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Old 28th May 2012, 11:43   #1
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Default Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-front.jpg

We got the delivery of our new Candy White Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI (Ambition) on 3rd Jan 2012. The car has completed around 1500 Kms in 5 months. I know, it is the TSI and just 1500 kms!? Welll, our run is very less, mostly on the weekends, since the office and other places of work of my father are very close to our home. This answers the 'Why petrol?' question as well.
Much has been written about the car, it is a gem and a blast to drive.
Here's my bit of contribution to the forum. The review will be mostly pictorial and I will try to cover as much as I can.


Why Skoda Laura Petrol? Well, zeroing down on the Laura was a lengthy process. It was not considered initially. The options for us were VW Vento, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Sunny, Fiat Linea and later, the Rapid. Both petrol and diesel variants were test driven.

VW Vento : We test drove the Vento and my father was not totally satisfied. We both found the Petrol Vento better to drive. I know Diesel is the rocket but somehow both of us felt the Petrol one to be better. The clutch was nice and light, the cabin was silent. We hated the diesel clatter.
But, somewhere it felt to be a compromise. Moreover, the additional features (Steering mounted controls, park assist etc) were not available on the Petrol variant then. So, Vento was on a stand by mode.

Hyundai Verna : The car is a looker, and that's about it for me. The doors are ultra light, the steering is too sensitive, rear seat is weirdly uncomfortable, suspension is too soft. The Diesel one is marginally better due to the increased weight. It is value for money and all but it is not the type of vehicle I would let my father buy. It just didn't click for me, not my type (Neither my father's).

Ford Fiesta : The new Fiesta is a great looker. It handles really well. It's so much fun to drive and very very silent and comfy. Then? Price. Rear interiors. Space! It felt really cramped, we hated the rear interiors and the plastic bits used and was certainly overpriced by a lakh and a half.

Nissan Sunny : We didn't test drive the Sunny as the dealership didn't have a test drive car. The car is big inside, lots of space and comfortable seats. We didn't like the way it looked. Moreover, the petrol engine was just okayish. So we dropped it.

Fiat Linea : We currently own a Palio 1.2 NV too and Dad didn't want another Fiat due to the resale issues (I know, we went ahead and bought a Petrol Skoda, that's a petrolhead's heart at work!). I must mention Tata's After Sales has been great till now and no complaints whatsoever.
We would have got the TJet if he would have given it a thought.

Skoda Rapid : This was briefly considered but it was too late, we were sold on the TSI!

Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI Ambiente (Ambition sounds bad) : I had my eyes on this beast since long. Having read so much about the car here, I wanted Dad to buy it if the budget permitted. I asked him to have a look at it and he did. He liked the car. The dealership here didn't have the TSI for test drive. I asked my brother who lives in Bangalore to pay a visit to Vinayak and check it out. He test drove and was all gaga over the car. So, now it was between Vento and Laura. A weird situation to be in, I know!
After a few months of yes and no and all the calculations and waiting for the right offer, Dad finally agreed and paid the booking amount in December. And began the sleepless nights.


How much? Why in December? : We got a decent deal in December and since we were buying a car which was a segment higher than what we had planned, we planned to keep it for long. So resale was not a big issue.
13.8 lakhs OTR was what we paid. A nice deal IMO. Skoda had hiked prices recently or else it would have been 13.6 lakhs or so.

Me and my brother wanted Black and Dad wanted White. We finally got it in Candy White and I am so glad we did! It looks gorgeous both during the day and at night. It is a very very beautiful car and the design is simple and minimalistic and that's what I love about it the most.
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Old 28th May 2012, 13:30   #2
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Default The Car and The Heart.

