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Old 19th March 2012, 14:35   #1
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Default Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

First of all a big thanks to all of you, for sharing your thoughts on this wonderful forum. Team BHP has definitely helped me in the process of buying my dream machine!

Context : My trusted Corolla was nearing her 5th birthday. She had started showing signs of ageing. And the 5 year itch already had started within me. It was time to get a new car. Diesel it had to be. AT would be desirable but could live with an MT as well. But in the Bangalore traffic, AT made more sense. The hunt begins.

Options :

Mahindra XUV 5OO - It all started when I came to know about the XUV 5OO launch. I went to the showroom(SKS Automobiles) on the launch date and saw at least a 100 people walking around the beauty. First impression - Nice looks, excellent VFM. Took a TD the next day. Liked it but was not too happy with the gear shift and clutch. Took a second TD with my family. They liked the looks, but felt sedan offers better comfort. Put the decision on hold. On 10th October, the dealer called me and said that they are closing the bookings in 1/2 hour. Went to the showroom and placed a booking, paying 10K. Expected delivery date - 4-5 months. A lot of time to look at other cars, I thought. Took another test drive 2 weeks later - this time the clutch bothered me even more. And I started a thread on TBHP -

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/suvs-m...uld-i-not.html (XUV - Should I or should I not?)

Finally decided not to go ahead.
Sales support - Very good - Exective name - Mr.Farhan.

Renault Fluence - Had always liked the looks of the Fluence. Decided to take a look. Went to the showroom. Courteuos staff. Liked the looks and the build quality. Took a test drive and fell in love with the solid feel of the car. But the lack of power was slightly irritating. Took another test drive on the NICE road and felt that the 1.5 litre engine was not doing justice to an otherwise wonderful car. Family felt that the rear seat is a bit cramped. And the OTR price of 17.8 lakhs was too steep for the features offered. Final verdict - No.
Sales support - Very good - Executive name - Nishanth.

Volkswagen Jetta - Major deterrent was that it looks too similar to the Vento. And was on the pricey side as well. Took a TD. Liked it, but felt that it was overpriced. The AT cost almost 23 lakhs OTR.
Sales support - Very good - Executive name - Sarla.

Chevrolet Optra Magnum - Had TD-ed this car 5 yrs back, when I purchased my Corolla. For 10.8 lakhs OTR, it was an extremely attractive option, considering the super torquey motor. It had oodles of space(higher than most of the other cars I had TD-ed). Family also liked the car. Only issue was that it has been around for quite a long time, and that the interiors looked a generation older. However, booked the same, paying 50K booking amount. However, the experience at the dealership was disappointing. They tried to push me too hard for the down payment. And it pissed me off.

Here is where the brain stopped working and the heart took over(Magnum was the brain's choice). Enough of all the compromise, get something that excites you, it said. Drove to the nearest BMW dealership.

BMW X1 : Yes, this was way above my budget, but by making some compromises, I could get it. But always had a doubt whether I will be able to shell out enough to maintain it. Anyways, took a TD. Just awesome, I would say. But my wife just couldn't digest the looks. She said - this is neither a car nor an SUV. No way you are going to buy it for 31 lakhs. Another major letdown - the Corporate Edition that I could afford, did not have a luxury feel inside. It would have been like buying a Beemer just for buying a beemer.
Sales support - Very good - Executive name - Guruprasad.

Toyota Fortuner : Had TD-ed a Fortuner 2 years back. But felt that the gearshift was too hard and the throw too long for my liking. When I heard that an AT(25.8 OTR) has been launched, thought of giving it a shot. But they did not have an AT for TD. So drove the new Fortuner MT. The presence is just awesome. Lots of space inside. Family liked it very much. Thumbs up from them. Was all set to book one. But since the main usage would be office commute with just me on board, I thought the Fortuner would be an overkill. And being a sedan fan, felt that I might start disliking the SUV behavior soon. And the interiors didn't quite do justice to the price. Again a no!

Sales support - Excellent - Executive name - Madhu.

Toyota Corolla Altis Diesel : Since I was happy with my old Corolla, I thought I should give the Altis Diesel a try. Read through the forum and the lack of power was one of the major cons cited. Took a TD. The engine was super smooth and the gear shift was just amazing. Yes, there was lack of power, but I thought I could live with it. This time I wont change my mind and Altis Diesel it is - I decided. OTR - 17.1 lakhs.

That day before going to sleep, I thought I should look at all the alternatives once again before booking the Altis Diesel. Started reading some of the ownership reports and stumbled upon goutham_r's ownership report : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...omes-home.html (Princess of the Czech: Skoda Laura DSG comes home)

Laura AT for < 18 lakhs? Should take a look, I tought. And had a sleepless night that day. Next day morning, went to TAFE Access and saw the beauty.

