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Old 13th February 2010, 01:59   #61
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Well, the pricing of the Laura 1.8 TSI is tempting.

I'm trying to convince dad to at least TD the car....Let's see...

If things work out, we might take a test drive next week. I hope the rear seat is comfortable enough while I enjoy the TD
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Old 13th February 2010, 10:32   #62
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Drove the Cedia Sports Advance again day before. And came away with mixed feelings.

Engine behaves somewhat similar to the Baleno. Good low end. Easy to putter around in 3rd with decent response if floored. Extremely silent car. AC is silent too.

What I found disconcerting was the steering ! Around 120-130 mark (my guesstimate since the speedo was disconnected - tacho was on) the steering became quite vague in the straight ahead position. 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock (roughly) was 'loose'. Not direct at all. Quick lane changes did not inspire confidence. Front felt floaty. Now this is something I've never heard about the Cedia. In fact I don't recall facing this in the earlier TD's.

Could this be a tyre issue? Or a tyre pressure issue? My Baleno had this floaty front end feel at 120 when I had bought it. Replacing the stock NCT5s with F1s solved the problem.

Must give it to the Austin Distributor sales person Soumitra. He almost pushed me to take the TD, and egged me on to drive the car anyway I wished. Willing to come with the car again and again for more TD's etc .. Much much more of a positive sales attitude compared to Shah Automobiles.

Btw, GPS was not working. He said GPS has not been configured, but will be. Going by Sidindica's new thread, it may not be present at all. I did not look out for the rear view cam. May not have been present, else he would surely have mentioned it.

Last edited by shuvc : 13th February 2010 at 10:33.
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Old 13th February 2010, 10:50   #63
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Looks like a lot of BHPians are now driven towards Laura TSi - a new trend is emerging. It is interesting - all Skoda did is a price reduction and a very aggressive advertisement campaign in web and in print media highlighting the reduction in price. Suddenly, people are no longer talking about poor A.S.S., dealer problems and all other complains that filled pages after pages in T-BHP - yet another proof that Indians are highly price sensitive and can forget everything else if the price is mouth-watering. I myself lost a few nights' sleep (and it is continuing) - my Indian mind says "go for it, it's a steal", while my rational mind says "none of the basic ground realities has changed except the price. Was it Rs 1 lac delta that prevented you to buy this car two months back ?" I still don't have an answer.
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Old 13th February 2010, 12:27   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabynag View Post
Looks like a lot of BHPians are now driven towards Laura TSi - a new trend is emerging. It is interesting - all Skoda did is a price reduction and a very aggressive advertisement campaign in web and in print media highlighting the reduction in price. Suddenly, people are no longer talking about poor A.S.S., dealer problems and all other complains that filled pages after pages in T-BHP - yet another proof that Indians are highly price sensitive and can forget everything else if the price is mouth-watering. I myself lost a few nights' sleep (and it is continuing) - my Indian mind says "go for it, it's a steal", while my rational mind says "none of the basic ground realities has changed except the price. Was it Rs 1 lac delta that prevented you to buy this car two months back ?" I still don't have an answer.
I'm still only THINKING about the Laura. Will see how the staff at Vinayak behave when we ask for a TD. I know it isnt a true indicator, but still...

Also, the reason we are now thinking of the 1.8 TSI is because before the price cut, I found the 1.8 too expensive for the features it had(sure, sure it made up with the engine, blah blah), but now, with the new price, it is really tempting.

However, I'm still very wary about Skoda. I hope to have a long talk with Ajmat and see if it is still worth it.

Anyone else here who has dealt with Vinayak over a period of time?
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Old 13th February 2010, 19:52   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Well, the pricing of the Laura 1.8 TSI is tempting.

I'm trying to convince dad to at least TD the car....Let's see...
Hmmm, I was kinda expecting this when I saw you asking about the One-touch feature on a couple of Laura threads

Will await your feedback.
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Old 13th February 2010, 21:43   #66
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Dad is so wary about the Skoda name.... He still hasnt agreed to the TD.

But he isnt looking at a driver's car. The NHC's ride quality and comfort has spoilt him. He is now looking at a chauffeur driven car and I hope the Laura is good enough!
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Old 22nd February 2010, 17:12   #67
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We took a TD of the 1.8 TSI today.