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-img_7335.jpg

The Car
It looks lovely in White. The projectors and the fogs give it a character. The car looks stunning with the parking lights switched on at dusk. Lovely!
I like the alloy design, just wish the OEM was not Goodyear. I had enquired and ordered Yoko DB few days before delivery and was going to swap on the delivery day itself as I was getting a great deal. However, the Yokos never arrived and the person never called back inspite of my following up. It is so difficult to get a good set of rubber in n Nagpur!
Goodyears are okay but they are noisy.
The car is very well put together. The paint quality is superb. There are no panel gaps or loose parts. Doors are heavy and close with a convincing thud. The car feels solid and built to last.
Inside, the cabin is very very spacious. It has huge glass areas and feels very airy. It works against it in Nagpur's summer though when the temperature is 47 degrees!
Everything is nicely put together and interior feels rich. The dash is soft touch and feels upmarket. All the buttons and electronic tit bits are tactile to use and no part feels cheap. The silver finish looks lovely too. There are lots of storage bins and compartments which I'll discuss later.
The seats are big and very comfortable. They have nice all round support. Both the front seats have height adjust and lumbar support. Thigh support is great too, be it the front seats or the rear. They hug you nicely.
Rear seats have a good angle but are a bit firm. The huge floor hump doesn't help either. The car suited best for four people. A kid might enjoy the middle seat though.
Steering has rake and reach. With all these available adjustments, finding a proper driving position is easy.
The dials are classy and simple. The MID throws out all the required data and the font again, is very classy. The stalks and levers are very tactile and upmarket. On the delivery day itself, I activated Auto lock at 15 kmph, and unlocking of doors by single press of the unlock key. What we later discovered was if you want to unlock any door while sitting inside, just pull the handle twice and it'll unlock (only that particular door). Also, if you unlock the car and don't open any door, it will lock itself after 25 seconds.
The dealership person was not able to activate the turning lights (fogs light up when you turn) and also he couldn't change the display from l/100kms to kmpl. Any suggestions on this?


Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-img_7477.jpg

The Heart
Aah, the engine. What a lovely engine this is.
160 BHP. 250NM @ 1500 rpm. 6 speed. You have to drive this car to believe and experience the thrill. No words can express the adrenaline rush you get when you floor the pedal and the Turbo kicks in. The car catches unmentionable speeds within seconds and you really have to control yourself. It is effortless in city and a blast on the highways, a total Bullet. It is planted and stable and there is not much of a body roll. The steering weighs in nicely too and the car remains stable at any given speed. Worth mentioning is the turning radius. At 5.1m, it's effortless to take u-turns and the radius is better than our Palio!
The suspension is perfect. Not too soft, not too hard, perfect blend. An out and out driver's car.
The engine growl is music to the ears. The magic of this turbo petrol needs to be experienced, can't be put into words! I can't imagine how crazy the VW GTI would be to drive.
The 5th gear is so good, I can elope with it. From 40 kmph to 160 kmph, it does its job fantastically. You really need to control yourself while driving this beast. The gear has short throws and is smooth and slick.
The accelerator is attached to the floor and feels comfortable to use. It has all round discs, ABS, EBD and Traction Control (or ASP). Dual Airbags are standard.
However, I feel they should have provided insulation to the bonnet even if it is a petrol. Being summer, the bonnet heats up like anything.

Last edited by driveanddrive : 28th May 2012 at 17:59.
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Old 28th May 2012, 14:12   #3
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Default Exterior

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-img_7329.jpg

The Laura received a face lift in mid 2009. The face lift gave the car a character. The new tail and headlights improved the car's looks. The projectors look great and the wide fogs add to the style and are very bright and useful too. The high beam goes too high, have to get it corrected.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-headlight-laura.jpg

The customary pic of the headlight.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-side-1.jpg

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-side-2.jpg

Looks great in these angles.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-boot.jpg

The boot and the fuel lid doesn't have a release button in the driver's cabin. When the car's unlocked, the fuel lid can be opened by pushing the lid and the boot can be opened by the soft touch button above the number plate.
The boot can be opened directly too by pressing the button given on the key fob.
The rear windshield goes up with the boot and rises quite high.

The rear bumper houses the parking sensors as seen in the pic. These are four sensors and the display is on the Music system. The park assist works beautifully and there is no need of any sort of parking camera. The following picture shows the sensitivity -
Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-img_7465tiletile.jpg




Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-chrome-tips.jpg

I got these chrome tips after a week or so. They had to cut the pipe of the chrome tips and weld it to the car's pipes. I myself aligned it and helped them cut as I wanted them aligned in a particular way. IMO it looks way better with the chrome tips on.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-img_5940.jpg

With the parking lights switched on at night.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-img_5938.jpg

The tail lamps at night. It also has rear fog lamps and two reverse lamps.



