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Old 10th November 2011, 12:29   #1
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Default Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

The Skoda Laura vRS has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 15.19 Lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like about the Laura vRS:

• Turbo-charged direct injection petrol is the best in class. Great torque band, revv-happy and powerful
• Sharper and more nimble handling, due to the revised spring rates
• Confidence inspiring dynamics, brakes and chassis
• Classy yet sporty interior, solid build & great front seats
• 4 airbags, electronic driving aids and other safety features

What you won't:

• No option of the much loved dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) on any petrol Laura
• Missed opportunity for a diesel vRS, especially with current fuel prices
• Lack of equipment; no USB input, steering mounted audio controls & climate control etc.
• A 2+ lakh price premium over the lower variant, for not so much more kit
• Skoda’s ill-famed after sales service

The 2013 Skoda Octavia:

Review Link

Last edited by GTO : 3rd October 2013 at 13:24. Reason: Link to 2013 Octavia Review
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:30   #2
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Default Intro & Exteriors

Now, traditionally, Skoda’s hallowed vRS (Victor Rally Sport) badge would imply at least 17” wheels, 200+ hp, paddle-shift DSG and a throaty roar. If that’s what you’re expecting here, it is going to be a bit of a disappointment. However, if you’re hoping to find a fun to drive car with great handling and an absolutely relentless engine, please read on…

The Laura is the new Octavia, and Skoda India have followed the old Octavia vRS formula pretty much to the “T” here. Simply put, they’ve treated the vRS more like a variant, rather than an alternative package. Just like the diesel Lauras get the L&K as the top-end luxury variant, the vRS is the top-end for the petrol.

As an enthusiast, you might frown at Skoda for not following in their previous footsteps by bringing in a more powerful petrol engine for the launch of the vRS, however, let me remind you that this is not what happened when the Octavia vRS was launched. The 150 BHP Turbo TPI engine made its debut on the Octy vRS, but then eventually replaced the 2.0 petrol in the “regular” Octavias a few months later (with the “Rider” moniker). It was a smart move by Skoda – and they got the well deserved credit of bringing in the first “real” enthusiast car into our market as a result. The Octy vRS TPI engine had 150 BHP - quite a substantial number for 2004. The Laura vRS’s TSI engine has 160 BHP, not too large a number by 2011 standards. It’s the same Turbocharged mill used on the other petrol Lauras. No changes there at all, not even to the state of tune. However, Skoda HAS changed the spring rates on the vRS – and this is a key differentiator over the other Lauras, giving the vRS a sportier character. More on this later.

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For the price premium above the mid-level “Ambition” TSI variant you get : Electric sunroof, sport seats, xenon adaptive lighting, LED DRLs, fog lights, tweaked suspension, 6.5” touch-screen audio system, 16” wheels, spoiler and vRS badging. Do check for the final on-road price in your city, including discounts (common on the Laura petrol) before making a true price comparison here.

Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review-specifications.png

When the face-lifted Laura appeared in May 2009, it put a slightly more sporty look on the old Laura’s face, with the new swept back headlights et al. The kit on the vRS takes that a little further with a more aggressive front bumper (housing a honeycomb grill, LED day-time running lights and fog-lights), along with differently styled alloy wheels, a sunroof, prominent rear spoiler, and of course, the vRS badging slapped on the front and rear.

What will visually set the Laura vRS apart the most, is the colours its available in. There are only 4 options to choose between. The black and white shades won’t particularly turn heads – but the “Sprint Yellow” and “Race Blue” sure will grab people’s attention. (The bright red and the very popular silver, which were both available on the Octy vRS will be missed). As you’ve probably figured by now, our test car was yellow – I didn’t have any particular liking for the colour – but every other person who saw the car commented that the colour really suited the vRS nicely!

The vRS has no extra side skirting, and the front bumper has no protruding lip (unlike the Octavia vRS), meaning that ground clearance remains unchanged. The spoiler does look a little out of place on the Laura, and this might be emphasized a little further since we get the 16” wheels instead of the 17”s found on the car internationally.

