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Old 18th March 2011, 15:29   #1
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Default Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Hello Team BHPian’s,

It was time to say good bye to the hot hatch Swift which I had owned for 5 years now. While Swift was a fantastic car to drive with the family growing started my hunt for a larger saloon.
My initial budget was 11 Lacs and I quickly zeroed in on Honda City and Vento.

Honda City: Called for a test drive and the Honda guy’s responded quickly. Loved the City drive – very smooth. Found the high revving engine a delight. Yet was worried about the low ground clearance and the fact that Bangalore has enough speed brakes to qualify for staging the next Raid de Himalayas. Also found the dashboard silver garnish over board and tacky!

VW Vento: Called the VW showroom and was promised a test drive the next day. Waited all day but got no response. Thought the sales guy must have missed it out. Called up the showroom and was told they can’t send a car and insisted if I wanted a test drive I need to visit them. Agreed on a time and drove up to the showroom which is about 10 kms from my office. Reception asked me to be seated. Waited patiently for 10 mins only after which a sales guy walked up to me with what seemed like an arrogant swagger. I was already not liking dealing with these VW guys. Asked for a test drive only to be told they have no Vento’s for test drive. Was also told that the waiting period is 6 months and am I really interested with the long wait period. Immediately decided to drop Vento from the list.

Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI: Next day in office one of my mates suggested why don’t I try the Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI (rocket). It’s only two or three lacs more than the City but was told is an absolute delight to drive. Called Vinayak Skoda who very promptly arranged for a rocket to be test driven. Took a spin and already my eyes were exactly like the dude in Indigo Manza advt.
What a car! Huge on acceleration. The engine keeps you pushed back from 1500 RPM all the way till red line. Even before you know the needle is already in three digit speeds and rapidly climbing. Even at speeds in excess of 160 KMH found the car does not loose its composure and is absolutely sure footed. Also loved the interiors very functional, very high on quality, top notch fit and finish. I was completely sold.
Hey but hold on, being a Team BHP reader I had read enough horror stories about Skoda A.S.S. Which prompted me to reset my search and I started looking for cars in the 15 Lacs category.

Chevy Cruze: Again found the dealer to be very responsive. A test drive car was dispatched to my office promptly. Beautiful is the first thing which came to my mind when I first saw it. But when I drove it realized why someone on this group called this car “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. Very sluggish to begin with and then huge surge of power from 2000 RPM onwards. City driving was going to be a night mare in this car. Liked the loads and loads of features and gizmos. Found the interior tacky and over board. But the drive made me decide not to go for it. In the mean time my heart kept nudging me to go for the Laura TSI.

Honda Civic: How can I miss TDing the bigger Honda the Civic? Was a Saturday and decided to go to the showroom on Hosur road. TAFE Access Skoda was next door to the Honda showroom which meant I would be able to do a back to back comparo of the two cars before deciding. Note my heart was still heavily leaning towards the Laura TSI.
Honestly loved the Civic every bit. Great interiors. Absolutely smooth drive. Fantastic back seat layout. Even after the number of years its been on Indian roads it still looks great. And off course you cant go wrong with a Honda. Made up my mind on buying the Civic. Wifey loved it. Team BHP reviews also told me to go for it. But how could I not TD the Laura again so immediately dropped into the Skoda showroom.

Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI and then 2.0 TDi CR: Here I was back in a Skoda land. TDed the Laura TSI and between the battle of Heart and Mind, the heart was clearly winning. What the heck you only have “One Life to Drive”!
The sales person asked me have I tried the diesel version. Was told this is the new CR engine and is almost as smooth and enjoyable as the petrol engines. I was already vary of the diesel after my Cruze TD. Knew the turbo lag would suck but never the less wanted to be good to the sales person. After all had to negotiations were pending ?. So out I took the diesel for a spin and surprise surprise, found it to be almost as capable as the TSI. Not as fast but solid yes off course. Finally what clinched the deal in favour of the Diesel Laura was the resale value vs that of petrol. Suddenly the newest contender seemed to be winning!

