Skoda India has unveiled the Slavia, the replacement for the outgoing Rapid. This is the second offering from the carmaker and the third model based on the MQB-A0-IN platform from the Skoda-VW Group. The Skoda Slavia will reach customers in the first quarter of 2022, and the company claims it has achieved 95 percent parts localization on the car, which should help keep pricing competitive.
The Slavia is a departure from the Rapid with its dimensions, kit and powerplants moving it to a higher segment where it will take on the likes of the Honda City and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Measuring 4,541mm in length, 1,752mm in width and1,487mm in height, and a wheelbase of 2,651mm, the Slavia is significantly larger than the Rapid. It also gets a choice of two TSI turbo-petrol engines (1.0 and 1.5-litre units producing 116.5 and 152PS, respectively). The smaller 1.0-litre TSI unit is mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter. The 1.5-litre TSI that also gets cylinder activation technology is offered with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG.
The Slavia is an expression of Skoda’s new design language. It has a chiseled face with the signature butterfly grille that is flanked by headlamps with L-shaped DRLs, and sharp cuts and straight lines that accentuate its low and athletic stance. The muscular lines run along the sides as well. The gently sloping roofline gives the Slavia a coupé-like silhouette and leads to a well-contoured boot with C-shaped tail-lamps. It comes with 16-inch alloy wheels. Five exterior paint schemes will be on offer: Tornado Red, Crystal Blue, Candy White, Reflex Silver and Carbon Steel.
On the inside, the Skoda Slavia bears resemblance to the larger Octavia with several bits shared with the Kushaq as well. Front and centre is the 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display with the AC vents below. The two-spoke steering wheel gets mounted controls. Running across the dash is a bar of a contrasting colour that breaks up the monotony of the cabin. Climate controls are operated by a touch panel, as seen in the Kushaq. Importantly, the Slavia gets a digital instrument cluster—a first in the segment.
The larger wheelbase, length, and width translate into a much roomier interior. Combine that with its long feature list that includes connected car tech, leather upholstery, electric sunroof, wireless charger, and auto climate control, the Slavia seems like a very impressive proposition. On the safety front, you get six airbags, ESC, an electronic differential system (EDS), a tyre pressure monitor, hill-hold control, a rear parking camera, and a multi-collision brake.
When it arrives next year, the Skoda Slavia prices are expected to start at around Rs. 10 lakh and go up to Rs. 17 lakh for the top-spec variant. On paper, the Slavia is impressive with its good mix of features, great design and proven engine and gearbox combinations. If it proves to be a winner, the car could revive a segment that’s seen declining sales in recent times and will follow the impressive showing of the Skoda Kushaq.