New Skoda Superb First Drive

Published On 01 Jul 2016 By Arushi Rawat

New Skoda Superb First Drive

So Good

• Massive cabin space, especially in the back

• Premium quality interior

• Exterior is better looking than previous generations

Not so Good

• Dashboard lacks detailing of predecessor

• Engine is not sporty as before

• Suspension setup is a tad lumpy

Parting the curtains of my room, a glimpse of the weather did notify me of a possible pleasant endeavor today. It was after a mere two hours that I was almost ready to believe that the sheer opulence of the Skoda Superb was up&personal to me. All I could think was to cruise this beauty with its sunroof open on the clear terrain of the expressway.

Well! Skoda Superb has always been a prime preference for the business class as it offers unmatched space and comfort. About a year ago we had seen the Superb getting a minor facelift where the changes were mere cosmetic but now, the updated Superb in its 3rd generation is a complete notch up than before.

First Impression

From outside, the Skoda Superb is a definite step up from its predecessors. Now 61mm shorter from the front and 80mm longer from the wheelbase, the new Superbmeasures at  4861mmX 1483mmX 1864mm. The bulges are shredded in well proportions showcasing sharp cuts and creases with a veryprotruding silhouette making it look prominent in thecrowd. The car ceases to hold your gaze with a lot of sophisticated yet bold aesthetics.Looking at the face of the car, you can make out that the Superb is carved for luxury. The headlamps are now rectangularwith the addition of daytime running lamps (DRL’s). In between the eyesis a revamped grille with piano black treatment and chrome accents. Below the body colored bumper, there is a wide air filter highlighted by a chrome lining. The fog lamps are round and present at their exact same position as before.

Walk to the side and you’ll notice the pragmatic silhouette of the car. With sharp cuts, creases and a well-defined beltline, the Superb is a balm for sore eyes. Filling the wheel arches are the 17-inch alloy wheels that add a hint of sportiness to the car.

A tad different from its previous generation, the rear of the new Superb complements the overall layout of the car very well. It sports large tail-lights in a particular C- shaped LED cluster. However, the old Superb had a lift-back door with windscreen which is absent in the new model.

The Ambience Inside

Step inside the car and you’ll notice that the new Skoda Superb sports an interior design identical to the Skoda Octavia. Though a notch below the previous generation of Superb, the new Skoda offers a dash which is uncluttered, well laid-out and friendly to use. It has plastics which are soft to touch, felt-lined door pockets, and macho looking switches.Add to it, the presence of an umbrella available at every door of the car. The multi-information instruments are large offering plenty of data. The car also offers a massive boot-space of 625-litre that can be extended to an astonishing 1760-litres by folding the rear seats down and it opens with just a slide of foot under the bumper.

Sadly, the new generation Superb has less chrome detailing and the presence of faux wood is replaced by glossy black plastic. Having mentioned that, the cockpit of the Superb is available in beige and black upholstery that givesit the feel of a very premium car. So as much, that it can be weighed along cars belonging to a higher segment. The Laurin&Klement variant has some add-on features like customizable ambient lighting andcooled front seats. Other features such as climate control and panoramic electric sunroof with bounce-back system are standard in all variants.The Superb features a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, AUX, USB, SD card and iPod connectivity as standard besides Apple Car-Play and Android Auto. However, the system lacks the on-board satellite navigation. Thankfully, Mirror-link can be utilized to display your smartphone’s GPS in the car’s display.

Coming to the sitting arrangement of the car, it can be undoubtedly stated that the new Superb has more space in the back than its previous generation. The driver and front passenger seats are 12-way electrically adjustable. They are broad with good lumbar support (electrically adjusted) and under-thigh support for a comfortable ride. The driver seat has ‘three programmable memory’ function with height adjustment feature. The rear seats are lavish, well bolstered and offer all-round support. Though there is ample space in the rear, any desire to extend or stretch more can be fulfilled using the ‘Boss Button” that gives the rear passenger the option to slide the front passenger seat at the touch of a button.  Seating three people in the back is a task due to the hard cushioning and high center tunnel running the length of the car. 

