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Old 10th November 2011, 16:59   #16
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Thanks for the wonderfully detailed review. With the Laura TSI available in Ambiente trim, (for the 'family men' ) wonder why Skoda didn't go the whole hog and make the VRS a true enthusiast's car with 17" rims and a lowered stance.

Giving the 2.0 TSI a skip is understandable due to cost and fuel quality concerns. But even then, this VRS is not cheap and one can't help feel that Skoda is asking too much extra cash for the flashy colours and a bit of kit over the Ambiente.

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
6. It reaches 170kmph quite easily and at 5th gear it wont move forward after that. To reach the magic figure, you need to downshift and touch it. l
Don't know what you are talking about. I cross 180 kph regularly in my TSi , that too in 6th!
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Old 10th November 2011, 17:17   #17
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Don't know what you are talking about. I cross 180 kph regularly in my TSi , that too in 6th!
Sent you a PM with my thoughts as its related to high speed, wouldnt want to discuss on open forum. Thanks
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Old 10th November 2011, 18:07   #18
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Rehaan, thanks for a great review of what is fast becoming my favourite sub Rs 20 lakh car albeit in the Ambiente trim.

I was driving my cousin's Laura TSI yesterday and it brought a wide grin to my face just as it did when I drove it over a year ago. Gotta love that engine and responsiveness. I can imagine what it can do with the firm suspension in the vRS.

Cheers!
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Old 10th November 2011, 18:14   #19
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Thanks Rehaan for the excellent review! It was a long wait indeed

And the additional post with the interior comparison of vRS/Ambiente was really helpful.

If you look at the additions here (in comparison with the Ambiente/Ambition) - premium leather seats, Touch screen audio, 16” wheels etc., is the price difference that huge? I mean, a lot of the buyers used to get the Ambiente, and then get Stanley leathers, wheel upgrade to 16” etc., which really can bring up the price tag.

Rated 5 stars!
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Old 10th November 2011, 18:27   #20
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Thanks for the review Rehaan, Its always a great read.

Would love to know more on the low end torque, i did feel it was bit less when i drove the Ambiente, is there a noticeable change made to the VRS version, appreciate your thoughts on the same. Thanks.

Best - ML
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Old 10th November 2011, 18:33   #21
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Nice looking car and a nice review. But,

[1] Who would purchase it in the yellow colour? (reminds me of the passion yellow colour in Santro).
[2] Diesel would have really done wonders. With the rising cost of petrol and considering that this car would give only 8-10 kmpl, it would pinch hard, even if you can afford it.
[3] Skoda's after sales service and stories would make me think twice before I even touch this product, no matter how good it is !
[4] Pricing is astronomical, I wish they had priced it upto 13L.
[5] How can the skimp on these below features, when they put such a premium pricing on the car?
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Lack of equipment; no USB input, steering mounted audio controls & climate control etc.
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Old 10th November 2011, 21:16   #22
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Just tell me why will I pick a petrol drinking expensive version of the ambiente. A preowned Octavia VRs makes way more sense. For it costs one fourth of the cost. It looks better IMO and it had the sudden turbo kick. I think not more than 25 Laura Vrs will make it in the sales chart.

Practically speaking for enthusiasts who want better handling will choose the Jetta which also looks miles better as well as enjoy diesel economy.

Last edited by oxyzen : 10th November 2011 at 21:18.
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Old 10th November 2011, 21:33   #23
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Thanks for the excellent review Rehaan!! Laura with VRS body kit looks awesome. It's good to know they have not compromised with GC. I feel red color would have looked great on this car.

2.0 TFSI/2.0 TDI 170hp would have been better choices for this car. The 160hp 1.8 TSI is not lacking in any way, it still is the fastest car in the segment(and most FTD too by a HUGE margin) with great blend of Driveability and outright Performance still delivering FE at par with similar sized Japanese competition. Also, they should have offered the DSG 'box atleast as an option.


