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Old 7th January 2013, 18:03   #1
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Default Skoda Laura Ownership review

Hi,
This is the first time I am writing an ownership review so please excuse any errors.

The Basic Specs:
• Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI DSG Auto transmission , (Ambiente) Silver
colour
• Leather seats
• 16” alloys (standard fitment)
• DSG gearbox
• Purchased on – 05 January 2013
• Mileage on delivery – 54 km
• Mileage till date – 27859 km
• Fuel average over last 1.5 yrs = 9.8 kms/ltr city driving Bandra to
Nariman Point with A/c on
= 12 ~ 13 km/ltr – highway driving (approx figure)

Why Skoda Laura ?
I previously owned a Ford Fiesta and my daily commute to office and back is approx 40 kms mostly city driving with Expressway/highway driving once in say 2 months .
I was quite fed up with the city start stop traffic and consistent clutch de-clutch in this horrible Mumbai traffic.
To be quite honest, I always loved the Skoda looks and when I test drove it I did not bother looking elsewhere. Fuel consumption was not “up there’ on my wish list so I did not sweat too much thinking of the higher diesel consumption with an auto box.
Powerful, auto transmission, manual override, reasonably low in-cabin noise, comfortable to drive.... my wish list being fully complied with, I purchased this car.

27,000 kms later:....
A few starting points....

Exteriors – Generally no complaints here. Besides a few minor scratches (thanks to driving in really congested traffic and in considerate taxis and auto rickshaws) the paint work has held out pretty good. No fading observed. Head lights, tail lamps , fog, reversing lights and turn indicators all working in good order. No electrical issues at all.

Tyres: here again these are in good condition. No uneven wear noticed. I ripped one of my tyres whilst driving at Nhava Sheva Port when I drove over some metallic part which cut the tyre so had to spend 5500/- (discounted price) for a brand new Goodyear tubeless. My fault here and not a manufacturing issue.

Interiors- There is sufficient room for 4 tall well built adults in this car . The centre console though intrudes into the leg space at the rear and causes quite a lot of discomfort to the 3rd passenger at the rear. I feel Skoda should re-engineer this to make it comfortable for those moments when you have a third “adult averagely built “passenger. Especially on longer drives.
The Radio is easy to use although I still have not figured out how to use BT-Audio and the A.S.S guys could not demonstrate it to me either. The I-phone for sure does not sync automatically on BT. A slightly higer ended touch screen type radio unit would have been better given the price.
What is also annoying that for the price you pay surely they could have provided a centre head rest for the rear passenger. In India its normally 5 to a car !!!

Aircon issues- Ineffective and when I complained they did try initially washing the condenser to see if it made a diff. Sadly it did not. So they want me to leave the car with them for 2-3 days to check it out. I am worried I will be slapped with a huge bill .

FUEL ECONOMY
The Fuel economy quite honestly is not good considering this is a Diesel . The Skoda claims of high fuel efficiency surely are inflated and I get an average of;
• Bandra to Nariman point – 9.8 km/ltr clocked repeatedly over the last 2 years with an occasional surprise of 10~ 10.5 km/ltr – this is with the Aircon running throughout.
• On the highway (Mumbai Pune expressway mainly ) I have got a max of 12 to 14 km/ltr

The Driving experience :
Driving this car is a real pleasure . It is quick to respond. The Auto box shifts seamlessly and is quick in the gear shifts. The engine is reasonably silent although I do wish Skoda would put some more insulation so that the diesel tick does not filter into the cabin. At high speeds, road noise does filter in quite a bit. A clear indication of this is that you need to turn up the stereo volume to hear the music above the road noise. Don’t get me wrong though, the NVH levels are not so bad that it is a cause for concern. They just could have done better.
Floor the accelerator and this 2.0 ltr diesel motor does not disappoint. Slip it into “S” mode and the car hunkers down, the suspension gets stiffer and she can give the competition a run for their money.
27000 kms and I have not really noticed any rattles despite having driven on some very poor Mumbai roads. The suspension too has held out quite good and feels as good as new.
The A/C though is VERY disappointing and I feel Skoda would be well served, if they ask the Ford guys to give them some tips on the air conditioning. The aircon barely copes in the peak summer season and rear passengers do get a tad irritated and short tempered when driving long distances due to the heat.
I would have hoped that Skoda had provided some sun shades like they have on the Superb rear windows. Nevertheless I got these installed from a local vendor.

