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Old 12th August 2012, 15:24   #1
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Default White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

I have been thinking about this for a long time, especially when I read the Test drive and initial ownership thread. For a long time, I have been scripting in my mind a thread about the Polo 1.6, which i very nearly bought and almost made the payment against. Amongst all the reason that stood between me and my Polo the main one's were Team BHP and 1.4 Tsi.
  • Team BHP - Especially mod Rehaan for brilliantly crafted reviews of Jetta 1.4 Tsi and Laura vRS. Both these cars were definitely out of my league, but since i read in detail about Rehaan's review of 1.4 Tsi, I was disappointed and I started reading vRS review a lot more.
  • 1.4 Tsi - When i read about the 1.4 Tsi i was certain that the gem of engine that we have in the Laura has just made it to the endangered list. Skoda may soon follow and stop this engine altogether. And when that happens i was certain that the petrol head inside me would die a thousand deaths.
I held back my booking amount for the polo, went into semi-depression started looking at my finance and asking myself 'Is there something you can do?'. Noticing my weird behavior at home, my mom asked 'What the hell is bothering you?' and when i told her what it was about (anticipating the demise of 1.8 Tsi soon), I was expecting her to laugh at me or just plain and simple call me mad. But she didn't, the first thing she said was - 'If you like it so much, go buy one. Don't worry about anything, all the finances will fall in place - You are young and you have been working since 18. Just go get your dreams. Don't be this way'

After she said this, is when i realized that there is something i can do. A quick revisit on my finances and this was definitely affordable (with a few sacrifices - no more splurges, regular 5 star dinners etc). But then, this is something that i could do. Definitely within reach. Let me just go get the Laura 1.8 Tsi.

Went in to the dealership to look at the Laura 1.8 Tsi (ambition) with mom, spoke to SA for a small period of time and he bought the demo car out. What he also did was got a 'Yellow' RS that was present and parked it right next to the car. Immediately mom was sold on the RS and said 'If you are buying the Laura buy the RS or don't buy one' I thought she was joking but although she sat in the Ambition with me, She was constantly staring at the RS. Back to my finances for now.

A quick rearrangement of finances, it was evident that the RS was affordable. A further look at the equipment list on the Laura, made it a good buy if could manage to knock off 1.75 Lakhs of the on-road price. A steep amount, but had to be primarily because Skoda hiked up the prices of their cars towards the end of July making the vRS along with extended warranty and drive assure insurance touch 20.75 Lakhs on road Bangalore.

Once we finalized on the the RS, came the next dilemma at home. Colour.

Mom had her heart set on yellow while sister was adamant on getting the blue. Both parties not ready to stand down on their respective choices. As a mediator in between and under heavy influence of Stephen Covey's 3rd alternative - I had to find a common ground, or a third alternative. Turns out, that neither of them liked black - but both of them like (not love) white. So white it was.

After negotiating and securing well within my target price, I put forward the booking amount on Friday (August 3rd, 2012) with delivery expected on August 15th, 2012. Much to my surprise i get a call on Thursday, that my car is here and they can deliver it on Friday, 10th of August, 2012 on Temp plates and get the registration done on Monday. I jumped out of my bed (yes i was sleeping) and rushed to TAFE access, jumped with joy, screamed, shouted - and then also went through the PDI (Thank you once again, Team-BHP).

Took the delivery of the car on Friday and in 2 have driven the car for over 350 kilometers all within Bangalore city.
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Last edited by azeemhafiz : 13th August 2012 at 03:15.
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Old 12th August 2012, 15:36   #2
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Default Things I love, hate & miss

