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Old 20th August 2010, 13:58   #31
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abhishek i'll let you know the no.1 guy in Delhi i know who has his own skoda garage now and was earlier the senior guy in skoda service. He takes care of my vRS.
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Old 20th August 2010, 14:21   #32
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Originally Posted by v.anand View Post
^^@sgiitk, the test drive car which came was a pre-facelift model and the sales person mentioned there was no change in the rear suspension settings. During the drive, it did manage to hit a couple of breakers, which in our mind is the biggest deal-breaker, keeping aside all the better things Laura offers for equivalent price. Also, considering the ignorance of sales person about change in settings, wonder why Honda doesn't advertise this much and doesn't offer post-facelift versions for official test-drives.
You can get a post face-lift V-MT version for TD from Dakshin Honda. It is clearly better than the old model in terms of bottom scrapping. I tried both cars during my TD. The AT model they had was a pre face-lift model. The sales guy there also agreed that the new model dont scrape on the humps he come across in his area as compared to older model.
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Old 20th August 2010, 14:33   #33
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Laura is an awesome car! Just go for it...
You cannot comapre it with Civic except the service.
Let us know once you have made the kill!!!
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Old 20th August 2010, 15:00   #34
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I was in the same dilemma for a while. Like you, I too had been used to the reliability of a Jap car (Baleno) for the preceding 4-5 years and the Maruti after sales experience.

Some Calcutta forum members I know, own Skoda's and have not really had major problems with their cars. Workshop service has had some complaints but it was a mixed feedback. There were obviously a lot of Skoda's plying on the roads. So yes, if they were selling, things may not be THAT bad, I told myself. Also on the forum itself, there are quite a few very happy Skoda owners with reliable ownership and after sales experiences.

But I needed peace of mind, since I planned to keep the new purchase for 7-8 years surely.

What tilted the equation majorly towards the Civic was that from whatever reports/feedback I had read/heard of .. it seemed, to me, that the CHANCES of something going wrong with a Skoda car or Skoda A/S/S were higher than that of the Civic.

It boils down to how high in the priority list, peace of mind is, for you.
I want to take time to appreciate your UNBIASED and RATIONAL way of thinking. I agree when you say that the CHANCES of one going wrong with a Euro sedan are more than a Jap sedan. However, as much as I love tbhp, I have seen our fellow members bashing SKODA without even having any idea about them. I have driven quite few Skoda cars, and all of them are fantastic.

Now, that does not mean that I am trying to un-necessarily take Skoda's side. I mean, there can be no smoke without a fire! So, I believe our fellas when they describe the horror stories. Guys even are taking VW in the same breadth as Skoda. I know that they are from same stable, but the management is different. I think its when people start talking about things that they have little clue about, its taking things too far. I think that Skoda A.S.S is BAD but may not be AS BAD as some of us portray it to be.

To be brutally hones, I strongly think that a lot of Skoda issues are due to their bad dealers and the company's control over them (or the lack of it; or may be they have a blind eye to it). So, if you land yourself a decent dealer (backed by confirmations from our fellas, then there is nothing that should stop you from buying a laura.

BTW, I love the CIVIC too. there is no way that Laura can match the low slung design and cockpit feel of the Honda.

whichever way you go, two crackerjacks they are!
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Old 20th August 2010, 15:34   #35
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If you are in Delhi, you can buy the Laura from Silvertone Okhala. They have a very nice service advisor, Mr. Naidu. Also their Service in charge Mr. Ajit is ok. Befriend these two guys, and your car will be well looked after. It doesn't take much - kaise ho Naidu saab? - and some small talk when you visit them.
I bought my RS from them and had no complaints in servicing etc. for 4 years untill I moved out from NCR.
Heck, they even got me a free xenon bulb from Skoda as goodwill replacement when one blew after the warranty was over.

The civic is a yawn compared to Laura and Honda dealers in Delhi NCR are pretty crappy. (first hand experience at Southend Honda and Ring Road Honda)
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Old 21st August 2010, 10:57   #36
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Like the others, we were in the same quandary when we bought the Altis 4 months back. The other contendors were Civic and Laura TSi. Having TD'ed all the 3 cars, must say the Laura was easily the best of the 3. Excellent TSi engine, brilliant handling, superb gear shifts and supreme pickup/acceleration. If not for the bad reputation of Skoda and commonly known niggling reliability issues, we might have gone for it.

The Civic or Altis makes more sense if you plan to retain the car for few years. Service-wise, both Toyota & Honda are known to be miles ahead of Skoda. At the end of the day, if your quest is for pure performance only, the Laura wins hands down. If you want better peace of mind after spending 14L, the Altis or Civic is an automatic choice.

