What is it?
Why I would buy it?
Legroom, driving pleasure and comfort
Why I would avoid it?
Ground clearance and lacks features as compared to the L&K variant
What is it?
This is the age of SUVs and sedans are finding it hard to prove their worth. But even then there are a set of buyers who like their car’s low, luxurious and involving to drive. And that’s one of the reasons why manufacturers haven’t completely given up on sedans. I’m a sedan guy myself and it makes me very happy that we have this stunning sedan here to review and not another SUV. This is the new Skoda Superb Sportline and we’re going to tell you what it’s all about.
Even if you love SUVs, the new Superb is sure to grab your attention, especially in this electric shade of blue. This being a mid-life facelift, the changes are subtle but enough to get noticed. The biggest change up front is those new FULL LED headlights which look brilliant. The all-black butterfly grille has been reworked too and so has the front bumper which now gets larger air dams, new LED fog lamps and a sporty lip treatment.
The sides remain unchanged barring a new design alloy wheels. At the rear, the taillights have been re-profiled and the Skoda badge runs across the boot and the black treatment is exclusive to the Sportline variant. Overall, Skoda’s limousine still looks plenty fresh and the facelift has added more flair to the Superb and we particularly love it in this Sportline trim.
How is it on the inside?
Now this Sportline spec isn’t the flagship variant and that honour still goes to the Laurin and Klement. But then if you like dark sporty interiors, the Sportline will leave you impressed. The all-black interiors look rich and are further complemented by swathes of Alcantara. Also exclusive to the Sportline variant is the flat-bottom steering wheel which goes well with the proceedings. You have plenty of soft-touch materials and one can feel that this is a premium luxury car.
The main highlight of the Superb sedan is, of course, its rear seats. As before, legroom is fantastic and there is no doubting its limousine intentions. There’s space for four people to spend long hours here and for the corporate executives, it’s almost like the mini boardroom, especially if you consider the L&K variant. However, as a five-seater, the Superb struggles as the middle passenger gets a hard backrest and the high centre tunnel will make it uncomfortable for longer distances. A signature element of the Superb has always been its massive boot and you get 625-litres as standard with a galaxy like 1700-litres with the back seats down.
Now, this is the Sportline variant and when the rich dad isn’t being chauffeured around, the young son would like to drive it around. So let’s check out the front seats. The sporty seats are very comfortable and offer plenty of support and being 12-way electrically adjustable means one can find a comfortable driving position in no time at all. Also exclusive to the Sportline trim is customisable full digital instrument clusters which look fantastic.
It’s loaded on the equipment front too. You get as many as eight airbags, keyless entry, three-zone climate control, adjustable ambient lighting sun-roof, powered tailgate and more. The infotainment system with an eight-inch display has all the connectivity option one needs and looks and feels extremely crisp. However, what’s missing here as compared to the L&K trim is the 360-degree camera, TPMS, connected car technology, heated and ventilated seats and strangely the drive modes too.
How is it to drive?
A major update for this Superb facelift is 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine upfront which replaces the earlier 1.8 and along with the increase in displacement its gets a raft of technical updates for better performance. The engine comes with a seven-speed DSG gearbox and that’s the sole option available.
This engine now makes 190bhp and 320Nm which is 10bhp and an impressive 70Nm jump from the previous engine. Trundling at city speeds, the engine feels very refined. The DSG gearbox is calibrated wonderfully well and the Superb responds very well even to light throttle responses which help to overtake that annoying rickshaw or truck. Out on the highways that responsive throttle feels even more joyous. Bury that throttle and the Superb happily complies like a punch from a velvet glove. Keep it buried and the tacho swings cleanly to 6000 rpm with a soundtrack to match. As expected cruising at triple-digit speeds is an effortless affair and the Superb makes for a very effective bahn stormer.
Coming to the ride and handling, what is very apparent is that the Superb is made to haul passengers comfortably. The soft suspension set up means the city irregularities are handled with aplomb. Yes, one does have to be a little wary of monster speed breakers but other than that the Superb has no clearance issues.
The soft set-up means the Superb cannot stitch corners like an Octavia and there is somebody roll along with some movement but then again, the Superb is not meant to carve up corners anyways. But keep the enthusiasm in check and the Superb masks its limousine dimensions very well.
Should I buy one?
A sedan vs SUV is a no contest in our country but if you are in the market specifically for a sedan and do not want to compromise on presence, space, performance or practicality, this car is indeed a Superb choice.
Where does it fit in?
This Superb Sportline retails at Rs 29.99 Lakh ex-showroom and for that price, you can get a Toyota Fortuner or even the Ford Endeavor and now while they may be more car for the money they will never be able to match this sedan suave styling, luxury feel or driving dynamics.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi