With the intent of keeping some of its focus intact on its core strength of making sedans, Skoda has unveiled the all-new Slavia for the Indian market. Introduced as a replacement to the Rapid, which is the highest-selling model in the history of Skoda in India, the new Skoda Slavia will be positioned at a slight premium over the former. The new Slavia is now open for bookings at all the dealerships of Skoda in India, with the model scheduled to hit the showroom floors in Q1 2022.
The new Skoda Slavia is bigger than the outgoing Rapid in every sense. Taking some inspiration from the Kushaq, the new Slavia offers a best-in-class wheelbase of 2651mm, which along with the best-in-class width of 1752mm, indicates improved levels of space inside. Even the boot space of 521 litres is class-leading. The length and height of the Slavia are rated at 4541mm and 1487mm, bringing it much closer to the current segment benchmark, the Honda City.
The new Skoda Slavia seeks a lot of inspiration from the bigger Octavia when it comes to visual appeal on the outside. Compared to the outgoing Rapid, the new Slavia looks much bolder and sharper with a bigger hexagonal grille with vertical slats and chrome surrounds and sleeker headlamps with LED projectors and L-shaped daytime running LEDs. The L-shaped housings for the fog lamps also get additional chrome accents.
Additional chrome can be found on the shoulder line and door handles on the side, with the Slavia getting a nice-looking logo on the front fender. The door panels have a couple of strong character lines and the roofline flows smoothly towards the rear in a notchback form. The top-spec versions will get 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.
At the back, the new Skoda Slavia gets wide ‘Skoda’ lettering across the boot lid, much like in the Octavia and sharper-looking set of tail lamps with LED inserts. The rear bumper also gets a subtle looking chrome strip across its width. The new Slavia will be offered in five paint schemes, namely Candy White, Reflex Silver, Carbon Steel, Tornado Red and Crystal Blue.
On the inside, the Skoda Slavia has a completely redesigned cabin layout, which looks much closer to that of the Octavia. There is a lot of component sharing with the Kushaq, which is evident from the 10-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system and the lower centre console design, which has a touch-controlled panel for the automatic climate control and sleek AC vents.
Other prominent details of the cabin of the Slavia include rounded AC vents on the corners of the dashboard, ‘Skoda’ letterings embossed on the sides of the instrument console housing and a contrasting decorative strip across the width of the dashboard.
The Skoda Rapid gets all the premium and modern features that one expects from a car of this class, such as a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, electric sunroof, leather upholstery, wireless charging, rear AC vents, 8-inch full TFT instrument console, MySkoda connected car tech, ventilated front seats and push start-stop button.
The Slavia gets more than enough equipment when it comes to safety too. The top-spec trims get dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, hill hold assist, electronic differential system, reverse parking sensors and camera, tire pressure monitoring system and ISOFIX mounts child seats.
Engines and Transmissions
The new Skoda Slavia shares its entire powertrain lineup with the Kushaq SUV, with which it shares its India-specific MQB-A0 IN platform. The volume-driver will be the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which was there in the outgoing Rapid as well. However, here in Slavia, the engine produces more power than the Rapid. To be made available with both 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearbox, the engine makes 115 bhp of maximum power and 175 Nm of maximum torque.
In addition, the Slavia will also be offered with a more powerful 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which makes 150 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque. Like in the Kushaq, this engine will be available with a 6-speed manual and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and features a cylinder deactivation system for extracting better fuel economy in the real world.
Expected price and Rivals
With all the added equipment in and out and bigger dimensions, the Skoda Slavia gives a feel of a much bigger and more premium car over the Rapid. This will result in a higher price range over the Rapid, which is expected to be in between Rs 10-16 lakh mark. With this price range, the Slavia directly takes on the Honda City, while competing with the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna too.