The 16x6.5J Draconis wheels are wrapped in 205/55 tyres (the Active and Ambition TSIs come with 195/65 R15, whereas the 2.0 TDI Elegance version comes with the same sized wheel & tyre combo). There are disc brakes on all four corners on the Laura. On seeing the choice of Goodyear Eagle NCT5s, I was a little disappointed, since they are essentially touring tyres on a car that is being presented as a sporty offering. However, the performance of these tyres in combination with the vRS’s chassis and suspension set-up actually turned out to be something I enjoyed. (Read the engine and driving post for more).

At the front, the Xenon projectors have a cornering function; at lower speeds, it turns on the fog lights as you turn the steering wheel, but at higher speeds, the projector element itself moves. You’ll notice this when the car turns on, as the xenon self check not only does the customary up/down calibration – but also a left/right sweep. If you look at the TSI Ambition, you’d think it has Xenons too – but don’t be fooled, those are just halogen projectors!

The day-time running lights (DRLs) are the pilot lights. They only turn on when the switch has been set to the pilot light position. Some might say these are not true DRLs, but most DRL systems themselves allow you to turn them on or off from the vehicles settings menu (eg. Command or iDrive). This is just a simpler implementation of the same. Might be good in India - to prevent all oncoming traffic from making the pom-pom sign to you, letting you know that you’re lights are on and “wasting precious energy”.

The sunroof is exclusive to the vRS in the Laura range. Even the L&K doesn’t get it anymore (post the face-lift). All windows have a mild tint on them as well.

Different front bumper with honeycomb grill, LED DRLs and round fog lights

Swept-back headlights over the long hood

vRS badging looks great, but does this car truly deserve to wear this badge?

Xenons with cornering function. Don't miss the "Laura" etched on there. High-beams are halogen

Daytime Running Lights turn on when the light switch is moved to the first position

The vRS rides at the same height as the other Lauras

Looks a lot like the Octavia from this angle. Easy to see the the lineage here

At 1485mm, its a relatively tall car

205/55 R16 Goodyear Eagle NCT5s are not quite the sportiest selection of tyres

16" draconis wheels, similar to the Jetta wheels - but not the same

vRS badging and the spoiler that's hard to miss

Got BHP? Why yes, it does!

Unlike the Octavia, ground clearance isn't an issue with the Laura

Electrically folding ORVMs with integrated indicators and puddle lamps

The sunroof thats unique to the vRS in the Laura lineup

The new and the old

Can't help but think that those 16" Spider alloys on the Octavia vRS look much sweeter

Easy to see the changes to the front bumper here

Other than the spoiler and the alloys, nothing much changes on the side profile

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th November 2011 at 17:35.
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:30   #3
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Default Interiors

Get inside, and it’s an understated mix of black, grey and silver materials. The brushed aluminum accents add a sporty feel, without making the interior seem brash in any way. The top of the dash has soft-touch feel to it, and everything in the cabin has a solid robust feel that the Skodas are known for.

The front seats wrapped in Alcantara & leather upholstery are not only great looking, but they are incredibly comfortable too. The lateral support on the backrest and seat-base is great. They are sporty and contoured, but at the same time well cushioned – which is an ideal combination for a car like this. The driver’s seat is height adjustable, and there’s a knob to dial in the lumbar support too. Those of you expecting a certain level of kit will be surprised to know that the seats are not electrically adjustable.

The chunky small-dia steering wheel has textured leather and a nice soft feel. However, the thickness of the steering wheel (in terms of depth of the rim) is so wide, that if you have small hands - you’re more palming the wheel than grabbing it. This reduces your grip a little and means your hand is a little more likely to slip off the wheel if you make a sudden input. Another downside of this wheel is that there are no steering mounted controls. The Ambition TSI with a differently styled steering wheel doesn’t get `em either. The steering gets tilt adjustment, as well as a good range of about 3.5 inches of telescopic reach adjustment. This makes finding a nice driving position extremely easy. Ergonomics are spot on too.

The instrument cluster is crystal clear and easy to read with its high level of contrast. The control stalks fall into hand easily, and of course, like all Skodas the indicators are on the left side. The foot-well is roomy, and there’s enough of a dead pedal too. In fact there is a dead-pedal area on the right of the accelerator too, which happens to be much bigger than the one for the clutch. This might have been useful if cruise control was part of the features list. Another thing to notice is that the accelerator is floor-mounted. “Great for heel & toe shifting” as BHPian and Polo cup driver jalsa777 pointed out.

