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Old 14th August 2010, 18:48   #1
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Default Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI versus Honda Civic S - ease of mind?

Hi friends,

Am completely aware that this topic has been discussed at length, but as the reviews waver from one side to the other, I thought I would seek your help on this to help me decide on my next car.

My requirements:
I currently drive a 2004 Corolla 1.8E, which is giving me great service. We now need another car, and I have a budget of upto 13-13.5 L. I am only interested in petrol variants because

(a) have a daily drive of only 20-odd kms and
(b) never really driven a diesel !

The Cruze is a contender in diesel, but somehow even the shape doesnt appeal to me !

Preference till now:
Though both Civic and Laura are great cars, I am biased towards the Laura as it has a more regal look, great engine power and an overall touch of class. One look at the interiors and overall package was enough to make a fan out of me !


My basic confusion:
I have read too many war stories / horror tales of Skoda's after sales service and spare part issues. I am aware that most of them relate to the 2006-2008 era, with the AC's and suspension giving way. Really cannot afford to spend >50,000 INR on replacements and waiting for weeks to get a replacement part. I would like to believe that the company has taken things seriously over the past few months and improved the quality of the car, as well as availability of parts.

What is the current view on these reputational issues with Skoda? Have things improved in 2010, or are the problems still as rampant as ever? Their cars do appear to be selling very well !

I would love to close out the deal on the Skoda, but I am scared to bits about the possibility of this being a great risk. Like I mentioned, am an enthusiast, but 85,000 for A/C repairs will be extremely painful for me.

Any advice / personal experience will be much appreciated.

Thanks !

Abhishek
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Old 14th August 2010, 18:54   #2
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Skoda vs Honda: The Civic any day, simply at least you get service and not get ripped off. Laura TSi may be a very good car, but the service stinks (may be an understatement, looking at what we have on this forum). I will not touch them for a few years even after they improve. In another way why is VW busy buttonholing Honda dealerships to take their outlets? Also, I doubt whether 13.5L will get you one. Also, Honda retains its resale value much better.

Remember, once you buy a car you need support for a few years.

Last edited by sgiitk : 14th August 2010 at 18:56.
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Old 15th August 2010, 01:03   #3
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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.
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Old 15th August 2010, 05:02   #4
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I was in exactly the same dilemna as you when I made my purchase. I was completely blown every time I drove the Laura but ultimately I'm really happy at the peace of mind my Civic offers me. The good thing is you'll never feel shortchanged owning the Civic given how good one feels in the Civic in its own right.

The reliability issues are certainly not in the past and that's another matter that kept me away. They clearly need to get their act together at a whole different level before I would feel confident about putting in my money.

Having said all of this and as a separate matter, please do keep a ear open for any info on all new Civics. I've heard rumblings that this may not be too far but no reliable info on this front.
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Old 15th August 2010, 07:15   #5
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Thanks for the replies, friends. I guess peace of mind is critical for me, as I (like most others) wouldnt have the time, patience and financial muscle to run after unscrupulous dealers all the time.

True - Skoda Laura is a great car, and completely blows off the competition. But is the risk justifiable?

Had I been living in my hometown (Amritsar) - perhaps yes, as someone from the family could take out time and hammer the dealer / A.S.S to deliver.

In Gurgaon, not too sure if I would want to expend time and energy on excessive repairs (and costs!) along with a demanding career as a management consultant.

Any clues on the 4-year extended warranty they are offering? The biggest flaw I see with this is that - "who decides whether the defect was a manufacturing one or something related to bad running of the car?"

This again boils down to company values and trust. Both of these terms havent resonated too well with Skoda in India.

Any comments most welcome, especially from recent Skoda owners.

Cheers
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Old 15th August 2010, 07:24   #6
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A bit radical I would advise people against Skoda because of the company attitude. Till they rectify wrongs done to our members on this forum we should simply state "No Skoda" I am willing to listen to Skoda if they want to put across their point of view. No company can hide behind corporate wall and claim things like we are not responsible for actions of authorised A.S.S. Tomorrow it could be you.

