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Old 29th June 2011, 01:09   #1
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Default Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

My previous car was a Hyundai Verna Crdi Automatic. Head over heart I’d told myself. With a 90km a day commute through Bangalore traffic, it had to be the Verna Auto.

A year & 3 months after buying it, the heart won out. Being sensible was doing the enthusiast in me no good at all!

I sold the Verna with no doubt about what next. Well almost no doubt; I briefly considered the Chevy Cruze but two test drives later (Cruze & the Laura Tsi), it was a no brainer. The butt dyno had spoken! The great reviews by the other TSi owners on this board; Ravich, imp!, buz & cedricsg sealed the deal.

I booked a Cappuccino Beige TSi Ambiente end April ’11 at TAFE Access & got the car a week later. The car was part of the infamous batch of TSi Ambientes shipped without fog lamps.

I’ve done 2000kms so far & here's my feedback:

Dealership Experience:
The famed average Skoda Pre & A.S.S. Delivery was as per committed schedule, but there were some mess ups on the insurance. I wasn’t informed about the missing features like fog lamps, rain sensors , auto mirror dimming, cooled glovebox etc until the day I was to take delivery. The TD vehicle that I drove had all features, so I had assumed WYSIWYG. Mistake!

I spoke to the sales manager at Skoda Aurangabad HO about the feature ‘deletion’ on the day I was taking delivery & was told to ask the dealer for a further discount (didn’t get it) or choose to wait a month plus until they start shipping TSi Ambientes with fog lamps again! I had to take delivery as the vehicle was already invoiced & registered.

Engine & transmission:
Outstanding. What can I say that hasn’t been said before? More than meets my expectations in terms of power delivery. I had the opportunity to stretch my legs a bit on the NICE road after about 1200 Kms running & it was phenomenal. While great power is on tap right through the range; you'll have to make good use of the gearbox especially if you're in 5th / 6th to keep her singing.
I've been checking oil levels in anticipation of the talked about initial oil consumption, but its at safe levels so far.
Mileage in city with full time aircon is between 7-8 kmpl. Got 11 + on long drives.
About the gearbox, I feel the throw between gears is a tad long & quick shifting certainly needs practise. Initial stalling was also an issue that lasted probably a day; very easy to compensate & correct this.

This car is not for your daily creeping bumper to bumper commute. IMHO its wasted potential if used as such, since its a car that begs to be pushed. The TSi isn't my daily driver & I use it only on week ends / long drives. On the days that I have to use it in heavy traffic, I choose the longest & most traffic free route

Ride & Handling:
I drove the car for the first 500 kms on the stock Goodyears (outstation trip) & one panic braking situation later I felt that the car was under-tyred. (Even allowing for the tyres to have run in).
I’ve since switched to Skoda OE 17” Alloys and upgraded tyres to Michelin Pilot Sport III 225/45/17. What a world of a difference. The car is now like a missile on rails! Ride quality is marginally harsher, but I can live with that.
The ride quality on the OE 15" rims was good, but one should up-tyre if you'd like better performance.

Equipment Levels:
Pretty well kitted in terms of safety with the dual airbags, TCS, ABS + Skoda build quality.
However I wish Skoda offered an L&K variant of the TSi!
Some minor issues are:
- The non-convex drivers side ORVM is an irritant as its difficult to cut down on your blind spots.
- Horns have changed. Previous horn was much better.
- During egress, I tend to inadvertently brush the driver seat height adjustment handle & the setting keeps changing.

Big grouse on the “Feature Deletion” game being played by Skoda. They certainly aren't earning any goodwill with this move. The Skoda India Supply Chain or Marketing team needs to be taken to task on this one depending on whether its was the result of poor supply chain planning or some brilliant cost efficiency project by a newly minted, wet behind the ears marketing trainee.