The ground clearance of the car 165mm. Till date I have never scarped any speed bump, not even the stubborn ones. The picture below might give you the idea of the GC -
Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-img_7348tile.jpg

Last edited by driveanddrive : 28th May 2012 at 14:37.
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Old 28th May 2012, 16:11   #4
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Default Interior

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-full.jpg

The interiors of Laura are plush. As mentioned earlier the dash is soft to touch and feels really upmarket. It has a nice texture. There is no squeaking or squealing. The ride is butter smooth and absolutely silent. Everything is at the proper place and feels just right. At this price point, steering mounted controls and auto folding mirrors are sorely missed. I don't mind not having climate control or USB port. The Aux-in does it for me and CD for my dad.
About air conditioning, there used to be a foul smell from the AC. The service guys cleaned the air filter located inside the glove box. The smell is no longer there but I feel the cooling has reduced, or is it the rising Nagpur temperature? It is around 46 degrees constantly right now. Also, have not got the tints done, so I am not sure if it is the AC or the weather. Will take it to the service centre safe side.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-swing-system.jpg

The Swing system of Skoda is amazing. It has 4 speakers and 4 tweeters.
It plays Audio CDs & MP3s. It has Aux-in which is located inside the front centre arm rest. The bass is crisp and punchy. You can play around with the settings and can easily set up the equalizer of your taste. It has a nice function - when playing a CD, push the right jog dial and it will play the songs for around 5-10 seconds and move over to the next one. When you find a song of your choice just press it again and the song will play fully.
You can set up up to six radio stations as presets. The radio signal reception is clear but sometimes it distorts while honking, only sometimes though.
The display also acts as a display to the park assist. When you engage the reverse gear, the volume automatically reduces. You can set the volume which you want when you engage the reverse gear. I had read in some threads that the volume increases with speed. I have not found any setting which activates it. Any suggestions?




Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-door-lamp.jpg

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-driver-door-coontrols.jpg

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-handle-nd-power-window.jpg

Both the front doors house a stop lamp below the speaker. It comes in handy at night. The ORVM adjustments are done by a joystick located near the tweeter on the driver's door. Driver's door also houses all the four power window switches and child lock switch. All the four power windows are one up and one down, which is very useful and also have anti-pinch feature, which works brilliantly. All the four windows can be opened or closed using the unlock/lock buttons on the key fob too. Just long press them and they will open/close.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-headlight-switch.jpg

The headlight switch is the typical European one. Pull the switch and fog lamps switch on. Pull further and the rear fog lamps switch on. Beside the headlamp button is the headlight leveler. As mentioned above, I have to get it aligned as the high beam goes too high. Beside the leveler is the cabin illumination control switch. You can control the cabin backlights' intensity from here.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-lumbar-recline.jpg

The lumbar support is adjusted by the smaller knob. I don't like these type of knobs at all, too old fashioned and not user friendly.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-sun-visor-nd-mirror.jpg

Both the sun visors have a strap where you can tuck in the maps or whatever and a Mirror.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-bonnet-open-lever.jpg

The bonnet lever. Pulling it will open the bonnet, neat.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-rear-bench.jpg

The rear seats are very spacious. They are a bit firm but have excellent all round support. Ingress/egress is effortless and they have great thigh support. There is a rear AC vent too with direction controls which can be shut completely, like all other vents. Below it is an ash tray. Rear is very spacious like the front but is best suited for two because of the floor hump, which is quite tall.

Last edited by driveanddrive : 28th May 2012 at 16:13.
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Old 28th May 2012, 17:31   #5
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Default Space & Storage

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-1.jpg

There lots of space and lots of places to store stuff. You have the Glove box which is illuminated. It has pen holder and card holder and is quite deep. There another one inch deep storage on top of the dash. Press it and it opens. There is another one behind the gear lever and the most useful for coins and receipts etc. Push it and it opens in a nice gradual way, neat. Nothing clatters in this car. Everything has a rubber padding and everything opens in an upmarket way.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-5a.jpg

There is a front arm rest which is height and length adjustable. I love the arm rest! It houses the aux-in jack and is cooled. You need to pull up a lever and the the cold AC air blows in. Hence, it won't keep your coke cold but your chocolates won't melt.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-2.jpg

Both the front doors have storage for one ltr bottles and any additional stuff. Rear doors too have storage but bottles won't fit there.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-3.jpg

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-4.jpg

Both the front seats have a small bins to keep cell phones/wallets etc. which is very useful. The front passenger seat has under seat storage for books etc. which is quite deep and reasonably big.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-5.jpg

This is the sunglass holder. I doubt if large Aviators will fit.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-6.jpg

Even the driver gets some storage! This is beside the steering column.



