Both the Volkswagen Jetta as well as the Skoda Laura fall in the genre of D segment cars, which are mostly driven by chauffeurs, hence it would be best to restrict the comparison between the two vehicles to the aspects of looks, functionality, practicality, quality and comfort. Both the cars have drawn their inspiration from the Volkswagen group; however it is surprising that these, so-called siblings, hardly share any common traits.
The Skoda Laura has enjoyed a great deal of success in the recent past, however, some people believe that the Jetta has come to enlighten them about some basics of German automobile technology; are they right or the scenario is simply the reverse?
Feeling as you enter into the vehicle:
Doors: Doors of the Jetta are heavy, smooth and nice; however the Laura’s doors are lighter and easier to operate.
Space for entering: The Jetta scores better here with wider doors, and lesser noise, except for the Thud, on closing.
Height of seats: Both vehicles have seats in perfect height with adjustable settings, no differentiation on this score.
Steering impeding entry: In neither of the vehicles does the steering obstruct entry, however entry into the Jetta is comparitively easier.
Closing door after entering: Due to the doors being lighter in the Laura, it is slightly easier to close the doors after entering, compared to the Jetta.
The Driver’s Seat:
Cushioning on the back rest: The Jetta scores with its extra cushioning and its electrically operated lumber support; distance and height from steering is operated electrically too. The Laura has manual adjusters, though comfort wise nearly matching the Volkswagen Jetta.
Head Rest: Pokes a bit in the Laura whereas the Jetta has a nice feel.
With wide windshields, angled nicely for obstruction free viewing, the Jetta has a higher score in this parameter.
Seating: The Laura is equipped with soft fabric seats; making it easier for sudden movements and turns; it is even more comfortable whilst reversing.
Though the Jetta has a firm steering, the wheel size to thickness combo of the Laura makes it work better.
Controls on the steering: The Laura just has the centre horn, whereas the Jetta is equipped with audio controls, Phone and Volume +-.
Height and Reach adjustibility: Both vehicles have adjustable steering but the Laura scores because of its increased reach setting.
Horn Positioning: Better in the Laura as you do not have to grope for the horn even when steering.
Controls on the Steering column:
Dashboard data Readability: Laura’s data can be easily read out even when steering the vehicle whereas in the Jetta, the data sometimes skips your eye.
Extra Features in the Dashboard: Jetta’s dashboard, however, is loaded with info, the extra features included being radio stations, outside temperature, time, trip meters and the likes.
The Actual Drive:
Gear Shifting: The Jetta has automatic shifting of gears without jerking, gives the feeling that it’s a one gear car. The Laura can reach 60kmph in 1st gear, which makes for some fun.
Engine Observations: Both the vehicles have nice, noiseless, responsive engines and there is hardly any scope for differentiation in this aspect.
Brakes: Both the cars have got impressive braking systems, a word of caution though, if the brakes are not used in a proper manner, you can feel quite a nasty jerk.
Audio System: Clear and audible Audio System in the Jetta with graphic equalizers, makes it score heavily over the Skoda Laura, on this aspect.
Airconditioning: Offering terrific, instant cooling at even very high temperatures and with no irritating sounds even when the blower is at full speed, the Jetta scores better grades in the Airconditioning parameter.
Internal Storage Compartments: The Jetta scores over the Laura with a glove box big enough to hold the car’s manual. It is also cool enough to store perishable food items as well as cold drinks. The door pockets are also big enough to store 3 large water bottles.
Boot Space: With a bigger, wider boot and the capability to take in more loading, the Laura wins this segment clearly over the Jetta.
Summing up the analysis here, on two proven performers, one running on diesel while the other on petrol, it is not possible to find out any major differences between these two models; because each outshone the other in some parameter or the other. It is best left on the reader’s judgement as to which of these parameters hold more importance in their purchase decisions, for them to choose one car over the other.