Sunday Pressure by Hormazd Sorabjee: Europe on India’s roads

Sedans are what Skoda does ultimate. This legacy is clear appropriate from the first-gen Octavia, which established Skoda as a top fee tag in India over 20 years in the past, to the precise-in-class Extra special, which has ruled its niche for years, and, needless to deliver, the mainstream Rapidly, which has been the bread-and-butter model for the firm. SUVs maintain come and gone and so maintain hatchbacks, but it’s the passe three-box sedan that has been the spine of Skoda’s fluctuate in India.

Which is why the significance of the Slavia, Skoda’s most up-to-date sedan offering, can no longer be underestimated. For one, the Slavia is the second product to be constructed below the firm’s audacious ‘India 2.0’ programme, a USD 1 billion ( 7,500 crore) investment to fabricate merchandise more in tune to local tastes and pockets.

The Slavia has also arrived to bolster Skoda’s whisper in the mid-sized sedan phase, and having grown in size and location with more facets and vitality, it’s no longer factual a alternative of the now-discontinued Rapidly, but has moved up a rung on the sedan ladder. In actual fact, it’s bigger than the first-gen Octavia in every dimension. It’s been launched with two engine recommendations, a 1.0 and 1.5 TSI turbo petrol. So, is it more of a junior Octavia than a bigger Rapidly? It’s quite of every and every in actuality.

Upside-shrink back

The Slavia appears to be like to be ultimate from the front where it’s unmistakably a Skoda with its signature grille. In distinction, the Slavia’s sides are orderly and straight forward even as the rear will get a distinctive dwelling of tail lights and a properly sculpted boot lid. All-in-all, the Slavia is a exciting taking a discover car with an even European air.

Love most Skodas, the Slavia too comes with a reasonable and huge cabin that feels effectively-constructed and lengthy-lasting. On the opposite hand, the inner doesn’t feel as top fee as the exterior and that’s largely down to the fabricate of in all probability the most offers. The imitation leather-essentially essentially based seats, as an instance, are crinkly in some areas and discover love aftermarket seat covers. Bits love the woven roof liner and in all probability the most plastic quality don’t live as much as the legacy of previous Skodas.

Indian customers might perhaps be happy to sacrifice the closing stage match and fabricate if the upside is a lovely imprint. The smaller 1.0 TSI is competitively priced and the fluctuate starts at `10.69 lakh and goes on to 15.39 lakh for the tip-of-the-fluctuate Vogue variant engine, which pits it straight in opposition to the Honda City. The more highly efficient and better 1.5 TSI is a lovely 2 lakh plus and clearly it’s handiest die-laborious enthusiasts who will interpret the mighty elevated imprint, critically since there’s no differentiation on the outdoor, no longer even a badge, to indicate it apart from the more cost-effective 1.0 model.

The Slavia has a generous, roomy cabin that packs a lot of features
The Slavia has a generous, roomy cabin that packs just a few facets

Vitality plus

Both items come effectively-equipped and the tip-stay Vogue will get just a few equipment, love six airbags, cooled seats, a sunroof and wireless charging. The 10.1-lag screen (decrease variants get a smaller 7-lag one) is exciting, easy to make employ of and has its appreciate bundle of apps.

Space is where the Slavia in actuality aces it. The cabin is highly roomy with generous location each and every in the front and abet. The rear seat is form of low but has wonderful legroom and is properly cushioned. Including to the comfort is the excellent scoot quality, the upshot of a finely judged suspension that cushions passengers in opposition to harmful roads.

Turbo vitality is one thing that Skoda touts and while you occur to abilities these engines you’ll know why. The smaller 1.0 TSI punches above its weight, delivering efficiency that’s in the league of larger engines. As adversarial to quite of sluggishness at low revs, it delivers vitality vigorously and you gained’t be left looking out for more. The 1.5 TSI is in an even league and the 150hp engine makes the Slavia the fastest mid-sized sedan you might steal. Both the 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI include manual and automatic recommendations and if cash became once no longer an argument, we’d plumb for the dear 1.5 TSI auto.

The Slavia isn’t cheap but it has plenty going for it and might additionally absolutely allure to folks who desire a more energizing, European various to the Honda City.

The views expressed by the columnist are private

From HT Brunch, March 6, 2022

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    Hormazd Sorabjee is one of potentially the most senior and loads loved auto journalists in India, and is the editor of Autocar India.

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