Here are the things i love about the car:
  • Engine: Wow! I know that this is just 160 BHP and the car in international vRS terms is underpowered, but this engine is a blast to drive, the records indicate that this takes 7.8 seconds to hit the ton mark, but it sure does feel a lot faster. Any gear, any speed point the wheel and press the throttle. The car gains speed that can be seriously deceiving. The lag this being a turbo is almost negligible. I used to wonder why you had the annoying feature of a beep when you exceed the preset limit of speed. Now i know
  • Ride: its on the harder side, but not really hard. Go over a pothole and the thud that you hear is more painful than the feel of the pothole in itself.
  • Handling: The car is a brilliant handler show it some corners, and it begs you for more. Minimal body roll, What a handler! This makes up for the ride, all the times you spend uncomfortably in the car you are reminded that you are not in a 'regular' car.
  • Gearbox: I love the gearbox, its pretty smooth although i wish it was more slick. It has more of a premium or a plush feel to it more than a sporty feel.
  • Steering wheel: Lacks feel, but feels good to hold. Small with awesome grip (including the bulges). That said it does not feel completely disconnected to the car, but could have been more sporty.
  • Xenons: Powerful to light up the road. The high beams are not xenons but halogen i think. A combination of these light up the road. The curve features require a special mention, Once you get used to it, it becomes difficult to do without.
  • Seats: This has been said before, but the seats are fantastic and hence making the RS a good place to be - even if you are stuck in a traffic Jam.
  • Music system: Wow! Amazing clarity with tight bass, just the way i like it.
  • Interiors: I personally prefer black interiors over beige. Makes the car look really compact and nice.
  • Sun-roof: Glass down 20%, Sun-roof back 80%, Shorts, Sunglasses, House music. All set. Love the feeling.
  • The needle sweep: Brings out the child in me every single time i switch on the car.
  • The 'Special feel': The vRS badges and the premium interiors as fellow BHPian Avinash made a note in his review the RS plastics feel more premium. Coupled with interiors makes you feel special. Makes this a fantastic place to be in Traffic Jam i.e. most of the time in Bangalore anyway. This car after whatever drive - Cruising around the town or spirited driving surely leaves you smiling. This car makes me happy!
Here are the things that i do not like (please note that some of them are really trivial, but i'm trying to be as honest as i can)
  • Horn: Hate it! I have asked the service center to replace it, should get it done in following week or so.
  • Sun-roof switch: The switch feels very 80 era - Washing machine / Oven ish. The switch on A/C controls are fantastic - I wish they had carried forward that to the sun-roof control too.
  • The 'dummy' phone button on the system. It just mutes the system - I understand that the car does not come with bluetooth connectivity, but c'mon atleast use a pencil and scratch that off!
  • The windscreen wiper lag: There is a noticeable pause between the operation of the switch till the time water comes up. I know, its trivial but it does irritate me. Skoda has managed to make the turbo lag almost un-noticeable but not this one.
  • The driver side mirror is plain and i quite dont like it very much
  • The length of the car: This car is long, may be too long. Parked next to my friends Freelander, this is longer and by some margin. Makes it difficult to find gully parking in Bangalore.
Wish you were here section - The things that i wish the car had.
  • 2.0 TFSI engine: This would have most definitely made the car beyond my budgets reach. but heck, while i'm at the wish you were here section might as well state it.
  • 17 inch alloy wheel: While we are at the topic of wish you were here
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity: I miss it, but ensures that my Plantronics voyager pro+ investment is secure
Overall, I love the car and as i have come to realize its money well spent. I love it when it moves, when it slows, when it stops, when its parked and even when i think about it. As i take my friends out on a drive and almost all my friends being petrol-heads have just told me the same. And no, they are honest and generally tell things on my face. I am blessed with great friends that way.

Last edited by azeemhafiz : 13th August 2012 at 02:40.
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Old 13th August 2012, 03:05   #3
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Default vote of thanks & other points

A very very special thanks to the following people:

Avinash_clt - For helping me through the process, especially around VIN number
Rehaan: For the brilliant review of the vRS including extreme specifics & for the motivational (for me) review of the 1.4 Tsi
vb-san, santoshbhat, shankar.balan - for guidance and directions through my critical negotiations phase.
Wildon - For the ever-so-helpful VIN thread.
All fellow BHPians who bought vRS. You guys listened to your heart and in many ways compelled me to do the same.