The outside rear view mirrors are quite large. The LHS mirror is convex while the RHS mirror is flat – it’s not as awful as you’d imagine, but convex would have been preferred. Rear visibility is sub-par. The inside mirror is averaged sized, the rear window itself is not very tall, and the spoiler further blocks out some more of the view.

The audio system is the same “Bolero” unit as found on other top Skoda variants, housing an in-dash 6-cd changer and 8 speakers. A SD card slot sits right below the display, and an aux-in is present in the armrest center console. Shockingly, there is no USB and no Bluetooth built in! Overall, we’d give the unit a 8.5/10 in terms of sound quality. It even has the power to make the music heard loud and clear when blasting down the road at 100km/h with all the windows down.

The A/C panel fascia looks almost incomplete. The controls are solid and easy to use, though there’s no climate control on offer. The AC did okay on the fairly overcast day 1 of our test-drive, however on day 2, in the hot afternoon sun - it just wasn’t cool enough.

For the front passengers, there’s a generous amount of storage space. The triple cup holder space and the little cubby hole ahead of the gear lever are perfect for dropping your cell phone and keys into. The sliding front armrest has a large storage compartment below it, and the door pockets are roomy too. The glove-box is strangely shaped, and the compartment space dives downwards, making it deep enough to hold a 14” laptop.

The sunroof starts just above the driver’s head, and ends before it gets anywhere close to the rear passengers. At first it opens to about 8”, barely enough for a head to squeeze through, but if you turn and hold the knob once again - the glass retracts some more. The closing mechanism has anti-pinch (anti-decapitation?), which is comforting. In addition, it gets a remote closing function, which makes the sunroof slide forward for as long as you keep the lock button on the remote pressed.

The rear seats are virtually the same as the other Lauras, except for the different upholstery. The rear seat armrest in the center matches the height of the armrest on the door nicely. Legroom is average for this segment (see the pics), and seat comfort and support at a standstill is good too. Seat pockets for both rear passengers, as well as door-pockets, and a small cubby hole just below the rear AC vents provide enough storage.

A huge (removable) rear parcel tray sits above the massive 560 liter boot. There’s plenty of storage space here, and there’s a lot more usable vertical space too (ie, you can put in medium sized suitcases standing upright). If you want to move house, folding down the rear seats will yield 1430 liters of space.

Safety wise, the Laura is piled high with goodies : Dual front & side airbags (total = 4), active front head restraints, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control, tyre pressure monitors, xenons with a cornering function, exterior mirrors with defogger, auto-dimming interior mirror and fuel supply cut-off in the case of a crash.

Chunky steering wheel - no steering mounted controls though

Nicely styled, supportive and comfortable seats. No electric controls

vRS badging on the Alcantara upholstery

Center console

The 6.5" touch-screen that the lower variants do not get

Basic A/C controls on a dull and unfinished looking panel. No climate control

Steering is a nice size, though a little too thick (deep) to grasp firmly with smaller hands

Simple and elegant instruments. Easy to read - good, since the engine touches that redline a lot!

Six-speed box is par for the course, with an average throw length and feel

Basic stalks, indicators on the left side

Roomy foot-well, dead pedal(s) and metal/rubber pedal surfaces. Floor mounted accelerator is great for heel-n-toe shifting

Front door pocket can house a liter sized bottle. Warning light on the door, for when its left open along the road at night

Button to centrally lock/unlock all doors

Center console storage has a cooling vent, and also has a nice little mezzanine for your iPod, alongside the Aux-in jack

The arm-rest can slide back and forth

The inside rear view mirror is fairly small, rear window is narrow, and the spoiler further blocks the view. Okay for highways, painful for parking.

Parking guidance is a great help

The glove-box is strangely shaped, and gets deeper as it slants downwards. Could hold a 14" laptop

Sun roof controls and light settings. Sun-roof has an anti-pinch (anti-decapitation?) feature too

AC vents, and a small rubber bottomed storage compartment for the rear passengers

There are no changes to the rear seats compared to the other Lauras, other than the upholstery

Legroom as shown behind a 5'8" passenger

Huge parcel shelf, though stuff at the rear falls forward when you open the hatch (see next pic)

560 Liter boot is HUGE. Very flexible in terms of available vertical space too

Last edited by Rehaan : 28th February 2012 at 17:31. Reason: Updating sunroof point
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:31   #4
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Default Engine & Driving Experience

