Skoda Superb: Spoilt in Luxury
With fuel prices reaching an all time high, fuel efficient budgets cars are in great demand. These cars are purely functional. They are meant to travel from point A to B. Customers who chose these cars might compromise on comfort and luxury but are very precise about its fuel efficiency. These vehicles are built to be the best value for money deals but if you dare to look beyond this, there are premium luxury cars. They offer much more than any other mundane ride.
The Skoda Superb needs no introduction with respect to D+ sedans as it has always been the leader of the segment. Be it its ultimate luxury, elegant looks or its powerful heart, the Superb has always been chosen by the connoisseurs of luxury. This luxury limousine by Skoda has always been a delight for the niche class.
In this New Year, Skoda will launch its refurbished Superb which claims to take the legacy ahead. The detailing done on the new Superb endorses the belief that the new car like its predecessor will be par excellence and continue to impress all with its design, feel and performance. We drove it from Mumbai to Lonavala to pamper ourselves and find if the new Superb has it all in our first impression report.
Skoda Superb has always been the classiest looking car in the D+ segment. Not that the Czech are known for their design contributions to the world but then the Superb indeed looks “Superb” when seen from any angle possible.
Its luxury limousine looks can make anyone be in awe. Designers at Skoda were kind enough not to play with the lines too much but then just make the design crisper than before. The new design does not look too different from the earlier model but that is good as the Superb has always been the best looker of the lot.
The New Superb is based on the new design language which has made the design cleaner, more precise and crystalline. The voluptuous design has been succeeded by straight lines which makes this one as sophisticated as earlier. The main change is the new radiator grille which has been worked on meticulously. The detailing on this grille is amazing with piano finished vertical slats. These slats also have chrome garnish on them. The surround of the radiator grille also gets generous chrome treatment.
The bonnet now features a more defined profile. It has the characteristic rib line flowing on it. The Superb also features the new bolder Skoda logo situated on the temple over the radiator grille. It makes a “V” design on the grille. The headlights too have been revised and now offer better illumination. There are daytime running LEDs (DRLs) which make the design look modern. The front stance now looks wider as the front bumper too has got some new changes.
The overall dimensions are similar to the existing model except for minor changes which are due to the new design changes. The New Superb has a wheelbase of 2761mm. Superb has always been a car which has looked more like a limousine than a normal sedan because of its long flowing roof line. It gets a chrome window line and external mirrors with turn indicators.
Rear tail gate has also been redesigned. The number plate which was on the rear bumper earlier has been shifted to the boot lid. The boot lid has been divided into two parts with a partition. The tail lamp now makes use of LEDs and lights up the lamps in the conventional C shape. The rear design looks impressive and reminds of Maserati from some angles.
The New Skoda Superb continues to look as stunning as it has always been. The change in design has elevated its minute details. It continues to look as sophisticated and modern as earlier.
If your life is juggling between different meetings and conferences, then the five star cabin of the new Superb shall keep you in extreme comfort. The new Superb pushes the level very high when it comes to premium luxurious interiors.
Gets yourself the best seats in the cabin, the rear seats and you will feel delighted. The rear seats feel more like a king’s throne. If only there was an artificial partition screen, then the Superb would have felt a true limousine. The leather seats, fine stitch quality, great trims and spacious feeling make it a very pampering experience.
Front row passengers get electrically adjusted seats with lumbar support adjustment. These seats can be adjusted in 12 different positions. Even after adjusting the front seats according to individual comfort, there is ample space for the rear passenger which is amazing. The steering wheel is rake and reaches adjustable. The front visibility from the driver’s seat is very good.
Rear passengers can spread their legs generously with the amazing legroom. The seats are very comfortable with great back support and under thigh support. In fact the comfort of these seats can give 3 Series, C-Class and A4 a run for their money. An addition of electrical adjustment of the front passenger seat to increase the legroom further could have been of great help which is seen on the Toyota Camry. One more drawback is the rear seat armrest which has no functions. If only the armrest featured controls for the music system then it would have been very engaging for the rear passengers. In the Toyota Camry, not only does it feature controls for the music system, but also has different rear seat position adjustments.