Since I bought the car, I've added the following:

- Skoda OE 17” Alloy Wheels
- Michelin Pilot Sport III 225/45/17
- Nappa leather seats from Karlsson (stock fabric seats get dirty super quick)
- VKool Sunfilm including windshield
- OE Rear Spoiler
- OE Twin Exhaust Tips
- Convex RHS ORVM – eBay UK
- Kagu 3D mats
- Skoda OEM fog lamps : Yet to figure out wiring
- Ross Tech VCDS cable on the way
- ICE – Stock HU, Audison Bit One + Audison LRx 4.1K + Audison LRx 1.2K + 2 sets Focal 165 KRX2s + 1 Morel Ultimo 12” Sub, sealed. Dynamatting all round. No cutting/modification of OE speaker wiring. Parallel quality speaker wiring all round.


Pics of the car were taken before I fitted the fog lamps, spoiler & exhaust tips.
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Old 29th June 2011, 03:37   #2
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Wonderful and congratulations !

That's quite a packet you seem to have spent post purchase. The alloys look classy.

How much to the PS3's cost?
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Old 29th June 2011, 05:47   #3
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Wow another Laura, congratulations. Are the fuel efficiency figures normal or would they improve further?
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Old 29th June 2011, 07:08   #4
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Congratulations on the TSI!! Love the alloys.. Please post pics of the updated setup, especially the ICE..
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Old 29th June 2011, 07:56   #5
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Those interiors look gorgeous. Wow you seem to have gone all out on accessories. How much did you pay for the fogs? Personally I think you should just get a Vrs bumper with the LED DRLs and all, it will look great on your car.
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Old 29th June 2011, 08:24   #6
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Congratulations! Suddenly there are quite a lot of TSI's in this forum
Loved the seat color. And that’s quite a lot of add-ons.
All these updates were done via the dealer?
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Old 29th June 2011, 08:48   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Many a Congratulations, Jatin on a fantastic purchase !!!!

It's raining TSi's on T-BHP....

Jatin those seat covers look fantastic, was reading the ACI journal on Audi A6 and saw the seat covers there, they seem to match the color on your TSi.

Could you please share how much dent did the seat covers make to your pocket.

Enjoi the beast mate.

Happy Motoring !!

Last edited by Torquedo : 29th June 2011 at 08:51. Reason: typo
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Old 29th June 2011, 09:38   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

One more TSI. Wow! The bug is catching on!

Many congrats on your purchase. The seat covers look fabulous. As do the alloys. . Do post pics post the spoiler and chrome tips add ons.

Try getting rid of the mud flaps. You car will look really hot without them on the 17 inchers.

Did the dealer help you install the convex ORVM. How much does it cost? It is absurd for Skoda to provide that non convex mirror for the driver side. Really limits field of view. I am really keen on doing this on my TSi as well.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 29th June 2011 at 09:44. Reason: Added a query
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Old 29th June 2011, 10:22   #9
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Hey Jatin. Many congratulations on the purchase of this beast of a vehicle! Minus the misses and the niggles, this car is pure exhilaration. Drive safe and hope to learn more from you on your exploits on the highway with this tarmac burner. You have really knocked yourself out on the accessories and accoutrements. Way to go!
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Old 29th June 2011, 10:49   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post

How much to the PS3's cost?
Paid ~ 11K /tyre. Not easy to find PSIIIs with current ISI issues in the domestic market..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Are the fuel efficiency figures normal or would they improve further?
Totally dependent on whether you're mental on the pedal, which I am. As the auto journos put it, I can't help engaging in "spirited driving"..Am sure better numbers are possible if I baby her along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by decced View Post
Please post pics of the updated setup, especially the ICE..
Will do so in the ICE section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
How much did you pay for the fogs? Personally I think you should just get a Vrs bumper with the LED DRLs and all, it will look great on your car.
Thanks for the suggestion on the Vrs bumper, but I don't think the existing wiring harness is compatible. Fogs costed me ~ 7K including bulbs from the dealer. However they refused to wire it up since there's no provision for it in the existing harness..I'm thinking of a work around via direct connection through another ASR two way switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Congratulations! Suddenly there are quite a lot of TSI's in this forum
Loved the seat color. And that’s quite a lot of add-ons.
All these updates were done via the dealer?
Thanks. No. Only fogs, spoiler & exhaust tips. Alloys were from Vinayak. I bought the car from TAFE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post

Jatin those seat covers look fantastic, was reading the ACI journal on Audi A6 and saw the seat covers there, they seem to match the color on your TSi.

