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Skoda Slavia 1.5 TSI ; Absolute all-rounder

In our previous review of the Skoda Slavia 1.0 TSI, we explored the sedan’s appeal in a market dominated by SUVs. The new Slavia offers a compelling package with features and a high ground clearance typically found in similarly priced SUVs. Equipped with a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, it delivers ample power, space, and features, making it an attractive option for most consumers. Skoda acknowledges this and aims to sell the 1.0 TSI variants in larger volumes, while reserving the 1.5 TSI for enthusiasts seeking more power and driving thrills, prioritizing the sedan’s sporty character over pure practicality.

The 1.5 TSI variant carries forward all the positive aspects of the 1.0 TSI, including its appealing exterior styling, spacious interior with generous room for occupants, and quality features. However, the driving dynamics change with the 1.5 TSI engine. The 1.0 TSI feels light and agile, rewarding enthusiastic driving with a stiff chassis that handles corners exceptionally well. It exhibits poise and balance, quick turn-ins, and steady cornering with minimal steering adjustments. Additionally, its engine offers little to no turbo lag, aiding swift exits from corners.

On the other hand, the 1.5 TSI feels more planted on the road, partly due to the comparatively heavier engine that adds weight to the front tires. This enhances front-end traction and quick turn-ins, but mid-corner differences become evident. The slightly heavier weight and increased power demand more finesse in throttle input to manage the inevitable understeer of a front-wheel-drive car. However, the understeer is well controlled thanks to the electronic differential, helping maintain a tight and designated line through corners.

When driven with less enthusiasm, the 1.5 TSI Slavia transforms into a regular sedan that provides a comfortable ride, but its character can change dramatically with a heavier right foot. It comes in a single trim with all the premium features and is available with a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. The DSG transmission shifts smoothly, especially at lower speeds, and the gear ratios assist the engine in quickly building revs, effectively eliminating any potential turbo-lag.

In summary, the Skoda Slavia 1.5 TSI is a well-rounded sedan that retains the positive attributes of the 1.0 TSI while offering a more powerful engine and slightly different driving dynamics. It strikes a balance between everyday comfort and the thrill of sporty driving, making it an appealing option for a wide range of consumers.