A new generation of the Superb will surely excite the lot who love to travel in luxury. Skoda has made so many changes on the Superb that probably the only thing that remains constant is the name. The car has stayed true to its name forever and a new generation only means the car maintain a status quo if not changing for better. It’s a car that has always stood out in a crowd and the Czech car maker will be hoping that this new generation takes the legacy forward. The Superb has been around in India for more than a decade now and has earned its fair share of followers who demand luxury on wheel at an affordable cost. The new Superb according to Skoda is an all round improvement in terms of features, dimensions, engines and a lot more. And to sample that we were invited to the beautiful hills of Coorg in the Western Ghats.
The biggest change on the exterior is that car now looks less boxy and more like a coupe. The proportions look more balanced and there’s a mixture of flowing lines and clear-cut edges. A lot of styling cues are taken from the Octavia and that makes the Superb more like a part of the brand. The car is now close to 50 mm wider than before and is slightly taller too which means the Superb now looks even more premium. The new MQB platform has worked wonders for this luxury on wheels. The car also gets retractable headlamp washers as well as fog lamps with cornering function. However the highlight on the exterior have to be the Innovative lighting systems, fitted with bi-xenon lamps including AFS function and LED daytime running lights that significantly increase safety at night. The tail lamps also look extremely attractive and also contribute to the increased aerodynamic shape of the car.
The use of MQB architecture has especially contributed to the increased interior space, enabling a longer wheelbase and wider track allowing the interior to be used more effectively. Drivers and passengers can now enjoy 39 mm more elbow room and more headroom. A higher wheelbase means more space on the inside. There’s also a rear-view camera while the classic handbrake has been replaced with an auto held electromechanical parking brake. The new Superb is available with an electronic panoramic glass roof and auxiliary heating, air-conditioned front seats and a wireless heated wind screen. The rain and light sensor wiper feature will aid in driving comfort. Instead of one umbrella in the rear left-hand door earlier, there is now an umbrella in each of the two front doors. The L&K variant also features the Canton sound system as standard twelve speakers and an impressive 610 W output. There’s a smart infotainment that easily connects to a smart phone, and thus the apps can then be viewed and accessed on the 5-inch touch screen.
The rear seat is an extremely comfortable place to be in and the highlight here is what Skoda refers to as a Boss button wherein the rear seat passenger can adjust the front passenger seat all by himself. There’s also a smart access to the boot which is of great practical use. The boot capacity at 625 litres according to Skoda is a record in the segment and when compared to the outgoing model, it is 30 litres bigger. The rear backrest can also be folded down from the boot at the touch of a button allowing items of up to 3.1 metres in length to fit in the car. This new Superb is the brand’s first model to offer the optional virtual pedal for contactless opening of the boot lid. The Superb also boasts of a removable LED torch in the boot and misfuel protection.
Both the Petrol and Diesel engines on the Superb are more powerful that before. The new 1.8 litre TSI petrol gives 180 PS and the 2.0 TDI Diesel churns out 177PS of maximum power. With the manual transmission, the petrol Skoda Superb is claimed to deliver 14.12kmpl with the DSG increasing it by half a kilometer. The diesel Superb, meanwhile, is claimed to run 18.19km on a single litre. More power on a car that is lighter than before just means one thing that the Superb now is surely more fun to drive. It’s a peppy drive where the gear ratios are set very precisely and you rarely feel that the car is in the wrong gear. The fact that 250 Nm of torque is available at as low as 1,250rpm is also an impressive number on the car. The auto box lets you rev till over 6000 rpm and that is one of the highlights of this DSG box. There’s a sport mode to along with paddle shifters in case you’re in this for spending more time on the driver’s seat.
Ride & Handling
The combination of performance that is increased by up to 30 per cent, reduced air resistance and a reduction in weight also leads to impressive driving dynamics. The completely redeveloped chassis with Macpherson front struts and multi-link rear axle offers good ride stability. This even on the winding roads with fast corners makes the Superb a very efficient handler. There’s minimum body roll which aids in a very comfortable ride. The new Superb is also fitted electronic Tyre Pressure Monitoring, eight airbags, and five three-point seat belts with fastening alerts as well as safety headrests. XDS+, an enhanced function of the electronic differential lock, also comes as standard.
Skoda says it has been making serious efforts towards giving a smooth after sales experience to its customers and there have been visible changes on this front in the last couple of years. The prices for the new Superb start at Rs. 22.68 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai for the Manual Petrol variant. The range topping Diesel DSG is priced at Rs. 29.36 lakh, also ex-showroom Mumbai. That makes it a ‘Superb’ option in a segment crowded by German luxury cars where the focus is more to cut costs.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars.