Skoda Slavia vs Honda City: Space and Practicality Comparison Review

Published On Apr 08, 2022 By Arun for Skoda Slavia

Can Skoda’s latest beat Honda’s reigning champion at its own game?

In recent years, if we could credit manufacturers for igniting and stoking the love for sedans amongst us Indians it’d have to be Skoda and Honda. Skoda with the likeable Superb, Octavia, and Rapid, and Honda with the Accord, Civic, and City. 

Skoda’s erstwhile youngest, the Rapid, has sailed into the sunset, tagging in the brand new Slavia to pick up the gauntlet against Honda’s ever-desirable City. Which sedan should you bring home, and why?

Looks 

While similarly sized, we see a clash in philosophies when it comes to design. Japanese influences are amply evident in the Honda City’s low-slung nose, wide chrome face and curvier profile. On the other hand, the Skoda Slavia shows off its German/Czech roots with flat yet tight surfaces, lots of crystalline detailing and crisp accent lines. Both, in our opinion, are sure to age well. If you intend on hanging on to your new set of wheels for a decade or so, you wouldn’t be tired of looking at either sitting pretty in your parking lot. 

Dimensions

Skoda Slavia

Honda City

Length

4541mm

4549mm

Width

1752mm

1748mm

Height

1507mm

1489mm

Wheelbase

2651mm

2600mm


Both sedans are up-to-date with the must-haves: the City sports full-LED headlamps, whereas the Slavia gets LED projectors with a sharp daytime running lamp setup. Dual-tone 16-inch alloy wheels look smart on both, but we prefer the design on the City a little more. LED elements in the tail lamps, a shark fin antenna and subtle dabs of chrome on the door handles complete the package on these baby exec-sedans. 

Boot Space

On paper, there’s very little separating the Honda City’s 506-litre boot from the Skoda Slavia’s 521-litre trunk. But the Skoda has a distinct advantage here, owing to how the boot is shaped. While the height of the loading lip isn’t an issue with either, the Slavia has a wider bay. 

  • Both sedans managed to swallow in our test luggage that comprises a full-size, medium and small trolley bags along with two duffle bags. This means you can travel with a week’s worth of luggage comfortably in either car. 

  • The Honda City could additionally take in an overnighter suitcase. On the other hand, the Skoda Slavia had space for two overnighter suitcases. 

  • Both had some space to spare along the side — perfect for large water bottles, or even footwear. Here too, the Skoda had noticeably more space to offer, compared to the Honda. 

The additional 15 litres of boot space might not seem like much on paper, but in terms of usability the Slavia has a clear lead. There’s some additional practicality to be had in the 60:40 split folding rear seat as well. 

Getting In and Out 

  • Both sedans require you to lower yourself into the cabin. If you’re used to SUVs or MPVs, this might take some effort.

  • Getting into the Honda City is relatively easier for the elderly, given the higher seat height.

Backseat Experience 

Honda City 

  • The City has been known for its palatial backseat, and it remains our pick if you intend on being chauffeur driven. The sheer room and sense of space it offers continues to be the segment benchmark.

  • In terms of outright kneeroom, the Honda manages a sizable lead over the Skoda. There’s enough space for a 6 footer to be seated behind a 6’5'' tall person, with some room to spare.

  • There’s more width on offer too, meaning three passengers will be a lot more comfortable in the City. The flatter seats and scooped out door pads liberate some crucial millimetres of shoulder room. 

  • Compromises come in the form of limited headroom — things will feel tight for anyone taller than 6 feet in height. Foot room is in short supply too, especially if the driver’s seat is set to its lowest setting. 

Skoda Slavia

  • The Slavia might not match the City in terms of kneeroom, but there’s enough space for a 6 footer to sit comfortably behind one in the driver’s seat. 

  • Aggressive contouring on the rear seat amplifies the Slavia’s relative lack of width. However, as a four seater, the Skoda is the better car, offering better support for the back and sides. 

  • A larger and angled seat base ensures the Slavia also offers better underthigh support compared to the City. There’s better footroom to be had here too. Interestingly, both front seats can be adjusted for height in the Skoda. 

  • Headroom is noticeably better too. 

  • Smaller windows and greater use of black robs this cabin of its sense of space. Makes the cabin feel narrower than it actually is. 

Rear Seat Amenities

Skoda Slavia

Honda City

Rear AC Vents

Rear AC Vents

2x Type C Charging Sockets

2x 12V Charging Sockets

Adjustable Headrests (3)

Fixed Headrests (3) 

Central Armrest With Cupholders

Central Armrest With Cupholders

Seat-back Pockets with Phone Holder

Seat-back Pockets with Phone Holder

No Sunshades

Rear Sunshade


Front Row

Honda City 

  • One of the first things that strikes you from the City’s front seat is the sheer size of the glass area. This lets a whole lot of light in and the light beige upholstery of the seats make the cabin feel large. 

  • Much like the rear seats, the front seats have a flat profile. This isn’t as snug or supportive as the Slavia’s, but will be kinder to those who are plus sized. Seat comfort is par for the course, even for longer journeys. 

  • Cabin experience in-general feels a notch above the Skoda’s. There’s better quality plastic on the dashboard and door pads and a whole lot more attention to detail in elements such as the leather insert on the dash, wooden trim above the glovebox, and the knurled finish on the climate control knobs. 

