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Skoda Superb
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
Warranty
: 4 Yrs / Unlimited kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
26 Lakhs-33.5 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Stylish Demeanour
  • High Safety Equipment 
  • Powerful Diesel Performance
  • Superior Dynamics

Weak Areas

  • No Manual Diesel
  • Average Boot
  • Small Rear Space
  • Low Mileage
Skoda Superb
 
 

Skoda Superb Expert Review, What’s New in Third Generation Skoda Superb?

Skoda Superb has not bid goodbye to the Indian market. The third generation model has larger dimensions and brings more of creature comforts for those who like to be driven around. And it is equally good to drive.


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

In a country where more and more car buyers are opting for tall, butch SUVs or the fuel efficient hatchbacks, there is still a category that goes for the long, luxurious sedans. And the Czech car brand is catering to these very people in India. With just one SUV (Kodiaq) and three sedans – Rapid, Octavia and Superb, Skoda continues to compete for its share in the automotive market.

The original model of Superb launched in 2004 could not impress many with either of the engines. It was very expensive and the sedan’s looks were very similar to Octavia that was a more affordable choice. Then came the 2nd generation Superb – the B6 – that made things better for Skoda. The company priced it more aggressively and offered plenty of space in the cabin with more equipment, comfort and quality. The Superb became one of the top selling cars in the D2 category. 

Although the sale increased for some time, things were not very smooth for Skoda and some buyers were dissatisfied with unreliable nature of the vehicle and the poor service network. Breakdowns and maintenance problems were common issues with Skoda cars including Superb. 

Skoda Superb’s most direct competitor is Toyota Camry. Others including Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Teana and VW Passat are already out of the segment in India after poor sales. Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series are lot more expensive. Also, the Superb faces competition from its own sibling – the Octavia - as the price difference is not significant.

The car that’s the subject of discussion here is now in its third generation.  The newest model of Superb – the B8 - was exhibited at Prague. And why is it B8 after B6? Where is B7? Skoda decided not to use the B7 platform that underpins the Passat 2011 model. The third generation Superb shares the MQB platform with the Octavia. 

It comes with the same petrol and diesel engines albeit with revised states of tune: 

  • The 1.8 litre petrol engine churns out 178 bhp at 4000 - 6200 rpm and has 320 Nm of torque at 1450 – 3900 rpm
  • The 2.0 litre diesel engine churns out 174 bhp at 3600 -4000 rpm and has 350 Nm of torque at 1500 -3500 rpm


The External Impression 

The new Superb has been styled quite subtly and it looks more contemporary than the previous model. It is well proportioned with a clean design. The Superb is now also longer than its predecessor. But the design conceals the length well. Nevertheless, some people may still find the design similar to current Octavia and that’s not really incorrect. 

All variants of Superb have bi-xenon adaptive headlamps with L-shaped LED DRLs. These move to follow the direction of the steering wheel and can also adapt themselves to varying conditions – city, highway and rain by changing their light pattern. The daytime running lights (DRLs) also work as indicators. 

The trademark Skoda grille is bigger now and has vertical chrome struts. There is also a chrome strip on the air dam. The bonnet design evolves from the previous generation Superb. There are 2 washers for the windscreen and they are heated to help in very cold conditions.

What’s new on the side profile? It is lengthier by 28mm. Other changes in the dimensions include the width extended by 47 mm and height by only 1 mm. The outside rear view mirrors (ORVMs) don’t just have integrated blinkers but also puddle lamps. Request sensors are given on both the front door handles.

Superb has 17 inch wheels with 10 spoke design and these are shod with 215/55 R17 tyres. The outgoing model had 16 inch rims. The side rub guards get a crystalline pattern and they are integrated into the body of the car. Window linings are marked by chrome. 

The saloon has a sunroof that slides over the body as it opens. The shark fin antenna is mounted at the rear. 

The tail lights also have a crystalline theme in their housings. The new Superb does get a parking camera, hidden well above the number plate. There is plastic cladding on the bumper to create a fake rear diffuser. 

There are only two variants for the new Superb - Style and Laurin & Klement (L&K). Both are well equipped and Style does not look inferior to the top end trim. It has safety driving aids including eight airbags, sunroof, powered driver’s seat, dual zone climate control and parking camera among others. The Superb also has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating. 

You don’t have much choice in the body colours though. The grey comes only with Laurin & Klement. The colours offered for both the variants are brown, white and black. 


