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Skoda Slavia vs Honda City: War For The Segment’s Top Spot

With its overall rounded nature, the Honda City has been reigning the segment’s top spot for a while now. But it now has to fend off competition from the Slavia, which Skoda claims is fun-to-drive. How fun is it when pitched against the City?

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The Skoda Slavia has its guns aimed at the Honda City to usurp the top spot in its segment. Judging by the time we spent with it, we can say the Slavia is fast, fun to drive, and has a pliant ride quality. But how does it compare on these fronts when pitched against the reigning segment leader, the Honda City?

Well, that’s what we are going to find in this report. To keep things fair and square, we are pitching the Slavia’s 115PS 1-litre TSI AT powertrain with the Honda City’s 121PS 1.5-litre i-VTEC CVT unit.

Turbocharged vs Naturally Aspirated


It’s a battle between the three-cylinder turbocharged vs four-pot naturally aspirated, torque converter vs CVT. Let’s see which one crosses the line first. 


Skoda Slavia

Honda City


11.02 seconds

12.74 seconds (Wet)

20-80kmph (Kickdown)

6.66 seconds

7.25 seconds

Lights out and away we go, and the Slavia gets a better start than the City. Part of the credit goes to the torque converter allowing for a more aggressive launch. Also, the Slavia’s turbo-petrol engine puts out its peak performance lower in the rev band which helps it build speed quicker. This is where the City’s CVT feels more relaxed. And that is why, despite the wet conditions it was tested in, it's not losing much time. While the transmission is tuned well to build speeds, it only lets you launch softly where it loses precious seconds.  


The Slavia comfortably crosses the line with a 1.72-second lead. Even during roll-on acceleration (which is more relevant in everyday conditions), the Slavia’s smaller turbo-petrol motor coupled with an responsive torque converter betters the City. 

So round one goes to the Skoda.

The Deceleration Test


Skoda Slavia

Honda City (Diesel)


24.49 metres

26.39 metres


39.4 metres

41.86 metres

Note: We have used the City diesel figures for braking as the CVT was tested in wet conditions. Not an Apple to Apples comparison, but we want to keep it fair.  


Once again, it’s the Skoda Slavia that knocks the City out in both the braking runs. Yes, the Slavia might be heavier, but it also sports wider 205-section tyres, as compared to the City’s 185-section rubber. As a result, there’s more contact patch that helps it bite better onto the tarmac while braking hard. The brake pedals on both models have a nice reassuring feel and are easy to modulate. 

Since the Slavia beats the City here, it bags another point here. 

The Cornering Test 


The Honda City is one of our favourites for this test as Ameya Dandekar managed to take this particular corner at 80kmph in the diesel variant. Yes, it hit a couple of cones, but it set a high benchmark. Can the petrol model also post an impressive show, considering it has the Skoda Slavia to beat?

At 65kmph, both the Honda City and Skoda Slavia felt comfortable and predictable through the corner. But the latter had a wee bit of understeer. However, it held up its line nicely and passed it without drama. Let's take the game a notch up and attack them at 70kmph.  

In the second run, the Honda City’s weedy 185-section tyres start running out of grip and start to run wide, hitting a cone in the process. Surprising, considering the diesel model did a better job at this exact same corner. Probably, the heavier front end of the diesel helped it dig into the tarmac and offer better grip.  

The Slavia too runs wide and hits a cone in the process. Plus, the rear end also starts to slip out a bit which, however, allows for a tighter exit, but you have to counter steer a bit to bring it back in line, and that might catch out a handful.  

Also Read: Skoda Slavia vs Kushaq: Sedan Or SUV For The Win?

With that being said, both models knocked out only one cone in the 70kmph run, and it’s fair we call it a tie. So the Skoda Slavia still leads the test with a two-point lead.

Zig’s Ride Quality MUG Test 


If you would’ve read our Kia Carens vs Seltos report, I was the bakra for the infamous ride quality mug test. A lucky game of rock, paper, scissors meant I was behind the wheel this time around while Alan was in the wet seat.  

Both the City and the Slavia aren’t the best cars to be taken through really rough roads and so we had to keep speeds a little slower than usual to not scrape body parts on the ground. And at these speeds both cars fared really well. Their softer suspension absorbs a lot of the bumps and they both spilt very little of the water, with the City only spilling an incredible 40ml, while the Slavia was just a little more at 50ml. So not even a shot glass worth of water was spilt. Lucky Alan!


Skoda Slavia

Honda City

Water Spilled



Ride On Tarmac 


The City and Slavia impress one way or the other when you get on tarmac. Starting with the City, its slow speed (20-40kmph) ride quality is fantastic, no doubt helped by the comfort-oriented suspension setup. It helps the Honda shield its occupants from speed rumbles and imperfect roads with a flatter ride. Even over potholes, the City isolates you nicely like a cushioned mattress with only sharp bumps registering a thud.  

Also Read: Kia Carens vs Seltos: Similar Price, Different Characters!

But this suspension setup does have a disadvantage, and that’s a slightly bouncy ride at higher speeds. Mind you, it ain’t uncomfortable or doesn’t come at the cost of handling, but it isn’t as settled as the Slavia. 


The Skoda’s ride is typical for a Euro car. Even in town at commuting speeds, the ride quality is flat, but imperfections on the road do seep their way ever so slightly. In the Slavia’s case, it is accompanied by some suspension noise as well. Plus, larger pot holes do catch it out with a louder thud. But pick up the pace and the ride quality improves and becomes flatter with less of the imperfections unsettling the cabin. Even on speed breakers, it's the Slavia which absorbs the impact better.  

Since the City spilled less water, and even holds a slight edge over the Slavia on tarmac, it finally gets a point to battle for the lead. 

Ground Clearance


We also have one more additional test in this section and that is a speed breaker test. Skoda has been hyping the 179mm clearance figure which is SUV-esque as compared to the City’s 165mm. With three adults (two oversized and one fit), the Honda City managed to clear a very large speed breaker without touching its belly, while the Slavia 1-litre just couldn’t. That is because the suspension squats more in the Slavia which ends up reducing the claimed clearance.

Price Talk


Skoda Slavia 1-litre TSI Style AT

Honda City 1.5-litre ZX CVT

Ex-showroom Price

Rs 15.39 lakh

Rs 14.98 lakh


Vis-a-vis top-spec trims, the Skoda is Rs 41,000 more expensive than the Honda. However, the Slavia justifies the premium by offering some feel-good features like ventilated front seats, a digital driver’s display, subwoofer, and ambient lighting to name a few. 

Also Read: Tata Punch vs Altroz: Which Tata Is More Dynamically Polished?

That said, the City gets a useful feature which the Slavia doesn’t: a lane watch camera which relays feed from a camera mounted on the left side ORVM to the infotainment screen. 



It’s great to see that the battle has come so far with both models being almost neck-and-neck in most areas. The City’s ride quality is better, and should be your pick if you want a comfy car to drive or especially be driven in. And if you prioritise performance, then the manual might be a better pick over this CVT. 


In contrast, the Skoda Slavia clearly has the more impressive drivetrain which isn’t just better on paper and in our tests, it just feels more peppy and eager in the rear world too. It’s complemented by impressive high speed ride and handling manners. Yes, the ride quality isn't as plush as the City in urban areas, especially in the rear seats, but not that much to be the only reason you wouldn’t pick it over the City, especially if you plan to spend more time behind the wheel. 


In the grand scheme of things you can’t really go wrong with either car, but in the confines of this test format, it’s the Slavia that wins by having two points to the City’s one.

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