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Old 14th January 2012, 14:12   #1
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Default Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

Hello BHPians. I am, as you would have noticed, a newbie. This is my very first Thread/Post in T-BHP. My membership was approved a few weeks back but i have been going through The forums for years now. Please excuse me for any mistakes in the post, do reply and correct me if that's the case. So here goes:

We badly needed an addition to our garage. So began the discussions and research on the new car market. It would be a diesel sedan. We initially had our sights aimed at the C-segment. So one day while returning home my dad and me decided to drop by the Hyundai showroom to have a look at their offerings.

Hyundai "fluidic" Verna : The interiors are very well made, build quality is a step up from the previous generation. Centre console is a bit tacky and cluttered. Spacious at the back. I could not single out any faults. There was quite a long wait for a TD. Eventually we did get to drive the diesel variant. The showroom we visited is on the Outer Ring Road. A Fly-over is being constructed in that stretch so we could not get a decent route to drive along. The light steering proved very useful at slow speeds. And once the turbo kicks in there is a huge surge of power. But then again the suspension is too soft and that too in a car with this much power. This was quite disappointing. There is very little feedback from the steering, making fast highway runs pretty scary. The real deal breaker was the waiting period for the diesel variant. 10 MONTHS! That is outrageous. So dropped the idea of buying a Hyundai.

VW Vento: Next up was the Vento Tdi Highline. Before I talk about the car, Let me say a few words about the dealer itself. The one I visited was elite motors on hosur road. The response I got from their sales reps was very disappointing. They were least bothered and from the time we entered their show room we had actually approach them and “Enquire” about the car, its features. Very reluctantly they did give us a TD. Back to the car, The interiors have superb quality, very spacious and simplistic. NVH levels are a bit of a let down other than that it is an enjoyable ride. Turbo spools up at a very low 1500 rpm giving you great low end torque. Steering weighs up accurately with building momentum, together with a firm suspension it is confidence inspiring at high speeds. So we both felt this would be it. WE returned to the showroom. Took the price quote and were about to leave, but then I remembered the jetta. And there was the Highline DSG model on display. I dragged my father to the car and showed how it would be if we were to move up a segment. He brushed it of saying it looks like a vento. And then we went home.

After that I was convinced that if we were going to buy a car it would defently be one from the C+/D segment. Lectured, Debated for a week with my dad and finally we started of with the CRUZE.

Chevrolet Cruze: This was a reluctant TD we did as my dad was not interested in this segment. So I thought the Cruze with its power and all those gizmos would be perfect to convince him. So how did the cruze fair? The moment you sit in it and roll up all the windows you feel very claustrophobic in it. The car is so big on the outside, I wonder were all that space went. My dads knee kept hitting a knob on the centre console, the clutch had such a strong kickback, It was not going well. And then there is the torque delivery. The engine is practically sleeping up to 2000 RPM. That is not good for a car going to be driven in the city a lot. And at a price of 17 lac OTR it was not that cheap too. It offers a huge equipment list but that alone was not enough to convince him. All the cruze did was give him an estimate of how much cars in this segment are going to cost.

Then a few days later My dad visited the Toyota show room. I was not told that he was going. He saw the innova and the Altis. Didn’t do a TD. But he dropped the altis as even he realised that 90 BHP for Such a huge car is just not good enough. Don’t get me wrong, The altis is a great car to be driven in. The innova on the other hand had worked its magic, and he came home and told everyone that the innova was it. He argued that it is spacious and is a good tourer and the fact that there are umpteen number of innovas on the road shows that they are reliable too. Both Me and mom were against it because of the “TAXI” Image the innova has built for itself. So we forced him to look at other options.

In the mean time I was repeatedly calling the Guys at VW for A TD of the Jetta. I’m not sure why, but they kept dodging it by givng various reasons, which reasons for reasons sake. Finally I gave up.

Mind you we still hadn’t even thought about the laura yet.

Then Came the news of the Skoda Rapid launch. My dad was eager to go and check out the car. He felt a Vento with a skoda badge would make a great proposition because of the reputation the Brand Skoda has. So we both went to Tafe on hosur road.

Skoda Rapid: The Elegance model was on display. The fact that it is a vento in a different skin is very obvious. And the nose is lifted of the Fabia. But unlike the swift desire, Skoda has managed to pull it off. Interiors are different and get a beige treatment making it feel spacious. The drive was also better mainly in terms of NVH. The Vento makes a lot of clatter compared to the rapid. Road manners are identical to the vento. But Equipment wise it was very bare even on the topend model. So that was the only downside to an otherwise good car. We came back to the showroom.

