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Old 30th July 2011, 23:15   #1
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Default Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Why a new car when you have a one year old ANHC VMT?

The answer lies in the last two letters of the above question. The ‘MT ‘ (manual transmission) was getting on my nerves. Driving in some really bad traffic conditions is my reality and the problem was only going to get worse with time. Although my ANHC did everything it could to make my ride as stress free as possible it just couldn’t give me the comfort I was looking for (Again, nothing to do with the car and everything to do with the driving conditions!).
The other reasons for upgrading:
1) Insane petrol prices
2) My dream of wanting a classy C+ segment car was slowly but surely becoming an obsession.
So my mind was made up. I needed a car that could keep me smiling in the worst of traffic conditions without burning a hole in my pocket every time I visited the gas station. I NEEDED A DIESEL AUTOMATIC CAR. And the research began…

The contenders..the decision process..

My budget was anything around 16-17 lakhs. Obviously the cheaper the better. My requirements, wants, likes can be viewed in this thread. ( http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sedans...-16-lakhs.html (Automatic below 16 lakhs))

1) Chevy cruze AT- Decent car. A good looking fella with a powerful heart . The car flatters you with all the latest features that will get you excited. But once the excitement dies down you might find yourself looking for reasons to stay in love with the car (no disrespect to all you cruze owners).
What put me off in the car:
A) The ghastly interiors. Looked cheap and desperate to please!
B) Loud engine with an evident turbolag.
I could name a few more but to be honest one look at the interiors and my mind was made up..Bye Bye cruze!

2) Hyundai fluidic verna diesel AT – To be honest I didn’t even test drive this car. The 4 speed auto gearbox was a big ‘no-no’ for me. The reports about its suspension, poor rear seats all further convinced me that this car wasn’t even worth a look.

3) I should be honest here and tell you that I was seriously considering the civic AT and the new corolla with the 7 speed CVT autobox. They are both wonderful and more importantly reliable cars but I was hell-bent on a diesel car and therefore had to reluctantly overlook these options.
With the above cars eliminated I was left with the LAURA DIESEL AUTOMATIC. I looked at this beauty, test drove her for about 15mins and everything else was history!

And then my Laura came home…

After the test drive the decision was made. No close contenders, no confusing choices..etc etc. It had to be the laura automatic diesel for me! With one confusion sorted out another one cropped up. Shouldn’t i wait for the launch of the new jetta? Am I making a hasty decision?

Here’s how I convinced myself to go for the laura.
From what I read the new jetta is going to be much bigger the previous model and that went against my requirement . The jetta was definitely going to be priced higher than the laura. And most importantly, after seeing the leaked pics I decided not to pay 17lakhs for car that look identical to a vento .

So on a booked my laura on the 22nd of june in gurudev motors, chennai. I chose to get the elegance trim and went for the cappuccino beige colour. I know some might consider the ambiente trim as a better VFM option but the elegance trim wooed me with its wood finish interiors, gorgeous looking 16’ alloys, the auto closing of side mirrors, rain sensors, leather interiors and cooling compartments in the armrest and dash. More importantly I only paid 45000rs for my registration and road tax as I got the car registered in Pondicherry ( Im a visiting consultant in a medical college there). Having saved a decent amount of money with the reg & road tax I decided that I could stretch my budget just enough to get the elegance trim.

And the wait then began. I was told that I would get the car in two weeks. My mind was constantly straying while at work. My eyes were constantly scanning the road to find other lauras and everytime I found one I would have a stupid smile on my face. The anticipation was really getting to me. The days went by while I was going through the motions at work my mind continued to wander time and again. Finally the wait was over and on july 12th my baby came home!

I paid 17.4 lakhs overall for the car including discounts . Got a 15k corporate discount and exchanged in my 2001 second owner Honda accord for 2.5 lakhs. So had to shell out around 14.8 from my pocket. I also got a bunch of freebies ( sunfilm, carpet mats, mudflaps).
Here I have to mention that I did take into account the general skepticism one has towards skoda cars and their A.S.S . Reviews about the updated CRDI engine and the success of the DSG gearbox internationally brought down my apprehension to a large extent. But it was the 4yr/ 100,000 km skoda shied package that gave me the confidence to go for the car.

After driving the car for about 500 kms here's what I have to say..

The overall build quality is just fantastic, similar to that of german cars. The interiors are classy and the quality of the materials gives you a premium feel. You can quickly find a suitable driving position and the lumbar support really takes the strain of the lower back ( significant for those with lower back problems). The leg room at the rear seats could have been better , I guess it’s the price you pay for the large boot space the car offers. The music system is to die for. You can enjoy anything ranging from the beat thumping hip hop madness to the melodious Beethoven’s symphony. The armrest is can be adjusted vertically and horizontally to let you find that perfect position to rest your elbow . The footrest on both sides definitely adds to the comfort especially on long drives (another thing that the cruze shockingly lacked).