I also need to make a special mention to the guys at TAFE, in comparison to Vinayaka they were more receptive, warm and took me serious from the first time. TAFE seemed to be leagues ahead of Vinayaka cars. All thanks to my friendly sales advisor - Praveen. All of them singing at the time of delivery got a tear to my eye. Fantastic!

I remember GTO mentioning this on one thread long time ago although i can't recollect the exact structure it was - Fuel prices be damned i have one passion and i'll live it. This was and is my motivation.

Other points:
  • The A/C seems to be a chiller. I was perplexed by this, considering its reputation. But i'd wait till summer for the exact review. The A/C in regular position builds moist on the windsheild, but placing it between foot & face position solves the issue. Thank you, Rehaan.
  • The self check of xenons is fantastically cool. In order to get the lights to do it, you need to start the car with the headlights switched on.
  • The digital speedo at the bottom of the information display is in mph. I need to figure out someone with VAGCOM and get this changed.
  • The engine, heats up like crazy. Although it is in the indicated 90 (mid point of temp mark) it is remarkably hot. To add to it, the bottom of the engine bay seems to be neatly covered (most of it)
  • The SA recommended that i keep a can of Shell Helix 5W40 in my car. How cool is that!
  • DRL's are bright, but they double up as parking and when you change the light to parking mode, they become dim. I find blue bulbs on top of the headlight, need to figure out what they do.
  • The car hates Clutch. The car is best driven without half clutch, has the tendency to go off. I have been calibrating my driving in the night by turning of the system and paying good attention to engine notes when i shift. The best way for the car seems to be come of the throttle completely, engage clutch, change the gear, come of the clutch completely and then accelerate. It is copy book i know, but the car seems to hate it if any of the above steps overlap. Yeah, I know its crazy but i do these crazy things. Hunt for a lonely road, pay attention to the engine notes and figure out if the car likes my driving or not.
  • You can hear the turbo and sounds subtle and sweet.
  • You can hear the outside world quite clearly inside the car, but the outside world cant quite hear whats inside the car well. Not sure if my car comes with reverse acoustics, but i think its kind of cool and safe.
  • The mirrors fold on remote. But i dont think they fold enough. Should have in my opinion been a little different on design.
  • The vRS badge, commends respect. A few thumbs up and nods of approval at traffic signals.
This is my first thread at Team-BHP, your feedback is appreciated. I am also glad to answer any question on the car. If it weren't for the responsive and caring vRS owners in this forum I may not have bought the car after all. I intend to maintain this thread as a log (star trek style) capturing every single minute details of the car as I spend more time with her. Onward!

Last edited by azeemhafiz : 13th August 2012 at 03:17.
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Old 14th August 2012, 15:50   #4
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Default re: White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th August 2012, 16:15   #5
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Default Re: White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

Congratulations azeem. You've now made it on my 'envy' hitlist, the last one being akshay1234 I think.

That's a beautiful car. Looks like you voluntarily opted out of the 'loud' yellow RS option. Reading through your build-up, I was expecting to see a yellow RS.

Wishing you miles and smiles of happy driving.
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Old 14th August 2012, 16:35   #6
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Default Re: White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

Congrats Azeem on your lovely purchase. Do post some more pics of the car including interiors. Also what is the Xenon self check you have mentioned?
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Old 14th August 2012, 17:05   #7
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Default Re: White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

Quote:
Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Congrats Azeem on your lovely purchase. Do post some more pics of the car including interiors. Also what is the Xenon self check you have mentioned?
Thank you, Supertinu. I'll post pictures of the interiors soon, I need to find some time where i prefer the camera over the accelerator pedal .

Xenon self check - When you switch on the car with the lights in 'on' position, the lights come on, focuses down (using the head lamp leveler) and then they focus outward (left one, more to the left and right one more to the right). I have been getting the 'transformer' like remark each time i demo it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
Congratulations azeem. You've now made it on my 'envy' hitlist, the last one being akshay1234 I think.