Went back home. Could not sleep all night unable to decide between the mind which was in favour of Honda Civic (relabality, better A.S.S), heart in favour of Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI (rocket). Finally ended up walking the middle path. Rationalized with the frugal fuel costs on a diesel Laura will go on long drives more and more.
Come Monday called both Vinayak Skoda and Tafe Access asked for the best deal on Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente. Found Tafe to be more aggressive in discounting and went for it.

To summarize following factors made me decide in favour of Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente:
  1. Solid build
  2. Frugal Diesel yet Silent Diesel. Claimed mileage of 13 Kmpl in City and 117 to 18 on highways
  3. Absolutely top notch fit and finish
  4. As per BHPian’s having one of the best Skoda A.S.S in town i.e., Vinayaka Skoda
  5. Huge boot, remember the search began because of the need for a bigger car
  6. Amazing drive both in City and on the Highway. All my TDs were on NICE, Hosur road and Bannerghatta Road.
  7. Excellent resale value for the diesel
  8. Knowledge that Laura’s are extremely mod friendly (but have to wait for the warranty to be over)
  9. 4 years extended warranty from Skoda. Reliability or rather perceived lack of it taken care
  10. Online search showing Skoda’s consistently winning reliability awards in the UK and elsewhere. This point finally convinced me that it was a rather well built and reliable car marred only marred by the bad A.S.S. experience a few among us had to endure.
I have driven the car about 3000 KMS in the first three months of owner ship and have found the ownership so far fabulous. Have been consistently getting 13 to 14 kmpl in the City and 20 kmpl on the highway!

I hope some of you will find this review useful. I promise to continue sharing my driving experiences here.

Cheers

PS:
  1. Again I do not want to take anything away from the two Hondas (City and Civic) which are both beautiful and capable cars. I also hope sooner than later VW dealers will get their act together.
  2. Thanks to posts from Akki_5, anandbhat, Sam Kapasi, GTO and others which were all useful inputs in the decision making process.
  3. Thanks to posts from mhk, Rudra Sen, nirmaljustdoit I am loving the car detailing routine.
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Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.-tbhp.jpg  


Last edited by mobike008 : 18th March 2011 at 17:37. Reason: Please stick to 2 Smileys per post rule. Read the board rules before proceeding further. Thanks!
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Old 18th March 2011, 16:16   #2
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Congratulations on the new purchase Rohit. Skoda definitely makes really good cars but their torrid after sales service reputation has kept potential (Fabia in my case) buyers like me away. Please do update your thread on the service experiences as and when they happen.
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Old 18th March 2011, 16:31   #3
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Thanks Niel.

While the first service seems to be away (15,000 KMS). I happened to visit the service center once to get Auto Lock enabled. VAGCOM customization.

My experience was pleasant. I was promptly attended to and without any fuss the service personal connect the VAG COM cable checked for any errors found nothing and then enabled auto lock. No fees charged and i drove back happily.

But i do wonder about Skoda's wisdom in not enabling such a basic safety feature especially when it costs them nothing incrementally.

So far as the car is concerned I have zero regrets. Its an absolute delight to drive. The wife loves it. The kids also love being driven around in it. It feels like a church inside despite the cacophony the the Indian roads are!
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Old 18th March 2011, 18:17   #4
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Congrats buddy. Great car. I have always liked the Laura.Whats the ex showroom and final OTR price?

Any loan? Or just used moolah...If you are comfortable sharing it though!
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Old 18th March 2011, 19:46   #5
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

hey,
firstly thanks for so many inputs and detailing you have taken time and given your post.

Further, I did book one yesterday but was not sure if the decision I, made was correct. However, my options were comparatively few (laura / cruze / used beamer).

But after going through the views and details on your post from most senior members on team-bhp, I feel the choice made is the best in that budget.