In the Cabin 

Interior colour theme is black and beige as in the outgoing model. The design of cabin is simple and refined. Again, like the exterior, the cabin too has similarities with the Octavia and there are common family traits here and there.

The dashboard has ambient lighting lines and their colour can be changed between white, blue and green.  With a light colour theme (beige), the cabin looks and feels airy. There are some soft touch parts and the quality is admirable. This model does not have wooden veneers like the previous one. There are however piano black panels in the top end variant. 

On the front seats the occupants get adequate headroom and the width of cabin also offers good shoulder room. The driver’s seat is 12 way electrically adjustable and offers good support. In addition it also has three memory settings – this remembers the seat position and also the ORVM position. In the L &K trim, the front passenger too gets the 12 way electrical adjustment for their seat. This variant also has heating and cooling for its front seats. Although we would not need the ‘heating’ feature much in most of the Indian states, the cooling is good for our hot climate. With this, your back will not feel sweaty. 

It’s the same steering wheel in here as 2014 Superb had and can be adjusted for both rake & reach. It is also good to hold. The ergonomics on the whole are fine and all controls are easily reachable. The visibility for front is also fine with a comfortable driving position.

It is the rearward visibility that most people may complain about. The slope of rear windshield, the thick C pillars and the neck restraints on rear seat make it difficult to see through the screen. The view is also limited through the internal rear view mirror (IRVM) and the ORVMs. What’s good is that there are electronic parking aids in form of reversing camera and front –rear parking sensors. Together these gadgets make it possible to park the Superb and take it out of narrow parking zones safely. The sensors however also react when any pedestrian or vehicle gets too close to the Superb. Bumper to bumper traffic situations are too common in Indian cities so this can get annoying for some. The system can be turned off in such cases.

A downgrade in the third gen model of Superb is that the organ type accelerator pedal which was more comfortable to use has been replaced by suspended pedal that looks out of place in a car of this character. 

The climate control works better than in the outgoing model. Skoda Superb has 3-zone climate control unit – one each for driver and front passenger and the third one for rear seat occupants.

There are quite a few cubby holes for storage – fabric lined pockets in front doors to take in 1 litre bottles and small things, a spacious, illuminated and cooled storage are under the centre armrest, and 3 cup holders (with covering lid) between the gear lever and centre console. Another storage area is in front of gear lever and the 12V power socket, USB, Aux-in ports are also located here. While all these are good, the large panel above the glove box eats into its storage space. The glove box is illuminated and cooled. 

At the rear there’s more legroom now because the wheelbase has been increased by 80 mm. the seatback is soft. And under thigh support is just fine. The centre armrest has been placed ergonomically well but the door armrest cannot be easily used by everyone. What’s not good at all is the headroom – it is very restricted and tall people will have a problem. 

The bench is adequately wide and can sometimes accommodate a third passenger but the transmission tunnel is tall and so legs will have to be placed on either side. The 5th passenger's raised seating area too is not as comfortable as the window seat occupants.

Skoda Superb’s windows have sunshades to shield rear passengers from harsh sunlight. These are good alternatives in a country where black screen glass is banned. However, the sunshades are not electric as in VW Passat. They need to be manually put in place.

The air conditioner works effectively and as this is a 3 zone climate control, the rear seat passengers can set the temperature as per their preferences. However, Skoda did not provide the blower control. An airflow knob has been provided. 

The storage areas at rear include door pockets that can hold 500 ml bottles, pockets behind front seats, two cup holders and a pen holder in the centre armrest. A tablet holder is also provided and there is a compartment below the base of AC console. There is a 12V socket too.

Superb’s boot has 625 litres of volume and the 60:40 bench seat can also be folded to create space of up to 1760 litres. After loading the boot you just need to press a button and the lid will close automatically. 


Engine, Transmission and Performance - 2.0 litre turbo diesel. 

The Superb with 1.8 litre TSI petrol engine comes with transmission options of 7-speed DSG and 6-speed manual gearbox. 

The more practical choice for buyers is the 2.0 litre turbo diesel that comes with 6-speed DSG. This engine is tuned to be more powerful than the same unit in Octavia. 

As compared to the older model that churned out 138 bhp and 320 Nm torque, the 3rd generation produces a massive 174 bhp at 3600 rpm - 400 rpm and 350 Nm torque at 1500 rpm – 3500 rpm.  

