Skoda Slavia long term review, 14,500km report

    Our manual gearbox-equipped Slavia 1.5 TSI is both exhilarating and quite useable, depending on the conditions.

    Published on Nov 26, 2023 08:00:00 AM


    Skoda Slavia
    Make : Skoda
    Model : Slavia

    Favourite – something you always return to. Something you enjoy, over and over and over again. That car for me is Skoda’s Slavia 1.5 TSI. Put simply, it’s a car I always get back to after having driven something else, a car that ticks a large number of my ‘must-have’ boxes.

    The Slavia’s always been a car that has super-strong fundamentals. Power, performance, refinement, ride and handling, and a tough build... tick, tick, tick, tick. And what makes it net the ball is that it also comes with a great combination of frills. It gets a class-leading, subwoofer-equipped audio system (a feature I use all the time), crystal-clear phone connectivity, a bright and clear touchscreen and cooled seats. And, of course, the manual gearbox and well-weighted steering elevate the driving experience.  

    Skoda Slavia sunroof
    It isn’t panoramic, but it’s big, and in the right conditions, quite a treat.

    Wish I had an automatic today however. Ahead of me is a long line of cars inching forward, bumper to bumper. To make matters worse, bikers weave in and out of gaps in a merry dance and there’s a bunch of three-axle trucks who are trying to part traffic like Moses.

    Skoda Slavia manual
    Light, precise and quick when you want it to be. An absolute delight.

    Of course, it’s the clutch that gets tiring first. This is partly because the spring-weighted clutch isn’t ideal for smooth and especially slow getaways. So I have to be more deliberate and more measured to get it to crawl or get off the line. And this means the use of more muscle to hold the clutch.

    Skoda Slavia AC vent
    Slats on the vents droop down and don’t stay in place.

    Once traffic thins and flow improves, I find myself thoroughly enjoying the tactile pleasure of shifting gears. The gear lever is beautifully built and a real pleasure to use, the selector mechanism is superbly weighted, and what adds to the experience is that the gears click home with a satisfying rifle-bolt-like ‘clop-clack.’ When I park and switch off at the end of the day, the Slavia throws up a stat I blink at in disbelief – it says I’ve driven for 2.46 hours today. It didn’t feel that long. Guess that says a lot about how good the seat is, and that’s despite the seat height adjustment being far from ideal. Raise or lower the driver’s seat, and it tilts forward or back; absolutely galling.

    Skoda Slavia seat
    Seat height adjust also tips seat forward and back, not nice.

    But an early morning start the next day quickly reminds me why few cars, at even twice the price, aren’t this much fun. Empty, serpentine elevated roads; don’t you just love ’em! The Slavia 1.5 TSI really should have gotten a vRS badge. And yes, despite being a bit of a chore at times, the manual gearbox just adds so much to the driving experience. Manuals; enjoy them while you can. 

    Also see:

    Skoda Slavia long term review, 12,000km report

    Hyundai Verna vs Skoda Slavia vs Volkswagen Virtus: Performance incentive

    Skoda Slavia long term review, 9400km report

    Fact FilePetrol
    Distance covered14,521km
    Price when newRs 16.19 lakh (ex-showroom, India)
    Test economy11.3kpl (overall)
    Maintenance costsNone
    Previous ReportMay 2022, July 2022, January 2023, April 2023, August 2023

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