Skoda Slavia 1.0 TSI AT: Thoughts & impressions from a Baleno owner

Minimal engine noise inside the cabin at idle, but from outside it was noticeably noisier than my Baleno and any other 4cyl petrols for that matter.

BHPian sbm recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Skoda Slavia: A comprehensive TD report:


I am currently looking for a replacement for my 2015 1.2 MT Baleno. Although the car is perfect for city use, it disappoints on the highway and after COVID, I feel that doing trips to my hometown is easier and more convenient by my own car. With this, started the search for a new car.

Cars test driven earlier:

Honda city 5th gen MT Hyundai Creta diesel & petrol MT, Tata Harrier MT, Renault Duster MT, Skoda Kushaq 1.0MT.

First of all, a big thanks to Singhania Skoda Dhanbad for bringing the car to my home on the very next day I enquired. The SA was really courteous and polite. He also had very good knowledge about the car.

Road presence and looks:

The TD car was a 1.0 AT white color, Style variant. Let me say this first, it looked huge and to complement, it had 205/55/R16 Ceat Securadrive tyres. They filled the wheel well and gave a muscular looks to the car. For reference, the tyres on 5th gen City look thin and low profile, those and Slavia look fat and add to the heft of the car. The car has massive road presence and IMO it can challenge Harrier in this aspect (of course except the height). People looking for a car that stands apart in the sea of CSUVs, this car will meet that particular need.


I want to remind that my daily driver is a Maruti Baleno. Now, the dashboard steering and centre console felt premium to me. The touch of glossy black here and there added to the feelgood factor. Seats were dual tone with biege/black leather upholstery and looked somewhat dull in my opinion. Not that it was of poor quality but had the black been darker and white instead of biege, it would have looked better. Front seats were comfortable and ventilation function was working well. The rear seats had a semi bucket shape and strictly for 2 adults and a child. 3 adults would be a tight fit. Headroom was adequate for all of us (max height around 5'8" among us). Other parts and plastics quality was better than my Maruti, at par with Creta and inferior to Seltos but the lead in this department is MG Astor. Although I take the word of my fellow BHPians and accept that interior quality has been deteriorated compared to earlier Skodas but IMO, for those who have not owned a Skoda earlier, there is not much to complaint about and the interiors are NOT a deal breaker.

Engine performance:

Please note that there were 4 persons in the car. Myself and another one had a slim build and other two were of heavier build.

On startup, there were dull vibrations in the cabin, barely noticeable, but those used to Maruti/Hyundai 4cyl NA petrols would certainly register. On a slight push to the accelerator, the vibrations increased initially (say upto 1000rpm) and then settled down.These vibrations are of low frequency and amplitude and are not uninspiring. Minimal engine noise inside the cabin at idle, but from outside it was noticeably noisier than my Baleno and any other 4cyl petrols for that matter. Not bothering or uninspiring but noticeable. I feel that the sound complemented the bulky look of the car.

Shifted to D mode and car started moving ahead at 9-10kmph without accelerator input. Push the pedal and there is an instant pickup. I read in the reviews that this auto gearbox mask the turbo lag in 1.0Tsi well and then I experienced it first hand in the Slavia. When I drove the Kushaq 1.0 MT, turbo lag was prominent. In comparison to that, very minimal lag was present in Slavia AT.

I felt that the gearbox was up-shifting a little bit early but the gearshifts were very smooth and quicker than I shift in manual cars during sedate driving. On an open stretch of road it picked up speed quickly to 90kmph. Even at this speed there was no engine noise or any other noise for that matter. Only sport engine grunt when pushed hard. No complaints on engine gearbox front for this particular combo.