I have echoed practically the same thoughts as the others above me have.

P.S.: The Altis may not interest you as you already own a Corolla and might be looking for a change.

Last edited by fuel_addict : 21st August 2010 at 11:00.
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Old 21st August 2010, 11:24   #37
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no doubt what most people have said in here is true - Laura is the enthusiast's car. Go for it if you want thrills.
Undoubtedly correct. But since i have driven the Tsi and i own the civic let me just remind you. Though the Laura is a trailblazer, the civic by no means is a slouch. Ofcourse, compare it to the laura and you might not be very happy with the specs but keeping in mind that the Laura is better for spirited driving, i would go on to say that the civic TOO, is an enthusiasts car ! What most term as low seating, i feel that is quite an asset and the driving position is extremely sporty and truly gives a feel of being in a fighter cockpit. ( am 6 ft 1 n have had no issues with seating) The seating position itself goes some way in assuring you that you are in complete control of the car at high speeds.
Basically, what im trying to say here is, there is no point in comparing 160BHP to 132BHP
The 132BHP vtec engine is extremely rev happy in isolation and will go a long way in giving you all the driving joy you need. ( First hand experience - I have the civic ever since it launched in 2006 and i have clocked 200kph on the expressway multiple times & also driven it extremely spiritedly on Mum-Goa ghats. No issues whatsoever and loads of fun
So if the skoda A.S.S is a factor that is scaring you and keeping you in a dilemma then why not just go for the civic ? Might not be as fun but you sure can drive fast in it,......SERIOUSLY FAST ! Besides, the Honda network and service will also give you extreme piece of mind and a trouble free ownership

Last edited by PlatzdaTurbo : 21st August 2010 at 11:26.
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Old 21st August 2010, 12:23   #38
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If i were in your position, and had to choose between the Laura and Civic. I would listen to my head , and choose Civic. Simply, because the very criteria that is paramount in our mind when it comes to buying a new car is its After sales service. We dont sell a car we bought earlier, unless its time for engine O/H or we have been running it for atleast a decade. So, to us the thing that is of vital importance to us is after sales service, availability of parts etc and on this criteria skoda fails. Therefore, if it were to me i would buy the Civic.
Inspite of the fact that in everything , including features , technology etc. the Laura may be head and shoulders above Civic. But when i see that the model name Laura is preceded by that Company name 'Skoda' . The very name brings about the recollection of the bad experiences many skoda car owners have gone through, whose experinces have been laid bare in quite detail on this forum. Its just that, after hearing those bad experiences; the decision to buy a skoda car becomes difficult to accept. Yet, i dont mean to say that skoda cars are bad, its just that its dealer network and its ASC have let down the skoda brand to such an extent that the company 's name here becomes synonymous with bad after sales service, bad experiences etc. It is to an extent a fact(Region specific in India): That the reputation of Skoda Auto is being buried under the in-adequacies of its dealers.

Nevertheless, If you still are bent on buying Laura.Before buying, take counsel from those T-Bhpians around NCR and Delhi who have already bought Shoda cars.
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Old 21st August 2010, 20:12   #39
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Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
My Laura Tsi has done @5500KM (bought in Feb 2010).
what else?
If you make the decision in favour of Laura, whenever you are feeling low or not happy with something, just grab the driver's seat, hold the nice steering and drive off. Real mediation!

Cheers!
Well, could not have said it better !
BTW I did not have any significant oil consumption but kept a can of Shell Helix to be on the safe side.
For the misting , I put a tape during the monsoon season on the vent close to the windshield.
Other than a minor squeak (solved with a spray ) and the rear bulb failing ( indicated by the warning indicator) I have not had any problem. I agree with your build quality comments ...
Ravi
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Old 21st August 2010, 23:16   #40
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I agree with PlatzdaTurbo's assessment, I too have driven, both the Laura Tsi, and own a Honda Civic, and to be perfectly honest, the Laura is slightly more fun than the Civic. However there are various points going for the Civic and against the Laura.

For starters you mention ease-of-mind in the thread title itself, leading me to assume that is a VERY important factor, and a factor where the Skoda falls short. There are a number of Skoda owners who are very happy with their cars, but also a very large number who have faced problems.
As Abhi_Automobile said, there can be no smoke without fire, and the percentage chance of you having problems with the Laura are higher than the percentage chance of you facing issues with the Civic.