The engine and gearbox have been raved about in every single ownership thread of this car and all I have to say is “I CONCUR!!”. The super quiet diesel engine, the negligible turbolag, and the butter smooth DSG autobox all combine to give you the best driving experience. Honestly, the usb options, steering controls, the sunroofs and all that jazz can excite you for a few months at best. But the sheer driving pleasure (thanks to this superbly refined engine and amazing gearbox) this car gives you is a feeling worth experiencing again and again and again…

The feel one gets from the steering isn’t great at very slow speeds but certainly gets better and better with increasing speed. At higher speeds you don’t feel like you are floating ( which was evident in my ANHC even after upgrading to 195/60/r15s) and the car really hugs the road quite well. The suspension and ride quality in the city at slow speeds is definitely above par as the car does a good job handling all the bumps and pits our Indian roads are famous for.

The most satisfying part is the fuel economy. Really a huge relief!! My pockets aren’t always empty now ! I used spend appx 2200 rs to fill around 32 litres of petrol for my ANHC, but got a whooping 50litres of diesel for the same price. The car gives around 11kmpl in the city with the ac on ( in horrible traffic conditions) which is amazing considering the fact that my ANHC VMT used to give only around 9.5 to 10kmpl.

Now you know what I love about the car, here’s what I loathe..

• Lack of steering mounted audio controls
• Flat driver’s side mirror ( really strange that they don’t give convex mirrors)
• Sorry but cant think of anything else..will update this portion of the review if anything comes up.

Mods/Accessories

• 3M sunfilm (free)
• Skoda carpet mats (free)
• 3d kagu mats
• VAS activated drl’s (done by the skoda dealer)
• Front mudflaps(free)

A little extra extra…

I bought the Kensington liquiaux with steering control for the ipod. It works beautifully and makes you miss the multifunction steering wheel a little less. The sound quality is great, you can hide the wires so that it doesn’t make your car look messy and the steering remote actually goes well with the interiors of the car
I also bought a set of skoda metal emblems from ebay which I pierced into my 3d kagu mats. Call it cheap thrills but I just love doing these little things to give the car its individuality !

This review might be heavily biased in favour of the skoda laura but I make no apologies for it as it’s ‘MY ‘ personal opinion. There’s no right or wrong here. Hope no one takes offence.


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Last edited by vinj14 : 30th July 2011 at 23:31.
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Old 30th July 2011, 23:18   #2
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Hi Vinj14,

Let me be the first to congratulate you for your Skoda Laura TDi.

Very nice pics and review, please do update the thread regularly.

Wishing you happy and safe driving!
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Old 30th July 2011, 23:38   #3
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Congrats on an excellent buy. Wish you many years of joy with your new machine.

Unfortunately petrolheads like me have to be content with Ambiente MT only.
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Old 30th July 2011, 23:39   #4
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This is an awesome car! Congratulations on your purchase and here is hoping miles and miles of stress free and relaxed driving to you...

I have always felt that this car is one of the best designed cars we have here in India. Looks amazing in that color too...

Diesel + Auto, my friend it doesn't get better than this. )
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Old 31st July 2011, 09:50   #5
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Loved your car!
a fine choice indeed.
Also noticed you got those 3D kagu mats. They look fantastic.
and they even have a Skoda badge too, for that extra special feeling.
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Old 31st July 2011, 10:02   #6
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Congrats on your car. What are these 3D mats? Also where did you get the Kensington liquiaux?
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Old 31st July 2011, 10:17   #7
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Congratulation @vinj14 for the beauty. By the way, I notice that your alloys are a bit different that the normal skoda laura alloys. Any reason for this ? Have you specifically asked for these alloys ? If yes, it was a brilliant decision, 'coz I really feel that the normal alloys were not that effective.
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Old 31st July 2011, 10:35   #8
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Vinj14, congrats on the purchase!!

I also took delivery of Elangance AT yesterday, it feels luxurious indeed. Now if I could only figure out how the rain sensor works...
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Old 31st July 2011, 10:51   #9
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Repsol View Post
Congratulation @vinj14 for the beauty. By the way, I notice that your alloys are a bit different that the normal skoda laura alloys. Any reason for this ? Have you specifically asked for these alloys ? If yes, it was a brilliant decision, 'coz I really feel that the normal alloys were not that effective.
No these are stock alloys. They offer these only with the elegenace trim. If im not mistaken skoda calls them proxima 16' alloys. I think they started offering these alloys around six months back. To be honest this was one of the main reasons why i pushed my budget and went for the elegance trim.

Im attaching pics of the alloys previously offered in the elegance trim and the one they currently offer..

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Last edited by vinj14 : 31st July 2011 at 11:00.
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Old 31st July 2011, 11:15   #10
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Live To Jive View Post
Congrats on your car. What are these 3D mats? Also where did you get the Kensington liquiaux?
Yes they are 3D mats. Got those extra skoda emblems pierced in. You can get them on ebay.