Would i buy this car? NO, I would buy 1.8 TSI Ambiente instead and get some aftermarket Leather upholstery, 16"/17"Rims with better rubber and springs from RS. TSI is such a nice car, i want to buy it everytime i drive it.

I am seriously going to explore if the Springs/Dampers from RS can be fitted to my TDI DSG.

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Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Practically speaking for enthusiasts who want better handling will choose the Jetta which also looks miles better as well as enjoy diesel economy.
I really doubt if Jetta is a better handler than the VRS. The Jetta has even softer suspension than the non-VRS Laura, a longer wheelbase and a comparatively dull steering.

Last edited by .anshuman : 10th November 2011 at 21:36.
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Old 11th November 2011, 11:05   #24
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
I am hoping the vRS will only make it better in this department (if not the engine at the least the ride and handling), is that the case?
Do read the "Intro" and "Handling" sections of the review!

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Originally Posted by octane1002 View Post
"victor Rally Sport"
Thanks

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
5. Feels very light and not tank like (compared to the PDI Laura which was built was indeed tank-like) and Cruze feels much more solid built wise and is better at handling than the Laura.
Could this "feel" be due to the soft suspension?
Though i don't get why you say the PD Laura felt more tank-like?

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Btw, this yellow in vRS is soft almost pastel shade compared to the yellow in older vRS one. I liked the previous yellow more
I think this might just be due to the pictures. In "real life" i think the colour is exactly the same, or if at all, the Octy vRS was a touch more pastel :





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Originally Posted by rxpaul View Post
I don't see any USP of this car. During the times of the Octavia RS, 150 Bhp + cars were rare, there were hardly any high end german cars. Sports cars in India have now moved on to the 250 Bhp bracket.
Very true point!
This is what gave the Octavia vRS the "wow" factor back in 2004. Now, 160 BHP is good, but not amazing.

Infact, back then the 180BHP Octy vRS was down-tuned to 150 for us, and it was still "wow".

More soon.

cya
R
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Old 11th November 2011, 12:36   #25
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Could this "feel" be due to the soft suspension?
Though i don't get why you say the PD Laura felt more tank-like?
Light feel was definetly not due to the soft suspension. But, I wasnt impressed with the overall built quality of the Laura. The door doesnt shut with a thud as in previous version and visually also the PD Laura looks much more stronger.

I have driven the PD Laura as well and it certainly feels much better build quality-wise

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
I think this might just be due to the pictures. In "real life" i think the colour is exactly the same, or if at all, the Octy vRS was a touch more pastel :
Thanks for the comparo. Wow, the Octy vRS is still a looker and my favorite in that color. Comparitively the Laura TSI just pales.

Just taking a look at the comparitive picture it's easy to guess they have done some weight reduction ( not neccessarily to increase the peformance)
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Old 11th November 2011, 12:43   #26
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I am seriously going to explore if the Springs/Dampers from RS can be fitted to my TDI DSG.

That makes the two of us! Right from the moment, Ive read the review, this is what is going on in my mind .

1. My car is already out of warranty. So, no fear of warranty lapse.
2. Mine is a non DSG (MT) Laura Ambiente.

So, all I would need is, remapping, springs/dampers and body kits.
Hmm, temptations have always been dangerous. Lol!!

Come to think of it, it could be the first Cap Beige vRS .
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Old 11th November 2011, 12:45   #27
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Thanks for the wonderfully detailed review. With the Laura TSI available in Ambiente trim, (for the 'family men' ) wonder why Skoda didn't go the whole hog and make the VRS a true enthusiast's car with 17" rims and a lowered stance.
Ever seen an old lady driving an Octavia vRS? I bet you have.
Ever seen a chauffeur driven Octavia vRS? I bet you have too.

The reason for this is because certain buyers have the mentality of buying the TOP version, regardless.
Its the same reason why you see a lot of housewives driving AMG Mercedeses in certain parts of the USA. They don't need the power - its just the "top end" variant.

