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Old 2nd April 2011, 08:10   #1
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Default My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Got my new Arctic Breeze Skoda Laura yesterday... and what a car!!!

Here is the complete story. I was driving a Hyundai Verna March 2007 1.6Xi until yesterday. I loved that car like anything... it had been with me for exactly 4 years... and served me extremely well. A few days back I got the 50,000 kilometre service done, and it started giving me trouble immediately after. The AC conked off 3 times, the power windows conked off among other problems. Had been looking for reasons to upgrade for a while... so this seemed like a good enough reason to do so... :-)

TD-ed several cars
- Linea T-Jet - just about as powerful as my Verna, so no real upgrade here apart from the fact that interior quality is BAD
- Vento - WOW!!! what an engine!! This car is a beast, but with such Horrible interiors, I am surprised it is selling as well as the ANHC. By now you guys must have guessed that interiors are a high priority for me :-)
- Chevy Cruze - what acceleration. This car has too much power and amazing character. But I had 2 problems... one, it has no dead pedal... I am too used to one. And two, the clutch is terrible. Such a strong kickback means that everytime I drive the car my left leg will hurt like hell. And I ignored the turbo lag here not calling it a problem assuming I can get used to it. The new interiors are MUCH better than the earlier ones, but the above two points decided this for me that I wouldn't buy the Cruze
- Tata Aria - yes, it is not a sedan and hence a strange choice, but still, I drove it. Good car - miles above earier Tatas, but too big and some small irritants which would always be visible
- Skoda Laura - TD-ed the Elegance AT version. Was most impressed with this car. Such an amazing build. Felt like I am in a warship. Whatever the speed may be the car feels like it has Fevicol on its tyres... sticks all the way. I tried up till 175km/h. The overall quality sitting inside it is amazing. Everything feels like it fits and it is exactly where it belongs

Overall I was down to choosing between the Cruze and the Laura. I know lots of people know what I was going through as I have seen countless cases of people asking exactly this... Cruze or Laura?

So I evaluated between both cars based on my priority listing:
- Engine performance - I felt the Laura is a more silent performer than the Cruze. The Cruze has the faster acceleration, but a HUGE turbo lag. Driving in traffic is a nightmare. Laura's turbo kicks in at 1500rpm which is achieved fairly quickly, but waiting for 2000 for the Cruze to wake up consistently seemed to be troublesome. Both engines are refined, but overall I trust VW much more than I trust Chevy
- Safety and stability - Both have 2 airbags and all standard safety features like ABS, ASR etc.
- Interiors - Laura anyday. It oozes class compared to the Chevy which is very very low on space - both headroom and rear legroom
- Others - Laura gives a 4 years warranty with one year of roadside assistance, which is much better compared to chevy's standard warranty which does not include the 3 year promise as with other Chevy cars

Thus the decision was clear - I was going in for the Laura. Now for the ownership report.

Have driven it for around 350 kilometres so far. It is one of the most amazing experiences I have had. Too many positives:
- Firstly, it does not at all eel like a diesel engine. It feels like I am sitting in a petrol car - I can hardly hear the engine
- Ultimate comfort - Be it the seats, the space, the overall package of the Laura is just too good. There are small nicknacks for everything
- Storage space everywhere you look - under the passenger seat, on both sides of the driver, above your head, below the dash, under the music system... everywhere you think something can be stored there is a provision to store
- Driving - very very smooth to press the pedal. 1500 rpm comes fairly quickly, so there is just no turbo lag. It is like the moment you start the car, it is ready to take of. The drive is very smooth with hardly any outside noise coming in, and all controls being very intuitive. Braking is excellent
- Safety and stability - the car sticks to the road no matter what. Add the airbags, the "thud" of the door closing, the unwillingness to leave the road and the amazingly strong build and there cannot be a car with a bigger reassurance of a safe ride
- Music system - the Skoda Swing audio player is very nice. There are 8 speakers and the sound is awesome to say the least. The only drawback is there is no remote for it
- Side mirrors - my Verna had very wide side mirrors, could see almost 3 lanes on each side of the car (I live just off the Greater Noida expressway, so can see 3 lanes on each side fairly regularly). However, the Laura has a weird right ORVM. It seems like it is a regular mirror (not a convex one as usually is used for outside mirrors), so visibility on the side is fairly minimal. Anyone knows the reason for this? The left one is fine, the inside rearview mirror is fine. I know there has to be some concept behind this right ORVM being a normal mirror as even the test drive vehicle had the same issue. At the time I thought that their mirror may have broken, but just because it is a TD vehicle, maybe the guys at Nawab Motors were being stingy :-)
- Fuel Economy - on a full tank, the distance to refuelling shows me around 800 km of distance (on a 55 litre tank) - so I guess it is claiming a ~15km/l average. Howeer, with some driving this comes slightly down. My guess it that initially it will give me some 12 km/l in the city which will improve eventually. Not sure of the highway efficiency yet.. Interestingly this car shows what is the consumption rate at any point in time - it shows the litres to be used per 100 kilometres. Whenever I am on the fifth gear and driving around 80 km/h, it shows me an average of 3litres/100 kilometres... which is like 33 km/l!!!!! Too good to be true or is it real?

