The first car from Skoda in India was the Octavia, and that car was replaced with a newer version renamed as the Laura. The Laura is an entry level luxury vehicle in the Indian market that competes with the Hyundai Elantra, Renault Fluence, VW Jetta and Toyota Corolla Altis.
The Laura comes in a 1.8 litre petrol engine and a 2.0 litre diesel engine in many different variants.
For an entry-level luxury vehicle and a European brand, the Laura looks a little outdated as its competitors have more contemporary designs. There are no curves and the car is designed in a boxy straight line design. The front grille is nice and so are the big headlights. It also gets nice tyres and wheels. Other than that the Laura needs an update.
On the inside the design is very nice and everything seems to be correctly in place. The dashboard and instrument cluster are nice and so is the automatic gearbox.
There is plenty of room and comfortable seats for the front passengers but the rear passengers don’t get enough legroom. However the cabin is still quite comfortable and setup in a luxurious setting.
There is a 1.8 litre petrol engine available with automatic transmission as an option. There is also a 2.0 litre diesel version, and again this comes with an automatic transmission. We drove the 2.0 TDI CR with the automatic 6-speed DSG with tiptronic manual gear changes. The engine and transmission combination works very well and you can tell they have been nicely engineered for a good driving experience. You get around 135bhp and massive torque output of 320Nm.
Thanks to the great engine setup the 320Nm of torque really gives the car a very good acceleration. you only need to slightly press down on the gas pedal to feel the car move forward. The fully automatic mode needs to be much more responsive, which is why if you enjoy driving you will have more fun when in semi manual mode. The engine is very well refined and is very smooth and thanks to the nice suspension driving on city streets as well as highways is effortless and very comfortable. The ergonomics are also very nice and the cabin very comfortable, so overall it’s a nice car to drive as well as be chauffeured around. The brakes are decent and the tyres are also good.
We got an average fuel economy of 13kmpl with the diesel automatic engine.
The Laura also comes with some nice features such as power steering, power windows, automatic climate control, in-built audio system with 6 CD changer with 12 speakers and Bluetooth, steering mounted controls, a 6.5 inch display screen with touch screen controls and leather seats.
Safety features include front, side and curtain airbags, parktronic sensors for parking, ABS with EBD, traction control and stability control programs, and Anti Slip Regulation.
The overall quality of the car is very good indeed. Everything from the exterior design to the interiors and the engine and components is very well made and crafted. The seats are nice, and the dashboard is sturdy, with very little vibrations even on the diesel variant. The car is also very reliable but servicing and parts can be a little expensive.
For an entry level luxury car the base version are very well worth your money. the cabin is very nice and the engines are great. With all the added features however and the automatic DSG transmission that car can become quite expensive, and you can find other cars below that price that offer the same features.
The Laura is a bit outdated but it still comes with a very nice cabin and great diesel engine and transmission. If you don’t care for the features, the Laura is a great buy, but these days you can get cars from lower segments that come with most of the features that the high-end Laura variant has. It’s not keeping with the times and this could set it back against the competition.