Skoda Auto India is on a mission to increase the market share in India under the India 2.0 strategy. Within a year of the arrival of the all-new Kushaq in the Indian market, Skoda has introduced the all-new Slavia, which shares the same MQB A0 IN platform. But is it the best time for an all-new sedan to make an appearance in this market? Especially with the rising popularity of crossovers and SUVs in the Indian market? We drove the Skoda Slavia to find out the same answers.
Skoda will announce the prices of the Slavia 1.0-litre TSI at 11 AM. We will also bring you the review of Slavia 1.5-litre DSG on 3rd March.
Skoda Slavia: Exterior design
The Slavia is unmistakably Skoda. It gets a wide butterfly grille at the front just like other Skoda cars. The wide grille that accentuates the width of the Slavia is flanked by sleek headlamps with a crystalline design. There are J-shaped DRLs but they do not work as turn indicators. There are separate halogen bulbs that work as indicators.
Indians love chrome and Skoda has added some of it over the grille and if you move to the side, you will get to see more on the window line. Like all other Skodas, the side profile remains simple yet powerful. It gets a ground clearance of 179 mm, making it the best in the segment. Skoda is also offering 16-inch alloy wheels, leaving the wheel wells to look empty. But Skoda has preferred ride quality over the looks and we will talk more about it.
The rear look is very inspired by the 2021 VW Jetta. The split tail lamps, a thin stripe of chrome and the Skoda moniker running across the boot lid make it look quite premium.
Overall, the Slavia stands out in the crowd easily.
Skoda Slavia: Cabin and features
The Slavia feels very premium from the inside as well. The car gets a split dashboard design with a contrasting chrome and beige shade running across. There is no soft-touch material but Skoda has added textures to make the parts feel a bit more premium than the plain old hard plastic.
In the entre sits the 10.1-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets a slew of connected features as well. Right in front of the driver seat lies the twin-spoke steering wheel with leather wrap. It is premium to hold. The instrument cluster is all-digital.
The climate control system is located below the infotainment system. It is a touch-based system but it gets grooves which means that you do not need to take away your eyes from the road to operate the touch control system.
There is a sunroof and Skoda has improved the quality of the headliner compared to the Kushaq. It does not move as much and feels sturdier.
There is a wireless charger and small spaces to keep your daily items on the move. The glove box is cooled and there is space under the front armrest as well. Skoda offers two C-Type USB chargers in the Slavia and there is a 12V socket that is located next to the handbrake.
The seats are bucket type and are not electronically adjustable. However, the front seats get ventilation and it is an extremely useful feature in the hot Indian summers. The steering wheel can be adjusted for height and reach and it allows the driver to set in the most ergonomically comfortable position.
The rear gets a foldable armrest, AC vents that can only be opened and closed and clever phone holders integrated into the seat pockets.
Skoda Slavia: Space
The Slavia offers a massive boot space of 521 litres. It is much bigger than sub-4m compact SUVs available in the Indian market. The rear 60:40 split seats can be folded completely to reveal a grand space of 1,040 litres.
Because of the swooping roof design, a tall person sitting in the rear may find the headroom to be cramped. With my height of 5’11”, there was only a small space between my head and the headliner.
The third passenger will be a tight squeeze as well. With the thick side bolsters in the rear, it becomes a tight space for the third passenger in the rear. However, Skoda offers adjustable headrests and a three-point safety belt for the third passenger, which is a welcome move.
Skoda Slavia 1.0 TSI: Engine and drive
We drove the 1.0-litre automatic variant and will talk about that in this first-drive review. The review of 1.5-litre TSI DSG will go live on 3rd March at 9 AM. The 1.0-litre TSI engine is a three-pot engine but it does not feel like one. There is no vibration during idling.
The 1.0 TSI is a perfect choice for regular car users who have to negotiate the city traffic. It gets almost zero turbo-lag and with the torque converter, you barely feel any. The Slavia gets very strong low and mid-range outputs, making it easy to drive in the city traffic. With the automatic, you also get paddle shifters.
While the 1.0-litre engine produces a maximum power of 115 PS and peak torque of 175 Nm, overtaking while doing high speeds on the highway can take some time. But it can do regular highway runs with utmost ease.
The Slavia sits higher so it is not very enthusiastic while entering the corners at high speeds. However, the straight-line stability is supreme and the Slavia simply slings ahead in a straight line.
The ride quality is exceptional and we appreciate Skoda’s choice of alloy wheel size. The ride quality is sublime in the rear seats as well. With the valet mode and exceptional rear-seat comfort, the Slavia can become a perfect choice for chauffeur-driven owners.
Skoda Slavia: Good enough to buy?
The all-new Slavia is going to be a great choice for many who want a sedan for four adults and a kid with a lot of boot space. The 1.0-litre TSI automatic is perfect for city roads and it returns a good amount of fuel efficiency as well. Skoda will announce the price of the Slavia 1.0-litre in a couple of hours and you can check our website for a detailed price list and feature list. Do you think Slavia can become the best-seller in the segment? Do let us know in the comments below.