Although the top end model of this car comes fully loaded, the lower end or the Ambiente version of this car is disappointing in terms of fit out items.
For starters for the money you shell out for this car , I feel that Xenon lights, Cornering lights, folding OVRM’s, auto dimming OVRM’s, 17’ alloys, front parking assist, DR Lights, EBD, TCS should be standard equipment outfit and not cost a bomb. It’s daylight robbery as far as pricing goes for the Elegance model.

Also the multi function steering should be standard. We are living in the 20th century here and surely Skoda should realize that the Indian customer is very discerning.
The radio player “swing’ model is functional and it is really adding insult to injury when they provide a stereo that is equipped with a single CD player. The stereo player on the higher ended models I believe is good though.

Spares and service:
Spares are priced such that it will surely give you a stroke or at least you are assured of getting High BP (blood pressure and not Brake Power !! ) at the least.
I cannot fathom why they are so expensive. The minor indentation and scratch on my rear wheel arch would set me back by INR12,000/- !!!. I can live with the slight dent.
An oil change is INR5500/- Ok this is not too bad.
My first service was done at 14500 kms at their Bhori Stable , Goregoan station left much to be desired. I am very certain that my engine oil was not changed. Essentially the car was only washed.
The 2nd service was carried out upon my insistence at 20,800 kms at AutoBahn service station at Kurla. Here the service was well done, oil changed, filters changed, VAS inspection done, car was beautifully cleaned, all checks carried out (i could see the guy carrying out the checks which was comforting to know).
The only thing lacking is the lack of knowledge with regard to VAG-COM settings which I feel Skoda should really train their mechanics and bring them up to speed with. For most of my queries related to VAG-COM settings went unanswered or were answered by a Typical retort quote/unquote “ This model does not have this feature Sir “. Maybe they should go on the Team BHP website forums and read the posts every morning.
Other than the above there are no real complaints.

Likes :
• Bold good looks – except the rear . They could have done a better and smarter job with the rear C lights – LED’s perhaps ??
• Responsive engine but wished it came with a Torque converter
• Smooth auto box – gear shifts are quite fast and do not feel laid back
• Sport mode is great- really kicks butt
• Comfortable to drive
• Seats 4 with comfort
• Good braking – however sometimes I feel that it could be better – especially when you are doing some hard driving.
• Steering is little heavy when being driven in daily city traffic
• Trim levels in interiors are decent

Dislikes :
• Rear seats too upright. Difficult to doze comfortably when on a long journey.
• Rear seat back rest for the centre position projects too out. The third passenger is uncomfortable
• Lack of leg room for the third passenger in the centre due to console protusion
• High bodyline makes you feel slightly cooped in at the rear.
• Rather large blind spot created due to OVRM position.
• No Xenon lamps
• No cornering lamps
• No coming home/leaving home lights
• No EBD & TCS
• No seatbelt indicator/alarm warning bell.
• Audio could be a lot better ( Skoda please discontinue the Swing audio !! )
• No USB connectivity on audio
• No Multifunction steering

Regards,
Seacat
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Old 7th January 2013, 18:49   #2
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Post Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacat View Post
• Purchased on – 05 January 2013
• Mileage on delivery – 54 km
• Mileage till date – 27859 km
• Fuel average over last 1.5 yrs = 9.8 kms/ltr city driving Bandra to
Nariman Point with A/c on
= 12 ~ 13 km/ltr – highway driving (approx figure)
Seatcat, it is quite amazing that you've managed to put almost 28K km on the odo in two days considering you got her on January 5, 2013!! Where did you drive to partner??!!

Naah jokes apart, let me be the first to congratulate you on the ownership report of your Laura. I can imagine how both your right and left feet would be immensely grateful on account of what the Laura has to offer (or not offer ) on both sides of the brake pedal.