N84 SKODA FLOOR MAT CARPET METAL EMBLEM OCTAVIA SUPERB | eBay

I also got the kensington liquid aux from ebay. Its different from the liquid aux deluxe which also serves the same function but come with a ipod cradle ( which is useful as it holds the ipod but i didnt go for it as it's fairly large and i thought it might go against the classy interiors of the car). But for the price you pay this is one fine piece of equipment.

Kensington LiquidAUX Car Kit w/ Remote for Apple iPhone (Rs. 3913)

Last edited by vinj14 : 31st July 2011 at 11:16.
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Old 31st July 2011, 11:18   #11
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Congratulations vinj14! That's a beauty you've got there. Elegance makes more sense now that Ambiente has been stripped off some features. Just makes Elegance seem like a better value propsition now. As Bloodred said, we petrolheads had to make do with Ambiente. I actually shelled out about 65K just for the 16" Alloy upgrade on my Ambiente . Elegance version was sorely missed on Petrol.

Road tax of just 48K . Would you believe it , if I told you I paid road tax of almost 2.60L on my TSI petrol here in Bangalore!

Just two questions...
1) Does the 3d Mat obsturct the Acc pedal operation in any way? It seems to be quite close to it from what I make out from your photos
2) Where did you source the Kensington Liquiaux from? Does to communicate with the base via bluetooth?

PS : THe Skoda emblems on the mats. Nice touch

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 31st July 2011 at 11:19.
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Old 31st July 2011, 11:25   #12
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

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Originally Posted by DukeSan27 View Post
Vinj14, congrats on the purchase!!

I also took delivery of Elangance AT yesterday, it feels luxurious indeed. Now if I could only figure out how the rain sensor works...
Congrats!! The rain sensors should work. Just go through the manual thoroughly and see if the stalk and the switches are in the right position. If it still doesnt work then get them fixed asap!! Make sure you get all these extra features working. It makes you feel less guilty for splurging and going for the elegance trim !!
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Old 31st July 2011, 11:31   #13
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinj14 View Post
No these are stock alloys. They offer these only with the elegenace trim. If im not mistaken skoda calls them proxima 16' alloys. I think they started offering these alloys around six months back. To be honest this was one of the main reasons why i pushed my budget and went for the elegance trim.

Im attaching pics of the alloys previously offered in the elegance trim and the one they currently offer..
Thanks for that comparative post. The new alloys look way better than the ones they were offering before. No wonder they are on offer with elegance trim only. Worth spending the extra cash for, plus like you mentioned earlier you did save some money by registering it in Pondicherry, so i guess you balanced it out. and rather well at that
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Old 31st July 2011, 11:45   #14
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post

Road tax of just 48K . Would you believe it , if I told you I paid road tax of almost 2.60L on my TSI petrol here in Bangalore!

Just two questions...
1) Does the 3d Mat obsturct the Acc pedal operation in any way? It seems to be quite close to it from what I make out from your photos
2) Where did you source the Kensington Liquiaux from? Does to communicate with the base via bluetooth?

PS : THe Skoda emblems on the mats. Nice touch
Thanks! If i hadnt saved on the road tax i would have probably gone for the ambiente trim myself. I do agree, with skoda stripping a few features of the ambiente trim the elegance trim definitely looks like a better VFM proposition.

I know it appears that way on the picture but the 3d mats do not interfere with the acc pedal operation in anyway.

The kensington liquid aux is only for playing audio from your ipod/iphone. One ends connects to the aux port and the other end charges the ipod using the 12v power supply. No bluetooth function and this cant be used for making/recieving calls. Kensington did have a liquidux bluetooth product for recieving and making calls which also could be used to stream music. But the quality of sound in a bluetooth streamed audio cannot be compared with a direct aux connection. But if you dont listen to much music and you primarily want a bluetooth device to help manage your calls in the car then the liquidaux bluetooth might be worth considering.

Kensington LiquidAUX Car Kit w/ Remote for Apple iPhone (Rs. 3913)
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Old 31st July 2011, 12:50   #15
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Default re: Luxury personified : Skoda laura TDI AT Elegance EDIT: Now sold!

Here's what the elegance trim has that the ambiente doesn't..

Important features:
Automatic climate control( with dual zone a/c & air quality sensor)
Auto front wiper system with rain sensors
Cooling compartment in front glove box & armrest compartment
16' proxima alloys
wood finish interiors
leather seats
Electric folding external mirrors ( with Remote closing)

Other features:
Heated front seats
Auto dimming interior & external rear view mirror
Three height adjustable head restraints at rear ( two in ambiente)
Boarding spot lamps

The price difference between the two trims is appx 1.5 lakhs. A good set of 16 inch alloys, quality leather upholstery, wood finish interiors might cost you 1 lakh if you retrofit them. So overall 1.5 lakhs for the extra features offered isn't too bad. But if these features aren't in your 'must have' list then the ambiente trim might still be the better option.

Last edited by vinj14 : 31st July 2011 at 12:51.
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