In a car world filled (and still filling up) with SUVs, being a sedan is a tough job but that has not stopped Skoda and its flagship vehicle the Superb from making a name for themselves…repeatedly. Offering SUV like space in a sedan guise, this generation was launched in India in 2016 and the car that you see is a mid-life update that was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo. Here then are five things that we like about the car and two things that we didn’t.
This generation of the Superb has been around for five years now but the design appears to be ageless with its looking contemporary even today. The lines are sharp all around and thanks to its low stance; the car always looks ready to get to business. What’s more, the car that we have driven is the Sportline trim which thanks to its bright colour schemes, black accents, black lettering, 17-inch black wheels and Alcantara heavy interior trim gives you VRs vibes. That combined with the Superb’s uniqueness is not a bad thing at all as who doesn’t like to stand out in a sea of growing number of SUVs.
An ace that this current generation of the Superb has managed to pull out of its sleeve is ride quality. It’s plush and hardly lets anything filter back to the cabin which works well considering that in most cases the Superb would be an animal of the urban jungle. What’s more, the ground clearance is more than sufficient to clear large potholes and even the largest of speed breakers without having to weave the vehicle from side-to-side supercar style.
The Superb is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder BS6 TSI petrol engine producing 188bhp/320Nm and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic sending power to the front wheels. This engine is butter smooth and thanks to a large chunk of the 320Nm of torque available quite early, makes this 4.8-metre sedan a breeze to drive even in the heaviest of traffic conditions. However, put your foot down and you are treated a hushed but throaty note, 6000rpm redline and relentless acceleration well into three-digit speeds.
At 4.8-metres and with a wheelbase of 2.84 metres, the Superb is a large sedan by any standard and that’s most evident in the space offered inside.Even for a six-footer like me, you can see that there are loads of room both in the front and rear and in the case of the former, the seat has set up to my driving position. Shoulder room was never an issue and because you can stretch your legs out, headroom too is more than adequate.
The large size of the Superb means its heavy practicality should come as no surprise. You get loads of little storage spaces for all the occupants, 1.0-litre bottle holders in the door pockets and a massive 625-litre boot which can be expanded to 1700-litres with back seats folded down. A neat little touch that we liked is the presence of detachable torchlight that also doubles as the secondary boot lamp. Of course, because this is Skoda, there’s a little access space behind the centre armrest from the back seat to the boot. Practicality also extends to your driving experience as you get dedicated screens in the infotainment system that tells you how efficient you have been behind the wheel and gives you a rating accordingly.
Lack of diesel engine
In the present plan of things for the Indian car market, Skoda has dropped their diesel range in all forms in favour of turbocharged petrol engines. As you can see from the pros section, the petrol engine is a gem with more than the adequate ability for a good driving experience. However, the diesel engine is more economical and will be missed by those who liked its torque heavy nature and ability to eat up with the kilometres while still being easy on the pocket.
Inadequate feature list
The car that we have driven is the Superb Sportline and this loses out on a lot of kits as compared to the more expensive L&K trim. This includes the auto park function, ventilated seats, driving modes, connected car technology, hands-free boot lid opening and the boss button controls for the front passenger seat. Skoda has even left out its branded umbrella (with its slot in the door) that’s been a signature staple of the sedan since the beginning.
The Skoda Superb Sportline has been priced at Rs 29.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). It’s a large and handsome car with lots of space, practicality and nice potent petrol engine capable of being at home in the city or out on the highway. It lacks some features as compared to the L&K variant but is Rs 3 lakh lower. Given that it is one of few sedans left among a sea of SUVs, owners will also stand out uniquely in the crowd.
Photos: Kaustubh Gandhi