Start the engine by pressing the brake pedal and engine start/ stop button. The engine is very silent and it’s just a slight thrum of the diesel that is audible. Skoda Superb is more refined than Volkswagen Passat at idling. Vibrations are also well in control. 

The DSG transmission is mated well with the diesel engine for city driving. There is hardly any turbo lag and ample power comes from just 1250 rpm. Response to throttle inputs is sharp and the engine is rev happy. The gearbox can upshift quickly in the city and below 2000 rpms and the saloon can upshift to 6th gear at a speed of just 70 km/hour. Gear shifts are seamless and smooth.

Driving through city traffic only requires light taps on the accelerator. In most conditions there is no downshift required with light or medium taps on accelerator because there is plenty of torque to lug in the city. If a gap must be covered suddenly, you can give sharper throttle inputs and within a second the Superb can drop a gear (or even two) and move ahead. Generally with DSGs, the downshifts are less instantaneous than upshifts. 

While the outgoing model too was also a powerful highway player, the new Superb is even more enthusiastic on open roads. Even as this car enters triple digit speed, it feels calm. The 100 km/hr comes at around 1600 rpm in 6th gear. In this relaxed state the engine noise is also refined. Overtaking is easy. There is a solid punch in the mid range and the torque makes it easy to go past slow moving vehicles. The engine gearbox combination is really well suited to expressways. 

The L & K variant has 4 driving modes – ECO, Normal, Sport and Individual. These do make a difference in driving. Between them, you can tune parameters of steering, transmission, dynamic cornering lights and climate control for sporty performance, fuel economy or combination of both. 

When the ECO mode is turned on, the transmission is relaxed and the AC compressor does not work hard, the adaptive lights get turned off and the start / stop system starts working. In Sport mode the steering feels heavier and gearbox is more aggressive. The adaptive lights are also more sensitive to steering directions. You can customise the steering, gearbox, adaptive lights and AC behaviour in Individual mode. 

The fuel efficiency for diesel model has been rated at 18.19 km / litre. 


Ride, Handling, Steering & Brakes

Skoda Superb gets the usual European cars’ suspension set up. There are McPherson struts for front and a multi-link rear end. The sedan can deal with small to medium sized undulations without causing any discomfort to cabin occupants. The suspension is somewhat more compliant and soft than that of previous model. But the sharp bumps and large potholes can be felt inside. It is not yet a plush suspension and the larger wheel size is also a factor contributing to this. The ride feels better on highways though some vertical movement is felt on bigger undulations. 

Skoda Superb also does a good job in the handling department. Even though it is a long car measuring 4.8 meters in length it feels agile to drive and willingly changes directions. The dynamics are balanced and the Superb can hold on to its line even when pushed around the corners. Another benefit comes from the liberal ESP that lets you play without interfering too much. 

The electric power steering is light at city speeds and weighs up adequately on highways. In Sport mode it feels even heavier. However it does not provide the feedback that enthusiasts prefer. 

What’s best is that the Superb is an exceedingly easy to drive sedan for its size. The frontal visibility is good and steering is light. This 2.0 litre diesel engine has plenty of torque and car’s ergonomics are balanced. What’s more, the brakes get auto-hold feature thanks to which you do not need to keep the brake pedal continually pressed when the car needs to stop for sometime (in traffic). The one thing that many will not like is the turning radius of 5.85 meters – it is too wide and taking U-turns will take more effort than average saloons. 

Skoda Superb has disc brakes on 4 wheels and the braking capacity is undeniably good. In this new edition the electronic parking brake is also modified. When it is engaged, you can simply slot into the Drive mode (D) or into the 1st gear (for the manual transmission variant) and press the accelerator to start driving – the parking brake disengages on its own. But if the driver’s door is left open, the brake will not disengage and the driver will have to do it manually – a smart safety aid. 


Verdict 

This is a new innings for the Superb and it comes with several improvements that make it more competitive in the D2 segment. In a price range of Rs 25.58 lakh to 32.98 lakhs (ex showroom Delhi), it also offers a good bunch of cabin features. Safety elements include 8 airbags, ESP, TC, ABS + EBD, and EDL. 

Both the engines are nicely coupled to their gearboxes and the manual transmission is also a good choice for those who love driving. However, there is no MT available for the diesel. The DSG is prone to breakdowns and Skoda’s service is not up to prospective buyers’ and existing owners’ expectations. 

Yes Skoda Superb is a nice package and cheaper alternative to Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series. Even with some of those flaws, it can get its share of buyers from the chauffeur driven gentry. 

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