Ergonomics and AC:

Please bear with me while I describe my benchmark for evaluating ergonomics of cars.It is none other than my Baleno. You can find a million defects in this car but IMO it is very good (if not perfect) in ergonomics. Massive deal pedal, easy to find driving position, a lots of places to keep your stuff etc. If I drive a new car and don't feel anything odd, I rate it good at ergonomics. For reference let me brief my Harrier TD experience. The moment I sat in the drivers seat of MT model, the utterly bad ergonomics of foot well struck me. I thought what is this? No space at all here? I had to adjust the seat to avoid hitting the knee and being able to press the clutch pedal fully. Also, there was virtually no dead pedal. Same thing happened in MT Duster.

But with the Slavia, I felt right at home. The foot well was wide and even in MT model I feel there would be ample space for dead pedal. There was proper space to keep my phone and wallet, the glove box was big and cooled and door pockets were well shaped and sized. There was a small thing though, the front of the centre console protruded towards the right side and that felt slightly uncomfortable. Later in the ride I was able to easliy adjust my left foot to avoid hitting it. No issues here to report. Air-conditioning worked as expected in scorching summer heat. The touch controls were not to mt taste but they added to the premium factor. Can't comment about rear passenger though.

Ride and handling:

Let's take the bad thing first. I felt that the suspension was stiff. Uneven patches of road with small potholes were felt in the cabin each time. If you compare it with Creta or City, it was considerably more bumpy. If you continuously drive over a bad patch of road for 1-2 km you'll certainly feel the fatigue. May be they made it so to improve the off-road performance of the car. That being said, the composure of the car was not disturbed due to bad roads and while going over speed breakers there was not much vertical movement. So it was kind of a mixed experience. In my Baleno, I drop down to 5kmph over sharp breakers because it throws me up in my seat even at 15kmph but in the Slavia it was not so. It absorbed the speed breakers well. At high speeds there was no floaty feeling and the car felt very stable. People looking for a plush ride over bumpy roads, be ready to be a little adjusting here.

Steering was good. Light at parking, heavy at higher speeds but somehow I felt that it had lesser heft and feedback as compared to Kushaq. It was like a Creta steering but with more feedback. Overall no complaints with steering.

Now, the high GC really worked wonders on recently constructed sky high, steep, suspension wrecking speed breakers in my locality. Though I was cautious, I took the car at a good speed over these breakers with 4 onboard and as expected, there was no contact. Most people move towards CSUVs for their high GC but I am sure if such high GC sedans are launched by all major manufacturers, it could be a turnaround for this segment. People looking towards Creta/Seltos just for some more GC, please do a TD of this car. And No, the high GC doesn't spoil it's looks. This car is a looker.

Build quality:

I know it doesn't matter in actual crash tests but noone can deny that the solid thud from the door is very confidence inspiring. Panels were not easily flexible and gaps were acceptable and consistent. Forgot to try the AC vents. The roof liner was not loose like in Kushaq and all button controls and touch points felt sturdy. No squeaks noises from anywhere. Non- Maruti owners might not be able to appreciate this as much as I do.

A small defect(?) in the TD car:

After after completing the test drive I parked the car and opened the bonet to have a casual look at the engine and my (and more to SAs) surprise I saw a few spots of oil leak (?). It was coal dust mixed with oil at one spot and water at another but I was unable to find the source at that. I have attached the pictures current slavia owners or kushak owners please comment do you see have you seen anything like this in your cars. There is a chance it was something totally harmless because there was condensation from a nearby AC coolant pipe but again it was present on the right side too where there was no such pipe. I remember it certainly had some oil in it but could double check as I was in a hurry. I am not sure that the car had some problem and don't want to discourage a potential buyer. I am just posting this here to know what this is.


People looking for a car in 15-17 lac bracket with good versatility, road presence and performance can certainly consider the Slavia 1.0 TSI AT. I am not saying MT because I have not taken a test drive of it and in the Kushaq, this engine gearbox combo had prominent turbo lag and I don't like turbo lags. Do keep in mind that this car does not have a very cushy suspension setup and also factor in the quality/availability of Skoda ASS in your area.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene