Skoda Slavia | A Close Look & Preview
Called the Slavia, this car is Skoda’s second offering under its ‘India 2.0’ project. Interestingly, the name Slavia has been taken from the bicycle brand that Laurin and Klement introduced in 1896, just a year after the ‘Laurin & Klement’ company was founded.
Skoda Slavia Preview
Most of the segments in the Indian car market are now dominated by crossovers & SUVs, while sedans have been forced to play second fiddle. The Skoda-VW group is enhancing its presence in that body style with the Kushaq, Taigun, Tiguan, Kodiaq (2.0 TSI petrol expected soon) & more. But the group does remain a believer of sedans, with the Octavia & Superb both being continuously updated in segments where other brands have given up. Skoda believes the mid-size premium sedan market will grow by 138% from 2021-31. That’s why the company has unveiled an all-new sedan, which will go on sale in 2022. Called the Slavia, this car is the company’s second offering under its ‘India 2.0’ project. Interestingly, the name Slavia has been taken from the bicycle brand that Laurin and Klement introduced in 1896, just a year after the ‘Laurin & Klement’ company was founded.
Skoda’s sales in India have been very poor, despite the brand being present here for 2 decades! With the India 2.0 project, the Skoda-VW group is hoping to increase its market share in the country to 5% by 2025. The Kushaq – its first product under this program, has already gone on to become Skoda’s best-selling model and has helped the company post a triple-digit growth. With the Slavia, Skoda hopes to keep up the momentum.
When the Slavia goes on sale in the first quarter of 2022. Just like the Kushaq, it will be available in 3 trim levels – Active, Ambition and Style, with 2 turbo-petrol engine options – a 1.0 TSI with 6-speed MT and AT transmissions and a 1.5 TSI with a 6-speed MT and 7-speed DSG. Not offering a diesel will be a major handicap as the two best-selling sedans in the C2 segment (Honda City and Hyundai Verna) are available with diesel options.
Skoda Slavia Price & Brochure
The Slavia has been developed in India will be built in India with 95 per cent localisation, which (we hope) should allow Skoda to price it competitively.
The Kushaq’s official brochure can be downloaded here.
Design & Styling
The Slavia’s styling is unmistakably Skoda. It sports the familiar Skoda family face and the rear too has some resemblance to the 4th-gen Octavia, which was launched earlier this year. When it comes to size, it’s larger than the 1st-gen Octavia and has similar dimensions to the Honda City. The Slavia gets coupe-like styling, LED daytime running lights, hexagonal LED headlamps, LED tail-lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. The vehicle will be available in 5 single-tone body colours.
Build Quality, Fit & Finish
The Slavia has a monocoque construction and is built on the MQB-A0-IN platform, which is a variant of the modular MQB platform adapted for the Indian market. The doors, bonnet & tail-gate don’t feel as heavy as you’d expect in a European car. The doors make a bit of a clunky sound rather than a satisfying ‘thud’ on shutting. That said, they don’t feel flimsy. There’s not much flex in the body panels and the car feels fairly well built. Overall fit & finish are just as you’d expect from a European car.
Wheels & Tyres
The Style variant gets funky 16″ two-tone alloy wheels with 205/55 section tyres, which look proportionate to the metal on top. They fill up the wheel arches well. The Active variant gets 15″ steel wheels with hubcaps, while the Ambition variant comes with 16″ silver alloy wheels.
On paper, the Slavia has a ground clearance rating of 179 mm, which is healthy.
The Slavia is loaded with safety features such as 3-point seatbelts for all five occupants, 6 airbags, ESC, ABS, multi-collision brake, hill-hold, TPMS, ISOFIX child seat mounts, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, auto headlamps and auto wipers. The car is also equipped with XDS and XDS+, which is a part of the Electronic Differential System and improves the front wheel traction. It reacts when the load on the inner wheels is reduced while cornering and slows down the wheels under reduced load, preventing them from spinning.
Skoda claims that the car’s safety systems have not only been tested for generic crash tests like homologation and the GNCAP @ 64 km/h front deformable barrier but are also designed and tested to work in crash scenarios based on internal VW standards. The side and curtain airbags have been designed to meet a crash scenario of side pole crash, which is higher than GNCAP standards. The curtain airbags offer head protection to the front as well as rear passengers. The Slavia has been designed to meet European pedestrian safety norms. Currently, the Indian regulatory requirements only mandate protection for lower leg & head impact; the Slavia will reduce upper leg injuries too.
Skoda Slavia Exterior Images
Front is unmistakably Skoda and bears resemblance to the Octavia:
The rear has clean-cut edges and loud “S K O D A” lettering. A smaller “Slavia” badge sits on the left:
Subtle cuts & creases run along the sides. This is a good-looking car:
Slavia measures 4,541 mm, 1,752 mm and 1,487 mm in L x W x H respectively, with a wheelbase of 2,651 mm. This makes it the widest car in the segment with the longest wheelbase. In fact, the length of the wheelbase is identical to the Kushaq, with which it shares the MQB-A0-IN platform:
Headlamp clusters consist of L-shaped LED daytime running lights, hexagonal LED modules for the low beam and main beam. They have many crystalline touches. Halogen fog lamps sit on the bumper just below the headlights and have black housings with honeycomb mesh detailing and glossy black borders:
L-shaped LED daytime running lights in action:
Signature butterfly front grille gets chrome lining all around and vertical slats with piano black inserts:
Front bumper features a wide air dam with a black honeycomb mesh grille. Front parking sensors are not available even on the higher variants:
The bonnet has a prominent crease line with a hump in the middle and raised sides:
Plastic underbody protection at the front does not stretch back a long way. However, the Slavia’s ground clearance of 179 mm is more than its direct rivals:
Small aero flaps just ahead of the front wheels:
Front fenders house unique piano black inserts with chrome “SKODA” lettering:
ORVMs with integrated turn-indicators:
Chrome inserts have been provided on all door handles, with request sensors on both front doors:
Smart looking 16″ dual-tone rims shod with 205/55 section rubber fill up the wheel wells. Lower variants get 15″ rims:
Even the top-end Style variant does not get rear disc brakes:
Front & rear wheel wells get full plastic cladding:
A coupe-like design means that the roof design is round. The window line rises towards the rear and the roofline tapers, limiting the glass area. B-pillars are blacked out:
Just like the other cars in the segment, the Slavia does not get a panoramic sunroof. Instead, you get a regular unit, which is adequately sized:
Contrast black sharkfin antenna sits at the end of the roof section:
Split tail-lamp clusters feature crystalline details, C-shaped LED pilot and brake lamps, with halogen units for the turn-indicators and reversing lights:
Funky detailing on the side of the tail-lamp cluster:
Boot lid gets a prominent lip at the top:
Reversing camera is placed next to the electromagnetic boot release. Rear bumper has a slim chrome strip and a black insert with honeycomb mesh detailing and a slim reflector on either side. 3 parking sensors have been provided:
Twin exhaust pipes on the left:
Apart from the Tornado Red colour of the car pictured above, the Slavia is available in four other shades – Candy White, Brilliant Silver, Carbon Steel and Crystal Blue Here it is in the Crystal Blue shade, which along with the Tornado Red is exclusively offered in the Indian market:
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