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Skoda India has since the very beginning, given us some brilliant sedans. The brand made its India debut with the Octavia and that was a much-loved sedan. It still is a cult icon in many ways. Then along the way came the Laura, Superb, and Rapid. Quite simply then, sedans are the Czech brand's stronghold and now, there's a new one in town.
Skoda calls it the Slavia and it in essence, the replacement for the Skoda Rapid. The Rapid is an excellent mid-size sedan and to replace it, Skoda would have to make a brilliant car. This is where the Skoda Slavia comes in. The name Slavia roughly translates to ‘Glory' in Czech, and we got to witness it in person at the world static premiere of the sedan.
What is the Skoda Slavia like? Read on to know more.
Design & Style
Right off the bat, it is easy to say that it is in this segment that the Skoda Slavia scores the highest. It is a properly pretty sedan and features all the typical design traits of a Skoda. Up front is the signature butterfly grille with a chrome surround. The grille is flanked by sleek headlamps.
The headlamps add a lot of character to the front-end of the Slavia. It is an LED unit and has L-shaped LED DRLs inside them. The front bumper gets some cuts and creases and a honeycomb element as well. The circular fog lamps are powered by a halogen bulb and there is an inverted L-shaped element placed near the fog lamps.
The bonnet has some character lines that make the sedan look more muscular and makes it more attractive to look at. More character lines are found on the side profile of the Skoda Slavia. The bottom window line is finished in chrome and this ends in a little boomerang shape near the C-pillar. There is also a Chrome strip on the door handles.
Also, the roofline is sloping towards the rear-end and this creates a sporty coupe-like rear. You do get a shark fin antenna too. The Skoda Slavia rides on 16-inch wheels and the car we had access to, was equipped with dual-tone diamond-cut wheels. Skoda says there will be three alloy wheel options with the Slavia. The lower variants will possibly feature the other wheel designs.
Variants & Colours
The Skoda Slavia is available in three variants and can be had in five different colours:
Skoda Slavia Colour Options:
- Candy White
- Carbon Steel
- Reflex Silver
- Crystal Blue
The Carbon Steel colour looks classy and elegant while Tornado Red looks really attractive. While we didn't get to see Candy White and Reflex Silver in person, we did check out the Crystal Blue shade in depth and this is surely the colour to have. It looks beautiful. In-fact, it is a colour that is exclusive to the Skoda Slavia.
Skoda Slavia Variants:
Cockpit & Interior
Skoda's cars are typically known for their elegant, classy and comfortable interior and the Slavia is no exception. Open the doors and you are greeted by a spacious, dual-tone interior. You immediately get the feel of stepping into a premium car.
The first thing you notice is the two-spoke steering wheel. This is taken straight from the Skoda Kushaq and features the controls for music and calls. The knurled knobs on the steering wheel finished in silver only add to the list of features that make this sedan feel premium. Since this is the top-spec model with the 7-speed DSG, the back of the steering wheel featured paddle shifters as well.
An 8-inch TFT screen handles instrumentation duties. The completely digital instrumentation displays a lot of information including distance-to-empty, current fuel efficiency, average fuel efficiency, fuel levels, odometer, speedometer, etc. Looks premium and fancy for sure.
The dashboard is made of hard-touch plastic and taking centre stage on the dashboard is the touchscreen infotainment system. It is a 10-inch unit and gets the full connectivity suite for your smartphone. It features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The sound is reproduced through high-quality speakers and the top-spec Style variant even features a sub-woofer.
Below the infotainment screen are the centre AC vents and below them, lie the controls for the air conditioning. There are no buttons, sliders or knobs to control the AC, but it gets a haptic touch panel to do the job. The touch response on the AC control panel and the touchscreen infotainment is pretty good and they are easy to use.
The centre console feels premium and the gear lever gets a leather boot. The piano black panel that surrounds the gear lever also features a few buttons that control various functions of the sedan.
The AC vents on both ends of the dashboard are circular ad on the passenger side of the dashboard, there is neatly-integrated ambient lighting. The same dual-tone theme is continued at the rear too.
Chassis, Engine & Specifications
The Skoda Slavia is based on the MQB-A0-IN platform and is the second product to be launched under Skoda's India 2.0 strategy. The fact that it is based on a global platform customised for the Indian market simply means that a lot of parts sharing can happen between different models.
As a result, the engine and gearbox combinations seen in the Skoda Slavia are taken straight from the Skoda Kushaq. You get two engine options and three transmission options. The Skoda Slavia can be specced with a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol or a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine.
The 1.0-litre is a three-cylinder unit and has a maximum power output of 113.5bhp at 5,000rpm and a peak torque output of 178Nm between 1,750 and 4,500rpm. This engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
Then comes the bigger, more powerful engine. It is a four-cylinder, 1.5-litre unit that produces 148bhp at 5,000rpm and 250Nm at just 1,500rpm. This engine can be specced with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG. This engine promises explosive performance and we are quite looking forward to driving it.
With the bigger engine option, the Skoda Slavia becomes the most-powerful car in the mis-size sedan segment.
Comfort, Practicality, and Boot Space
Comfortable ride quality is one of the traits of a Skoda sedan and we cannot comment on the ride quality at the moment as we haven't driven the Slavia yet. However, we can comment on certain aspects of the car that makes it practical and comfortable.
All seats in the Skoda Slavia are perforated. However, the front seats also feature a ventilation feature. This should make long hours behind the wheel so much more comfortable. The front seats themselves are comfortable.
The rear is spacious too. The Skoda Slavia has a wheelbase of 2,651mm which is the highest in the segment and this leads to an abundance of legroom and knee room for the passengers. The Skoda Slavia is 1,752mm wide, which is again the largest in the segment and this also means three people can be seated in relative comfort.
You also get a fold-down armrest for the rear passengers, and there are cupholders in it too. This brings us to the storage spaces and cubbyholes in the Slavia. There is a small storage space in the dashboard and there are storage spaces in the centre console, door pockets and one can access the boot via a hatch in the rear seat. It is quite practical then.
Speaking of boot, the Skoda Slavia boasts a boot space of 521 litres, which is once again the largest in the segment. The rear seat can be folded-down and once this is done, Skoda claims a space of 1,050 litres! That is acres of space for a mid-sized sedan. Skoda certainly seems to have covered the comfort, practicality, and boot space areas very well.
Skoda hasn't slacked on equipping the Slavia with the best in terms of safety features. It comes with a host of safety features:
- ABS with EBD
- Traction Control
- Electronic Stability Program
- Hill Start Assist & Hill Hold Control
- Electronic Differential with Anti-Slip Regulation & Motor Slip Regulation
- Rollover Protection
- ISOFIX Seats
With so many safety features, the Skoda Slavia gives some cars from higher segments also a run for their money.
In an age where manufacturers place SUVs at the top of their priorities, Skoda seems to be sticking to its roots and has brought us yet another beautiful sedan. The Skoda Slavia is very attractive to behold and feels premium too. It is spacious and gets lots of features as well.
Skoda is expected to price the Slavia very competitively, and when this is kept in mind along with the power figures, it is quite obvious that the Skoda Slavia will be the best value-for-money sedan in its segment. The Slavia competes with the Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, and Honda City in the Indian market.
Stay tuned for our full review, when we will take the sedan out for a drive and tell you what it is like to be behind the wheel.