Yes, the Laura is an expensive car to maintain but it offsets a lot of that with what it brings to the table. So here's wishing you many many more miles of hassle-free ownership and smiles with the Ambiente DSG. Cheers!
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Old 7th January 2013, 19:15   #3
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacat View Post
Floor the accelerator and this 2.0 ltr diesel motor does not disappoint. Slip it into “S” mode and the car hunkers down, the suspension gets stiffer and she can give the competition a run for their money.
@Seacat - Congratulations from another Laura owner (petrol head I am though)

Very good review though and I agree with most points but your comment on suspension stiffening up is interesting. Can you please elaborate?

Thanks
Cheers
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Old 7th January 2013, 19:19   #4
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Very comprehensive review.
As a Laura owner I agree with all the points.

Great dynamics, great build, poor AC, pathetic service and rear passenger comfort could have been better...

Yes, suspension stiffens in Sports mode? Are you sure?
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Old 7th January 2013, 20:23   #5
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Nice review. The suspension does not change at all in S. Nor does your car have BT-Audio, or 16" wheels (Ambiente comes with 15").

That mileage is pretty good considering the traffic on your commute.
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Old 7th January 2013, 22:41   #6
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacat View Post
Hi,
• Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI DSG Auto transmission , (Ambiente) Silver
colour
• 16” alloys (standard fitment)
Nice Review. Can you post some pictures of your car. The Ambiente comes with 15 inch wheels.
Quote:
• Fuel average over last 1.5 yrs = 9.8 kms/ltr city driving Bandra to
Nariman Point with A/c on
= 12 ~ 13 km/ltr – highway driving (approx figure)
Your mileage in city driving conditions is not bad at all considering i get around 12-13kmpl in my Octavia tdi in peak hour traffic from Suburbs to South Mumbai.
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Old 8th January 2013, 13:15   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Nice crisp review there. The current Laura (Octavia II) is at the end of its life cycle. So it misses out on certain features which were not a must have for its segment at the time of its launch. The new Octavia , when launched in India will fulfill most items from your wishlist. But then again the price is anybody's guess. Car makers today price their cars based on what they think the customer is ready to pay and what volumes they are targeting rather than cost of manufacture.

I will take those FE figures for a 2.0L 140 hp automatic car any day, considering what my puny i10 AT gives me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacat View Post
My first service was done at 14500 kms at their Bhori Stable , Goregoan station left much to be desired. I am very certain that my engine oil was not changed. Essentially the car was only washed.
Are you saying they charged you for the oil and you suspect that they actually did not fill the oil in your car? What was it that aroused this suspicion? An oil change interval of 15K kms itself is stretching it bit IMO. Ideally I like to change the oil by about 12K kms for my TSI.
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Old 8th January 2013, 13:58   #8
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Post Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Nice review. The suspension does not change at all in S. Nor does your car have BT-Audio, or 16" wheels (Ambiente comes with 15").

That mileage is pretty good considering the traffic on your commute.
Akshay is spot on. The Ambiente comes with 15-inch alloys stock (Pyxis IIRC). Across the Laura range, only the Elegance, L&K and vRS wear 16" alloys - although each of those 3 has a different design. Unless you swapped your 15 inchers for 16 after you bought the car.
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Old 17th January 2013, 20:55   #9
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Great review Seacat! And quite reassuring for me since I'll be booking an MY13 Laura L&K tomorrow. Expecting delivery sometime next week. I heard the current batch of MY13 models come with the famous VRS dragon alloys across all variants of diesel as well. Looking forward.
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Old 19th January 2013, 12:31   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by reachanoop View Post
Great review Seacat! And quite reassuring for me since I'll be booking an MY13 Laura L&K tomorrow. Expecting delivery sometime next week. I heard the current batch of MY13 models come with the famous VRS dragon alloys across all variants of diesel as well. Looking forward.
Congrats on the choice.
Which dealer? I hope you got good discounts on it and yes, do not forget to do a PDI at the yard before you see the car at the showroom.
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Old 19th January 2013, 20:15   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

Nice, Compact review. I was wondering how came a new car has been featured in "long term ownership" thread. Got a heart attack seeing 27K mentioned too! Congrats on the car. May be the concerns you listed might get rectified in the coming soon "Octavia"!

