The Skoda Superb has been around in India since 2004, when it stormed the D-segment as a premium luxury sedan. India has seen all its generations since then. The Superb is the flagship model from the Czech car maker Skoda, renowned for its quality, spaciousness, safety and build quality levels here in India. Now currently in its third generation, Skoda has recently launched the All New Superb that’s based on the Vision C Concept in the Indian market. We were lucky to get behind the wheel of this flagship Skoda to drive it to and fro, from Mangalore to the scenic, sleepy hill station of Coorg. Read on to know all about it in our exclusive road test review.
Food For Thought:
Skoda introduced the Superb model in 2001 based on the B5 platform from Volkswagen, the second generation Superb came to existence in 2008, and this one was based on the A6 PQ46 platform shared by Volkswagen. 2013 saw a midlife major facelift on the Superb. In 2015, the All New Superb (Current generation) utilizing the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, was unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. Other cars that currently are based on the MQB platform apart from Skoda are Audis, Volkswagen and SEAT.
Models sharing the Volkswagen Group MQB Platform:
Audi A3, TT & Q2
Skoda Octavia & Superb
Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Tiguan & Touran
Seat Leon, Ateca
The Superb has been a sort of a benchmark in its segment in terms of cabin space, and the All New Superb takes this further. The car has grown in size all around as compared to the older model. The car now has an overall length of 4,861mm as compared to 4,838mm earlier. The overall width now is 1,864mm as compared to 1,817mm on the older gen. Height of the car now is 1,483mm, while the old model stood 1,462mm tall. The wheelbase too on the new Superb, is 2,841mm as compared to 2,761mm on the old Superb. Longer, wider, taller… the New Superb has literally grown in the current avatar.
The design language on the New Superb is rich, elegant and totally different than that of its older models. The face comes with the all new butterfly shaped grill with 19 vertical slats in chrome, along with a chrome border running outside. Headlights are angular and with a sharp design. The headlights also come with special crystalline detailing inside them. Almost like a work of art when the lights are not switched on! These headlights come with bi-xenon projector beams and also a very neat and sharp looking L-shaped DRL in white glow. The front bumper gets a dash of chrome with a strip that runs horizontal between the two rectangular fog lamps, adding a rich touch to the face. The bonnet is long in size and extends itself to the front grill with a sharp muscular design line that gets the Skoda badge just above the grill. Sharp sculpt lines also flow towards the headlights from either sides of the bonnet, making the front end look dynamic and beefy.
The side profile gets a sharp waistline and another deep chiseled area on the lower section of the doors. The door frames come with chrome surrounds and the pillars are blacked out with glossy finish. The window area is large and a significant mention is that of the quarter glass on the rear window that is stylishly cut at an angle, giving it a motion flow effect. The side front fenders come with flat line styling and the sharp waist line that runs across the length of the car.
The New Superb comes with 215/55 R17 spec Hankook Ventus Prime 2 tybeless tyres with silver multi spoke alloys that they call as Helios (5 spokes) on the base Style variant, and Stratos (10 spokes) on the top end L&K variant. The roof comes with an electrical panoramic sun/moon roof. Wing mirrors get a sharp edge design, along with auto dimming feature and LED turn lights on them. Needless to say, these wing mirrors are fully electrically adjustable with auto fold feature too. This is a large car and the glass area is also large, making the car look elegant and classy.
On the rear, the tail lights come with sharp angular edge design with crystalline LED glow lights in them. The boot opening is hatch type. That means the rear windshield opens with the entire boot lid allowing excellent and unseemly large opening to the boot for loading stuff in. The rear bumper gets some neat detail lines along with twin stop reflectors, while the exhaust is neatly hidden under the bumper.
The New Superb is very well designed and looks extremely trendy and sharp, making the older Super look out of place and dated. A lot of resemblance to the Audi A6 can be seen, especially in the rear profile of the New Superb. All in all, the build quality is excellent and the paint, fit finish is also top class on the outside. This is truly a premium car that demands attention for its elegance.
XXL cabin area on the Superb has always been its USP and been a benchmark of sorts in this segment and even in a segment or two higher. The latest Superb takes this further. Step inside the cabin and you instantly notice the extra premium and well spread-out cabin area. The cabin comes in a dual tone color shade, beige and black, with brushed metal inserts running across the dash and door panels. The instrument cluster is made up of two dials with white needles on it and a MFD in the middle of these two.
The steering is a 3 spoke design with leather wrapping on it. You get paddle shifters on the automatic DSG variant, while both the Auto and the Manual get multi-function control buttons mounted here. The steering can be adjusted for height and reach manually. The engine start stop button is placed under the steering on the right side.
The center dash gets a full touch screen infotainment system. This 6.5-inch colour touchscreen display unit is the latest generation unit that has, apart from the usual Radio, USB and Phone connectivity, also SmartLink, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto loaded on it. These are very handy and useful features for mobile connectivity, that allow easy and convenient hands free and voice controlled connectivity to your smartphones.