That's a beautiful car. Looks like you voluntarily opted out of the 'loud' yellow RS option. Reading through your build-up, I was expecting to see a yellow RS.

Wishing you miles and smiles of happy driving.
Thank you, mempheS.D, The opt out was involuntary. I love the yellow, but opting for it would have nearly started world war at home. I loved the blue too, but was difficult to convince the mom on it. So White it was, the third and peaceful alternative.
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Old 14th August 2012, 17:15   #8
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Default Re: White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

Congrats Azeem on fantastic buy. Mine is also on its way, should be in my hand in week or so. I have already stared going thorugh the Larua manual to understand as much as possible.

By the way, whats with those folding mirrors? Do they not fold all the way like manual?
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Old 14th August 2012, 19:03   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azeemhafiz View Post
  • The digital speedo at the bottom of the information display is in mph. I need to figure out someone with VAGCOM and get this changed
Can you post a pic of the same? I wonder where you get a digital read out at the bottom of the display. In mine I have to toggle through the MID to get the digital speedo.

Also congrats on a wonderful car, you are definitely going to enjoy it a lot. Do keep an eye on the oil level once a week, don't wait till the light comes on to top it up.

Another thing you may want to do is change the tyres, since the stock Goodyears are crap.

Good to know the washer delay isn't only in my car lol.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 14th August 2012 at 19:04.
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Old 14th August 2012, 19:16   #10
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Default Re: White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

Congrats Azeem, she looks beautiful in white but i even love the blue color, has that sporty feel to it. Do add some photos of the interiors and exteriors, this car is a petrol head's dream and the RS has loads of goodies to keep anyone entertained.

Have fun
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Old 14th August 2012, 19:45   #11
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Default Re: Things I love, hate & miss

Congratulations Azeem! That’s indeed a big jump – from a wannabe hot-hatchback to a super-hot notchback! Infact I must congratulate your mom for guiding you from a Polo to a Laura TSI and then finally to the vRS! Fantastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azeemhafiz View Post
Interiors: I personally prefer black interiors over beige. Makes the car look really compact and nice.
Oh yes, personally I feel that a Skoda/VW with all black interiors look much more classy and inviting than the beige/faux-wood combination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azeemhafiz
The driver side mirror is plain and i quite dont like it very much
Fellow member Behemoth have done a fix for this. Checkout his Laura ownership thread.

More than Bluetooth (or steering mount controls), the key negative I feel is the absence of ESP. Other than that, this is indeed the near-perfect petrol car in this segment. Enjoy the white beauty and drive safe!
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Old 14th August 2012, 20:05   #12
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A really nice initial review! All soul.
Hope you get to enjoy your vRS without any of the Skoda horror coming your way! Wishing you many happy years with your car .
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Old 14th August 2012, 20:39   #13
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Default Re:

Congratulations azeemhafiz on one of the quickest manual transmission cars available in the country today.

A change of tyres is highly recommended.

The clutch needs some getting used to. But once you're used to it, you'll love it. I find the clutch to have a very good feel. It also has a nice soft action. We are all used to feeding off the engine sound to know when the engine is about to stall and when it requires clutch input. The TSI engine is so silent and vibration free that it becomes difficult initially. But once you become familiar with the machine you won't stall the engine.

The car has a great ability to mask speeds. Enjoy the car and drive safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Can you post a pic of the same? I wonder where you get a digital read out at the bottom of the display. In mine I have to toggle through the MID to get the digital speedo.
IIRC there is some setting where you need to twist the needle that resets the trip meter to toggle to that option. When the car is stationary the odo reading is shown , when the car is moving the digital speedo is shown in mph in place of the odo

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 14th August 2012 at 20:40.
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Old 14th August 2012, 21:14   #14
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Default Re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishaltanksale View Post
Congrats Azeem on fantastic buy. Mine is also on its way, should be in my hand in week or so. I have already stared going thorugh the Larua manual to understand as much as possible.

