6000 km up on my Skoda Slavia DSG: Points on what I love & what I don't

Cylinder deactivation works like a charm and I get an overall average of around 14-15 kmpl on mixed cycle.

BHPian Peterf recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hey everyone,

After driving my Dhanno for nearly 6000 kms would like to share experience with my fellow forum members as well as prospective buyers.

I own a Skoda Slavia Ambition 1.5 DSG model. Bought it last year in September and have used it for 6000kms in both city and highways, in plains and on mountains. The experience has mostly been great, and I would like to categories it broadly in three categories. Things that are great, Things that I can overlook and then things that I just hate.


  • The Engine and gearbox: This engine pumps out 150 bhp and 250 NM of torque and coupled with the extremely fast shifting DSG is plenty of fun on our roads. Overtaking traffic is easy and it is very quick to downshift even in D mode. S mode makes it hold the gears that much longer and is great fun of mountains and dual carriageways where in no time you are overtaking every thing on the road. Very few cars this side of 20 lakhs can give similar satisfaction. All this performance are not at a cost of refinement and the car definitely has got a personality. Sophisticated, charming but arrogant if need arises.
  • Exterior Looks: Now I know looks can be subjective but Slavia has clean, strong European lines which will look good even 10 years down the line. It looks good in every color but my personal favorite are red and white.
  • Safety: This is a 5 star GNCAP rated car with a strong body shell and you feel cocooned inside it. It is very difficult to pen down this feeling but it is a characteristic that I have only felt in FORD,VAG, TATA cars. Even the body panels are quite strong. Had an autorickshaw hit it sideways at large speed but it took it quite well.
  • Paint Quality: I had taken an independent PDI and the guy told me that my car had the best paint quality among the 7 cars he had inspected that week.
  • Ride Quality: Very composed ride although a bit stiff is composed over multiple kind of roads. Gives confidence on high speeds and enthusiastic driving.
  • Rear Seat leg room: Being a sedan this has ample leg room and is a great four seater for long drives.
  • Cavernous Boot: This boot can swallow a lot of luggage and then some more.
  • Ground Clearance: You can tackle nearly everything that the Indian roads throw at you. Just great.
  • Warning Chimes: Subtle, non intrusive just the way I like it. Convey the information without being jarring.
  • Fuel Efficiency : Cylinder deactivation works like a charm and I get an overall average of around 14-15 kmpl on mixed cycle. With this level of performance this is just great.

Could be Better:

  • Handling: Although it is quite predictable, I wish if the steering had more response. It just does not convey the confidence which lets say a ford would do.
  • Turbo Lag: There is turbo lag at slow city speeds. You need to go above certain rpm for it to pick pace. Although if you press the accelerator hard the gearbox drops down gear and pushes you forward, but in general you can feel this lag in normal driving.
  • The interior plastic quality: Although I am fine with the design, the plastic texture and quality leave a lot to be desired.
  • The Horn: It is quite meek and in NCR traffic no one takes it seriously.
  • DSG shifting: The gearbox gets confused a lot of times especially in low speed rides. Sometimes shifts eagerly to D2/D3 even in slowest of speeds and then sometimes just keeps lugging on in D1. I tried to make out a pattern but it is quite random. Best way to preserve and drive smoothly is to use the manual mode in slow moving traffic.
  • Seats: The seats should have been better. The front ones are still fine but the rear ones just lack the width and comfort for more than 2 people. Even in front I am never fully comfortable. It is personal as I am a bit more chubby than required
  • The speakers and infotainment system: Mine is the 8 inch one and to be honest it serves it purpose but seeing that I nearly spent more than 18 lakhs on this, they definitely should have been better. Not for audiophiles.
  • Brakes: Now to be honest the braking is great. however it is more like a start stop system in my car. Either nothing happens or the damn thing stops like it hit a wall. Still have not got used to it.
  • The door locking mechanism: I feel it is just too easy to open by just pulling the lever twice. Could have kept a separate button or something. Can be dangerous with kids, so keep the child lock on.
  • Controls on the wrong side: Come on Skoda, weren't these supposed to be India specific cars.
  • Now coming to the things I just hate:

  • Air conditioner: Stay away if you are used to chilled environments in your car. It needs to be put at very low temperatures to make it bearable. Especially in Delhi NCR and this I am saying when I got my car in September.
  • Start Stop System: I just hate it. If someone can suggest how this can be turned off completely I would be very grateful.
  • Rattles: This thing rattles. Never thought I would say this about a Skoda. But if you get irritated with slightest sounds stay away from the car. We have some bad roads which may have exaggerated the experience but still my 12 year old Ford rattles less than this.
  • Headlights: Now I may be a bit harsh on them but they just do not inspire confidence on highways. I need to always keep the fog lamps on to have some intensity in the beam. Need to do some upgrade.
  • Rear Camera: Pathetic excuse for a rear camera. Skoda you should fire the executive who thinks that a VGA quality camera is good for this price and segment.

As you can see the car is not without its fault. However I am satisfied with my purchase. Its engine , gearbox and drive combo compensate majority of its short coming. Cars are always an emotional purchase and I always prefer cars that have personalities. I love my Dhanno and driving this thing on highway makes me forget life's tension. Waiting for the summers to see if this feeling change.

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