Internationally the Laura vRS comes with the 2L TFSI and 2L TDI CR, in both manual and DSG guises. Skoda could have used the 2L TFSI engine (seen in India under the hood of the Audi A4) or the 2L TDI diesel (Passat) but chances are, the increased costing made them decide against it. All said and done, this is what we’re left with :
  • 1.8 liter, 16 valve DOHC
  • Turbocharged direct-injection petrol
  • 160 BHP @ 4500–6200 RPM
  • 250 Nm @ 1500–4500 RPM
  • 6-speed manual
  • Front wheel drive


TSI stands for Turbocharged Stratified Injection. It’s a term the VW group uses for their petrol engine technology. It blends direct injection’s efficiency and low-end power characteristics with turbo-charging’s efficiency and performance. What’s amazing about this TSI engine (on paper and in reality) is the incredibly wide and flat power-band. Peak torque is spread from 1,500 RPM all the way till 4,500 RPM! That’s a wider torque band than most diesels. Peak power is spread wide as well, and as a result the vRS’s power delivery is linear and relentless. You can expect 0-100 km/h to come up in the low 8 second range.

Turn the key, and the engine is incredibly silent. You’ll barely notice it crank or fire up. This characteristic continues up the revv range, all the way till the redline. So smooth and silent – that quite often you won’t realize that the engine is ticking over at 5,500 RPM in 3rd, rather than a much lower RPM in the 5th gear you thought you were in. The exhaust note isn’t audible either, except for a nice deep drone when you let off the throttle and happen to have the windows rolled down. The silky smooth and eager engine means that you can happily totter around between 4000-6500rpm in 2nd gear rather than up-shifting, and it doesn’t feel like the engine is constantly screaming for help. On the other end of the RPM spectrum, it can pull from 5 km/h in 2nd gear and you won’t hear any complaints from the engine.

From the point of view of turbo-lag, progress is a bit slow until 1,700 rpm. Its still drivable, but there isn’t much power at all. Once you get closer to 2,200 rpm, the engine comes alive, and will pull smoothly and eagerly all the way till the redline. It’s worth mentioning that unlike the Octavia vRS, there isn’t a prominent turbo kick, it’s a very steady and relentless power delivery on the TSI. Some people might enjoy this, others might miss the thrill of a turbo-kick.

The gearbox has a medium throw, and is par for the course in terms of shift quality and ease of use. Turning radius is 5.1 meters. The clutch is light and easy to operate and together with the versatility of the engine makes this car very low-effort to drive in varying conditions, ranging from stop and go traffic to expressway blasting. In fact, when you’re on the expressway, as long as you have a half-decent choice of gear, this thing overtakes like a bullet! I had the words “linear, ever-willing, silky smooth and relentless acceleration” mentioned several times over in my test drive notes.


Once again, let me mention that the ONLY mechanical differentiators between the vRS and other Laura TSI variants are the shorter 55 profile sidewalls on 16” tyres and the suspension tune. Skoda says they have revised the spring rates, and boy does it make a difference in the behavior of the car. A lot of Laura owners complain of body roll and this change takes that down to an unnoticeable level.

In fact, when driving the cars back to back, the “regular” TSI feels heavier (due to the softer suspension, and more sidewall). The vRS feels more nimble and eager. The changes are noticeable to an extent that when you go over a sharp speed breaker, in the Ambiente (now called “Ambition”) you feel the car bounce twice as it comes down, whereas the vRS is more of a single rebound. It’s great to see how a tweak like this can transform a car, and for an enthusiast like me, it’s probably the most attractive thing about the vRS.

The only downside to this suspension tune for a car-enthusiast owner is that when you hit the REALLY big bumps, it’s a HARSH thud that goes through the car. For the family men; note that the ride in the rear seat is really tight. It’s not bone-shakingly uncomfortable, but your parents might not enjoy it too much on less than perfect roads. On smooth tarmac or the expressway, it’s actually a pleasant ride due to the flat and steady ride quality.

The steering isn’t super communicative (like say, a Linea), but there is some occasional feedback that comes through. It’s light and manageable at city speeds, and weighs up quite a bit at higher speeds. When the going gets twisty, the steering seems to load up a little more after you turn it from a to a turn (this is also where its more likely that your hand will slip off the steering if you’ve not got a good grasp on the thick rim). Overall, its got superb feel – and you’d never guess it was an electric unit.