Net net... this is one of the best cars around in the market today... am looking forward to driving this for the very long term... yet to see the A.S.S. and spare costs etc... but maybe will have that in the long term report. :-)
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Old 2nd April 2011, 10:13   #2
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

kgkaran-congrats for your new car!!
even i upgraded from verna to the laura so all the small issues that you are facing right now like the right side ORVM not being convex et all have also been faced by me but in the due course of time you will gt used to them because laura as a car has so much more to offer.
How about some pics now?????
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Old 2nd April 2011, 10:22   #3
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

The Laura is my fav car in the 15-20 lac INR segment. If kept well, it should easily serve you for 100-150kms without any hassle.

The ltrs/km is accurate but the figures are refreshed at specific intervals and what you see are the figures for some very frugal instant of time.

But yes, you can easily expect 20kmpl with sane driving on the highway.

One question: Do you think that the rear seat is as spacious for three as your Verna's?
Please put up your price break up and lots of pictures.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 16:13   #4
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
One question: Do you think that the rear seat is as spacious for three as your Verna's?
Please put up your price break up and lots of pictures.
A very good question. The backseat is DEFINITELY not spacious enough for 3 people to sit in, as the person in the middle will be discomforted by the rear AC vents as well as the big hump in the middle (which I forgot to mention in my review). For my case I will rarely have 3 people at the back so not much of a worry.

Having said that, if I compare it to the Verna, the Verna also didn't fit 3 people at the back comfortably. The Verna doesn't have even a decent legroom at the back so all 3 people are typically uncomfortable. In the Laura, it is just the middle person who is uncomfortable; at least the guys at the sides are happy and comfy :-) So much better of the two. Another point for me is that my middle seat is where my daughter's car seat is placed, so the hump is the least of the worries as other people can sit only at the sides which are fine...


The ex showroom price for me was Rs 13,94,130. Adding road tax, insurance, Skoda Shield and loading charges etc. the total price came to approximately Rs 15,71,000. I got a few discounts, including:
- My wife works for a company that is eligible for Skoda corporate discount of Rs 35,000
- Got a cash discount of Rs 28000
- Convinced the dealer to let me take my insurance separately on my own - he was not allowing me for that earlier as Skoda has a deal with Bajaj Allianz and ONLY against a Bajaj Allianz insurance do we get a Skoda Shield. I pestered him and negotiated hard and he eventually made some calls and said he got an exception for me to go for insurance from outside and that the Skoda Shield would be given anyways. Getting my insurance from outside got me a better discount (got it done through someone known, so saved another Rs 8,000)
- Plus there was some UP specific VAT of approx. Rs 20,000 that I managed to get him to waive off. Managed to do it as the car's temp number was from Delhi, so given that he took his car delivery in Delhi, he didn't pay that VAT anyways

There was a negotiation that spread over around a week to get to these points cumulative (a friend of mine who is a master-negotiator was kind enough to help). After all this, the on road price for me came to be Rs 14.68 lakh - total discount of approx. Rs 97,000.

Pics coming soon :-)
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Old 2nd April 2011, 18:30   #5
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

"- Side mirrors - my Verna had very wide side mirrors, could see almost 3 lanes on each side of the car (I live just off the Greater Noida expressway, so can see 3 lanes on each side fairly regularly). However, the Laura has a weird right ORVM. It seems like it is a regular mirror (not a convex one as usually is used for outside mirrors), so visibility on the side is fairly minimal. Anyone knows the reason for this? The left one is fine, the inside rearview mirror is fine. I know there has to be some concept behind this right ORVM being a normal mirror as even the test drive vehicle had the same issue. At the time I thought that their mirror may have broken, but just because it is a TD vehicle, maybe the guys at Nawab Motors were being stingy :-)"

kgkaran, I have a theory, which might explain this.
Laura would've been originally designed as a Left-Hand Drive, and hence the usual comb. of convexities for ORVMs. On conversion to Right-Hand Drive, the convexities of ORVMs was not swapped (Cost-Cutting, Ignorance ?) and hence, in Indian setup (Right-Hand Drive), the mirror setup appears wierd, to say the least.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 21:03   #6
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Hey Karan, congrats man .
Im sure if you would have bought the same here @ blore it would have atleast cost you a lac more than what you paid.
Our neighbour has a white skoda luara and boy it surely looks beautiful.
Im sure you will enjoy this diesel experience ,also hoping you have a wonderful time with your new ride.
Do you plan to get some extra accessories for ride ?