Wish you miles of happy, safe & trouble free ownership.

Note:: Please mention the correct year of purchase & our mods could help update it in your opening post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reachanoop View Post
Great review Seacat! And quite reassuring for me since I'll be booking an MY13 Laura L&K tomorrow. Expecting delivery sometime next week. I heard the current batch of MY13 models come with the famous VRS dragon alloys across all variants of diesel as well. Looking forward.
Isn't the new gen coming soon? Do you really want to buy a Laura at this point of time which is pretty much the end of life? Or haggle hard for better discounts.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 19th January 2013 at 20:17.
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Old 20th January 2013, 11:43   #12
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Quote:
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Congrats on the choice.
Which dealer? I hope you got good discounts on it and yes, do not forget to do a PDI at the yard before you see the car at the showroom.
Thanks Devdath, I am going with Vinayaka Skoda. Since it is the latest batch model (Dec end), he agreed for only 1.1 L discount. I had a pretty long bargain meeting with the GM of Vinayaka yesterday. I was insisting for 1.5 L, but since I am going for a lease car from my company, he explained to me that the dealer tends to lose the margin on insurance, road-tax etc. I was kind-of convinced and let that be. The dealer agreed for a 5K discount on the Caska dvd headrest (I have to get this for my 4 yr old to keep her in her seat on long drives). Booked the RB color model which has just arrived from Aurangabad 2 days back. The lease process may take about a week, and then I should get the car either this week or early next week. Good thing you mentioned on the PDI. Is there a ready PDI checklist here? Any co-ordinates? I'm a newbie here
Thanks again. I am counting by the minutes now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Nice, Compact review. I was wondering how came a new car has been featured in "long term ownership" thread. Got a heart attack seeing 27K mentioned too! Congrats on the car. May be the concerns you listed might get rectified in the coming soon "Octavia"!

Isn't the new gen coming soon? Do you really want to buy a Laura at this point of time which is pretty much the end of life? Or haggle hard for better discounts.
Hi swiftnfurious, I have been deciding on my next car for 2 months now. I tried every other car / SUV in that price bracket (20-24 OTR) - Jetta, Cruze, Outlander, Fortuner, Superb MT etc. All through, my heart was with the Laura. I know about the new gen coming soon, but the "soon" was not soon enough for me . I was so impressed with the Laura that I wanted to buy it before the production stops (a little too much na? ). What I've realized through the 2 month exercise is that there are always pros and cons of a car, but finally one needs to buy what satisfies the heart. I took the risk because mine is a lease car, and I have the liberty to not think beyond 44 months of the leasing period.
Cheers!

Note from Team-bhp support: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the SAME THREAD!

Last edited by moralfibre : 20th January 2013 at 12:06. Reason: Back to back posts.
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Old 20th January 2013, 13:32   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

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Akshay is spot on. The Ambiente comes with 15-inch alloys stock (Pyxis IIRC). Across the Laura range, only the Elegance, L&K and vRS wear 16" alloys - although each of those 3 has a different design. Unless you swapped your 15 inchers for 16 after you bought the car.
The latest batch of diesel has the same design alloys as VRS - so does the dealer says. I'm waiting for mine. Will update if that is true.
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Old 20th January 2013, 15:20   #14
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Quote:
Is there a ready PDI checklist here? Any co-ordinates? I'm a newbie here
Thanks again.
Yes there is, and I can accompany you for it as well.

Last edited by moralfibre : 20th January 2013 at 15:45. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 20th January 2013, 16:07   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Laura Ownership review

That was a brilliant review Seacat.

As others have pointed out, the fuel economy you are getting is pretty good. Please do post some pics of your ride.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacat View Post
• Purchased on – 05 January 2013
• Mileage on delivery – 54 km
• Mileage till date – 27859 km
27,000 kilometers in less than a fortnight

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 20th January 2013 at 16:10.
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