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The front seats are so very spacious. I am 5'11'' and there is still a lot of space left. The space at the rear with the same seat position. My brother who is 6'1'' also finds the seat to be spacious and comfortable.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-8.jpg

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-9.jpg

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-10.jpg

The rear gets storage in the form of an ash tray below the rear vents, door pockets, seatback pockets and shallow storage inside the rear centre arm rest. The height of the rear arm rest is so perfect that both your arms are at same height and at a very comfortable one at that.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-11.jpg

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The Boot. The boot is humungous! At 560l, this is so big that you can shift your house like our Mod did! The boot is full of hooks and nets. There are many hooks, one pull type hook, one net, a place where you can keep the refrigerator which is mentioned in the official accessory brochure etc etc. There is more storage than you could ever need.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-13.jpg

The rear centre armrest can be pulled down to access the boot from the inside of the car, thoughtful.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-14.jpg

The boot has two lights which light up the boot nicely at night.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-15.jpg

A very thoughtful hook. When you lift the mattress/wooden plank for taking out the spare wheel, you can use the hook which holds up the mattress/plank.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-16.jpg

The spare wheel is neatly placed and it doesn't move at all. No, it isn't an alloy.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-17.jpg

Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-18.jpg

The parcel shelf is a two stage shelf. You can totally remove it or slide it down too. The seats can be folded completely, can be removed and also have 60:40 split.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-19.jpg

The boot rises quite high and hence a grab handle is provided to pull it down.



Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet-21.jpg

This is the box which contains all the extra bulbs and fuses, nice touch.

Last edited by driveanddrive : 28th May 2012 at 17:34.
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Old 28th May 2012, 17:49   #6
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Default Final Words

Many would think why we didn't consider Cruze, Fluence, Civic & Altis. Well, Cruze was a lakh and half more and we had already overshot our budget. Same with Fluence, but it was even more expensive. Civic was considered for a day but we dropped it. Altis was never considered. For us, we found a perfect car and at a great price. It looks gorgeous, drives like a dream and leaves a WIDE grin on your face after every drive. The jump from Vento to Laura was indeed a big one but I am sure Dad has done his calculations.

Regarding the dealership, the experience has been good so far. The sales person was always courteous and co-operated. The delivery was smooth and till now no major problem has been faced. The only thing I am concerned about is the AC. I will take the car to the service centre this week and check.

We had ordered scuff plates but they haven't arrived as I am told. Even I did not follow up much, but they should have kept us posted.

Regarding mileage, it gives around 8-9 in the city and 11-12 on the highway. I hope it will improve after the first servicing. I keep a check on the oil levels too and currently it is between Max and Min.

Overall, it is a lovely car to own and checks all the right boxes. Sure it misses out on some goodies (steering mounted controls, auto fold mirrors, ACC) but the wide grin it leaves on your face after each drive makes up for it.
Since I haven't used smileys, here's the grin

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions I'll try my best to answer.

Cheers

PS - Thank you Assembly Line! Also, thank you pramods, santoshbhat, jatinganpathy, decced, buz and all of you.

Last edited by driveanddrive : 28th May 2012 at 18:13.
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Old 28th May 2012, 20:27   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Hi driveanddrive, Congratulations for the Rocket!! TSI is one awesome car. Everytime i drive this car i fall in love again. If my usage was any lower or Petrol prices were sensible enough in our country, there would be one TSI in my Garage.

Thanks for the detailed report with all those pictures explaining each and every feature. Wish you a happy ownership and good time with Skoda Support! Keep us updated.

Thread moved here from Assembly line. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old 28th May 2012, 21:04   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

driveanddrive, Congratulations on the Laura! A great detailed review. The car looks classy in white and TSI is a pure gem, love the responsiveness of the engine.

Wish you a niggle free ownership.

Last edited by Y@SH : 28th May 2012 at 21:05.
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Old 28th May 2012, 21:10   #9
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Talking Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Congratulations on your new acquisition, looks hot in white, one of the best color for laura IMO.

Thanks alot for nice and crisp detailed review. The monster under the hood, is one heck on an engine, i am sure that, it brings a wide grin on your face, everytime you redline her

BTW any mods planned ? and how's the performance of AC ? , with summers on peak, i guess you must be having hard time with laura's AC.

Wish you wonderful miles ahead, drive safe.

Cheers
Sameer

Last edited by sameerg001 : 28th May 2012 at 21:13.
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Old 28th May 2012, 21:30   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Wow, congrats on a wonderful ride, that is one heck of an engine.

Love your review.