The top end L&K variant comes with a hi-end Canton sound speaker system. This is a 12-speaker unit that includes center speaker and a subwoofer, apart from the surround speakers. Audio quality is brilliant and the neat integration of the system and its user friendly interface is a joy to use. You also get a 3-zone climate control, two zones for the front and one for the rear.
The front seats get a cooling feature. Leather upholstery is standard. The driver’s seat is fully adjustable electrically, for adjusting the height, reach, tilt, back rest angle, plus it comes with a 3 memory function. The rear seats get 40-60 split, foldable armrest with can holder and 3 adjustable headrests. Front seats are extra-large in size, leg room, headroom and thigh-back support is also very generous.
At the rear too, the seating is best in its class and the longer dimension of the car results in extra leg room. Headroom is in the XXL region. The top end L&K trim gets an extra electric slide button on the front passenger seat that can be used by the rear passenger to slide the front seat while in the chauffer mode.
The rear side windows and the rear windshield get manual curtain blinding to enhance privacy and for those sunny days. There are a lot of cubby holes and storage spaces spread all around the cabin area and door pads. The center armrest also has a deep and spacious storage bin. There also is a tiny dustbin on the door pad with a closeable lid. A cleverly designed adjustable mobile/tablet holder is placed behind the front passenger seat, this makes it very convenient to lock in your cell phone or even an iPad for that matter just like a rear seat entertainment screen seen in premium sedans.
There is a football field-like space in the boot, a total of 625 liters of luggage area with the rear seats up, and that can be further increased to 1760 liters if needed, by folding the rear seats down. The boot lid can be opened in three ways, using the boot lid opener on the lid itself, using the boot opener button on the remote and also by just swaying your leg under the rear bumper hereby using the sensors placed there, provided you have the key remote on you. To add some more premium feel, the interior comes with a thin strip of LED lights that run across the dash and the middle, and can be set choosing three color lights (white, green or blue) to set the ambience during night drives.
Skoda also provides you with two foldable umbrellas that neatly tuck themselves into the front two doors, reminding you of the Rolls Royce that comes with something similar. Interiors on the New Superb are brilliantly put up. Quality of materials used is of top order and very ergonomically designed. The cabin is unmatched in space and ambience, while seating comfort is as good as in a business class jet.
Engine – Transmission – Drive:
The New Superb comes in two engine options and in two transmission options. There is a 1.8 TSi Petrol engine mated to 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG automatic, this 1798cc 4 cylinder unit makes 180PS of power and has 320Nm of torque on the manual and 250Nm of torque on the DSG Auto. On the diesel option you get a 2.0-Liter TDi Diesel engine that makes 177PS of power and belts out a meaty 350Nm of torque between the 1500 and 3500 RPM. The diesel has no manual transmission option and only comes with a 6-Speed DSG gearbox to choose from. Skoda claims a fuel economy of 14.12 kmpl on the MT Petrol, 14.67 kmpl on the Petrol DSG Automatic and a class leading 18.19 kmpl on the Diesel version.
We drove all the engine and transmission options. Our pick was the manual petrol, which is a very fast car for its size. The engine is highly refined and the power delivery available is amazingly quick. Gear shifting is sheer pleasure and the clutch is very light. You seldom forget the huge-sized car that you are driving due to the super sharp driving dynamics. Handling is crisp and the braking, excellent. Steering is perfectly weighted and speed sensitive. The feedback gets heavier as speed builds up. The Petrol automatic was the next best with the ride quality being same. The DSG automatic transmission is one of the best available globally. This intelligent gearbox shifts one gear higher and lower always, along with the gear that the car is running in, hence seamlessly and quickly putting the car through the shifting.
On the diesel, there is no hint of turbo lag at all, power delivery is strong and linear and the 6-speed DSG automatic shifts seamlessly without any sign of shifting. No doubt the petrol version is a driver’s delight, but the diesel one is excellent to drive as well. The cabin area is silent and the engine never feels strained or under powered. You get paddle shifters and tip-tronic on the automatics that brings back the fun of controlling the shifts and holding on to the gears for more power.
The suspension setup is amazingly well tuned for Indian conditions and the car paved its way through bad roads and pot holes with utmost ease and comfort. You also get the DCC Drive mode on the L&K version, where the driver can choose between the Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual preset modes. This is something that’s seen on premium sedans.
On the safety front, the New Superb comes pre-loaded with tons of equipment onboard. You get 8 airbags, ABS, EBD, Hill assist, Multi Collision braking (applies brakes automatically in an event of a major collision), Anti slip regulation, Electronic differential lock, Traction control and Electronic stability, just to name a few.
With the Skoda Superb being a benchmark in its segment, the all new Superb lives up to its hype and takes the lineage forward proudly. The car has everything that a businessman would desire, and much more. The plush interiors and artfully done exteriors, plus its size, puts many car models higher than the Superb in a spot of bother. Aided with the best and technologically advanced engines and transmission, we did not find anything that goes against the product at this price. In fact you get more car per car value on the Superb, with lots of attention to detail going into this car, making it an excellent car to buy in this class and segment.
2016 Skoda Superb Photo Gallery:
Pic Credits: Dr. Anand Narvekar