The Slavia 1.5 has made it to the MotorBeam garage and the timing hasn’t been the best. Don’t get me wrong though, I absolutely love the Slavia ever since I drove it in Goa last year. Unfortunately, I parked the Slavia in my garage and immediately I was off to the US for the Audi RS7 Performance Media Drive. Things only went bad from there, time point of view, as the automobile circus was in full swing. Back to back media drives meant that I was only at home to spend the night and this is the primary reason why I haven’t spent much time with the Slavia.
We had the Kushaq 1.0-litre in our fleet last year and now it’s time to sample the much acclaimed 1.5-TSI with the Skoda Slavia. I have used the car on and off, primarily for moving around to clinic and office, have dropped a few people to the airport as well. One thing is certain, the car is super easy to live with. The engine is a gem and coupled with the DSG makes it extremely comfortable and easy to drive around. It is a monster too, step on the throttle and you can get carried away with the 150 horses dancing to the tunes of 250 Nm of torque. This shade of blue is particularly very soothing to the eye.
We have used the Slavia as the support car on multiple shoots. 521-litre boot means there is always enough space for all the camera equipment and more. As I mentioned earlier, I have picked up and dropped off a few people to the airport as well. No complaints on how much luggage the boot can swallow. In fact, we could fit 3 medium sized bags in the boot, all at once. In these days of electrification, cars have lost their souls, have become mere gadgets and the element of fun is vanishing with time. Fortunately, the Slavia does manage to put a smile on your face once you get behind the wheel.
The steering feels very precise and predictable when you want the adrenaline rush. In sedate conditions, it’s light and easy to manoeuvre through city traffic. I used to love manual transmissions in the past but too much driving daily in city conditions has made me fall in love with the automatics. The 7-speed DSG is an absolute gem, butter smooth and flawless when it comes to shifts. However, the Sport mode coupled with the paddle shifters doesn’t make me miss the stick shift too much. The engine has a super racy tune to it when it gets close to the redline. Never do you feel any lack of power, both in city and highway conditions. Even when fully loaded, the Slavia has more than enough grunt.
Fuel efficiency is subjective, especially when you tend to redline the car on most occasions. However, we found our 1.5-litre Slavia to be more fuel efficient than the 1.0-litre Kushaq we were previously driving. It may sound a bit ridiculous on paper but this is due to the cylinder deactivation tech which is part of the 1.5 TSI (1.0-TSI doesn’t get this feature). Since most of our running was on the highway, the Slavia would shut down 2 cylinders resulting is improved fuel efficiency. We are getting about 12-13 km/l currently (60% highway/40% city). This is quite reasonable considering we aren’t really diving with a light foot. On the downside, the fuel efficiency does drop below 10 km/l in bumper to bumper traffic.
Another thing I love about the Slavia is 179 mm of ground clearance, which is almost SUV category. Practically speaking, the car manages to stay clear of all potholes thrown at it (there are infinite of them during the monsoon season). I have only managed to drive the car for 1200 kms till now, primarily as I am been literally living out of a suitcase. High time I plan a long trip with the Slavia soon, let’s see, time permitting. Or probably I will just hand over the keys to Parth, who is a huge German car buff. He has been prying on the Slavia since his Taigun went back to the plant. Nevertheless, we will keep the odometer ticking. One thing is certain, the Slavia is currently liked by all members of the team and yes, the video will be coming too, so stay tuned to the MotorBeam channel.