Say what you may but the arrival of the Skoda Slavia, along with its Volkswagen clone – the Virtus – has definitely brought sedans back in vogue, at least in India. In the current age of SUVs and crossovers, the Skoda-VW duo decided to swim against the tide to bring a refreshing pair of sedans to our market. And look what they’ve done – the Slavia and Virtus sell in as many numbers as their SUV counterparts. They’ve made sedans great again, period!
Now, choosing between the Slavia and Virtus is a bit like a coin toss, for they are almost identical in every area. The only difference lies in their badges and styling. I, for one, absolutely love the design of the Slavia – I believe it looks the most premium of the four offerings to come out from the MQB-A0-IN platform. But the jury was divided on this, obviously. In the end, the Virtus edged the Slavia in the final standings by a thin margin of just 1.2 points. The Slavia scored a point less in X-Factor and lost another 0.2 in the lap time category. And this also means that it lost out on being a part of ‘Best of 2022’ by just a whisker. What worked in Virtus’s favour ultimately is the GT treatment – it gives the high-end variant of the sedan a unique character. Whereas, in comparison, though the Skoda’s top-end variants look stunning, both the 1.0 and 1.5 TSI versions look the same.
The Slavia’s lap time was a couple of tenths slower than that of the Virtus, but all the jury members agreed that both the cars are identical in terms of ride and handling. This essentially means that the Slavia is a brilliant handler. It’s got that typical Skoda firmness, resulting in taut body control around corners, making it an involving drive every time you take the wheel. The steering is precise and offers good feedback too. Then there’s the 1.5-litre TSI motor and that slick-shifting 7-speed DSG. On the track, this combo was simply brilliant! Whether it’s refinement, throttle response, acceleration, or gear changes, this drivetrain is flawless. In fact, even the 1.0-litre version is quite punchy and doesn’t feel underpowered in comparison.
There aren’t any real deal breakers in the Slavia, but we do think the fit-and-finish and quality levels aren’t the best, and this goes for the Virtus as well. The ride quality is also a little firm at low speeds. However, given the Slavia’s driving dynamics, mini-Octavia appeal, and those stunning TSI engines, these minor flaws can be easily overlooked.
- Skoda Slavia (Lap Time – 01:12.2)
|COMFORT / SPACE||5||3|
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||4|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||19|