Skoda superb is still one of India’s most well-known inexpensive luxury sedans. Yes, we’re talking about the Skoda Superb, which was recently debuted in India and entered a new generation last year. The car has had a significant and loyal fan base in the United States since its inception nearly 15 years ago, thanks to comfort levels and cabin capacity only found in cars nearly twice the price.
We hopped behind the wheel and drove from Mangaluru’s coastal plains to Madikeri’s rolling hills in Coorg to see if the new Skoda Superb has managed to continue on the legacy created by its predecessors.
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I think the best word to describe the exterior design of the 2018 Skoda Superb is evolution. The shape that made this automobile renowned has been kept, but according to Skoda’s new designing philosophy, it now looks sharper and more taut.
The iconic Skoda Superb grille and elegant headlamps with crystal components pay homage to the Czech glass industry and distinguish the fascia. On the bonnet, there are power lines, and the chrome has been applied gently around the emblem and the bumper.
The previous generation car’s limousine silhouette has evolved into a sports sedan-like look. The pillars have a delicate ring of chrome, and the flared wheel arches combine with the lowered roofline to give the Skoda Superb a dynamic look. Our automobile was a top-of-the-line Laurin & Klement, so it had L&K badges on the sides as well. Because of the minimum quantity of badging and chrome accents at the back, it’s business as usual. The tail lamps are shaped like a C and flow around the boot’s border.
The Skoda Superb has had an unobtrusive appearance since its introduction as Skoda Superb flagship model. It isn’t very attractive, but it has enough to distinguish itself from the mob of SUVs, hatchbacks, and MPVs. Its quest to be the “different” option is supported by the near-absence of large sedans in this segment of the market.
The Superb’s capacious cabin is leather-lined and packed with goodies. The interior is two-toned, with beige for the seats and black for the dashboard, giving it a light vibe. The infotainment system and gear shifter are surrounded by luxury polymers with chrome highlights. Everything is conveniently accessible, and because to the huge glass area, the view out front is excellent.
However, because the Skoda Superb is now part of the MQB family, many of the elements look to have been lifted from the Octavia, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does take away some of the uniqueness that the earlier models had.
We drove the top-of-the-line L&K model, which includes three-zone climate control, a touchscreen infotainment system, and electrically adjustable ventilated front seats with memory function (phew!). Two umbrellas in the front doors, because this is a Skoda Superb.
There are also some thoughtful details, such as ambient lighting and a front cup holder that grips your bottle so you can quickly open it. This redesigned Skoda Superb does away with the multi-level boot opening in favour of a virtual pedal and an automatic closure button.
Given that this will be a chauffeur-driven vehicle, the back seat offers plenty of room. It’s quite relaxing in the rear. The seat controls on the left-hand side of the front seat allow it to be pulled forward. However, we discovered that all of the chairs lacked under thigh support, which is surprising given the cabin’s size.
Driven by Results
Two engines and two transmissions are available for the Superb. A 1.8-litre petrol engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG transmission. The former generates 178bhp/320Nm, while the latter generates 178bhp/250Nm. The diesel engine is a 2.0-litre unit with 175bhp and 350Nm of torque and is only available with the seven-speed DSG transmission.
We just had access to the fuel, but we had a good time driving it from Mangaluru to Madikeri. The four-pot motor revs smoothly and linearly, but it’s loud, and the clatter is apparent throughout the cabin. Shifts occur at various RPMs depending on how much throttle is used, and for a swift overtaking, two or even three gears are dropped to gain the necessary momentum.
Skoda Superb has three driving modes: eco, sport, and normal, and the throttle response changes depending on the mode you’re in. There’s also a personal drive option where you can customise the replies to your liking.
The ARAI fuel efficiency rating for the petrol manual is 14.12 km/l, 14.67 km/l for the petrol AT, and 18.19 km/l for the diesel.
Skoda Superb has managed to strike a fair mix between the two in terms of ride and handling. Our route took us through practically every type of terrain, and the Superb came out on top the entire time.
The automobile has long been noted for its smooth ride, and this one does not disappoint. The way it absorbs road imperfections without communicating much more than a subdued thump into the interior has a quiet suppleness to it. We had no trouble getting over speed breakers and potholes thanks to the 149mm ground clearance that was “increased for India.”
It handles nicely for a car of this size and is very forgiving if you go hard into a bend. The ESP is constantly on and keeps you safe on the road in a non-intrusive manner. To get ahead of the safety net, you’d have to push the car pretty hard. I also enjoy how light the steering is, but how accurate it is and how it balances out as you accelerate. The brakes, which are progressive and reassuring, complement all of this go-to-power.
We Indians are notorious for demanding more for less, and the Skoda Superb is a prime example of this mindset. It has so much space and features to offer that it appears to outperform many vehicles above and below it.
Sure, there are some flaws, such as the uninteresting interiors and the touchscreen infotainment system’s small size. However, features like the large cabin room, feature list, and decent balance between ride and handling offset these drawbacks. It’s a good deal for people searching for a car that can do a little bit of everything at a fair price.
The base 1.8 TSI manual costs Rs 23.83 lakh, while the top-of-the-line L&K diesel costs Rs 30.85 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi). The Toyota Camry and the soon-to-be-released Honda Accord, as well as the Volkswagen Passat, are all competitors.