Btw, where in Nagpur do you stay, I visit there often, would love to have an Nagpur TBHP meet, I stay near Kamptee road, Kadbi Chowk.
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Old 29th May 2012, 01:02   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Thanks for the detailed report with all those pictures explaining each and every feature. Wish you a happy ownership and good time with Skoda Support! Keep us updated.
Thanks Mod. I will try and keep the thread updated. Keeping my fingers crossed on the support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Y@SH View Post
driveanddrive, Congratulations on the Laura! A great detailed review.
Thank you so much. The engine is really a gem and needs to be experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameerg001 View Post
any mods planned ? and how's the performance of AC ? , with summers on peak, i guess you must be having hard time with laura's AC.

Wish you wonderful miles ahead, drive safe.

Cheers
Sameer
Thank you Sameer. No mods planned as of now. Just the accessories (scuff plates etc) and will change the horn to the old horns that Skoda used to provide. The new one's are so un-Skoda like.
Regarding AC, it takes some time to cool the cabin and the temperature here is also too much, around 47 degrees, so yeah, hard time indeed. Bad time to ban the tints too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtremeshock View Post
Love your review.

Btw, where in Nagpur do you stay, I visit there often, would love to have an Nagpur TBHP meet, I stay near Kamptee road, Kadbi Chowk.
Thank you so much xtremeshock.
A Nagpur T-BHP meet will be awesome!
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Old 29th May 2012, 08:32   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Congratulations driveanddrive on the driving machine and a wonderfully detailed review. The Laura TSI is an awesome machine. When I bought mine last year, my logic was similar as yours. My office is close to my home and my average running was less than 10K kms per year. For city runs we have small hatches at home, so the Laura was supposed to be the weekend car or the outstation car. But the car is just so enjoyable to drive that I have clocked 20,000 kms in my first year of ownership!

Initially I was a bit dissappointed about lack of features in the Ambiente trim and lack of avaialability of the TSI in higher variants. But I am not compalining now. The TSI is all about the drive. Once you are driving this beast you forget all about those features which lose their novelty factor very soon. The Ambiente trim has all the basic stuff (incl important safety kit) covered and you'll hardly miss anything.

The engine is the USP for this car and I really thank Skoda for offering this engine in an affordable package.

Despite rising petrol prices, I have not regretted buying this car for one moment. With the current trend of fuel prices , i won't be surprised if Skoda discontinues the TSI. My thinking was better get one soon before it goes extinct. Yes today's diesels are economical to run and are very powerful as well. But the way the TSI accelerates and allows the driver to hold on to each gear till the redline is something else.

The TSI is not just out and out sporty. It is also very refined and plush. I feel the ride and handling balance is just spot on. The suspension is not back breaking on bad roads when you are taking the family out and at the same time it is stiff enough to put a silly grin on your face when you are in the mood to gun it. For me it is just perfect

The car has an amazing ability to mask speed and one can easily get carried away. Drive responsibly and drive safe!


Quote:
Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post
I had read in some threads that the volume increases with speed. I have not found any setting which activates it. Any suggestions?
Just toggle through the music settings and you find a setting called 'Gala'. Increase the value and you get speed sensitive volume.


Quote:
The lumbar support is adjusted by the smaller knob. I don't like these type of knobs at all, too old fashioned and not user friendly.
Oh I love these knobs. They allow for very precise setting. Didn't your Palio have similar knobs?


Quote:
Regarding mileage, it gives around 8-9 in the city and 11-12 on the highway. I hope it will improve after the first servicing.
The mileage will improve by about 10 ~ 12% after some 5,000 kms.



Quote:
Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post
The car has completed around 1500 Kms in 5 months. .
Just 1500 kms in 5 months?!!! You are not doing justice to your handle
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Old 29th May 2012, 10:34   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Congrats driveandrive on the detailed report. TSi is a real gem of an powerplant.
Will take delivery of my white vRS on 1st June.
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Old 29th May 2012, 11:02   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Congratulations, Tsi is really an amazing engine and an awesome car. Its very addictive once you have driven it. Me and my wife were absolutely in love with this car, the only thing that kept us away from it were Skoda.

Enjoy the run and do stick some Team BHP stickers so as next time when we are crossing Nagpur, will hope to spot some stickers.
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Old 29th May 2012, 11:32   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Laura TSI - The Bullet

Congratulations on "The Bullet" DriveandDrive! A very nicely written review with a host of pictures! It is indeed an "out-of-the-world" experience to drive the TSI

I wish you a happy and hassle-free ownership and tens of thousands of safe miles ahead!

Drive safe and always wear your seat belts!

-Cheers
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