Imagine a car which has everything – space, comfort, luxury, power, performance, all you would ever require in a car. What it does not offer, is a compromise. That’s the idea on which Skoda has developed new generation Superb sedan.
Launched in Europe last year, the third generation Skoda Superb was launched in India earlier this year. Billed as ‘The Best in Next Class’, 2016 Skoda Superb design is sculpted for the modern generation. Inspired from the VisionC Concept which was showcased at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Skoda says that the new Superb’s design embodies their journey of forward-thinking over the period of last 120 years!
Tall claims. Not really. One look at the car and you would stop complaining. The inviting signature angular contours cleverly placed at the four corners make the car look dynamic even when it is resting.
Headlamp cluster includes Bi-Xenon headlamps with stylishly cut crystal high beam lamps, celebrating the renowned Bohemian glass-cutting skills. If this was not enough, they went further and added Illuminated ‘eyelashes’ in the headlamp cluster to give it a unique look.
Between the headlights is Skoda’s signature grille featuring piano black vertical slats with chrome lining. Bonnet gets muscular creases while lower bumper houses crisp fog lamps and a sharp chrome slat running between the fog lamps. Side profile features arrow-straight horizontal window rims and shoulder crease which emerges from the sculpted headlamp cluster and blends into the 3D tail lamp cluster.
In a nutshell, previous two generations of Superb looked a little too fat, out of proportion because they were just too long for their design. The third gen Superb is not only longer and more spacious but is also sportier / more proportionate looking. In fact, we would not fall behind in billing this one as the best looking Skoda on sale today.
Once inside the cabin, you immediately get the feeling of beeing cocooned in luxury and safety. The touch and feel of the dashboard, door panels, soft leather seat covers, was simply unmatched not only for the segment in which Superb is being sold but also a segment above.
The variants we test drove were top of the line Laurin & Klement (L&K). These feature a dual tone dashboard finished in black and beige, which is separated by a thin strip of ambient light. In the center is a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Skoda’s MirrorLink tech. This allows the car to get paired with iOS and Android smartphones with ease. MirrorLink tech allows you to mirror your smartphone’s apps on the car’s screen. This way you can control you phone’s app with the car’s voice command system. The system also acts as the display unit for reverse parking camera. (There is no inbuilt navigation).
The three spoke leather stitched steering wheel can also control the car’s infotainment system with ease. Other connectivity options on offer are USB, AUX, SD Card, and Bluetooth. Instrument control features two large circular dials with lit needles. Between the dials is the MID.
Skoda Superb also gets world renowned digital music system with 12 speakers from Canton. The quality of surround sound system is simply fantastic.
The 3-zone Climatronic AC helps the huge cabin cool quickly, even on a hot and humid day. Another interesting thing to note here is that the AC blowers hardly make any sound even when set at max, something which is not seen in cars double the price of Superb.
Leather seats offer utmost comfort. Front seats offer good overall support, including side support when you are driving enthusiastically. Speaking of rear passenger comfort, this is where the Superb excels over rivals not in its own segment, but also from the segment above. Three adults can easily fit on the rear seats. Each getting a 3 point seat belt and a head rest.
If there is no third passenger, you can unfold the backrest of the center passenger, and convert it into an armrest. Thereby traveling in true luxury.
Speaking of boot space, it is huge enough to fit three fully grown adults (if you need to), or else luggage for a family of five is not at all difficult to fit in.
Engine, Specs & Mileage
|Engine||TSI||TSI (A)||TDI CR (A)|
|Power||180 PS||180 PS||177 PS|
|Torque||320 Nm||250 Nm||350 Nm|
|Transmission||6 MT||7 Speed DSG||6 Speed DSG|
|Mileage||14.12 kmpl||14.67 kmpl||18.19 kmpl|
|Ground Clearance||164 mm (TSI and TSI A), 149 mm (TDI)|
|Turning Diameter||11.1 m|
|Front Suspension||McPherson suspension with lower triangular links and torsion stabilizer|
|Rear Suspension||Multi-element axle, with one longitudinal and three transverse links, with torsion stabilizer|
|Braking System||Hydraulic dual-diagonal circuit braking system vacuum assisted with Dual Rate system|
|Front Brakes||Disc brakes with inner cooling, with single/piston floating caliper|
|Rear Brakes||Disc brakes|
|Steering System||Direct rack and pinion steering with electro mechanic power steering|
|Wheels||6.5Jx17″ (Style), 7J×17″ (L&K)|
Features & Safety
Keyless Entry and Exit
Engine Start/Stop button
Electronically adjustable driver seat
Automatic folding ORVMs
Electromechanical parking brake
Multi-collision Brake system
Electronic Stability Control
Adaptive Frontlight System
Hill Hold / Descent Assist
Drive and Handling
We were left thoroughly impressed after driving old generation Superb. Having said that, the new generation Superb raises the bar even higher. Power delivery has been refined, and so is the transmission. Gearshifts are quick, and paddle shifters make life easier.
If you thought that Superb is more of a chauffeur driven car and not a driver’s car, you need to test drive one to clear this misbelief. All three variants offer fantastic driving dynamics and handling, in spite of being such a big car.
In no way are any of them underpowered. Of the three, diesel is the most fun, thanks to a solid mid-range. Though there is a bit of turbo lag in the diesel at the start, but once you are into the mid-range, there is no complaining. Petrol variants are the most refined we have experienced in a long time. It delivers power the moment you place your foot on the pedal. Power is available through a wide range, making overtaking manoeuvres a hassle free affair. Gearshifts are quick, be it going up or down.
Suspension setup is on the softer side, very much like the old Superb. This has been done so as to offer comfortable ride quality to passengers. But this also means that there is some body roll.
Steering wheel is light and easy to handle at low speeds, like when driving through city traffic. On the highways, or while taking on corners, it perfectly weighs up with increasing speed. The feedback is precise, which helps increase your confidence while driving. The tyres offer impressive grip even when you are pushing the car on the ghats.
NVH levels are fantastic. The car is as good as silent at idle (petrol variants). There is a bit of clutter in the diesel at the start, but once you move forward, there is no complaining. Road noise, wind noise don’t seep into the cabin even at triple digit speeds (which the car achieves without you realizing). ‘Raised-for-India’ ground clearance has definitely helped. You no longer need to be worried about going over those huge even bumps out there.
1.8 TSI Style 6 MT – INR 22.68 lakh
1.8 TSI Style 7 DSG – INR 23.91 lakh
1.8 TSI L&K 7 DSG – INR 26.89 lakh
2.0 TDI Style 6 DSG – INR 26.39 lakh
2.0 TDI L&K 6 DSG – INR 29.36 lakh
All prices, ex-showroom, Mumbai.
Easily one of the best value for money car on offer in the premium luxury segment, Skoda Superb truly justifies its tagline – Best in Next Class. Though priced lower than cars like Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, it has space, power and features which are found in cars worth INR 50 lakhs. Though it has its shortcomings. The instrument panel dials are not too classy, and so is the dashboard design. Infotainment screen could have been of better quality, and navigation is missing. But, the package, competitive pricing makes it difficult to discard the Superb.
Problem Skoda India faces is that the segment itself is diminishing. Consumers are either preferring large SUVs like Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner or are going for entry level premium German brands, rather than D-segment sedans. There is no clear reason why this trend exists among car buyers in the country.
Maybe they want a car which screams about their presence on the road, or of their arrival at a fancy party. Sadly with the Superb, you don’t get to scream, but the message is conveyed in the classiest way possible.