All the best .
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Old 3rd April 2011, 10:46   #7
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by anupamjain2k View Post
"Laura would've been originally designed as a Left-Hand Drive, and hence the usual comb. of convexities for ORVMs. On conversion to Right-Hand Drive, the convexities of ORVMs was not swapped (Cost-Cutting, Ignorance ?) and hence, in Indian setup (Right-Hand Drive), the mirror setup appears wierd, to say the least.
:-). Nice theory Anupam, however, I would tend to disagree. The car has so many tiny nick nacks that are amazingly well thought through... you can see that the designers have thought of the smallest of things while making the car... things like a ticket holder on the windscreen, teeny tiny (but more than sufficient) storage spaces wherever the hand can reach, the car charger spot being at a place where the wires wont interfere with gear shifts, sliding and movable mid-arm rest and many many more...

My guess is that it was left as normal so there would be a bit of a caution in the driver's mind while changing lanes as in India we tend to shift here and there as per will and not as per what should be safe... but again, will do some research and post here in case I find out the real reason...
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Old 3rd April 2011, 10:52   #8
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
Hey Karan, congrats man .
Im sure if you would have bought the same here @ blore it would have atleast cost you a lac more than what you paid.
Our neighbour has a white skoda luara and boy it surely looks beautiful.
Im sure you will enjoy this diesel experience ,also hoping you have a wonderful time with your new ride.
Do you plan to get some extra accessories for ride ?

All the best .
Thanks buddy. Have lived in Bangalore for 2 years... in fact I Was first considering the Verna in Bangalore and moved to Noida before the plans materialized... at that time (2007) the price difference just for the Verna was about Rs 85000 on road... so the Laura would be not 1 lac but about 1.5 lac more expensive today . Lucky me!!

No accessories planned for now... any good suggestions?
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Old 3rd April 2011, 11:49   #9
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Congratulations! I love MT on Laura diesel - you will get phenomenal mileage once you start learning to drive for mileage. Read up about "Pulse and Guide" technique. It gives great mileage even when you are in the mood for some josh!

accessories: A/C is not that strong, so you might want to consider sun film. I am managing without sun film in Bangalore weather, but it bothers me occasionally especially when the car is parked in the sun for sometime.

Happy motoring and drive safe!
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Old 4th April 2011, 06:47   #10
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

@ androdev-
i think what you are talking about is the 'Pulse and glide' technique!! :-)
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Old 4th April 2011, 10:11   #11
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Congratulations on your new car. Pics awaited. Saved some major $ too (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...les-delhi.html (25% additional tax on diesel vehicles in Delhi))

You Test drove an AT and bought an MT?
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Old 4th April 2011, 10:46   #12
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Excellent buy Karan, congratulations!!!
Looks like the Skoda is coming out of the bad publicity cloud, and claiming back the lost ground.

Expecting to see some pictures as well
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Old 4th April 2011, 17:21   #13
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

im going through the same dilemma you are right now.

cruze at or laura at.

apart from the fact that the cruze has 150 bhp on tap and is slightly cheaper. its the laura that wins on all other accounts.

one question though. what all features does the ambiente come with?
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Old 4th April 2011, 18:09   #14
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by RECOMPOSE View Post
Congratulations on your new car. Pics awaited. Saved some major $ too (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...les-delhi.html (25% additional tax on diesel vehicles in Delhi))

You Test drove an AT and bought an MT?
Thanks buddy! Yes, i TD-ed anAT because that is the only TD vehicle they had. However, I also insisted on TDing the MT as I refused to purchase without a TD. So they pulled out a MT from unsold cars and let me do a TD. In fact that is the very piece that I have purchased. :-)
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Old 6th April 2011, 19:33   #15
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Default Re: My all new Skoda Laura Ambiente 2.0 MT diesel

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Originally Posted by Snowman79 View Post
one question though. what all features does the ambiente come with?
I'll answer this the other way around... I'll tell you what the Ambiente DOESN'T come with:
- 16 inch alloys
- Dual zone automatic climate control
- Leather seats
- Remote closing ORVMs
- Heated seats

Everything else is there in the Ambiente compared to the Elegance.
In my personal view, none of the above features (or even all of them together) justify a 2 lakh rupees price difference. I will happily put leather seats separately and live without the alloys. The remote closing ORVMs are more of a nuisance as parking agents etc try to shut them with their hands ending up breaking them in the process - end result - Skoda gets hammered in public opinion forums for high spare costs etc. :-)

The Ambiente is priced same as the Cruze LT (manual). My advice - don't go for the Cruze maual - the clutch has a STRONG kickback and it will make your let leg ache by the time you are through with a drive.

In the AT division, I have heard endless GOOD reviews of the DSG compared to the Cruze AT.
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