Could you please share how much dent did the seat covers make to your pocket.
Thanks, the shade is called Grouse from Karlsson, similar to the one used in the BMW 6 series convertible. Would suggest you get in touch with Karlsson for pricing since apparently leather prices have gone up. Expect to pay ~ 45-50K

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Did the dealer help you install the convex ORVM. How much does it cost? It is absurd for Skoda to provide that non convex mirror for the driver side. Really limits field of view. I am really keen on doing this on my TSi as well.
Nope no help from the dealer, installed it myself using the double sided tape provided. Stuck it over the existing mirror & no problems during electric adjustment. Would suggest you don't get the heated option, since to install this, you'll have to break the existing mirror & then wire up the replacement. I'd ordered the heated convex replacement & ended up peeling off the heating element sticker on the back & directly fitting it over the stock mirror. I don't plan on enabling heated ORVMs since we'd hardly use it in India. Even if I did, I'm assuming heat transfer from the stock mirror would reach the convex one.
Cost of mirrors including shipping was 20GBP or ~ INR 1400. Reached me in 4 days post buying on ebay.
SKODA OCTAVIA 2009-ON WING DOOR WIDE ANGLE MIRROR GLASS | eBay UK

And thanks all for your comments. Look forward to engaging with other TSi owners here too!
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Old 29th June 2011, 10:56   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Another Laura on the forum! Man, Skoda sure must be happy.
Congrats on the purchase, Jatin.

The alloys do look super sexy. So do the interiors. Nice color of leathers. Does add charachter to the car.
How did you source the convex ORVMs? Also, was the fitting a DIY job, or did you take it to the dealers?

You sure have gone all out with mods since the car was purchased .
Happy revvin my friend. Drive safe.
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Old 29th June 2011, 11:39   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

I'm loving how Skoda has changed from being the most hated to being the most loved. I test drove the TSi and i must say its a very powerful car which leaves you speachless. I am in the market for a new car too but have been advised not to buy a skoda as the A.S.S is not good. I Love your alloys but tell me if fitting those alloys would void Skoda sheild? Congrats on your new car. Its a beauty.
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Old 29th June 2011, 13:36   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Welcome to the world of turbo petrols.

The FE you mentioned is as per the MFD and after you upgraded to 225/45/17?
Did you get the MFD recalibrated after the tyre upsize?
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Old 29th June 2011, 13:55   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
Welcome to the world of turbo petrols.

The FE you mentioned is as per the MFD and after you upgraded to 225/45/17?
Did you get the MFD recalibrated after the tyre upsize?
Yes the FE is as per the MFD. Do I really need to get it recalibrated? Stock rim is 15" with 195/65/15 tyres. I upsized to 17" with 225/45/17 tires.

Overall dia of the stock 15" with tyre is 634.5 mm while that of the 17" with tyre is 634.3 mm. A difference of 0.2 mm or 200 microns!

If anything rolling resistance has increased due to the larger contact patch & possibly impacted mileage? In any case driving styles have a pretty big role to play right?
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Old 29th June 2011, 14:38   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSi Ambiente - April '11 - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by jatinganapathy View Post
Yes the FE is as per the MFD. Do I really need to get it recalibrated? Stock rim is 15" with 195/65/15 tyres. I upsized to 17" with 225/45/17 tires.

Overall dia of the stock 15" with tyre is 634.5 mm while that of the 17" with tyre is 634.3 mm. A difference of 0.2 mm or 200 microns!

If anything rolling resistance has increased due to the larger contact patch & possibly impacted mileage? In any case driving styles have a pretty big role to play right?
Nope. You don't need to recalibrate anything. Your tyre upsize is spot on! Speedo readings are based on the overall outer diameter of the wheel and has got nothing to do with the contact patch. Generally, while upsizing the thumb rule is to keep the difference in the diameter after upsizing below 2% of the original wheel diameter.
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