Some members have stated that the Civic may have problems with low ground clearance when fully loaded with 5 passengers plus luggage, due the the soft rear suspension, but that problem has been rectified with the new jewel tail-light civic models.

Coming to the positive points of the Civic, as an owner I can assure you, it is an incredibly fun car to drive. The handling is sharp and precise, and gives excellent feedback. Body roll is minimal due to the low stance, and the 1.8L i-Vtec is an incredibly free revving engine, happy to go all the way up to the cars redline without a fuss.
The car does have a severe lack of low-end torque, which can be slightly irritating in bumper to bumper traffic, but once you get used to it, you learn to compensate by giving it more gas, so the problem is bearable. If you really want, you can get an engine-remap done.

The low seating gives you an extremely sporty feeling when driving, and back support is superb. I am 6' and my dad is 5'9" and both of us have been very happy with the level of comfort while driving over long distances. The extendible centre armrest is a huge bonus.
5 people can sit very comfortably in a Civic, due the the flat rear footwell, wheras there are reports the the Laura lacks shoulder room in the back (please confirm this with other Laura owners).
The Laura does however have a MUCH bigger boot. If you go to see the size of that thing in person, its absolutely massive compared to the Civics.

Other factors to be considered are that Honda After Sales Service is reportedly much better than Skoda's, and that the Civic should have lower ownership costs, and its spares are cheaper.

I hope I haven't confused you more, and I would like to congratulate for whichever car you do end up buying.

For more information, read GTO's opinions on his own Civic, much more detailed and in depth than my mini-review.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...nda-civic.html (Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic)

Last edited by kadanaJ : 21st August 2010 at 23:23.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 16:01   #41
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I agree with PlatzdaTurbo's assessment, I too have driven, both the Laura Tsi, and own a Honda Civic, and to be perfectly honest, the Laura is slightly more fun than the Civic. However there are various points going for the Civic and against the Laura.
Here's a perspective from some one who was in exactly the same situation and bought the TSi:

Laura IMHO is not just slighthly more fun than the civic - its dazzling especially if you do a back to back test drive.
I am still dazzled by the engines responsiveness and torque from close to 1500 RPM even with 4 persons in the car. In a back to back test drive , Civic was woefully short on this aspect. The steering is more responsive though lighter compared to the Civic - I actually liked the Civics slightly heavier steering.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kadanaJ View Post
There are a number of Skoda owners who are very happy with their cars, but also a very large number who have faced problems.
As Abhi_Automobile said, there can be no smoke without fire, and the percentage chance of you having problems with the Laura are higher than the percentage chance of you facing issues with the Civic.
Most owners of the earlier Laura (diesel) including those in my own society I talked to did have problems with the AC compressor. Ironically none of them talked ill of the car ! In fact one of them went in for a Superb after the Laura. So it's not all black and white.

The AC compressor is a known issue and discussed in Skoda forums in UK as well . I knew what I was getting into --I rationalized it this way - I have spent comparable amounts on a GM Optra ater the first 3 years - I believe its a risk I can live with. The Skoda garage (JMD) is in my experience (far) better than the GM workshops I have dealt with.

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Originally Posted by kadanaJ View Post
5 people can sit very comfortably in a Civic, due the the flat rear footwell, wheras there are reports the the Laura lacks shoulder room in the back (please confirm this with other Laura owners).
The Laura does however have a MUCH bigger boot. If you go to see the size of that thing in person, its absolutely massive compared to the Civics.
The Laura rear seat is cramped compared to the Civic - the AC rear vent and the tunnel in the middle make it virtually a 4 seater. But then I stopped sitting in the rear seat after the TSi and dispensed with the driver . It is so good if you love driving .

Seriously - if you want a comfortable, enthusisatic , low risk car , Civic it is . You cant go wrong.

But if you love driving and love the glorious note when revving to the redline, and the responsiveness of the steering and the car is not meant as a family work horse, you really should go for a TSi. Yes the AC could be a problem 2 years down the line. But the sheer driving pleasure in the 2 years will more than offset the risks ( atleast I am counting on it). I am told there is a 4 year maintenance warranty ( or 2 year extension supported by Bajaj insurance) now. Driveability, performance - make no mistake, the TSi makes mincemeat of the Civic .
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Old 22nd August 2010, 19:22   #42
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But if you love driving and love the glorious note when revving to the redline, and the responsiveness of the steering and the car is not meant as a family work horse, you really should go for a TSi. Yes the AC could be a problem 2 years down the line. But the sheer driving pleasure in the 2 years will more than offset the risks ( atleast I am counting on it). I am told there is a 4 year maintenance warranty ( or 2 year extension supported by Bajaj insurance) now. Driveability, performance - make no mistake, the TSi makes mincemeat of the Civic .
I test drove the Civic today, and I must agree that the experience was not very different from the Corolla I own. This doesnt mean that it was bad, just that the difference wasnt too significant. I will TD the Laura on Tuesday, and as I have heard I hope that to be a good experience

