in the same initial romance period with my month old TSI.

Am surprised that you find the headlights inadequate. I find the low beam to be quite effective in lighting up the road. Have you tried levelling it to a proper angle with the headlamp levelling device?

Good decision to go for the PLCs, the Good years don't do justice to this powerhouse.

Sorry about the missing fog lamps though. Their ommission is a serious mistake by Skoda. They just can't skip components in cars if they are in short supply. Who knows? If brake discs are in short supply, they may ship out cars with just three.
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:02   #7
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post

The rear view mirror looks a bit different than the '10 models. Is this a new design or am I missing something?
If you are talking about the ORVMs, then they are different from the '10 models. They are bigger in size and have integrated turn indicators.

The IRVM looks different as it is a basic one and not the auto-dimming mirror that came as standard in the '10 models and is standard in elegant and L&K variants. This is also one of the "deleted" features of the TSI.
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:09   #8
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maibaa View Post
If you are talking about the ORVMs, then they are different from the '10 models. They are bigger in size and have integrated turn indicators.

The IRVM looks different as it is a basic one and not the auto-dimming mirror that came as standard in the '10 models and is standard in elegant and L&K variants. This is also one of the "deleted" features of the TSI.

Maibaa, the ORVMS are the same, i suppose. The F/L Laura's - 2009 onwards, have bigger ORVM's with integrated turn indicators.

Oh yes, I was referring to the IRVM.
The deletion part is what puts me off. Ok, one can get rid of the rain sensors, that are behind the IRVM, but why get rid of the auto-dimming feature? Pretty dumb on Skoda's part, NO?
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:23   #9
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Really its been raining Lauras on T-BHP. Congratulations on buying the drivers car this side of 20L, I am sure Skoda is doing somethings right just wish they hear the customer out and reign in their dealers more.
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:37   #10
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Congratulations on your Skoda Laura.

Nice review and pictures, the car looks very good in this shade.

Wishing you many years of happy and safe driving.
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:47   #11
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Congrats! Good to see more and more TSIs on the forum! The omission of fog lamps etc is a bit of a downer - hope you get that resolved. Have lots of fun with your new baby

One question regarding the rim+tyre upgrade - was 65k the extra bit you were charged for 16" rims and tyres after exchange? How about some pics of the new shoes... the pics are of the 15 inchers, right?

PS: the spoiler and twin tip exhaust really enhance the rear look of the car!

Last edited by razor4077 : 28th June 2011 at 17:48.
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:50   #12
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Maibaa, the ORVMS are the same, i suppose. The F/L Laura's - 2009 onwards, have bigger ORVM's with integrated turn indicators.

Oh yes, I was referring to the IRVM.
The deletion part is what puts me off. Ok, one can get rid of the rain sensors, that are behind the IRVM, but why get rid of the auto-dimming feature? Pretty dumb on Skoda's part, NO?
My bad! I meant the same. The Face Lifted Laura has those bigger ORVMs from '09 onwards.

On the IRVM, it is definitely a cost cutting measure to counter the huge discounts being given on the TSI. I asked the service center guys if I could upgrade to the auto dimming one and they replied in the negative. I was told that it is "impossible" to change it to the auto dimming one.
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:55   #13
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maibaa View Post
I asked the service center guys if I could upgrade to the auto dimming one and they replied in the negative. I was told that it is "impossible" to change it to the auto dimming one.
Why is it impossible to change the IRVM's. Suppose you happen to break them, then what? Drive without the IRVM? Stupid logic.
These mirrors are obviously stick on's (pretty good quality at that), but then, I assume, one can get the auto-dimming mirrors retro fitted.
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Old 28th June 2011, 18:12   #14
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Why is it impossible to change the IRVM's. Suppose you happen to break them, then what? Drive without the IRVM? Stupid logic.
These mirrors are obviously stick on's (pretty good quality at that), but then, I assume, one can get the auto-dimming mirrors retro fitted.
Not sure if we are hijacking this thread with our discussion.

The service guys can obviously replace the existing ORVM with a new one in case it gets broken. What they cannot do is to upgrade the existing basic rear view mirror to the auto-dimming one. From what I observed in other cars with auto-dimming IRVMs, I did see some connections going from the IRVM to the roof of the car inside. I guess those are the connections to the ECU to trigger the auto dimming feature or the wipers based on the sensor response.
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Old 29th June 2011, 06:39   #15
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Default Re: Stříbrná Česká Princezna - May '11 Skoda Laura TSI Ambiente

Many Thanks for your wishes people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maibaa View Post

I have a month old TSI and yet to hit the higway to test the headlights. But I felt they were not up to the mark after being used to the 130/100 on my Cedia. Haven't had a chance to use the high beam.

...Some of us have been writing to Skoda and there has been favorable response from them yet. Nevertheless you should be writing to them so that they know customers are affected by this move.

This is their customer support email: CustomerCare@skoda-auto.co.in
I did try to get the headlights fixed.. The workshop guys have adjusted the levelling and it's a bit better. However, it's still not up to the mark & I am not sure what to do as they warned me against trying any after-market upgrade as one has to be careful to maintain the sealing else water will enter the assembly during the rains.. I know this is a problem since it happened with my previous car after a headlight upgrade.

Will definitely write to Skoda about the deletions. I had actually called them up to question why the omission of these features were not mentioned anywhere on the website or informed by the dealer. However all I got was the curt reply that I should take this up with the dealer...
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