Laura Ambition AT : Understated and elegant looks, solid build quality, no nonsense and functional interiors - was my first impression. Was given a TD and I fell in love, instantly. Awesome power, excellent suspension and the super responsive DSG. Was offered a discount of 1 lakh by the dealer. Brought my family for a second TD the same day, and they were also happy. Only con noted - the transmission hump in the rear seat, which would make life harder for the 5th passenger. But only 5% of the time is there a 5th passenger, so decided to compromise on that front. One more round of discussion and the discount was 1.1 lakhs. 17.78 OTR was the final deal. The decision was made. I chose Cappuccino Beige and they had the color in stock.

Paid the booking amount and the wait started. The dealership had a tie up with ICICI bank and they offered a rate of 11% fixed. Was lower than most of the quotes I had recieved during my 2 month long car search. So decided to go ahead with ICICI. The loan was sanctioned in 3 days. And the delivery date was promised as 12th March.

The SE told me that it is a 2011 car, and this turned me off. But he gave me the VIN no, and Wildon confirmed it was manufactured in January 2012. The SE was right, since the kit came from Czech in 2011, but was assembled in Jan 2012. I liked the fact that he did not lie.

Sales support - Excellent - Executive name - Stanley.

Parting with the Corolla - Everyone in the family loved the Corolla. My son was almost on the verge of tears when the buyer came to take the car

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Delivery experience and Mods The dealer suggested Augusta leather seats. He showed me another Laura that had Augusta on. Liked the quality and decided to go ahead with Augusta(42 K). Wanted to do Stanley, but there was marginal price advantage with Augusta and I would have to get the seats done after taking delivery. I wanted everything done before taking delivery. V Kool Sun films on the side and front windshield(16 K). The stock audio clarity was good, but I wanted bluetooth, USB connectivity and video playback, hence decided to go for Caska HU. Also got a set of Kagu Maxspider mats(5.2 K) from Hot Tracks.

Finally took delivery on 12th evening. The delivery process was smooth. The seats and sun silm were installed. Happy with the overall experience.

My son was running around the showroom when they were doing the last minute detailing:

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The beauty :

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Leather seats from Augusta :

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The DSG. I just love it :

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Stock audio. Was happy with the sound quality, but lacked some features that I desperately needed.

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Caska HU:

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Humongous boot:

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Initial thoughts

Have driven close to 400 kms till date - most of it in B2B Bangalore traffic. I do take the NICE road as well everyday, so get sometime to have fun with the baby.

- Am just loving the engine. It is super smooth even at low speeds.
- Suspension setting is just right. Not too soft nor too hard. It soaks up small potholes without even the slightest of noise.
- Ride quality is excellent. The passengers also comment that the ride feels very smooth.
- Engine is slightly noisy outside, but once inside you wont even realise that you are inside a Diesel car.
- The DSG is a wonderful piece of technology. Having driven ATs in the US, I was always of the opinion that only an MT can satisfy an enthusiast. But this AT box is equally exciting. Power is readily available.
- The rear transmission hump is pretty high. The fifth passenger will find it slightly difficult to carry his foot over it. But once seated, it is comfortable.
- Boot can easily accommodate 3-4 US size suitcases.
- Haven't checked the FE yet. Shall update once I do a full tank - full tank.
- The stock reverse sensor works fine with the Caska HU.

Thanks a lot once again. Shall keep you guys posted.

Last edited by ganeshram : 20th March 2012 at 09:48.
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:06   #2
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Thread moved here from Assembly line. Thanks for sharing the report with us.
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:27   #3
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Congratulations, just read your thread from start to finish (which is rare for me, considering how a lot of people ramble on and on in their threads). Extremely concise, well written, and factual.
I'm looking forward to hearing more about your ownership experience, so please keep updating this thread, and I wish you many miles of motoring happiness and safety.

Just one question though.... how come you didn't consider the Cruze AT?
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:36   #4
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
Just one question though.... how come you didn't consider the Cruze AT?
I did consider the Cruze AT, but the rear seat was a big let down. It was looking very cramped.
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:40   #5
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganeshram View Post
Thanks!
I did consider the Cruze AT, but the rear seat was a big let down. It was looking very cramped.
I just bought the LTZ MT, and believe me, it's not as cramped as people make it out to be. I'm 5'10" and I took a friend along for the TD who's about the same height and made him sit behind me. He didn't find it cramped at all.
But yes, I accept the Laura's more spacious. Luckily for me I'm self driven.
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:41   #6
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Congrats Ganeshram,

I am also in verge of buying an AT car.
DSG is boon in both City and Highway and after yesterday's 650kms ride in my Linea has boosted my desire to buy an AT car very soon.
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:58   #7
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Congratulations on the purchase, Ganeshram!
Trust me, the joy only goes on increasing, as you keep on driving this monster.
Enjoy it to the fullest. The joy multiplies when you see the FE!

How much did the Caska cost you? Any issues related to warranty?
Also, are all the Laura carpets in black color nowadays?

P.S: You've got a cute son .
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:58   #8
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Congratulations, happy to see another happy Skoda owner, have fun with the DSG.