On the AC front, why the concern of troubles coming up after 2 years? And also, what are the kind of monetary damages one can expect to get the AC back in shape? Thanks !
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Old 22nd August 2010, 19:38   #43
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I had a chance to drive my cousin's Laura 1.8 TSI extensively in town and on the Mumbai Pune E'way. And guess what? This car brought a smile to my face (as it does with my cousin) when i drove it. The kick you get when that turbo spools up is absolutely beautiful. The suspension though hard was great when driving at high speeds. Great handling. Can't believe it is only a 1.8L engine. This is a poor man's BMW 3 series or Audi A4.

Having driven the Corolla Altis (owned) and the Civic more times than I care to remember, well, there's no comparison. If you are an enthusiast and ignore Skoda's crappy attitude and the after sales, the Laura TSI as a car is a winner hands down. But as an overall ownership experience package the Japs come out on top.

Cheers!
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Old 23rd August 2010, 01:01   #44
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Originally Posted by abhishek3030 View Post
I test drove the Civic today, and I must agree that the experience was not very different from the Corolla I own. This doesnt mean that it was bad, just that the difference wasnt too significant. I will TD the Laura on Tuesday, and as I have heard I hope that to be a good experience

On the AC front, why the concern of troubles coming up after 2 years? And also, what are the kind of monetary damages one can expect to get the AC back in shape? Thanks !
Take it for a spin on a twisty or the expressway. Floor the pedal...
You can do a 0-100 in just above 8 sec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek3030 View Post
I test drove the Civic today, and I must agree that the experience was not very different from the Corolla I own. This doesnt mean that it was bad, just that the difference wasnt too significant. I will TD the Laura on Tuesday, and as I have heard I hope that to be a good experience

On the AC front, why the concern of troubles coming up after 2 years? And also, what are the kind of monetary damages one can expect to get the AC back in shape? Thanks !
The new Laura is said to have the same Sanden or valeo compressor that has this reputation. I dont which has been discontinued...

Last edited by GTO : 23rd August 2010 at 10:03. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
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Old 23rd August 2010, 10:22   #45
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As someone who owns a Civic and has had some high-revving stints in the Laura 1.8 TSI, I can tell you this:

1. Driving pleasure : Laura 1.8 TSI undoubtedly, though the Civic isn't too far behind. If I give the Laura a 9/10 on driving pleasure, the Civic gets a 7.75. The Laura betters the Civic in dynamics, but the Honda has a superior steering (amazing pure hydraulic unit with a lot more feedback) & gearbox. The Civic, however, has a soft rear suspension. If you load the back seat with 2 passengers, then the rear end's behaviour changes drastically (read = poor).

2. Outright performance : No competition, its the Laura. Turbo-charged engine & more power / torque on tap.

3. Value : The Civic. Surprised? Don't be. The Laura 1.8 is only available in a basic (Ambiente) trim level, and even the Civic V variant is marginally cheaper than the Laura 1.8. At a lesser price, the Civic V gives you leather seats, climate control and electric folding mirrors (which the Laura 1.8 doesn't have). Either car lacks electric driver seat adjustment (which the cheaper Altis offers). Over 1,00,000 kms, the Civic will work out much cheaper to own.

4. Low end response / urban driveability : Both cars are unsatisfactory. The Civic's throttle response, when moving off from 0 kph, takes a lot of getting used to. Ditto with the Laura 1.8 TSI. Unless you feed in generous revvs, you will stall the car.

5. Cabin space & interiors : Civic undoubtedly. The cabin feels substantially roomier than the Laura. Either car has high quality interiors.

6. Long-term reliability : No competition, the Honda. Honda's after-sales may be inconsistent, but overall, its far superior to what Skoda offers.

Though not the Laura, I did ponder between a used Civic and a vRS. My reason for choosing the Civic over the Octavia (apply to the Laura too), was long term reliability & fuss-free ownership. Nearly 6 months up and not a screw has gone loose yet. This, despite my buying a used Civic.

I do intend to get a remap & sports suspension in the near future. The latter is a straight-forward bolt on exercise. The Civic's after-market support is tremendous; after all, its the most modified car in the world. With some mods, the Civic can be a lot more fun to drive than a Laura 1.8.
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