And as my dad talked to the sales rep about the price and finance options, I looked at the laura. I actually had no idea how much this costed and just assumed it would be beyond my dads budget. I knew, from various automags, that it was the segment best when it came to Ride, Comfort, and equipment. It was the elegance trim that was on display. The interiors were simply outstanding. It exuded quality and the feeling was great. I showed my dad, even though I knew he would not be interested. But events took a surprising turn. He wanted a TD of the laura. So a sudden addition to the list :

Skoda Laura: Skoda may not have the same brand image it has in india elsewhere around the world. But A drive in the laura will surely change that. We drove the Manual as they didn’t have A DSG for TD. I was in the back and my dad, behind the wheel. AS the sales rep went on about the features, I could see what attracts buyers to this brand. Great Attention to detail in the instruments and any thing that goes in to the car. Great legroom and ergonomic placement of switches and knobs.The feature list goes on and on. This car is meant to spoil you. My dad was loving the Drive, A 2.0l Turbo-diesel under the hood, slot in the right gear roll up the windows and you can barely hear it. There was huge smile on my dads face after the TD. Things were looking good.

The basic MT was 17.68lacs OTR And compared to the cruze it made sense. Ofcourse, The feature list may not be that huge but the dynamics of the car more than compensates to that. We both felt that way.

The Laura had cast its spell on my dad. After a lot of discussions and Reviews( on T-BHP) It was decided The Laura Ambiente MT Would be the one. After getting the best deals from both dealers, We booked the car form vinayak. The car was in stock and we were asked to collect it the very next day after making the requisite payments. But My mom said that it was not a good time and that we should only take delivery two weeks later!! After much argument we decided to take the car – TWO WEEKS LATER!!

A Few days later My dad, over dinner asked, what a DSG was. I explained the Dual clutch, seamless power delivery, and smart charectristics of the box. Even showed him some Videos. At this point I thought He was just curious, being a Mechanical engineer himself. I had heard great reviews of the DSG auto box, Right from our own indian mags to Jason plato from fifth gear. And the fact that the almighty Bugatti uses the same technology showed how confident VW were with the DSG box. So then I thought it would be good idea to get my dad to TD the Laura DSG. But I Didn’t want to convince him to go for it as it has a 1.2 lac premium, and his budget was already stretched by a lot thanks to me. So called up vinayak and asked them to send a car home, but they didn’t have one. The GM gladly offered to send his own Laura 1.9 PDI DSG (prev. gen) but I didn’t take it. If we were to try the DSG box I wanted to do it right. So I called up VW one last time asking for a jetta DSG to be Sent home for A TD. This time I blasted the sales rep who answered my call. Said things like, This was not the way VW would want to look after its potential customers and what not, and that did the trick. TD was arranged the same day. So this was not a test drive of the Jetta, but rather a Test Drive of the DSG box.

DSG Automatic Transmission: This was the first time my dad was driving an automatic and it was pretty confusing for him. Took a good 10 minutes to even get the car going, but that was because he was not familiar not that the Automatic Box itself is any complicated. The Jetta Gets Paddle shifters which are absent on the Laura. DSG has three modes Drive, Sport and Tiptronic. Drive being the eco mode which will be used normally. The gear shifts are so smooth, that changing gears is done like you were selecting Radio presets. Absolutely no delay, and infact I felt the Tacho was not keeping pace with the actual shifts. Then I got behind the wheel, put it in tiptronic and tried the paddles. Its as if your palying a video game. Very convenient and fun. Only thing was I kept forgetting to down shift, that was not a problem as the Mechatronics shifts down automatically even if you don’t. Then there is the kickdown mode, this I think was added purely for fun. Put your foot down, and it takes about half a second for the computer to choose the right gear and Rev up the engine, then your hutled forwards with such acceleration that I was pinned to the seat the whole time. Gear shifts come and go, you barely realise that because the speedo keeps climbing non-stop. So the DSG is a great package, you have the best of both worlds fun and economical.

I’ll put in a few words about the jetta and why we decided to go for the laura over it. I like the jetta a lot beacause it makes sense to me. Good simplistic design,140 bhp with a manual box, Superb road handling capabilities are few of the things why I like it a lot. But why We loved the laura more is because of the quality of the interiors and the ride. The jetta no doubt has good build quality, it is a VW after all. But I stongly felt the the interiors are a step down from the previous Gen. The laura on the other hand feels very classy. So on the whole, if it were my money I would have gone for the jetta, But everyone at home loved the laura. And that’s not it My dad decided the DSG was worth the Extra and opted for it, so I had nothing to complain about.

