Should I buy a Rs 20 lakh Skoda Slavia as my first car

I’m 29 years old & had previously decided to get a Tata Nexon as my first car. But then, Skoda launched the Slavia & I fell for its 1.5L MT variant.

BHPian arunabh002 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


People (family and better half) say that a car/bike is just a tool to get you from point A to point B. The only vehicle I have currently is a 2019 Dominar 400 UG (long term ownership review coming soon) and I thoroughly enjoy each and every bit of being with her:

  • When I am heading toward her in the parking lot and imagining what a good time I am going to have in the next few hours
  • Pressing the red button and hearing her bass-heavy heartbeat
  • The feeling of being ‘mightier’ in the city among all the Activas and Splendors
  • How with one little twist of my wrist, I can overtake 99.9% of the vehicles on the highway
  • How I have so much control and agility on the road (thanks to Pirelli and EBC)
  • When I look back at her after parking

The amount of happiness this vehicle generates for me is unbelievable. My mental health has significantly improved since I bought her.

Road trips are awesome but I believe that doing a road trip on a vehicle with which you are in love with, doubles that awesomeness. So no, I refuse to give in to the ‘point A to point B’ funda.

Now I am 29 and it is a time in life when I am planning to buy my first car. For the past few years, I was set on Nexon Petrol (family purchased one in Dec 2020 and I love it!), the sensible, logical, VFM and safe (see what I did there) choice. I settled for this ‘sensible’ car because the car that could make me fall in love (like Dominar does) is Octavia RS (I’ll be happy with the current-gen 2L Octavia too) and that car is well beyond what I can afford.

But something good happened recently: Skoda launch a mini Octavia with a masterpiece 1.5L engine which I CAN afford (I think?) and that Slavia 1.5 MT has stolen my heart.

So now the dilemma begins:

Should I buy the car that has stolen my heart for ₹20 lakhs or go with something which costs half and can deliver 80% of what the Slavia can in terms of specs and features, something like Nexon or Altros or even Tiago (yes, a lot of Tata because I am a firm believer in NCAP Ratings).

Here are some points that keep playing in my mind and I can’t make a decision:

  • Should I throw so much money at a depreciating asset at such a young age?
  • If I buy the ₹20L Slavia, it will not hurt my investment plans or lifestyle, but the amount of liquid money I accumulate each month will reduce to 50% (for the next 4 years) of what it is currently. Is that a bad financial move?
  • If I buy something sensible for ₹10-12L, I think I won’t feel the things my Dominar makes me feel. I’ll treat it as just a tool and the only things I would enjoy on a car road trip are conversations with the passengers and the scenery. Is that so bad though?
  • What is the point of making money if I don’t buy things that make me happy?
  • I intend to keep the car for 8-10 years – Slavia is future proof in that way in terms of reliability (manual gearbox, of course) and space (as the family grows).
  • I could imagine buying a small and cheap car for now and upgrading big in future but who knows what will happen in 5 years? What if this is the last ICE car I buy?
  • Should I treat cars as tools and derive all the pleasure from motorcycles? For 20L, I can fund and upgrade my motorcycling happiness for a very long time.
  • When I floor the throttle on that 1.5 TSI, will the feeling of “wow! this car is freaking amazing” trump the feeling of “damn, this car costs ₹20L”?
  • Which regret will be more painful in the future? “I wish I had more money” vs “I wish I had more power (or boot space).”

I would love to hear what BHPians would suggest I should do or think about this.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

What car an enthusiast should buy is directly influenced by his / her income, NOT age. If one is early in the career with a humble salary, even a Swift can provide lots of giggles. If someone is making a crore / year, we can look at the German brands. So rather than age, I would say “what car” should be a component of “what income”- related thread 1 and 2. Personally, I tend to be conservative with big ticket purchases; if I can afford a Fortuner, I’ll buy a Seltos or Thar. If I can afford an Octavia, I’ll buy a Honda City.

Depends on how much money you are making, not the age.

You are clearly smitten by the Slavia 1.5L TSI and rightly so. It is one heck of a sedan, whether in the city or (especially) on the open road. Go for the Slavia 1.5L ONLY if:

  • You will keep the car for 10 years. Read my thread on how a more expensive car can work out cheaper. In your case, keeping the Slavia for 10 years will work out cheaper than buying a 10 – 12 lakh car today, then upgrading after 5 – 6 years.
  • You are in a career where growth prospects are good (and not – as an example – running a shaky business).
  • Take a look at your finances again and ensure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin. 20-lakhs is a lot of money.
  • If either point 1, 2 or 3 aren’t certain, then save money and buy something like an i20 N-Line. It’s a misnomer that you need to spend money to have fun in a car. I’ve enjoyed cars of all budgets – right from an S-Presso to a Creta 1.4L, from a Thar to a Ferrari, from a Grand i10 Turbo petrol to an M5. Related thread. I love cars, period. Give me a softly tuned Hector and I’ll still enjoy the drive to Goa.

Here’s what BHPian AJ56 had to say about the matter:

To be honest, if I were you I’d consider pre-owned cars as I just don’t find value in the new car market anymore (especially this side of 75L). Since you’re into cars and bikes I’ll assume you know your basics mechanically and have a mechanic who can do a thorough check for you before you put the money down on a used car.

That being said, if you’re keeping it for 10 years+ it makes sense to buy new as you’ll get your money’s worth. Assuming a resale value of 6L, 14L spread over 10 years is 1.4L/year in depreciation, which is not bad at all if the car makes you happy.

148hp and 8.9 secs to 100 is not that great either, it’s not going to put a smile on your face like a true performance 250-300hp car will. Although I understand what one considers satisfactory performance is highly subjective and varies from person to person.

There are two approaches you can take: buy the beater car now for 8-10L (again, get a lightly used one to lower this cost further), and 5-6 years later buy a proper performance car, I’m certain the M340i’s being sold today will have good deals on them 5 years later in the used market.

Or, buy the Slavia 1.5 today and happily drive it for the next 9-10 years. Personally, I’d pick the first one but hey, everyone’s preferences vary. Cheers.

Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say about the matter:

I say go for it. I’m sure you bought the Dominar also disregarding several cheaper possibly more “sensible” options so if you can afford it and the Slavia really is something that does it for you, then why not? The automotive scene is only going to get duller at least in the sub 20 lac segment so may as well pick up what you want to right now.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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