By the way, whats with those folding mirrors? Do they not fold all the way like manual?
Thank you, Vishal. The car is just brilliant and sweet. Dangerously addictive and makes you smile every time. I have posted a picture of the mirrors in folded positiion. It folds completely, but i was hoping it folds in a little more (design does not permit this). Happy waiting for your car to arrive, its worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Can you post a pic of the same? I wonder where you get a digital read out at the bottom of the display. In mine I have to toggle through the MID to get the digital speedo.

Also congrats on a wonderful car, you are definitely going to enjoy it a lot. Do keep an eye on the oil level once a week, don't wait till the light comes on to top it up.

Another thing you may want to do is change the tyres, since the stock Goodyears are crap.

Good to know the washer delay isn't only in my car lol.
Thanks Akshay. Your review of the vRS was very informational, I may not change the tyres for some time (In a sadistic way, I like it) but yes it does not have the corner superiority like Yoko's. I am seriously contemplating doing this eventually. That and engine oil is something that i have in mind, thanks to your review; Your review also made me look cool at dealership when i switched on the DRLs.

I have attached picture (a rather horrible one, apologies) of the MID, the bottom right hand side corner indicates mph. Not sure if there is a way to change the reading to kmph. Also, I don't get km/hr reading as an option on MID. I'll confirm with dealership tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboy007 View Post
Congrats Azeem, she looks beautiful in white but i even love the blue color, has that sporty feel to it. Do add some photos of the interiors and exteriors, this car is a petrol head's dream and the RS has loads of goodies to keep anyone entertained.

Have fun
Thanks, coolboy. Yes i will post interior and more pics soon. Every time i am near the car, I am tempted to drive it. I need to resist that temptation and click photos next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Congratulations Azeem! That’s indeed a big jump – from a wannabe hot-hatchback to a super-hot notchback! Infact I must congratulate your mom for guiding you from a Polo to a Laura TSI and then finally to the vRS! Fantastic.

Fellow member Behemoth have done a fix for this. Checkout his Laura ownership thread.

More than Bluetooth (or steering mount controls), the key negative I feel is the absence of ESP. Other than that, this is indeed the near-perfect petrol car in this segment. Enjoy the white beauty and drive safe!
Thank you for the link vb_san. Appreciate it. I kind of enjoy the car without the ESP. But yes, that was indeed a miss (along with an off button)

Quote:
Originally Posted by one-77 View Post
A really nice initial review! All soul.
Hope you get to enjoy your vRS without any of the Skoda horror coming your way! Wishing you many happy years with your car .
Thank you one-77. I intend to keep this thread updated with all the details, so fingers crossed and stay tuned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Congratulations azeemhafiz on one of the quickest manual transmission cars available in the country today.


The clutch needs some getting used to. But once you're used to it, you'll love it. I find the clutch to have a very good feel. It also has a nice soft action. We are all used to feeding off the engine sound to know when the engine is about to stall and when it requires clutch input. The TSI engine is so silent and vibration free that it becomes difficult initially. But once you become familiar with the machine you won't stall the engine.

The car has a great ability to mask speeds. Enjoy the car and drive safe.
Thank you, Santoshbhat. Yes the car has the unique ability of masking speed. I am sort of getting used the clutch now and yes it does have a nice feed. Thank you once again!
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White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take-mirror.jpg  

White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take-speedo.jpg  

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Old 16th August 2012, 15:58   #15
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Lightbulb Re: White Skoda Laura vRS - An Owner's Take

Congratulations Azeem and welcome (officially now) to the vRS club! Keep them miles crunching, and the RS will not disappoint once you get behind that chunky wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishaltanksale View Post
Congrats Azeem on fantastic buy. Mine is also on its way, should be in my hand in week or so. I have already stared going thorugh the Larua manual to understand as much as possible.

Now looking forward to Vishal's car being the next addition to our club.

By the way, whats with those folding mirrors? Do they not fold all the way like manual?
They only fold about three quarters the way in.
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