The Laura Ambiente 2.0 TDI DSG in white would take about 10 days to get here. In this time even my mom gave us permission to take delivery of the car as soon as it would be available.The Booking Experience at Vinayak Skoda was good, Sales reps were well informed about their cars. The GM was a very pleasant person and we were able to get things clarified at any point and assistance was always at hand. In fact they had forgotten get My dad's signatures in some document which was essential for registration and the guy came down all the way to our home and got it signed at 10 in the night beacuse the car was being registered the next day. So the sales part was a good experience, hope the After Sales Service is also trouble free.So the final cost was 19.2 lacs OTR including skoda shield and Drive Assure. Got a Discount of 95000. Usual freebies : Lumar sun films, cheap rubber mats, mud flaps.

Last edited by goutham_r : 14th January 2012 at 18:16.
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Old 14th January 2012, 15:10   #2
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Default re: Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

December 31st 2011: Got a call from Vinayak telling us that the car had arrived and he could arrange a PDI at their service center. So I printed out the Team-BHP PDI Checklist and visited their service centre which is an hour away. Everything looked good albeit dirty. Didn't get the DRL's Activated. The car would be ready for delivery in 2 days.
Some Pics during the PDI:
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January 4th 2012 The D-Day: I had my Sem End exams going on so at first i was disheartened knowing that i wouldn't be able to go. Because I had an exam on the same day. But then we decided to go in the afternoon. So i rushed home from college and we were off. And there she was in all her beauty A spanking new candy white Skoda laura amidst other new candy white lauras. Wow white is such a popular colour! Went around the car, did a thourough check. Mud flaps weren't installed, said they were out of stock and would call back when in stock. Sunfilms were installed, a very poor job must get them changed later. We finished all the paperwork and were finally handed the keys along with the customary box of toffees.

Here are some Detailed picutres, for now, will post back with the initial impressions after i have clocked a few more miles.

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Pictures of the Interiors:

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Last edited by goutham_r : 14th January 2012 at 18:12.
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:01   #3
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Default re: Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

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Living With it: The Car has clocked about 300 km. It has been two weeks since it came home. It hasn't been put on full duty, just running in the engine now. Drives mainly include crawling B'lore traffic and short runs on the NH-7.

The NVH levels is just outstanding for a diesel. This was one of the first things i noticed. Even in Very cold early moring starts, the clatter is very less and quitens out as it reaches optimal temperature. This is ofcourse when windows are rolled up and air-CON is running. From the outside it obviously still makes some noise. Absolutely no vibrations at all.

This 2.0l diesel packs some punch. In most of the diesels, one can easily make out when the turbo starts singing, the change in the vibrations, the sound from the engine. I'm not sure if this is just me, but in the Laura all this is barely noticable. The 320 Nm of torque comes in @1750 rpm, but there is no dramatic change across this range. I am not saying that its slow or anything, but its as if it makes 320 NM from idling! It probably is the DSG at work here giving me the best gear as suits my mood.

So here's me talking about the DSG again. It looks like i am bloating about it, so here's the negatives of the DSG: There is no mention anywhere on the car, like a badge, that This is the DSG version. Thats the only fault I could find.

On a serious note, It does feel a little sluggish while getting the car moving. In most manual Diesels 99% of the time , you get the car rolling by letting go of the clutch slowly and the press down on the accelerator pedal. The DSG doesn't seem to quite understand what a torque-y engine it is dealing with. As though in a petrol, when you press the accelerator the revs rise to about 1500 rpm. and you can feel the DSG slipping the clutch and engaging the clutch slowly as the car begins to roll off. Its quite annoying in Bumper to bumper traffic. Maybe i am doing something wrong. Other DSG owners please comment back on suggestions to avoid this. Other than that It is a very smart auto box, giving you exactly the kind of shifts you really want. It doesn't feel like a preset program doing its job according to some german engineer.

Fuel efficiency in standard city traffic, going by the MFD, is about 10 - 11 Kmpl. Highway runs with good throttle control and sedate driving will fetch you 17-18Kmpl. All drives were with air-con running.

Ride in the city is very good. I guess it might improve substantially if i switch to soft compund tyre, like Michelins Primacy. It absorbs all bumps and if you do hit that sudden unsuspecting pothole, the suspension doesn't bottom out. Ground clearance Is remarkably good. Actually i feel it is the best in the segment. My native near hosur has absolutely no tarmac at all. The Laura easily gobbled up all those huge craters and ditches. OfCourse you should be careful with the speed and wheel position. It scraped it's underbelly twice on exactly the same speedbreaker, because i didn't judge it properly.

