Skoda Slavia long term review, 12,000km report

    Fifth report: It’s not an SUV, but it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.

    Published on Aug 19, 2023 08:30:00 AM


    Make : Skoda
    Model : Slavia

    Im back in the Slavia 1.5 TSI after a few months, and immediately, the extra punch of the engine and the sorted handling get the corners of my mouth to curl up involuntarily. This car is a pleasure to drive at all speeds. And what stands out and draws attention is just how well it is built and put together. The brightness and luster of the paint, the quality of the sheet metal work (A-class surfaces), how beautifully the chrome bits enhance the lines, and the way Skoda’s three-dimensional grille is chamfered are the bits I love.

    Suspension is supple, silent and grippy all at the same time.

    On the inside too, it’s a similar experience. The dash is clearly a step down from international models like the Octavia and Superb, still, the quality feel of the steering wheel, the beautifully built gear lever and the manner in which the door pads impart a solid vibe make it feel special. 

    What also feels great is that my iPhone connects in a snap, and the audio quality over phone calls is so good, you can talk softly and still be heard clearly on the other side. This certainly isn’t the case for all the cars in its class. In addition, the subwoofer-equipped audio system is crisp, clear and has plenty of ‘thump’, and I just love how the Slavia blots out the noise from outside the car. Impressive for a car in this class. 

    Slavia wades through water like an SUV.

    Last week, I unintentionally also put the Slavia through some tough off-road challenges. Blame the monsoons, especially the first deluge of rain. This time, rather than skirt around and re-route, as I normally do, I went through. This car has 179mm of ground clearance, remember, and that’s as good as many SUVs.

    I even managed some mild ‘off-roading’ in the Slavia. Out to visit friends on Mumbai’s coastal road, I happened to land up on a particularly wet day. The slush was quite deep in places due to heavy off-road truck tyres, and that meant the Slavia had to deal with the deep ruts. Judicious use of the gearbox and a firm foot on the throttle got me through pretty much unscathed. I also made sure to enjoy the playful handling of the Slavia on the less slushy bits. The fact that both the handbrake and the ESP off button are within easy reach made for a fun afternoon. 

    Driving data not easily accessible on poorly designed digital instrument panel.

    The brilliant suspension setup also works a treat on regular roads. There’s very little pitching over rough patches and poorly paved surfaces that are everywhere during the monsoon, I really like how the suspension doesn’t feel stiff-legged over bumps and ‘breathes’ beautifully. What ties it all together is the quick and accurate steering. 

    I also learnt to keep the windscreen and side windows fog free. The defogger works ok, but what helps even more is switching to fresh air from recirculation mode, and keeping the aircon temperature as close as possible to that of the outside air. This means the outside doesn’t frost up like a water bottle from the refrigerator. Now when it rains hard, I set the temperature to 24 or 25 degrees C rather than the 18 degrees normally needed on a hot day. 

    Also see: 

    Skoda Slavia long term review, 9400km report

    Skoda Slavia 1.5 TSI long term review, 7200km report

    Fact FilePetrol
    Distance covered12,060km
    Price when newRs 16.19 lakh (ex-showroom, India)Rs 16.19 lakh (ex-showroom, India)
    Test economy11.9kpl (overall)
    Maintenance costsNone
    Previous ReportMay 2022, July 2022, January 2023, April 2023

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