Skoda Slavia

  • The Slavia has the more traditionally sedan seating posture where the dashboard envelopes you, making you feel one with the car.

  • Seats have aggressive bolstering on the sides, and better support for the underthigh here too. Just the seats you want to be in if you’re cornering hard. However, if you are on the heavier side, you might end up ‘spilling out’ of the seats.

  • Fabia-inspired dashboard design is great, but Skoda seems to have taken a step back in terms of quality. Creaky trims, inconsistent panel gaps and hard plastics take away from the robust experience one expects from a Skoda. 

Front Seat Storage Options 

In terms of storage, both sedans are neck and neck. Door pads that comfortably hold 1-litre bottles, small cupholders in the central stack, and a deep cubby under the front armrest are common to both. Gloveboxes are adequately sized, and both offer ample space to store your phones too. 

The Skoda one-ups the Honda by way of little details such as a ticket clip, elastic straps to hold magazines in the door pads and grippy mats in the cupholders. The wireless charger design is super clever too. 

Features 

Both sedans have a bunch of common features — this includes

Keyless Entry

Push-button Start/Stop

Tilt-Telescopic Adjust Steering

Height-adjustable Driver’s Seat

Automatic Climate Control

Electric Sunroof 

Cruise Control

Leatherette Upholstery

Safety features are evenly matched too. However, it’s key to note that lower variants of the Skoda Slavia offer only two airbags, whereas four airbags are offered as standard on the Honda City.

Common Safety Features

6 Airbags

Electronic Stability Control

ABS with EBD

Tyre Deflation Warning

ISOFIX Child Seat Mounts

Hill Start Assist

Being the newer car, it’s not surprising that the Slavia has the better feature list. This includes some now-must-have features such as ventilated front seats, wireless charger and a fully-digital driver’s display. That said, we have to point out that the analogue-digital dials of the City are quite classy too. 

Oddly enough, a Skoda-VW trait, one touch up/down for all windows, is available in the City, whereas the Slavia gets this functionality only for the driver’s window.

The Skoda very convincingly trumps the Honda when it comes to infotainment. The larger 10.1-inch touchscreen (the Honda gets an 8-inch display) is not just richer in terms of graphics and user interface but is also far easier to use and get used to. It also offers the added convenience of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.  

Ease Of Driving and Ride Quality

For anyone upgrading from a hatchback, either sedans will feel natural to drive. The added size of the cars don’t feel daunting from behind the wheel at the slightest. Couple this with light and predictable controls, and you should be at ease driving either of them in no time. 

For this review, we aren’t going to get into the nitty-gritty details of how they drive. We will point out however that both the 1.5-litre motor in the City and the 1.0-litre turbo motor in the Slavia are refined and enjoyable. The Skoda’s extra torque makes it that much more appealing to the enthusiast. 

As far as ride quality goes, both sedans are at home on smooth tarmac — delivering a comfortable experience that one expects from a sedan. Push speeds into triple digits and the City tends to feel floatier, especially at the rear. In contrast, the Slavia remains poised and hunkered down. Undulations or expansion joints at highway speeds are dealt with more confidence in the Skoda too, with a suspension that settles immediately. We wish the thud sound from the suspension was better insulated though. The Honda has a sharp kick-back, which has the occupants experience vertical movement.  

Over bad roads, at super slow speeds (<20kmph), the City finds its feet. It sails through without disturbing the cabin. The Slavia, on the other hand, rocks the occupants side-to-side a fair bit. Thankfully, there’s a solution: pick up the pace. The additional 14mm of ground clearance on the Skoda might just come in handy here too, letting you go faster over broken roads. But bear in mind, while both sedans are reasonably adept at dealing with our roads, with full loads (especially over nasty speed breakers) — it’s just wiser to take things slow. And that's where the City in fact has an advantage by not compressing the suspension much. The Slavia can touch its belly under compression if you are not being careful.

Verdict 

Despite slugging it out in the same space, these two sedans offer distinctly different experiences. While you won’t go wrong with either, here’s what you should keep in mind to choose better: 

Pick the Honda City if: 

  • Your requirements clearly demand a 5-seater sedan. Seating three abreast at the rear is far more comfortable here compared to the Slavia. 

  • You intend on being chauffeur driven. With this, you will appreciate the added space and the ‘big car’ feeling too courtesy a better-built cabin with higher quality plastics as well as touch and feel. The ride at the back seat is better here too. 

  • You travel mostly within the city and for short trips around town, where a cushy low speed ride quality takes precedence over much else. 

We do wish the City had better highway manners. Also, an old-school naturally aspirated engine paired with a manual/CVT is certainly reliable in the long run, but also a bit staid when compared to modern turbocharged motors. 

Pick the Skoda Slavia if: 

  • You want a sedan for roadtrips! Between the larger boot and the rock-steady highway manners, this is a sedan that loves munching highway miles. The potent drivetrain is a bonus. 

  • You need a sedan for mostly four. Heavily contoured seats are superlative in terms of support.

  • You see value in the additional features that the Slavia offers: ventilated front seats, wireless charging and a fully-digital driver’s display. 

The Slavia doesn’t really capitalise on its extra wheelbase by offering more kneeroom. Also, compared to the City the cabin feels narrow, making you feel like you’re in a car that’s a size smaller. Our biggest gripe with the Slavia continues to be the interior quality, that could definitely do more to live up to the badge on the nose. 

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