It's got a gem of an engine! It revs so freely, it's hard to believe it's a mechanical thing. Seriously, it's scary how quickly that thing revs!

The driver's seat is absolutely PERFECT! Beautiful lumbar, thigh and side support. Steering is adjustable for rake and reach and height.

I found the rear really comfortable as well. However, my dad drove the car first and when he shifted from the driver's seat to the back seat, he was not too comfortable.

The rear seat is slightly harder than the front. You wont realise unless you sit on both back to back.

The steering is good at high speeds, but couldnt really test it at more than 40 kmph because when we hit a somewhat high speed, it was in a straight line.

The TD was from Vinayak.

What I did not like was when I told them on the phone that I will be taking the car to NICE road, they didnt say a word. When the salesman drops in today with the car, he says it's against company policy to drive a TD car on NICE road. This is because a Superb 1.8 TSI was totalled there some time back.

I have no problem with their terms and conditions. What really pissed me off was no one told me earlier! I could have at least planned a different route to test the high speed capabilities of the car. Finally, we had to restrict ourselves to a max speed of about 80kmph and that too on a straight road.

We can make out the steering is good, but it's really not enough.

Anyway, apart from that, I loved the dozens of cubbyholes that abound in the Laura. Also, the way the door closes ios something you get ONLY from a German car.

The ride is brilliant. It's soft without being overly soft(like the NHC or Civic).

I totally loved the car. It pulls cleanly from 15kmph in 2nd gear. From 20kmph in 3rd.

However, mileage seems to be a concern. The sales exec was very honest and said that they have got feedback from customers that the mileage is usually between 7kmpl and 8kmpl.

Now, this is really low and will increase the TCO by a big amount. It might be worth it if I was driving it on a regular basis, but dad will be sitting in the rear seat most of the time.

The NVH levels are simply mindblowing. You dont even realise that the engine is running! However, rev it a bit and it makes a fantastic noise! I think it's the combination of the turbo and the engine.

The audio system has 8 speakers and it sounds REALLY good! Much better than the CIvic/Altis. It sounds really nice for an OEM setup.

A big big minus point of this car is the fact that the audio system doesnt have a remote! My dad will be in the back and a remote is ABSOLUTELY essential.

Is there any way we can hook up a small infra red reciever to the system and a remote? Most people may consider this as trivial, but for my dad it could be a total deal breaker. Mainly because while the 1.8TSI is an out and out driver's car, my dad will be in the back seat most of the time.

My mom also sat in the car and was very comfortable. She loved the car.

However, as of now, it looks like Skoda is out due to 3 main factors.

1). No remote for the audio system
2). Back seat is a little hard.
3). Low mileage.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 17:26   #68
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While you are at it, why not try out the Jetta 1.6 petrol and report your feedback?
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Old 22nd February 2010, 17:33   #69
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Jetta is ruled out. Underpowered, small, not really comfortable at the back and pricey for what you get.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 21:39   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Jetta is ruled out. Underpowered, small, not really comfortable at the back and pricey for what you get.
Did you personally check Jetta ? If not, you may check it out. For your requirements, Jetta may be a better fit than Laura. If you keep your eyes closed, then you may not find much difference in the rear seats of Jetta and Laura - except for the seat cover. If you open the eyes, Jetta may feel a notch better than Laura. Jetta is as small (or big) as Laura - you will not notice much difference in cabin space. On paper, Jetta is under-powered. But for all practical use models, it is mostly a non-issue. You may be a couple seconds slower in overtaking - does it really matter ? Is overspeeding a priority ?

Jetta, however, is ridiculously priced. That seems to be the biggest negative on Jetta.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 21:55   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
We took a TD of the 1.8 TSI today.

1). No remote for the audio system
2). Back seat is a little hard.
3). Low mileage.
1. Not sure about the remote part. Should be possible to have some
workaround.
2. Back seat is on the firmer side, but it is very comfortable.
3. Here are my mileage figures:
8.6, 9.7, 10 (with Extrapremium/Speed & 50% AC).

