New Octavia or discounted Laura?
The Skoda Laura has been a worthy successor to the car that introduced the Czech brand in India, the Octavia. In fact, it is these two cars that have played a major role in the Skoda's success story in this country. The Laura (2nd generation Octavia) has been the benchmark vehicle in its segment. It is well built, offers good value and is still one of the most fun to drive cars in its segment. The car is powerful and efficient at same time as well.
Moreover, it has been constantly upgraded over the years and has become more affordable with the availability of lower spec variants. The car was only available with a diesel engine at the start, but then the Laura was launched with the powerful TSI petrol motor, followed by the sportier looking vRS model.
It has been eight years since the car was first introduced in India. Cosmetic changes and engine upgrades have ensured that the car is sill competitive. However, the all-new generation model is expected anytime now which will carry the original Octavia name once again. But, the Laura is still available at dealerships. The question is - should one wait for the new car or does buying the Laura still make sense?
To begin with, the Laura hasn't been selling well and sales have been declining sharply. In the month of March for instance, Skoda only managed to sell 93 units. This has resulted in most dealers across the country offering cash discounts of up to ?2 lakh on the petrol model. If you are an enthusiast and have always wanted the Laura TSI at an affordable price, then this is the right time to buy one. The diesel Laura too is going for a sizeable discount, and if you use your haggling skill to the fullest armed with the knowledge that the new car is due this year itself, you can push the dealership to sweeten the deal further. But before you decide on whether you want to buy the Laura or wait for the new Octavia, read our story on the new Octavia here.
Another good option would be to look for a low mileage used Laura. The cars are built well and there's nothing much that goes wrong with it mechanically, especially with the ones with the manual transmission. Yes, one would have to live with a few squeaks which is typical of most Volkswagen cars, but other than that, it should be worth your money. However, we'd recommend you wait till the new Octavia is launched. Given that Skoda will not price the new car at a premium over the existing Laura, the new Octavia's launch is bound to drive down the residual values of used Lauras. As of today, one can find two year old diesel models for under Rs 10 lakh (Mumbai).
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