How is the Caska functioning, there have been a few unpleasant review threads on Caska and i was apprehensive as to if or when mine would give up on me. Like on my Civic on the Laura also Caska looks like made for Laura, and fits well on the dash. Did the MMI card came along, and have you tried any maps yet? Also there seems to be two SD card slots at the bottom, one for MMI and other for some other media like MP3/Video, am i right.

Will be interested in reading your experiences with Caska and MMI.
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Old 20th March 2012, 15:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Will be interested in reading your experiences with Caska and MMI.
I have a double din DVD player that I removed from my old Corolla with the intention of installing in my new car. But I felt it would look out of place in the Laura. The Caska system looks very well integrated with the rest of the console. Even the volume control button was matching with the chrome theme. So decided to go ahead.

One week into the installation, I am still a happy customer. Some points:

- Installation was a breeze. No cutting of wires etc. Plug n play.
- The USB cable looks ugly. I dont know why they did not think about routing the USB interface into the glove box.
- But the SD card slot is a good work-around for this issue. I have put in a 2 GB SD card. Since my laptop has a card reader, there is absolutely no difference between using an SD card and a USB drive.
- As you rightly figured out, the second SD card is for MMI. I bought the system with the MMI card(Included in the price of 52 K).
- It is working quite well inside the city. Havent gone out of town yet. It even shows the ATMs on the way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
How much did the Caska cost you? Any issues related to warranty?
Also, are all the Laura carpets in black color nowadays?
The Caska system cost 52 K with Map My India maps. I guess there is no issue, since there is no wire cutting involved. I was told that one of the dealerships in Bangalore does install Caska systems
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
P.S: You've got a cute son .
Thanks! He is a car freak too

Last edited by ganeshram : 20th March 2012 at 15:19.
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Old 20th March 2012, 16:25   #10
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

can you please post some snaps of the caska unit displaying the parking sensor details while reversing?

how long does it take to get a GPS signal lock?

regarding vkool, can you post the shade details and the cost breakups ( sides, front and back glass)

i have a laura with the same color, and wanted to get some sun films done, now that summer is on its way

thanks!
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Old 20th March 2012, 18:06   #11
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Congrats on the Czech beauty. You have got yourself a very good all-rounder there. Terrific engine, great ride and handling, great convenience with the AT which does not sap the engine off its power and is frugal to run as well. The facelifted Laura has proved to be far more reliable than the old model.

We moved from a Corolla to a Laura as well. From interior comfort point of view, our experience has been thus

1) Front seats of Laura wider and better contoured.
2) Rear legroom better in Laura than Corolla
2) Corolla rear seats soft in comparison to the Laura's which are on the harder side. Some like the hard seats while others prefer the soft ones on the corolla. So thats really a personal preferance. My mother who has a bad back loves the Laura's hard rear seats.
3) If you plan to carry a fifth passenger in the Laura, be prepared to face his/ her wrath
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Old 20th March 2012, 18:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Congrats on the Czech beauty. You have got yourself a very good all-rounder there. Terrific engine, great ride and handling, great convenience with the AT which does not sap the engine off its power and is frugal to run as well. The facelifted Laura has proved to be far more reliable than the old model.

hi
would you elaborate on your findings which explain your above statement?
would be interesting to know what exactly has changed in terms of reliability
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Old 20th March 2012, 19:28   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
1) Front seats of Laura wider and better contoured.
2) Rear legroom better in Laura than Corolla
3) Corolla rear seats soft in comparison to the Laura's which are on the harder side. Some like the hard seats while others prefer the soft ones on the corolla. So thats really a personal preferance. My mother who has a bad back loves the Laura's hard rear seats.
4) If you plan to carry a fifth passenger in the Laura, be prepared to face his/ her wrath
Bang on! All your points are spot on. The rear seats of the Corolla had slightly better cushioning as well. But the rear bench in the Altis is not as comfortable as the old model.
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Old 20th March 2012, 19:53   #14
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Congrats on the new car mate. She's an absolute fab to drive both in city roads and especially on the highways.

A small piece of advice : Every time you go to the service center for anything always stay by the car when any important job is being done. I particularly didn't like the way they handle the car. But then again i go to vinayak skoda, the other dealer in Blr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
I just bought the LTZ MT, and believe me, it's not as cramped as people make it out to be. I'm 5'10" and I took a friend along for the TD who's about the same height and made him sit behind me. He didn't find it cramped at all.
But yes, I accept the Laura's more spacious. Luckily for me I'm self driven.
IMHO, the problem is with the all black interiors of the cruze, makes it feel less spacious. In comparision with the almost all-beige interiors of the laura, which gives it a very airy and spacious feel. In terms of actual space they both are almost on par with each other.
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Old 21st March 2012, 02:10   #15
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Default Re: Ganesha's new Mooshika - The Laura Ambition 2.0 TDI AT

Congrats on new Ride Ganesh. wishing you Safe Miles in the Years to come. Laura is also one of my favorites and wish to own one someday.
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