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Old 24th August 2010, 20:56   #46
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Laura is a better car but Civic is easier to maintain. I love to drive and i would pick Laura over Civic anyday, even with the poor support and expensive maintainence .

Drive a Laura Tsi or 140hp TDi CR DSG once, they are awesome driving machines.
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Old 25th August 2010, 01:52   #47
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@abhishek Ok since there've not been enough valid opinions and experiences to muddle your mind, ;-) here's my 2 paise. I am in the market for a new car just like you and Test Drove both the Laura and the Civic.

The Laura petrol was responsive, fun to drive, easy to maneuver (even U-turn) in tight places and felt solid, but I was sorely disappointed with the interiors. I mean apart from the rear ac vents, I didn't get a sense of what portion of the INR 15L was put back into the interiors.

Now besides what everyone else has praised about the great fun to drive Civic earlier in this thread, I liked what one of my friends told me about the Civic and its interiors, - "It makes you the owner feel happy & wealthy; feels really rich when you're sitting in it, (so what if you've bust the bank to buy it)."

Civic's cockpit is truly leather and technology wrapping around you in harmony.

This coupled with the Skoda A.S.S. horror stories made me shy away from the Laura. My worst nightmare is paying good money for any new car and then doing rounds of the workshop, despite some fantastic intangible bursts of driving pleasure when things are functioning OK.

In fact armed with all the experiences from TBHP, subconsciously/expectantly waiting for the first chink could itself be traumatic.

My (bizarre to some) thumb rule - For 15 lacs, (notwithstanding the systematic services and God forbid accidental nicks & cuts), the car should let me have me at least one third the number of years (so 15L/3 = 5 years) of workshop free ownership experience.

That's that, but free will is one of the greatest powers God has given man, so follow your heart mate.

How was your Tuesday Laura TD btw?
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Old 25th August 2010, 12:24   #48
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@1Maverick,
Don't you think a 15 lack rupee car should offer lumbar support at the least?
I wrote to Honda asking why the Civic does not have it. They did not respond.
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Old 25th August 2010, 12:59   #49
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A 15 lakh car can have a great many things in it.

In my view its the overall package and peace of mind that it offers that matters.

I like the Laura, simple. Its loaded with goodies, drives well period. However with all that I've read about their sad state of affairs (engine seizure, drinking oil, bad A.S.S) would I want to buy it? Every time I hear some clink or the engine sort of stutters what would be my state of mind? Would I ever trust in taking the car out for a long distance drive with my family?

If I was oblivious to some of the problems that the Laura had then I will definitely be mighty impressed with the Laura, vis-a-vis the Civic.

If the car is absolutely reliable and the A.S.S is bad I would definitely plonk for the Laura. I bought the Daewoo Matiz when Daewoo was almost bankrupt and the car was so reliable that I didn't have to worry about the A.S.S. Now if the Matiz was an unreliable car, my choice would have been totally different.

If ease of mind, as you mentioned in the thread title matters than the choice is easier.

Best of luck with the hunt.
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Old 25th August 2010, 13:18   #50
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I am in the same situation like yours.

I really like the civic
but little scared if i buy the car today what happens if the new model comes out and the low suspension is crappy.

Check out the latest pricing i got it from my LAURA Delhi dealer today:-

MODEL SKODA LAURA MT TSI
VARIANT 1.8 AMBIENTE
COLOUR Not Decided Yet
Ex-Showroom Price 1,342,129.00
Add: Skoda Shield* 60,100.00
Add: Registration (Hr) 21,332.00
Add: Temp. No Charges 1,000.00
On Road Price 1,424,561.00
Less Discount 93,129.00
Less : Inaugural discount on Skoda Shield 18,310.00
After Discount 1,313,122.00 (OTR)





Skoda has come with SKODA sheild 2+2 extended warranty + 1 year insurance all for

THIS IS WITH THE HARYANA REGISTRATION.

TELL ME GUYS NOW ITS VERY TEMPTING

reply.
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Old 25th August 2010, 13:28   #51
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@csentil, the issue you have raised is the exact question I asked for here in this very thread. Comparing the two cars, IMO Laura is a clear winner and a better car overall in its stock form. Laura has more usable and safety features compared to Civic though the latter looks better in and out.

