2022 Skoda Slavia 1.5-litre first drive review
With the Slavia, Skoda India is banking on a two-pronged approach to dominate the mid-sized sedan segment in the country. The Slavia 1.0 will be the one to make the sales targets, and go head-to-head with rivals, but the trump card is the Skoda Slavia 1.5. Only available in the top Style variant, the larger-engined Slavia is aimed at a more discerning buyer and will cover a much wider price range, maybe even create a new niche in the sedan segment with its added turn of speed.
2022 Skoda Slavia 1.5-litre driving dimensions
The larger-engined Skoda Slavia is powered by the imported 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo. And with its 150PS and 250 Nm, is by far the most powerful car of its size. This significant advantage in outputs over the 1.0-litre also makes for a richer driving experience, helped by the general improvements to this architecture's NVH characteristics with the Slavia. So immediately, off the line, there's a touch less hesitation, the larger displacement and much more decisive DCT gearbox allowing for smoother performance as compared to the 1.0-litre.
The extra ratio and the wide powerband also means that performance is more accessible in any situation, whether it be closing gaps in traffic or holding highway speeds. In fact, the Slavia 1.5 feels far less stressed when accelerating up to triple-digit speeds, adding a touch of clarity to the car's manners that isn't seen on other rivals in this segment. And the DCT only furthered this trait. As always, the gearbox is perfectly attuned to the engine's powerband and will react quickly to any changes in inputs, even more so with the paddles. In fact, shifts at the higher reaches of the rev-band hit home with a crispness that makes wringing this engine out even more appealing than it already is.
As for the six-speed manual, the unit is different from the one in the Slavia 1.0, but functions in much the same way. The clutch travel is slightly long, but engages progressively, so making shifts isn't all that much of a hassle. The shift action is precise enough too, even though it lacks the tactility of a Honda shifter. But we think the DCT is the way to go with the larger motor. It fully taps into the performance on offer, and brings you very close to the full Skoda sedan experience. And combined with the seamless cylinder deactivation function, the added ratio should also mean that this version will be the most efficient of all Slavias, if the Kushaq is anything to go by.
As for the Skoda Slava 1.5's ride and handling characteristics, there's little to choose between the two versions. The added weight in the front of the larger engine and more complex gearbox means that the 1.5 doesn't change direction as swiftly as the 1.0, but this is a marginal difference only apparent when both versions are driven back-to-back. We still would like the steering to weigh up a bit more at speed but the well-judged body movements continue here as well. So the Slavia 1.5 is as well controlled with its lean as the 1.0 and irons out rough patches at any speed as effectively.
2022 Skoda Slavia 1.5-litre interior, styling, features, safety
As has been the strategy Skoda has followed with its 1.5-litre cars, the bigger engined Slavia will get the same set of features and styling as the 1.0-litre. So you get the handsome, contemporary Skoda styling, the large and spacious interior with the much improved finishes and the fairly long list of features. Since the Slavia 1.5 is only available with the top trim, you get the full stack of safety kit in these versions.
2022 Skoda Slavia 1.5-litre verdict
We think the Skoda Slavia 1.0-litre will cover most needs of sedan buyers in this price range. Although that doesn't mean that there's no case for the Slavia 1.5. If you are looking for an experience that is the closest to the legendary feel from a Skoda sedan, the 1.5-litre should be your pick. Its effortless performance and crisp shifting gearbox make for a smoother, not to mention even calmer, driving experience that few other cars of this size match.
Images by Anis Shaikh
Starts Rs 10.69 Lakhs