Skoda has just introduced the Laura turbo-petrol with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and priced this variant at Rs. 15.65 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. This automatic gearbox is the same that is used in the Skoda Superb petrol.
The Skoda Laura TSI is powered by a 1.8 litre turbo-petrol engine that puts out 160 bhp of power at 4,500-6,200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. This engine is a really sporty one and is a delight for enthusiasts. So far the Skoda Laura petrol was only available with a six-speed manual transmission. The introduction of the automatic DSG (dual-clutch automatic gearbox) with paddle shifts (tiptronic mode), makes it even better, as the Skoda DSG is known for its quick shifts and sporty nature, as well as being fuel-efficient. This variant is probably the last update on this version of the Skoda Laura, which will be replaced later in the year with the new Laura. Also read: New Skoda Octavia revealed, coming to India
More fuel efficient
With the Skoda Laura being lighter than the Skoda Superb that has the same engine, it is expected to be an even more potent car. The manual-transmission Skoda Laura VRS version itself is quite a performer. Fuel efficiency is a claimed 14.6 kmpl, as the dual-clutch automatic is usually slightly more fuel efficient than even the manual because of the minimal power losses between shifts and the addition of an extra gear ratio. The manual only has a claimed mileage of 13.4 kmpl, with real world figures of between 10-11 kmpl.
Functional feature list
In terms of features, the Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI DSG is available only in the mid-trim Ambition variant and not the Elegance model. However, to handle the additional power it comes with fatter 205/55 R16 tyres, unlike the regular Ambition petrol which has 15-inch wheels. This is the same size used on the sportier Laura VRS as well. It comes with safety features such as ABS, EBD and traction control, as well as two airbags. Other features include parking sensors, touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth phone connectivity and steering audio controls, rear AC vents, but only manual air-conditioning control. Also read: Skoda Laura vRS launch
What we think
The Skoda Laura is a good driving enthusiasts car, and the DSG adds the convenience of a fast car for the city as well. However, it is priced at a bit of a premium, when you compare it with other petrol automatics in its league such as the Hyundai Elantra SX automatic, which has more features to offer at nearly Rs. 2 lakh less. The Laura has a lot more power to offer, and that’s the selling point. The Skoda Laura Ambition 1.8 TSI is as good as the Skoda Laura vRS, minus the bling, but with the added convenience of an automatic transmission. Also see: Skoda Laura RS performance video