Just to add to the points of comparison between the Laura & The Cruze:
Even though the dash of the laura is not equipped with frills, I personally feel it looks more classy than the cruze, plus gives a much best drive.

What really go in for the car was the when I drove my friends laura (driven about 24,500kms), the drive felt solid, smooth, quiet and the engine has an amazing output in terms of power (the 140bhp powered engine seems really good.)

The only 1thing I, think should be added by default from Skoda are:
a. Automatic Sunroof: adds to the luxury feel of the car- what say.?

Last edited by aah78 : 18th March 2011 at 19:58. Reason: Text format tags removed.
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Old 18th March 2011, 19:51   #6
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Congrats! I was soooo tempted to go for the Laura 2.0 TDI DSG. 140 BHP and that gearbox is to die for. But it was out of budget so ended up with "poor cousin" VW Vento. I am sorry to hear your VW dealership experience but believe me it hasn't been that muh better for any of us here!


Assume you got the 110 BHP MT version? Please post more pics and updates.
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Old 18th March 2011, 20:26   #7
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Congrats on the Laura.Looks nice in this color.Sensible choice .Drive her safe.Do update with lots of pics
Sreehari
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Old 18th March 2011, 20:50   #8
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Enjoy your ride. Give us feed back after 10,000 kms.
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Old 18th March 2011, 21:16   #9
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Congratulations Rohit! The Silver Laura look so elegant, and that was quite a clean decision making.

Is this with the DSG box, or the manual version?

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Old 20th March 2011, 19:46   #10
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Good or bad A.S.S, the Europeans have a knack of striking a chord with the heart and this is no different.

Congrats on the car and only one pic doesn't do justice!

Happy mile crunching.
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Old 20th March 2011, 20:29   #11
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Congratulations and welcome to the TBHP-Laura-owners-club-Bangalore-chapter ;-)

The car hits the sweet-spot for price, city maneuverability, comfort, driving pleasure and fuel economy.

Happy motoring and drive safe!
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Old 21st March 2011, 09:53   #12
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Happy Holi to all the TBHPians. Hope you had a special one.

Thanks everyone for the wishes on my new car and for reading the post. I forgot to mention my thanks to Raveendra from Hyd and Nikhilv12 from Kerela for their posts also influenced my car buying decision in a +ve way.

The car I have is a 110 BHP, MT. The bells and whistles in the higher specs did not appeal me. I was also clear about owning a MT although I agree the DSG box is special.

I got a decent deal i would imagine with OTR in Bangalore for the MT Ambiente of about 16.3 Lacs inclusive of 2 years extended warranty + 3M Sun Film + Stanley Leather Interiors.

I will be back with more on Car Delivery expereince, diet the car is on, my driving experience so far, car detailing routine and the expenses so far. So stay tuned..

Cheers.

Last edited by Jaggu : 21st March 2011 at 10:00. Reason: Removing [Font] tags, please avoid copy paste from external font editors. Also do a Preview before Submitting posts. Thanks
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Old 21st March 2011, 11:20   #13
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohitm View Post

I got a decent deal i would imagine with OTR in Bangalore for the MT Ambiente of about 16.3 Lacs inclusive of 2 years extended warranty + 3M Sun Film + Stanley Leather Interiors.

I will be back with more on Car Delivery expereince, diet the car is on, my driving experience so far, car detailing routine and the expenses so far. So stay tuned..
Stanley leather interiors as well! That sounds promising. Awaiting for some interior pics
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Old 21st March 2011, 19:16   #14
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Hey Rohitm Congratulations on your purchase. A beautiful car with a beautiful color looks just mind blowing. Waiting to see the interior pics as well.
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Old 21st March 2011, 19:29   #15
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Default Re: Tug of war between the heart and mind. Win-Win Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI CR Ambiente.

Thats a nice car to own. Congrats on the purchase. Have you faced any GC issues driving around in Bangalore? Any highway trips yet? Are you using normal or Hi Speed Diesel?

A few Laura owners have had rattles from the rear. Have you faced any of these?
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