 

What powers the car

Superb comes with two engine options as before; a 1798cc 4 cylinder petrol engine with options of being mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto transmission and a 1968cc 4 cylinder diesel engine coupled with a six-speed auto gearbox.

The petrol powertrain is a 1.8-litre direct-injection, turbocharged unit that also powers Skoda Octavia and Audi A3. This engine churns out a maximum power of 180hp and a peak torque of 320 Nm when mated to a six-speed manual transmission and 250Nm with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Talking about its performance, the TSI motor lags a bit while starting but is quick to accelerate, extends appropriate engine noises while offering a good mid-range feedback. This engine can achieve 0-100 in just 8.42 seconds.

The 1.8 TSI’s manual transmission is effective with very quick-to-response gear shift action but the clutch press is a bit long to execute.Power delivery is linear and aplenty throughout all gears with overtaking requiring just a little extra push from your right leg. 

The petrol automatic performs well and achieves 0-100 in 8.52 seconds. However, the boost of the engine is experienced at around 2500rpm only when you forcefully pedal the metal. The gearshifts are quick with the engine seeking to keep the revs low to maximize fuel efficiency. The six-speed manual transmission gives a fuel economy of 8.9kmpl in cities and 14.2kmpl in the highways whereas the seven-speed auto gearbox has a mileage of 8.5kmpl in towns and 12.7 on freeways.

Coming to the diesel variant, it is a definite step up from its previous version. The 2.0-litre diesel engine which is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, churns out a humongous power output of 177hp and a peak torque of 350 Nm while its previous generation made only 140hp of power and a maximum torque of 320Nm. This engine takes only 7.83 seconds to reach 0-100 which is 3.39 seconds quicker from its predecessor. The engine does lag in the starting but is quick to pick up. It comfortably strides past 2000rpm and accelerates quite excitedly up till 4900rpm. The transmission works well with gear shift action being swift and an easy task. The engine noise is low yet audible.

The higher L&K version of the Superb has 3 drive modes; Normal, Sport and Eco enabling us to adjust steering, engine and gearbox settings. 

Ride and Handling

Superb has always been known for its ride quality as it is widely identified as a chauffeur driven vehicle and this new generation fulfills all our comfort demands. It now comes with a lighter suspension that feels more yielding than its predecessor though; its softness has compromised its sharpness around corners.

The front tires have independent, MacPherson struts and coil springs while the back has independent, torsion beam and coil spring.The suspensions are set more on the comfort side rather than facilitating its handling department.It so gets a boon in the ride quality as it feels pliant and sophisticated, though while encountering sharp corners body-rolls are quite evitable.However, it cancels all the bumps and adulations with ease. Having said that, as you gain speed, you will find that the Superb offers decent straight line stability and though the car floats a bit, you won’t end-up losing confidence even at higher speed of about 160 km/h. The steering in the normal mode is light and offers sufficient feedback at all speeds. The maneuverability of the car is smooth and the parking gets easy. In the Sports mode, a little weight is added to the steering wheel increasing your confidence. There is minimum body-roll with the 215/55 Hankook tires offering decent road grip. The cabin of the Superb is well insulated, though the diesel model emits a little noise, it is only plausible as diesel engines go.

How Safe it is

You can back on Skoda for keeping you safe as it comes loaded with safety features. The new Skoda Superb comes equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Multi-Collision brake that brings the car to a standstill preventing a pile-up, Electronic Tire Pressure Monitoring, Bi-Xenon Adaptive Front light System (AFS) and eight airbags.

It even has a Diver Alert with fatigue detection that monitors the driver’s behavior and if the need arises, suggests for a rest and break in the expedition. It also features Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential System (EDS), XD+ and hill hold control aiding the driver in travelling uphill safely.

Our Perspective

The flagship vehicle for Skoda, Superb redefines luxury in this segment. It provides a perfect concoction of comfort, opulence and performance. Priced rather well, the superb is worthy enough to give its competitors a run for their money. Incline towards this car if you wish to be driven around instead of being on the driver’s seat.

 

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