This car is all about the engine. So if you/your father is not driving, I am not sure if you should consider TSI. Why dont you go for Civic (it has audio controls on the rear armrest)? Again driver is going to enjoy more.
Or why not a Laura TDI PD with Elegance/L&K trim.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 22:57   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabynag View Post
Did you personally check Jetta ? If not, you may check it out. For your requirements, Jetta may be a better fit than Laura. If you keep your eyes closed, then you may not find much difference in the rear seats of Jetta and Laura - except for the seat cover. If you open the eyes, Jetta may feel a notch better than Laura. Jetta is as small (or big) as Laura - you will not notice much difference in cabin space. On paper, Jetta is under-powered. But for all practical use models, it is mostly a non-issue. You may be a couple seconds slower in overtaking - does it really matter ? Is overspeeding a priority ?

Jetta, however, is ridiculously priced. That seems to be the biggest negative on Jetta.
Budget doesnt extend to a Jetta 1.9. The Jetta 1.6 is really useless as it will soon be replaced with a bigger engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadas View Post
1. Not sure about the remote part. Should be possible to have some
workaround.
2. Back seat is on the firmer side, but it is very comfortable.
3. Here are my mileage figures:
8.6, 9.7, 10 (with Extrapremium/Speed & 50% AC).

This car is all about the engine. So if you/your father is not driving, I am not sure if you should consider TSI. Why dont you go for Civic (it has audio controls on the rear armrest)? Again driver is going to enjoy more.
Or why not a Laura TDI PD with Elegance/L&K trim.
Thanks a ton for your input! Highly appreciated!

Well, my father is very happy with the ride quality as well. The Laura 1.8 TSI makes great sense for us. It drives well(for the times when I drive it or during weekends when my dad drives it), it is comfortable at the back(both mom and dad were happy). Dad's only grouse was the slightly hard seat, but that isnt too much of a problem.

TDI PD is pointless! The only reason we're considering the Laura is because of the 1.8 TSI!

Civic is definitely on our shortlist.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 01:08   #73
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Nikhil,

So sorry man! I don't know why I hadn't come across your thread earlier!

Anyway, I must add to all this. Our '06 Civic has served us so well, we might not sell it ever! We absolutely love it! The ride and handling is pretty good (definitely not as good as the Cedia) and the interiors are remarkable! The driver's seating position is spot on and the engine is the sweetest thing! The power delivery is crisp and progressive and she's a looker; there is no doubt about that! We have little to complain. But I shall mention that 'little' that we complain about..

1) The boot could have been bigger. 405 liters in a large sedan is not acceptable!

2) The ground clearance is pathetic! With 4 adults and some luggage, it scrapes 7/10 speed breakers. It's a horrible feeling to feel each and every scrape, especially when you're doing long distances!

3) We were in a hurry to pick up our car and didn't wait for the 'V' so we missed out on the AUX port, leather seats and the repeaters on the ORVMs.

4) The Goodyears that come as OE with the Civic are horrible and need to be replaced!

IMO, the Civic is the best compromise. It offers the back-seat comfort that the Altis delivers and at the same time, is a sprightly performer and a good handler like the Cedia. It feels great to drive and I may not be surprised if your dad decides to take the wheel more often than not!

And oh, yeah, I believe the new Civic has an improved suspension setup and this helps when crawling over speed breakers. I'm told that the new Civic doesn't bottom out as often!

Oh, and do keep in mind that the Auto tranny is rubbish! The paddles are very slow and irritating. They don't give you that 'feel' that you might expect. The traditional 5-speed manual is a much better bet! The mileage that the manual delivers is better too!

Keep us updated!
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Old 23rd February 2010, 09:14   #74
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Quote:
) The Goodyears that come as OE with the Civic are horrible and need to be replaced!
That is kinda like preaching to the choir!

But I appreciate you listing out all your thoughts.

The version which you have didnt have AUX ports even in the V variant. It was provided only in the facelifted version.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 09:58   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
That is kinda like preaching to the choir!

But I appreciate you listing out all your thoughts.

The version which you have didnt have AUX ports even in the V variant. It was provided only in the facelifted version.
Aux port was added in around 2007-2008 update (the time when they added leather seats and ORVMS indicators) .. new facelift has USB in addition..
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