Home / Features / Safer With Škoda – Steadfast Commitment to Safety

 

We experience the stability of Škoda cars at Natrax, both on the high-speed and handling tracks.

Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Sanjay Raikar and Škoda India

Škoda’s commitment to safety has been evident since 2008 because they have consistently supplied us with products that have received a five-star safety rating globally. Fast forward to the present and their cars are at the top of the list of safe made-in-India cars. Their products built on the MQB-A0-IN platform—the Kushaq and the Slavia—were awarded five-star ratings by the Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP) recently. What is impressive is that they received five stars for both children and adult occupants. Of course, it helps to have a state-of-the-art crash laboratory and theirs is located in Polygon Úhelnice.

From our road tests of Škoda cars we were already quite familiar with their on-road prowess. Thus, when Škoda invited us to Natrax to sample these cars along with the facelift Kodiaq, we were curious to see how they would behave when pushed to the limit.

The first thing we saw at Natrax was the naked laser-welded monocoque of the Kushaq which displayed a cross-section of all the members responsible for the integrity of the shell. Not many manufacturers can proudly showcase the skeleton of their cars like that. In addition to offering safety of a high level, the monocoque also contributes to the dynamics of the car. To experience this prowess, we were let loose on the handling track with the 1.5 TSI Kushaq and Slavia for company.

This track has been designed with the sole intention of exposing any flaws a car may have so far as handling is concerned. Quick chicanes, tight corners, and flowing curves work in harmony to punish a poorly set up car or a lazy driver. We went out first in the Kushaq to get to know the circuit and it was evident that in spite of being an SUV, the Kushaq was fully capable of being driven fast around the course without any drop in the driver’s confidence level. Meanwhile, the low-slung Slavia behaved as if it were in its natural habitat, hitting apexes and powering out of corners without missing a beat. After that, we tried the Slavia on the high-speed track as well. In Sport mode, the transmission fully exploited the 150 hp on tap and ran through the gears rapidly, dismissing 100 km/h quickly before going on to attain a top speed of 203 km/h. What impressed me the most was how stable and confident the Slavia felt at that speed.

Avoiding a crash is, perhaps, one thing that all drivers strive to do. In most cases, a skilled and alert driver in an equally potent car can avoid dangerous scenarios. However, there are times when luck overruns skill or someone else’s error puts one in a tight spot. Should that happen, it is always better to be in a car that will not turn into a coffin and that is why a focus on safety is of paramount importance.

Rubber, metal, and glass can be fixed or replaced. The same cannot be said about a lost life. It is in view of this that we find Škoda’s commitment to safety highly reassuring.

Also Read: BMW M2 2023 Tested Review

 

About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

Would gape at fast cars. Still does but now has a chance to drive some of them. Hates driving in traffic but makes up for with a spot of off-roading or the occasional track outing. Insta: @motoknight

 

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