Skoda Slavia Is The New Octavia
With the current Octavia priced well beyond the reach of most, the Slavia appears to be the spiritual successor to the original Skoda sedan in India
Skoda is renowned for its premium sedans in India, and it all started with the first-gen Octavia. While the good ol’ Octy has leveled up since then, the recently unveiled Slavia has a lot in common with the original Octavia. The similarities cut across multiple aspects despite the two sedans being as many decades apart.
The Slavia’s dimensions are similar, actually slightly bigger, than the first Octavia. These proportions are small enough to make it easy to maneuver while still being spacious inside. It also promises the same European build quality. Factor in modern safety tech like ABS with EBD, up to six airbags, electronic stability control, and rear parking camera, the Slavia is safer too.
In terms of performance, the Slavia’s 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine (making 150PS/250Nm) is almost on par with the first-gen Octavia vRS offered in India. This powertrain also gets Skoda’s 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch automatic) and the choice of a 6-speed manual for the purists.
The Slavia replaces the Rapid, which also offered European build quality, good driving dynamics, and decent performance from its diesel-automatic and, most recently, the new 1.0-litre turbo-petrol powertrain. But its interior and feature list gave away its age (and ground) to its frequently updated rivals. However, the Slavia’s cabin can fill that gap, thanks to its premium design and extra comfort. It also stands out for its 8-inch digital instrument cluster, ventilated front seats, sunroof, wireless charging pad, and two-spoke steering wheel with styling controls.
The Slavia is a premium package standing head and shoulders above the Rapid, the reason why it’s being compared to the Octavia (which was just as feature-rich in the early 2000s).
The final similarity is in the prices. The first-gen Octavia debuted in India at a starting price of Rs 10.60 lakh (ex-showroom), and the Slavia’s also expected to start from Rs 10 lakh. At those prices, twenty years ago, the Octy gave us the quintessential ‘European sedan’ experience unlike anything else before, and the Slavia will do the same in 2022.
For reference, the current-gen Octavia is rather high-priced, starting from Rs 26.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
After factoring in these similarities, it seems fair to conclude that the Skoda Slavia is indeed the new Octavia for Indian car buyers. Pre-bookings for the new sedan are already underway, while test drives will begin from February 2022-end, followed by price announcement in March.
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