The front passenger area is equally joyous to be in. For starters, it has a 3 spoke steering wheel which is a new addition. The steering wheel has multiple controls embedded on it. The front console also gets a faux wooden vinyl which makes it look premium. The central console is simple yet stylish. It gets a with 6.5” LCD TFT colour touchscreen which has doubles as rear parking sensor screen. It was surprising to see Skoda ditch reversing camera for rear parking sensor. It also features auto climate controls with adjustable rear AC vents located on B-Pillars. The Superb also gets a 12 speaker music system and the Bolero music system which comes in stock condition is simply brilliant.
There are twin cup holders in the central area. Also, under the front armrest there is ample space for storing miscellaneous articles. The glove box which opens with a slight click has decent space. The door pockets too are useful as they can store a litre class container with great ease. The rear armrest also has foldable cup holders. The rear boot space is enormous. It can take a gold kit and two guitars very easily. The boot lid opens in two ways. It has 565L of space and 1700L with rear seats folded.
We began our drive from Mumbai and so it was obvious that we could not have dodged the famous Mumbai traffic but then as we approached Mumbaui Pune Expressway the road kept getting better.
The Superb is mainly a chauffeur driven limousine and so I decided to be the back bencher as this is supposedly the best zone to be. The rear seats are amazingly comfortable and offer grand space. It feels very roomy. In addition to the great headroom, it has a fantastic legroom too and even taller passengers cannot complaint as the seats can accommodate everyone with great ease. Rear seats also get a foldable armrest and a quick rear boot access chamber similar to that on the Octavia.
After being driven for long, I decided to switch places with the driver not hoping that the comfort of the rear section will be continued on the front section as well. The front zone too felt amazingly comfortable. After making myself understand the detailed features of this new offering, finally pushed the start button and got the diesel motor running.
The diesel engine is a four cylinder 1968cc 16V turbocharged DOHC engine. This engine produces 140 PS of power at 4200 rpm which is less than its petrol variant. However, this diesel motor produces 320Nm of torque between 1750 to 2500 rpm. It comes in a 6 Speed DSG gearbox which also has an optional manual gear changing.
It is one of the quietest diesel engines I have driven. It only gets audible when it peaks at a particular gear. The automatic gearbox is comparatively a smooth unit but then there is a mild lag felt while rapidly changing gears. The engine redlines at close to 5000 rpm. On first gear, the tacho needle goes all the way to the 5000 rpm mark before dropping to 3000 rpm for second gear. In initial speeds, it might offer some resistance but once the 2200rpm mark is crossed the needle rapidly races to redline limits. The engine remains at its torquey best in the range of 3000 rpm to 5000 rpm where you can attempt some high performance driving especially on twisted sections of Ghats.
The suspension setup is soft and took the undulations with great ease. At 1644 Kgs of Kerb weight, the new Superb is not a light car but then with perfectly tuned suspensions, it does not feel heavy at all. The road to our final destination had a good number of rough sections but the Superb took them all decently. It was only in some rare sections where the ground clearance felt less but then overall the experience was impressive.
Long open stretches on the highway is the place where the Superb resides in great comfort. The drive quality is excellent. The steering wheel too is very quick in precise in maneuvering the vehicle. Even on tight corners, it manages to handle well.
Not that a Superb customer would like to throw his limousine in corners at great speeds but then even if he tries doing that he won’t be disappointed. It also gets an ASR button which can be switched offoptionally; I preferred to keep it ON throughout. The all wheel disc brakes work efficiently in trying to reduce speeds. They are very effective even at high speeds. We managed to get an overall mileage of 10 kmpl. Skoda claims that this motor can give as much as 17 Kmpl.
The New Superb continues to have host of safety features it had. It gets Bi-Xenon lamps with dynamic levelling on the Elegance variant. It also offers Hill Hold Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Anti Slip Regulation, Electronic Differential Lock and Traction Control System along with many other safety features.