Contrary to my initial apprehensions about the NCT5 touring tyres, I actually began to like their behaviour on the vRS (at least for our general driving conditions). The Goodyears don’t complain much, its very rare to hear a squeal or screech – and when you do it’s a soft one. This is great for sliding around corners and not drawing too much attention to yourself! High speed road-holding too is brilliant. Perhaps it’s the combination of great chassis dynamics and suspension tune – but there wasn’t a single time I felt let down by the tyres. Though if you’re planning to push your vRS really hard, a switch to something sportier would surely take it to the next level.

In the handling department, the vRS is an extremely neutral handler, thanks to the chassis in combination with Skodas traction control electronics, called ASR (Anti Slip Regulation). Under-steer is rare to come by, and comes on very slowly and in very small quantities. Impressive. The car corners flat, and if you exit a corner a bit faster than suggested, it won’t hesitate to slide sideways – still keeping itself relatively flat. With the ASR on (default setting) there is a complete lack of torque steer. The electronics are responsible for this, and they do a really commendable job here. If you turn off the ASR, the most noticeable difference is when you go hard on the gas when exiting a corner – which will light up the inside tyre.

The brakes are quick to grab, they bite nicely, and they are confidence inspiring. Pedal feedback is good too, ABS isn’t too intrusive (unless you’re on broken roads). The only scary thing about them is the fact that you know they have to battle the locomotive like power delivery of the vRS - nonetheless they do extremely well.

To sum its up, its an extremely pleasurable driving package. Sure, more power would have taken the game to another level – but what’s on offer now is still plenty for our driving conditions, if utilized correctly.

Turbocharged Stratified Injection - technology that makes this engine a sheer pleasure to drive

Unlike the 2.0L TFSI motor, this 1.8L will do fine on the 91 octane we get here

Buttons to calibrate the TPMS to the desired tyre pressure and turn the ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) OFF

The battery is neatly packed away alongside the fuse box (cover removed in picture)

Last edited by Rehaan : 29th May 2012 at 14:04.
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:31   #5
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Default Other Points

• This really would have been a great opportunity (and timing) for a diesel vRS to make its debut in India, especially given Skoda’s reputation for diesel engines, combined with the rising fuel prices and the current Indian auto buyer’s mindset. Probably would have outsold the petrol vRS too.

• In addition to the standard 2-year warranty, the optional extended warranty, which takes total coverage to 4 years / 100,000 kms, is highly recommended (for all European cars). Skoda offers it clubbed with their insurance. Full details here.

• Neat feature : turn the volume down all the way to mute, and the song playing will pause.

• Gearshift indicator on the MID shows the current gear, as well as up-shift and down-shift indicators. Note : this is for regular driving and best economy, not best performance!

• There was a constant rubber/plastic squeaking from inside the extreme left of the dashboard.

• There was consistent condensation on the outside of the windshield when the AC mode was set to the “face” position. This was due to cold air escaping from the top of the dash. Setting the mode 3-4 notches towards the foot blower solves this problem.

• That’s BHPian R.P.M’s white TSI Ambiente in the comparo pictures. Power-freaks will be interested to know that he plans to chip the car and bump up the power output. We’ll try and report on that when it happens!

• One-touch up and down is present on all windows, along with the anti-pinch feature that prevents your body parts from getting squished by a closing window.

• Keep the lock button pressed to wind up the windows, close the sun-roof and fold the outside mirrors remotely. Very convenient.

• Conversely, pressing the unlock button will unlock 1 door, then all doors, and then roll down all windows. The key fob has a dedicated button to open the boot as well.

• The vRS has a girly “peeep” type horn. Quite unfortunate, given that the roadside slang for a meaty full bodied horn has become “Skoda walla horn”. This is cost cutting, and can be seen on the other Laura variants too.

• The MID displays : l/100 consumption, Distance to empty, trip-meter, average speed, current speed, speed warning, outside temperature, trip time, and l/h at idle.

• Skoda says the 2.0 TFSI required 95 octane minimum and hence wasn’t brought in, however, the Audi A4 already uses the same engine, and 3.6L AWD Superb is sold here despite its 95 octane requirement. The 1.8 TSI however is a safer bet as it can make do on 91 octane.

