Our Slavia proves it’s a highway star by shrinking intercity journeys and making light of heavy going.
Very few cars feel equally at home in the city as well as on the highway. The Slavia is one of them. Effortless to drive in the city, comfortable over bad city roads and built so tough, it is devoid of any rattle or squeak even over the worst of roads, it is a car that also excels on the highway. Here, the inherent power and performance make the 1.5 TSI a rapid inter-city car. Outstation jaunts feel effortless and an absolute pleasure. Case in point, our long term car, which, despite being with us only since May, has done several outstation trips.
STRETCH OUT: More space and legroom here than its SUV sibling Kushaq.
The first involved a late afternoon trip up to Pune. Meant to be a quick run ‘up-and-over’, it turned out to be a long slog up the ghat. And a rare hour-long traffic jam meant we only reached after sundown. The reason for the jam: the construction of the ‘missing link’ that will cut down roughly 40 minutes from the Mumbai-Pune journey. Closing two lanes down to help widen the road, however, created chaos.
APP TECH: Love that I can check on traffic with just a single touch.
While the Slavia managed the uphill crawl admirably, the clutch and throttle needed some deft footwork, as the engine isn’t very reactive off idle, and power comes in quite steeply soon after. Ghat done and dusted, the Slavia then chewed up the remaining run to Pune in a glorious display of power, performance and impeccable driving manners. Before we knew it, we were in Pune.
The 521-litre boot is wide and easy to load; typical Skoda.
Up next, a faster, less traffic-infested drive to Palghar, north of Mumbai. The Slavia’s massive 521-litre boot really came to the fore here, and, with so much space at the rear of the cabin to stretch out in, it felt more like a junior Octavia than an uprated Rapid.
TOO BOLD: Bronze and piano black on dash not as classy as other Skodas.
Fast flowing roads and an early morning start also meant we dispatched the distance without much effort. Sat in sixth, the engine only ticking over at 1,900rpm, the Slavia also surprised me by sipping very little fuel, the cylinder deactivation feature clearly helping here.
AIR FILTER: Clogged air con filter needed to be cleaned to improve air flow.
The Slavia did need some attention though. With temperatures soaring, we had to get the air con’s blower and especially the filter cleaned. Turned out a clogged air con filter was reducing effectiveness and, as a result, it was taking longer to cool the cabin. It’s back to normal now, right in time for the muggy monsoon.