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Old 15th August 2010, 10:59   #7
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I too am currently in the very same confusion. Laura is a lot better car overall compared to Civic. It can even beat the Accord in certain ways which talks a lot of the quality of the package. However, after sales is a big issue but in Bangalore, Vinayak cars don't have much of a bad reputation unlike Tafe. Where Laura betters Civic is in the engine (mind blowing and leagues ahead), lighting (projector setup with terrific fog lamps unlike Civic which suffers from beam issues), quality of interiors, lack of ground clearance issues, more usable and practical features (rain sensing wipers, windows closing with remote, bigger boot, much better sounding stock music system, lot more safety features like TCS, ASR etc., auto dimming mirrors, better seats overall with lumbar support in front, etc.,) at an approximately equal price as the S variant of Civic. The Civic though has a better visual appearance inside as well as outside (personal opinion of course) and more abundant service centers (which in terms of quality of service is not as good compared to other parts of India). Availability of parts is not a problem for both these cars unlike Fiat, so both may be serviced outside at a good private garage after warranty periods. However, some parts in Skoda cost more than Honda but Civic also holds the reputation for better reliability. Confusion, confusion.............

Last edited by v.anand : 15th August 2010 at 11:06.
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Old 15th August 2010, 11:03   #8
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Was in a similar dilemma as you.. booked the Laura TSI few days back though, as it is a much superior and newer car than the civic. Have taken the 4 year extended warranty (catch is you have to take dealer insurance). If you have a decent dealer in your city for skoda then go for it
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Old 15th August 2010, 14:24   #9
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Was in the same dilemma 4 months earlier - so much so that on the day I decided to book a Civic went for a final look at Laura and spent 4 hours in Skoda showrrom where I also dicussed issues mentioned here (1.8 TSI drinking lot of oil/ AC issues). The SP was either ignorant or was trying to hide the issues and that killed the deal. Finally booked the Civic AT.
Another major factor for me was AT, but frankly I felt Civic Manual more fun than Laura TSI.
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Old 15th August 2010, 15:55   #10
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This is one major issue with head and heart, as

Heart says - Laura (for stunning performance, fuel economy and overall build quality)
but

Head says - Civic (for peace of mind-when driven solo or with two or three friends)

In all respect Civic is a good choice but many of us has experienced this, Five adults in Civic with luggage of five days staying in boot and you are not going to reach your destination by the Expressways, just imagine what will happen and how many times!!!

This will be the only negative point about the Civic IMO and I strongly believe that this point is really a pain maker each and every time.
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Old 15th August 2010, 17:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxX View Post
Was in a similar dilemma as you.. booked the Laura TSI few days back though, as it is a much superior and newer car than the civic. Have taken the 4 year extended warranty (catch is you have to take dealer insurance). If you have a decent dealer in your city for skoda then go for it
How much is the cost for the Skoda shield for TSI ?
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Old 15th August 2010, 17:40   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiren959 View Post
This is one major issue with head and heart, as

Heart says - Laura (for stunning performance, fuel economy and overall build quality)
but

Head says - Civic (for peace of mind-when driven solo or with two or three friends)

In all respect Civic is a good choice but many of us has experienced this, Five adults in Civic with luggage of five days staying in boot and you are not going to reach your destination by the Expressways, just imagine what will happen and how many times!!!

This will be the only negative point about the Civic IMO and I strongly believe that this point is really a pain maker each and every time.
You have captured it well mate - quick question though. You mean to say that Civic gets underpowered when 5 adults + luggage load is in the car?

Or that the low ground clearance makes it scrape the ground? Thanks
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Old 15th August 2010, 17:46   #13
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Find a good Skoda dealer and go for the Laura - better comfort, driving dynamics and safer
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Old 15th August 2010, 17:51   #14
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Quote:
Find a good Skoda dealer and go for the Laura - better comfort, driving dynamics and safer
If he's looking in the 2nd hand market, he might also get a '09 Superb TSI in the same budget.
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Old 15th August 2010, 18:44   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek3030 View Post
You have captured it well mate - quick question though. You mean to say that Civic gets underpowered when 5 adults + luggage load is in the car?

Or that the low ground clearance makes it scrape the ground? Thanks
Low ground clearance I meant
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