As for after sales support here in Bangalore, Vinayak has a reasonably good reputation, hence that even is not all that big an issue. However, the possible big deal breaker could be reliability issues Laura may have. The 1.8 TSI engine is a more modern and celebrated one and more widely applied in various VW products across segments compared to Honda's worldwide and is not known to be glaringly unreliable other than one engine seizure issue I read by Bhpian @gagananand here in this forum. So the question is whether I have overlooked other issues with this car and whether the engine is unreliable? Civic is clearly a lot more popular one in the forum going by the number of long-term reviews compared to any current Skoda though and thus I know its a more safer bet, but how big is the reliability aspect of Laura?
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Old 25th August 2010, 13:47   #52
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The TSI oil consumption is temporary till 10000km. Note if you don't check, the engine will tell you as in Sam's report. Not heard any instances of the TSI engine seizing. The Superb reported elsewhere was the older gen 2.8 diesel.
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Old 25th August 2010, 16:29   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARSC View Post
I am in the same situation like yours.

I really like the civic
but little scared if i buy the car today what happens if the new model comes out and the low suspension is crappy.

Check out the latest pricing i got it from my LAURA Delhi dealer today:-

MODEL SKODA LAURA MT TSI
VARIANT 1.8 AMBIENTE
COLOUR Not Decided Yet
Ex-Showroom Price 1,342,129.00
Add: Skoda Shield* 60,100.00
Add: Registration (Hr) 21,332.00
Add: Temp. No Charges 1,000.00
On Road Price 1,424,561.00
Less Discount 93,129.00
Less : Inaugural discount on Skoda Shield 18,310.00
After Discount 1,313,122.00 (OTR)





Skoda has come with SKODA sheild 2+2 extended warranty + 1 year insurance all for

THIS IS WITH THE HARYANA REGISTRATION.

TELL ME GUYS NOW ITS VERY TEMPTING

reply.

Fantastic deal !!

I, however, fail to understand this sales strategy of Skoda wherein they first inflate the MRP and then give heavy discount on it. While it works fine in tempting potential "Indian" buyers (60% discount on Rs100 is always a better deal than Rs40 upfront for most Indian buyers), it hurts in states where reg. costs are steep. Reg. charges (and insurances) are computed on MRP and you end up paying unnecessary taxes on an inflated MRP for this type of sales strategy.

Skoda shield at 60K shows how costly it is to buy "peace of mind" with a Skoda car.
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Old 25th August 2010, 18:28   #54
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@sabynag, Rs.60K includes Skoda Shield and Bajaj Alliance insurance which compulsorily needs to be taken from dealership. I was quoted Rs. 18000 approx for the Skoda Shield here in Bangalore.

If I go in for Laura, I am very keen on upgrading to 16inch alloys for the Ambiente version. What could be the price differential I can look at to exchange the stock 15inch wheels with 16inch ones at the time of purchase? I received a quote of Rs.42,000 which includes exchange of steel spare wheel with 16inch steel spare wheel. Is it a good deal?
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Old 25th August 2010, 20:06   #55
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My 2 cents.

GC:
With Sept-2009 face-lift, Civic's rear suspension is re-tuned (I believe *not* redesigned, this is why every dealer says there is no change!). Ideally, Honda should have recalled-returned it long ago (back in 2006/2007 itself), but they didn't. So Honda didn't disclose this tune-up during face-lift launch as it means they have accepted their mistake.

I have clocked 11910km on my Oct-2009 Civic (face-lifted model) and I have never experienced rear bottoming out (even with 4.5 people and trunkful of luggage). I have scraped around a dozen bumps with 5 people and none with 2 people and these were real huge ones.

These bumps have so many scratch marks, do you think they are all due to Civics? I believe one needs to care to slow down; else any car can be vulnerable over these unscientific bumps. But yes Civic should have had a stiffer rear suspension, but its not that big an issue (especially post face-lift). Also note the longer wheelbase of Civic makes it more vulnerable for scraping these huge mountains on our roads. So one needs to be a bit more careful in a Civic.

Build-quality:
I see this in 2 parts.
1. Sturdiness of individual components
2. Fit and finish/assembly.

> External body panels - Laura
> Chassis and under the bonnet - Both seem equally good
> Interiors - Both seem equally good. In both Laura and Civic there are a couple of plastic panels which feel relatively inferior. I give more marks to Civic because the dash assembly is excellent (not talking about aesthetics) in spite of being made of multiple panels.