• The ARAI fuel efficiency figures for the vRS are 13.4 kpl, while Laura TSI owners on Team-BHP have reported an average of 8.2 kpl (City) / 11.7 kpl (Highway).

Last edited by Rehaan : 17th November 2011 at 14:49.
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:32   #6
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Default The Smaller Yet Significant Things

Dash-top storage

Felt-lined cubby hole for coins et al

The LED DRLs turn on in the shown pilot-light position. Pull for front and rear fog lights

A tweeter alongside the mirror adjustment, which also has a position to fold the mirrors

These don't sound like the masculine Skoda horns we're used to. Cost cutting?

Bright puddle lamps on both sides

Flushly fit sun-roof with a thin bezel can fool people into thinking it does not open

vRS chequered flag scrub-plates

Both passengers get a neat little pocket, ideal for dumping your wallet in

The center armrest has a large (but not too deep) felted compartment within it

In addition to the folding rear seats, just the armrest backing can pop forward - useful for transporting long objects

There's even a latch to drop it forward if you want to do so from the boot

Steel wheel full-sized spare, with the jack, screwdriver, tow-hook, etc all snugly packaged in hard foam

Several spare bulbs of all types, as well as extra fuses are provided by Skoda

The suspended rear parcel tray (shown earlier) can easily be removed to make more vertical space. Notice the yellow tie-down points

The rear seats-backs fold forward and have a 60:40 split too. They fold completely flat when the rear seat bases are flipped forward (not shown in picture)

Open wide!

Rear doors get a storage pocket too

Windscreen spray nozzles can be easily adjusted up and down - no need to adjust the nozzle direction with a toothpick

Felt lined sunglass holder nested in the roof

Rear passengers get their own ceiling mounted reading lamps, as well as a separate setting for the door-open mode

One-touch-down on all 4 windows

The type and placement of the antenna could have been a bit better

A/C vents can close completely

The button at the bottom of the IRVM turns off the automatic night dimming mode

Last edited by Rehaan : 7th August 2012 at 14:32. Reason: Updating
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Old 10th November 2011, 14:49   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post

• Skoda says the 2.0TFSI required 95 octane minimum and hence wasn’t brought in, however, the 4x4 superb and Audi A4 already do use it.
Great review Rehaan. I think the yellow colour looks quite nice on the car, and if for any reason someone thinks it doesn't look good its because of the rims which honestly look so plain in that colour. The interiors are great too.

Secondly, the Superb 4x4 uses the 3.6fsi V6 and not the 2.0tfsi.

Thirdly, the fact that the light switch had to be moved one notch to get the LEDs on shows that daytime running lights were not configured on your car. So they would probably come on with the dimmer setting when you turned the parking lights on. Also if DRLs had been configured the LEDs would have been much brighter.

Overall seems like the best car to drive under 20l. Good my tsi is coming soon.

Oh and the silent engine can always be rectified easily -
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:10   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
...someone thinks it doesn't look good its because of the rims
I think the 17"ers make this design of rims look significantly better.

Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
...Secondly, the Superb 4x4 uses the 3.6fsi V6 and not the 2.0tfsi.
Sorry i bungled up that sentence. Meant to say the A4 has the same engine, and the 4x4 Superb uses 95 octane too. Have edited it to clarify.

Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
...Thirdly, the fact that the light switch had to be moved one notch to get the LEDs on shows that daytime running lights were not configured on your car. So they would probably come on with the dimmer setting when you turned the parking lights on.
There was no setting for them that i came across.

Also, i think this might be the way it is on the vRS, because as far as i could see, the headlamp clusters did not have any pilot light / parking light bulbs in them. The LEDs handle both functions. Though ofcourse, having them on all the time would serve the same purpose. Probably needs to be done with the VAG-COM?

Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
...Also if DRLs had been configured the LEDs would have been much brighter.
Would be interested to see if this is the case.

Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
...Overall seems like the best car to drive under 20l.
From what i've seen, it sure is (atleast in the 12-20 bracket). Though i haven't driven the Kizashi yet - i've heard mixed reviews.


PS - Also, thanks for confirming the Xenon adaptive lighting point

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th November 2011 at 15:50.
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:24   #9
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Awesome review Rehaan, Laura Tsi is one of the best car to drive. I am hoping the vRS will only make it better in this department (if not the engine at the least the ride and handling), is that the case?