Handling too is phenomenal. I experienced this while trying to avoid pothole at Highway speeds. It goes exactly where you point it. There is very minimal Body roll and hesitation from the car. Steering offers great feedback at high speeds. it is confidence inspiring although our national highways are not. In crawling city speeds or while parking the steering is very light, a bit too light according to me. Turning radius again is one place it surprises everyone. Parking in tight spots and manuevering in parking lots and narrow lanes is quite easy. Recently in the parking lot of a Central Mall, the XUV 5oo had to do a three point turn in front of me to navigate a 90 degree left turn, Laura went by in one fluid motion.

Brakes are still new so they feel very sharp and grabby. Haven't Had to brake hard till now. But it is always good keep a safe distance from the car in the front. Pedal is nice and huge, so no chance of your left leg missing it when you go for the imaginary clutch. Takes time to get used to an automatic.

So the insides now. Build quality is top notch. Every tiny bit feels like it has been engineered rather than just put in the car. All covers and flaps have a damped motion while opening, giving you a good feel. Each and every storage compartment is felt lined to avoid rattling sounds on bumps. Easy to use and intuitive controls.

Once after I had parked the car, got out, locked it and came back later the wipers where in the other extreme position (i think this is called
the service position) After i turned on the car they went back to their normal position. Couldn't figure out what that was about.

Lights Have very good range. I have set the low beams to their highest position and still feel that they could have been a bit higher. I cannot see the logic behind having only one rear fog light and that too housed inside the Brake lamps assembly. Are DRLs useful or should i just leave them deactivated?

The ICE is superb for an OE kit. I am not sure who the manufacturer is, it just says Skoda Swing on it. It has Eight Speakers. 1 tweeter and 1 Bigger speaker in every door. There are a good range of adjustments you can do on the HU. But Lack of USB option is dissapointing. I have Heard of something called an MDI. Read about it in the manual. I think the jetta is equipped with this and even the latest ventos. Is it possible to install this in the laura? The dealer had no idea, when i asked him about it.

The front Glove box cannot be fully opened most of the time when there is a passenger. Cup Holders should have been provided in the back too.

The Front Row seats have a good range of adjustments so i could easily find a comfortable position. Ingress and Egress is a tad uncomfortable, particularly beacuse it is low slung and the steering wheel gets in the way. So you have to move the seats back and forth to comfortably get in or out.

Rear Visibility through the IRVM is the least in any car i've seen. The pillars being too thick. In one of the pics i've posted above you can see that if both the rear head restraints are lifted up, there is no visibilty at all. The front right ORVM is Flat and has a huge blind spot, that is a bother in a car of this size.

Lots of storage space, and neat little cubby holes in the right places. None of them make any noise on even the worst roads.

Currently trying to find a dealer for a set of beige 3D mats. Found one in koramangala, but he had only black ones. One dealer in Indranagar quoted 6000 for beige 3D mats. Please confirm if this is the right price.

Also The dealer is out of stock of Chrome Exhaust tips. Where else can i find one that properly fits and is of good quality and what would it cost?

Visited 3M car Care in HSR layout (5 mins from my place) to buy some microfibre cloth. I asked them about their products. They told me to get their Paint protection package on the laura, to protect its clear coat. something around 4000 was what he quoted for that job. Is that Helpful? They also said it will last a year. So is worth the money? Haven't used any kind of shampoo or polish on it.

What would you guys recommend? The Meguiar shampoo bottle lasts for about 20 washes and costs 480.

I use ArmorAll wax polish on my bike, will that be good enough on the car or should i go for something better?

Last edited by goutham_r : 18th January 2012 at 20:39. Reason: UPDATE.
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:55   #4
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Test Drives & Initial Onwership Reports Section. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 14th January 2012, 19:44   #5
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I am sure you are aware of the horror stories of Skoda service. Hope your car doesn't give you any problems that take you to the service often. Any car is good if it is reliable and can serve you with mininal brakedowns. wish you that your car gives you that reliability without any major breakdowns.
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Old 14th January 2012, 19:47   #6
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Default re: Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

Congratulations Goutham! Great choice indeed, and very well narrated buying process/experience. Happy driving!