Product quality:
Here I mean quality of individual active components (like engine, gearbox, electrical/electronics, suspension etc). Assessment of quality typically comes from long-term usage/time-testing the overall product. This is where Skoda India vs. Honda India comes into play. Honda India is traditionally much more reliable and is in a different league (almost near Toyota). Skoda has done blunders and people seem to have lost trust. This is why Skoda gets bashing by many and people prefer to stay away. If Skoda is improving now, its a good sign but I think it takes time for Skoda to earn that trust. Civic too had/has some niggles but they are either minor or rectified or cheaper to fix. Laura-TSI so far may have been good but its still a territory to be known. How can one predict its quality (and reliability)? Its natural to derive it from the history. And Skoda loses here badly.

Technology:
iVTEC in R18A vs 1.8 TSI - Laura
Double wishbones vs Multilink - Laura
TCS, ASR - Laura

Overall, my take is
Performance : Laura-TSI (by and large, peace-of-mind is an unknown territory)
Peace-of-mind : Altis
Fun-to-drive + Peace-of-mind : Civic

If you can wait, watch out for
- new VW Jetta
- 9th gen Civic
- More Laura-TSI ownership experiences
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Old 25th August 2010, 20:07   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
@1Maverick,
Don't you think a 15 lack rupee car should offer lumbar support at the least?
I wrote to Honda asking why the Civic does not have it. They did not respond.
@anandpadhye I agree it should. But then there are a host of gripes on what the Civic should've had and doesn't. Reading the 350 page manual shows you what all they've left out in the Indian offering. So what all will they respond to.

@abhishek Read Spadix's (The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)) excellent report on his Likes and Dislikes in his initial ownership experience.
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Old 25th August 2010, 23:30   #57
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To compensate for the low 'peace of mind' in terms of ownership costs and reliability, Laura offers 'peace of mind' in a different avatar. I am a father of two kids (3yrs and an infant) and my commute includes quite a bit of heavy-traffic roads (ring roads, highways) because we recently shifted to outskirts. I use the child seat for the senior and mommy holds the junior. The roads are full of trucks, under-construction-stretches/diversions, lack of street lights. Our Laura (Diesel, though) feels like a church inside. I am an average-joe driver and this car helps me drive with confidence on our scary Indian roads. The excellent low-end power and superb braking makes it an awesome highway car for a super relaxed drive. Passengers fall asleep so quickly in this car on long drives! I would prefer this type of peace of mind to 'easy to own peace of mind'. Btw, my Laura ownership has been hassle free during the last 3+ years and Vinayaka dealer in Bangalore is extremely competent. (I bought a Fabia recently - a repeat customer) At times when I fancy an upgrade to my Laura L&K, I get disappointed because a worthy-upgrade costs a lot in comparison.

Of course, Civic is not far behind. My point is: Given a competent Skoda dealer, Laura is a compelling choice compared to Civic for someone who enjoys driving (not necessarily performance oriented driving). For the marginally lower score on cost of ownership and reliability, Laura scores better while on the move.
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Old 26th August 2010, 11:42   #58
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my 2cents:
If you want to mod the car and drive 20 kms with passion and ease of mind go for Honda.
If you drive this with mother or wife and do not want to hear complain of you driving fast get a Laura.

Remember in both cases you are out of warranty and A.S support.

I would also ask you to stretch your budget and get a Superb rather than the Laura if you wish to keep the car for more than 5 years.

PS. We have a superb diesel, E220, 320d, civic, city, accent in family right now.
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Old 26th August 2010, 14:21   #59
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The response has been tremendous, fellow T-BHPians. Thanks !

I have been unwell with fever over the past few days, which is why I was slow with the replies and couldnt TD the Laura TSi. Hope to do it on this Saturday subject to health status.

I think the verdict is clear in terms of which car wins in terms of performance, and which wins in terms of A.S.S. and overall perceived economic value. I got some good pointers, and more than that connected with people who own both the Civic and Laura to whom I can run to for more advice and 'tips n tricks' !

Next steps for me are to TD the Laura, look the dealer in the eye and gauge for myself if they have a credible answer for the horror stories floating around. Its a pity that I can only buy the Laura from Gurgaon (company lease constraint) else I would have visited Fahrenheit or Silvertone to broaden the dealer ambit.

Will share my experience on the TD this weekend - in detail !

Cheers
Abhi
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Old 26th August 2010, 14:24   #60
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@ androdev: I envy (in good spirit) Bangalore folks for having a nice Skoda dealer, pal. The reputation of the ones here isnt quite stellar, to say the least. Good to hear you enjoying the solid build and great acceleration of their cars.
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