Few nice to have additions over Standard Tsi (Like the Sunroof) others mostly cosmetic which do not help in any way in drivability of the car.
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:37   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

A very detailed usual.Yellow looks stunning on the vRS.

A small correction though:I guess vRS would stand for "victor Rally Sport" and not "victory Rally Sport" as is mentioned in the opening lines of the review. Mods can do the needful.
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:40   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Thats a great review there, Rehaan. I too was a tad dissapointed when this one was launched. For a various reasons at that:

1. Perfect time to launch a Diesel vRS. Skoda's diesel's have been great oil burners and and RS would just take it to another level completely.
2. No 17" alloys.
3. Lack of Steering mounted controls, ACC, and electric adjustment of seats. These features are all present on the top end version of the diesel variant (L&K). Why shouldnt the petrol variants top end get them as well.

Overall, a looker allright, but in all honesty, doesnt deserve the RS badge. I would pick the old OCti vRS on any given day, when it comes to this.

P.S: Yellow does look alright. Red would have been better though .
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:44   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Was waiting with bated breathe for this review Rehaan. As usual, you have done an excellent job of taking some lovely pictures and wording them to bring the enthusiast in every car lover.

I have recently driven the Laura TSI and was bowled over by it and totally agree that be it 2000rpm or 7000rpm at both side of rev range the TSI seems to just purr like a well-fed cat

Infact, I did a test run with Laura TSI Ambiente Variant (for a friend interested to buy) and immediately with my Cruze on the ORR in Hyderabad to understand the differences

My feelings below for immediate differences that I felt compared to the Cruze :-

1. The engine is revv happy and is you just cannot stop revving
2. An amazing steering wheel and grip
3. Suspension is good not as soft as the Civic but, not hard enough. Glad to know this is stiffened up further in vRS
4. Airy cabin but, as you rightly said bleak dashboard compared to the tight fitted Cruze cabin but, with lots of gizmos and cockpit shape look which is targetted more towards the flamboyant buyers
5. Feels very light and not tank like (compared to the PDI Laura which was built was indeed tank-like) and Cruze feels much more solid built wise and is better at handling than the Laura. Perhaps, due to the 150 kgs weight difference
6. It reaches 170kmph quite easily and at 5th gear it wont move forward after that. To reach the magic figure, you need to downshift and touch it. Whereas, Cruze at 170kmph in 5th, a gentle tap will ensure you reach the figure effortlessly. I know its not a fair comparison ( petrol vs, diesel, torque vs horsepower)

Anyways, after that drive. If i was in the market again, I would have picked up a Cruze again ( maybe the new one thats around the corner)

Btw, this yellow in vRS is soft almost pastel shade compared to the yellow in older vRS one. I liked the previous yellow more

Price of 18.85 Lakhs OTR in Hyderabad is not a VFM price at all and even with discounts I dont expect many buyers for it

Finally, a great review and 5 * worthy...Thanks for sharing it with us all
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:56   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Here's a comparo between the interiors of the vRS and the Ambition (aka Ambiente) TSI :

Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review-xx99-p1290409-copy-copy.jpg

Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review-xx99-p1290411-copy-copy.jpg


Last edited by Rehaan : 10th November 2011 at 17:28.
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Old 10th November 2011, 16:09   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post

There was no setting for them that i came across.

Also, i think this might be the way it is on the vRS, because as far as i could see, the headlamp clusters did not have any pilot light / parking light bulbs in them. The LEDs handle both functions. Though ofcourse, having them on all the time would serve the same purpose. Probably needs to be done with the VAG-COM?

PS - Also, thanks for confirming the Xenon adaptive lighting point
No problem buddy.

You didn't see any setting because the vRS doesn't have the multidot display like the l&K and the Superb. SO you cannot configure DRLs from there. But with VAG it is possible. Yes the LEDs serve the purpose of parking lights too and are on with a dimmer setting when the parking lights are selected.
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Old 10th November 2011, 16:57   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Laura vRS : Test Drive & Review

I don't see any USP of this car. During the times of the Octavia RS, 150 Bhp + cars were rare, there were hardly any high end german cars. Sports cars in India have now moved on to the 250 Bhp bracket.

Skoda would have done better to introduce a high torque diesel vRS.
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