Skoda Slavia Review: First Impressions

Modified On Nov 22, 2021 11:50 AM By Arun for Skoda Slavia

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Skoda is making sedans sexy again by making you question if you really need that SUV to begin with!

We’ve been bombarded with “SUVs” for so long that it’s rather convenient to have forgotten what sedans are really capable of. Think about it: they’re comfortable, fun to drive and surprisingly, don’t ask you to trade on practicality either. Skoda’s Slavia replaces the ageing Rapid. In the process, it takes on the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna. Here’s a quick first look at what Skoda brings to the table. 

Exterior 

Mini Octavia? Mini Superb? Sure! Skoda has maintained the family theme quite well with the Slavia. The sharp lines, wide stance, and coupe-like roofline ensure you don’t mistake it for anything else. As far as size goes, the Slavia is marginally smaller, lower and wider compared to the new-generation Honda City. Skoda is offering five colours with the Slavia: the usual white, silver, steel and a couple of in-your-face shades like the blue and red. 

Skoda’s ‘crystalline’ design theme means the Slavia walks the tightrope between tasteful, elegant and sporty quite well. There’s a clear Fabia influence in the face with the large chrome-surround grille and the sharp LED projector headlights with a daytime running light underline. A mish-mash of cuts and creases make up the bumper, along with a dash of chrome above the fog lamp housing. It’s not overdone, thankfully.

From the side you’d notice that the ride height of the Slavia isn’t exactly low slung. Skoda claims a ride height of 179mm (unladen) that seems more than enough for our roads. With the sheer size of the Slavia, the 16-inch alloy wheels look slightly small. While we’d have loved to see 17-inch wheels here like the Kushaq, we do see how the smaller tyres are better suited to our road conditions. The sloping roofline is a highlight here for sure, but Skoda seems to have missed a trick by not offering a liftback opening for the rear. 

Speaking of which, compared to the sleek front, the rear is rather upright and slab-sided. The sharp LED tail lamps with the C-motif lighting look classy and so does the ‘S K O D A’ lettering. There’s some more chrome here on the bumper, to wrap things up.

Skoda has done well to not overdo the design. It’s classy and should appeal to existing Skoda/VW owners and first time buyers alike. We feel Skoda could’ve done better to distinguish the 1.5 TSi variants — maybe with a different set of wheels, a subtle body kit or even exhaust tips. 

Interior

Getting in and out of the Slavia felt natural. The seats aren’t set too low, and the elders in your family will appreciate this. Inside, the Slavia feels like a Skoda should. Well-built, good quality and with a few clever touches to make your life a little easier. 

Skoda Slavia cabin

The design is minimal, straightforward and easy on the eyes. There’s a lot in common with the global Fabia — the circular air vents, the bronze character line bisecting the dashboard and the free-floating touchscreen are identical to the hatchback. There’s no soft-touch material here, but Skoda has cleverly played with textures to make the Slavia’s cabin feel rich. The cross-hatch pattern on the top of the dash, the smooth finish on the bronze and piano black accents and the geometrical detailing under the touchscreen and door pads are all tastefully executed. 

If you intend on spending most of your time in the driver’s seat, you’d be happy with the support and cushioning on offer. There’s ample width between the front seats and enough headroom, even for six footers. More good news awaits if you intend on being the boss, with plenty of knee room and foot room at the rear. A caveat here is that the Slavia is best used as a four seater. There’s just about enough width for a third occupant to squeeze in, but the heavy contouring on the outward seats mean that the middle passenger is quite unwelcome. You’re better off using the central armrest. 

Skoda has also carried over the ‘Simply Clever’ touches from the Kushaq. This includes an elastic string in the door pockets to hold on to your magazines, rubberised mats for the cup holders and nifty phone pockets behind the front seats. 

Boot Space

With a 521-litre boot, the Slavia tops the charts. This cargo space isn’t just larger than the sedans, but also the SUVs that you get for roughly similar money. Folding the rear seats down gives you access to 1050 litres of space, which should be plenty to move house. 

Features

On the features front, the Slavia mimics the Kushaq. The basics are well cared for, which includes:

Keyless Entry

Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel

Push-button Start

Tilt-Telescopic Steering Adjust

Automatic Headlamps

Height-adjustable Driver’s Seat

Automatic Wipers

Cooled Glovebox

Leatherette Upholstery

Wireless Phone Charging

Skoda Slavia ventilated front seats

Highlights include an electric sunroof, ventilated front seats, and a touch interface for the climate control. There are a few additions over the Kushaq too — this includes the 8-inch digital driver’s display (that has a similar layout as the Volkswagen Taigun’s) and an 8-speaker sound system compared to the Kushaq’s 7-speaker setup. 

Skoda could’ve pushed the envelope here — by offering a 12.3-inch instrument cluster (like the global Fabia), or maybe a powered driver’s seat. The rear, too, could have benefitted from sunshades on the windows and rear windscreen. 

Engine and Performance

Skoda Slavia engine

You get to choose between two turbocharged petrol engines: a 1-litre, three-cylinder and a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual for both, along with a 6-speed automatic for the 1-litre TSi and a 7-speed DSG for the 1.5-litre TSi engine. Both engines have proven to be power packed, and should tickle the fancy of anyone who enjoys spending time behind the wheel. We’ve sampled the Slavia prototypes recently — do check out the report to get a taste of what the sedan feels like from the driver’s seat. 

Skoda is offering neither a diesel engine nor a CNG-powered version of the Slavia, and they’re not expected to debut anytime soon either. 

Variants

The Slavia will be available in three variants: Active, Ambition and Style. Here’s a quick look at the variant-wise engine options: 

Engine-Gearbox

Available Variants

1-litre TSI, 6-speed MT

Active, Ambition,Style

1-litre TSI, 6-speed AT

Ambition,Style

1.5-litre TSI, 6-speed MT

Style

1.5-litre TSI, 7-speed DSG

Style

Verdict

The final piece of the Slavia puzzle will be the price. We’re expecting it to undercut the Kushaq ever so slightly. You could expect prices to be in the Rs 10 lakh - Rs 18 lakh range when they’re announced in March 2022. Bookings are currently open for a token amount of Rs 11,000. Should you consider booking one? 

Well, with the Slavia, Skoda is reminding us of what sedans are truly capable of. As a package, there’s very little to fault the Slavia for. Sure it could do with a few more features here and there, and the lack of a diesel engine might turn away a few buyers. Other than that, it appears to be a spacious, well-equipped and fun-to-drive sedan.

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ganesh murugesan
Nov 22, 2021 1:45:44 PM

Pre-booked this car , eagerly waiting to have a look and test drive

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