Note: Do remember to pick up the currency note from the floor (1st picture in the 3rd post)
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Old 14th January 2012, 20:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
I am sure you are aware of the horror stories of Skoda service. Hope your car doesn't give you any problems that take you to the service often. Any car is good if it is reliable and can serve you with mininal brakedowns. wish you that your car gives you that reliability without any major breakdowns.
yes, i am aware of that. More than fuel efficiency we are worried about any failures that would require us to go to infamous skoda service. I do hope that they get their act together. anyway thanks a lot

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Congratulations Goutham! Great choice indeed, and very well narrated buying process/experience. Happy driving!

Note: Do remember to pick up the currency note from the floor (1st picture in the 3rd post)
oops, i did pick it up right after taking the pic. that was very clumsy of me. thank you.

Last edited by mobike008 : 15th January 2012 at 12:26. Reason: Back to back posts. Please wait for 30 Mins before next post or use EDIT button to make changes to existing post.
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Old 14th January 2012, 20:15   #8
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Default re: Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

Congrats. You are in full awe of the DSG. It truly is an awesome bit of machinery. The interiors do stand out in those snaps.
Is this the 110bhp or the 140bhp version of the 2.0CRDI?
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Old 14th January 2012, 20:26   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
Congrats. You are in full awe of the DSG. It truly is an awesome bit of machinery. The interiors do stand out in those snaps.
Is this the 110bhp or the 140bhp version of the 2.0CRDI?
Thanks a lot.

It's in the "140bhp 320Nm torque" state of tune. This is standard in all DSG variants. The manual transmission comes with the 110 bhp version.
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Old 14th January 2012, 20:41   #10
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Congrats on the Laura DSG. Its a great car, with a great engine and gearbox. You might want to get some good tint on the windscreen too considering the Laura ac is supposed to be weak. I just chose the RS over this and am booking next week in the same colour.
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Old 14th January 2012, 20:45   #11
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Congrats for the most fun to drive Diesel this side of a BMW 3!! Keep us updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
I am sure you are aware of the horror stories of Skoda service. Hope your car doesn't give you any problems that take you to the service often. Any car is good if it is reliable and can serve you with mininal brakedowns. wish you that your car gives you that reliability without any major breakdowns.
How many unreliable Laura CRDI/TSI have you heard of? None of the 25+ cars on Team-BHP have broken down even once or is facing any issues.

A list of some ownership threads you might like to check for reference:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ighlight=laura

Here are the results of a reliability survey based on warranty claims in UK- Manufacturer Ratings - Car Reliability Index | Reliability Index | How reliable is your car?

Last edited by .anshuman : 14th January 2012 at 20:47.
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Old 14th January 2012, 21:05   #12
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Default re: Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

Congratulations Gautham - this is one superb machine! Wishing you many happy miles with this white beauty.
You have posted some detailed pics. Let us know your experience driving it...
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Old 14th January 2012, 21:05   #13
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Default re: Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

Elegant fuss free design, inside out and a stonking 140 bhp engine and DSG what more would one want. Have fun. Oh, before I forget Congrats and nice write up and pics too.
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Old 14th January 2012, 21:08   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Congrats on the Laura DSG. Its a great car, with a great engine and gearbox. You might want to get some good tint on the windscreen too considering the Laura ac is supposed to be weak. I just chose the RS over this and am booking next week in the same colour.
Thanks For Bangalore's weather the laura AC is quite a chiller. Only issue is the misting at the bottom of the windshield.
The VRs is an Icon.Its an enthusiast's car. congrats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Congrats for the most fun to drive Diesel this side of a BMW 3!! Keep us updated.
Thanks. Skoda's A.S.S. have improved. Its rare cases when things have gone horribly wrong.
Your Ownership thread was instrumental in making our decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
Elegant fuss free design, inside out and a stonking 140 bhp engine and DSG what more would one want. Have fun. Oh, before I forget Congrats and nice write up and pics too.
Thank you. this is my first attempt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
Congratulations Gautham - this is one superb machine! Wishing you many happy miles with this white beauty.
You have posted some detailed pics. Let us know your experience driving it...
Thank you. I will post the driving impressions by this week.

Last edited by .anshuman : 14th January 2012 at 21:18. Reason: Back to back posts within 30mins. Please use Multi-Quote option when Quoting more than a post at a time. Thanks
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Old 14th January 2012, 22:00   #15
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Default re: Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home

Congratulations on the Laura, Wow DSG. May you have a long trouble service from her. Now i get to drool on Laura every day as my new neighbor has got one (MH registered). Its black in color.

White colors on Laura looks good.
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