|Variant||TDI CR (A)|
|Engine||4 Cylinder turbocharged diesel engine16V DOHC|
|Engine Displacement/No. of Cylinders||1968/4|
|Power in PS/RPM||140 / 4200|
|Torque in NM / RPM||320 /1750–2500|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Gross weight (Kgs)||2124 Kgs|
|Fuel Tank capacity in Liters||60|
|Mileage in KMPL||17 Kmpl|
|Alloy wheels 16inch, Helix||Yes||Yes|
|Exterior Chrome Package|
|Chrome surround for radiator grille||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome smile around lower air dam in front bumper||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome protective side door strips||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome side window frames||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome trim on the boot lid||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome cover for headlight washers||No||Yes|
|Rear decklid spoiler||Yes||Yes|
|Polished twin exhaust tailpipes||Yes||Yes|
|Interior Chrome Package|
|Chrome front and rear door sill trims with 'Superb' inscription||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome frame on air conditioning vents, radio, air conditioning controls, gear-shift console, headlight switch, reading lamps, and information display screen on rear centre console||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome interior door handles||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome ring on instrument cluster dials||Yes||Yes|
|Chrome trim on steering wheel and chrome upper bridge on the instrument cluster||Yes||Yes|
|Wood Design Décor||Yes||Yes|
|Interior wood design décor on front upper dashboard and door panels||Yes||Yes|
|Ivory leather upholstery, Nappa||Yes||Yes|
|Bumpers, external mirrors, door handles, roof trim strips painted in the colour of the vehicle||Yes||Yes|
|Turn indicator in external mirrors||Yes||Yes|
|Bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic levelling||No||Yes|
|Halogen projector headlights with manual levelling||Yes||No|
|AFS (Adaptive Frontlight System)||No||Yes|
|Light Assistant - automatic headlight system with light sensor||Yes||Yes|
|Retractable headlight washers||No||Yes|
|Front fog lights||Yes||Yes|
|Corner function with front fog lights||Yes||Yes|
|LED Daytime Running Lights||No||Yes|
|Warning indicators on all doors||Yes||Yes|
|Rear fog light||Yes||Yes|
|Automatically dimming interior and external rear view mirror||Yes||Yes|
|External mirror defogger with timer||Yes||Yes|
|Rear windscreen defogger with timer||Yes||Yes|
|HHC (Hill Hold Control)||No||Yes|
|ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)||Yes||Yes|
|EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution)||Yes||Yes|
|MBA (Mechanical Brake Assistant)||Yes||-|
|HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistant)||No||Yes|
|ASR (Anti Slip Regulation)||Yes||Yes|
|EDL (Electronic Differential Lock)||No||Yes|
|TCS (Traction Control System)||Yes||Yes|
|ESP (Electronic Stability Programme)||No||Yes|
|Park Distance Control|
|Parktronic sensors at rear||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||TDI CR (A)||Highline DSG||AT|
|Engine||4 Cylinder turbocharged diesel engine16V DOHC||4 Cylinder Common Rail Diesel Engine||2.4 GDi AT|
|Engine Displacement/No. of Cylinders||1968/4||1968/4||2359/4|
|Power in PS/RPM||140 / 4200||168 / 4200||198 / 6300 RPM|
|Torque in NM / RPM||320 /1750–2500||350 / 1750||250 / 4250|
|Transmission||6-speed, DSG||6-Speed AT||-|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Tyres||205/55 R16||215 / 55 R16||215 / 55 R17|
|Fuel Tank capacity in Liters||60||70||70|
|Mileage in KMPL||17 Kmpl||18.5 Kmpl||11 Kmpl|
The New Superb is a different car from the earlier model. It may not have many visually distinct features but then it has been reformed to take the legacy ahead. The Superb was always a stunner and with the new design, Skoda has not gone overboard with it shouting about the changes.
It has always enjoyed the reputation of being the most comfortable car in its segment. In the new model too, the praises for its premium interiors and plush feel won’t stop. There might be some who would want the new car to offer more features. The new Skoda Superb will be showcased at the 12th Auto Expo 2014 in Delhi. Skoda plans to launch it in mid-February 2014.
Skoda cars are very well engineered and have earned many accolades for the same but the prime concern for many customers planning for a Skoda is it’s after sales experience which is a stumbling block. The company has taken all possible corrective measures to make sure that the after sales experience becomes an asset. There were some unfortunate experiences but then it is unfair to generalize them and have a strong opinion against a particular manufacturer. Skoda believes that the benefits of their improvements has already started showing.
So if you wish to get Spoilt in Luxury and wish to travel in a private jet on road, make sure you have a Superb parked outside your office.