Now, if we took that small fraction of people who will actually buy the Laura vRS for sheer driving pleasure -- then yes, 17"ers and a lowered stance would have made sense and barely increased the price.
But given that the majority of buyers will buy the Laura vRS because its the "top variant", it probably didn't make sense for Skoda to include such "enthusiast" changes.

PS - The black Octavia vRS shown in the comparo shots was driven by a driver. He told me [translated] "Its a good car. The power is scary, but the suspension is too painfully hard. This is the doggies car now". Then a golden Labrador appeared, jumped in the back seat, and they drove off.

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Rehaan, thanks for a great review of what is fast becoming my favourite sub Rs 20 lakh car albeit in the Ambiente trim.
Take the vRS for a test drive. I think you'll have a new favourite trim!

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
If you look at the additions here (in comparison with the Ambiente/Ambition) - premium leather seats, Touch screen audio, 16” wheels etc., is the price difference that huge? I mean, a lot of the buyers used to get the Ambiente, and then get Stanley leathers, wheel upgrade to 16” etc., which really can bring up the price tag.
(Full list of differences is between the pricing and spec sheets in the 2nd post)

I would probably buy an Ambiente ('Ambition') and add wheels too. The tricky part is getting the suspension - and thats what makes the biggest difference in my opinion. I wonder how easy it would be to get the required parts from Skoda and make this suspension swap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoringlover View Post
Would love to know more on the low end torque, i did feel it was bit less when i drove the Ambiente, is there a noticeable change made to the VRS version, appreciate your thoughts on the same.
The low end torque (say below 1,800 RPM) is decent for in-city driving. There isn't mega turbo lag, but the engine hasn't quite come into the zone yet.

Power delivery in the vRS is no different from the TSI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Just tell me why will I pick a petrol drinking expensive version of the ambiente. A preowned Octavia VRs makes way more sense. For it costs one fourth of the cost.
Personally, i'd be a little scared to buy a used vRS.

Unlike the diesel Octavias, the vRSs did not hold up well against time. Lots of engine issues (coil problems), as well as problems with the sunroof leaking etc from what i've heard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I am seriously going to explore if the Springs/Dampers from RS can be fitted to my TDI DSG.
If you don't drive on broken / bad roads too often OR don't usually have rear passengers - this sounds like an awesome idea!

I'm not sure if its just the coils that are different, or the struts too?

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th November 2011 at 12:46.
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Old 11th November 2011, 14:15   #28
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
But given that the majority of buyers will buy the Laura vRS because its the "top variant", it probably didn't make sense for Skoda to include such "enthusiast" changes.
I think the vRS comes out more as a 'Sports version' rather than a 'Top variant' for the Laura, since it is available in Elegance and L& K trim (Diesel). The non enthusiast buyer looking for a top end variant will be happier with L&K and Elegance rather than the vRS.

In fact the TSI not being avaialable in higher variants was one grouse I had when I bought mine in May this year. Now that the vRS is available, I ask myself would I have bought the vRS rather than Ambiente? My answer is NO. The features (no leather, no ACC) the vRS has extra over the Ambiente do not justify the price and also as a 'family man' wouldn't want to sacrifice ride quality.
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Old 11th November 2011, 14:27   #29
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Great review Rehaan! Your points are spot on. Skoda should have launched a diesel RS too. Also, they should have gone all out with the spec list atleast. People who buy an RS rarely give a damn about practicality, they should have given the 17" wheels and skirts+ same spec sheet as the L&K!

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post

I would probably buy an Ambiente ('Ambition') and add wheels too. The tricky part is getting the suspension - and thats what makes the biggest difference in my opinion. I wonder how easy it would be to get the required parts from Skoda and make this suspension swap.

Suspension for the Laura is easy. Bilstein, H&R etc have ready kits(Height and damping adjustable) and are available locally. have driven a few, and i must say, they are mind blowing.
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Old 11th November 2011, 14:30   #30
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

excellent review! AT the price, not much of a great effort. I will get used Octavia RS, spend some money, get it to 220hp, pure thrill. How would you compare this to the Linea Tjet? However this thing on the used market, a year later would be appealing!
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