2016 Skoda Superb Review
Car Tested: 2016 Skoda Superb Petrol; Road Test No. 673
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 27.34 – Rs. 36.10 lakhs
The 2016 Skoda Superb looks very sharp while keeping the family design language intact
The premium D-Segment sedan space has very few contenders and isn’t catching many volumes nowadays. This is because buyers at this price range stretch their budget a little and get entry level luxury brands or premium SUVs. The Skoda Superb though has had a considerable market share in this space when the Honda Accord got discontinued and the demand for diesel cars were at their peak. Now the Czech automaker has launched the latest generation Superb which is poles apart from the outgoing model. We examine the new changes and see how it drives on the beautiful twisties of Mangalore-Coorg highway.
Motor Quest: The latest iteration of the Skoda Superb is the third generation model. First two generations were also available in the Indian market including the facelifted ones. The new Superb is based on the latest Volkswagen MQB platform and it is bigger in dimensions compared to the second generation Superb.
Exteriors – Skoda’s design language has evolved over time but their mantra remains the same – simple yet elegant. The new Superb just takes your breath away with its sharp, minimalistic and premium styling. One look at it and you might mistake it as a premium luxury branded German if you hide the logo. The projector headlights get great crystal like detailing, the signature grille dominates the front profile while the muscular bonnet is seamlessly designed into the body. The front bumper gets sharp styled foglamps with a chrome line.
The Skoda Superb’s clever design details would offend none and impress all
The new Superb is longer and wider than the outgoing car and that is evident from the side profile, it looks huge but not bulky. There is a sharp and strong crease running across the shoulder line while the roofline smoothly flows down towards the end. We were driving the L&K variant which has these spectacular looking multi-spoke 17-inch alloys while the lower variants get chunky 5-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels. Similar LED detailing has been given to the tail lamps that look sharp and neat. Overall, the design is very well proportioned unlike the previous Superb that had inconsistent proportions. Styling is subjective but it is currently the best looking car in its segment or even some segments above.
Interiors – The simple yet minimalistic styling continues on the interiors as well. Some of the elements in the centre console look familiar to that of the Octavia though. There is a great feeling of space and airiness once you get inside the cabin and the quality is top notch all around. The layered dashboard gets black on the top with gloss finish in the middle while beige is used at the bottom. There is a thin ambient light running across the dashboard in the middle which looks elegant at night and offers three colours to choose from – white, green and blue. The 3-spoke steering with paddle shifts feels good to hold having contours on either side. The instrument cluster is clear to read and there is an informative MID providing all the information about the car.
The interior feels even more spacious loaded with features & looks stellar
The infotainment system comes with a large 6.5 inch touchscreen having very responsive touch feel. It comes with seamless phone connectivity for almost all platforms including MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Canton audio system has 12 speakers including a central speaker and a subwoofer, the audio quality is just amazing for a car in this class. More connectivity options include AUX, USB, SD Card and Bluetooth with SmartLink. Underneath the infotainment is a dual zone climate control system that chills the cabin quickly and also offers front seats ventilation feature. There are 12-way electrically adjustable front seats, driver seat also has memory function.
The rear seat of the new Skoda Superb is a fantastic place to stretch your legs and be at home. There is huge amount of space on offer and even 7 footers won’t complain about it. The legroom has been increased, headroom is decent while the shoulder room has also increased so you can seat three people abreast with ease. There is a dedicated third climate control zone for the rear passengers that adds to the convenience. There are enough storage spaces to keep knick knacks including front arm rest, cup holders, rear armrest with cupholders, cooled glovebox and more. The boot is humongous having 625-litres of space and if you fold the rear seats down it extends to a whopping 1760-litres of space. The boot is electrically operable and there is also a cool gesture to open the boot, just kick below the bumper and it’ll open. Some of the key features include Skoda umbrellas, roll up sun visors for rear windows and windscreen, perforated leather upholstery, adaptive headlights, electromechanical parking brake, park distance control, panoramic sunroof, tyre pressure monitoring, boss controls, etc.
Performance – Powering the Skoda Superb are two engine options – 2.0-litre diesel and 1.8 litre petrol. The 2.0-litre TDI produces 177 PS of power at 3600 RPM and 350 Nm of peak torque at 1500-3500 RPM. We only got the 1.8 TSI DSG variant to test at the drive which makes 180 PS of power at 5100 RPM and 250 Nm of torque at 1250-5000 RPM. There is no hint of turbolag in this motor and it goes off the mark quite briskly. As you rev up the motor, the progress gets more stronger. The entire rev range is silky smooth and never does the engine feels strained or overworked. Redlining this engine is a bliss, which comes up around 7000 RPM. It sounds very sporty as you rev higher but no vibrations filter through the cabin. NVH levels are supreme and the cabin is very well insulated.
The 1.8 TSI loves to redline and feels quite punchy at higher RPMs
Mated to the 1.8 TSI is a 7-speed automatic DSG gearbox. The dual-clutch transmission is famous for its lightning quick shifts and is mated very well to the Superb. It changes cogs in milliseconds and with the manual pedal shifts it is super fun to drive. However, it upshifts automatically after hitting the redline. In the regular D mode it changes gears early, which is best for city driving. Put it in the S mode and it pulls strongly at higher revs holding the gear longer. We also drove Octavia TSI back to back and the younger sibling feels more sprightly with the same engine at the lower end of the rev range because of its lighter weight. Skoda claims 14.67 km/l of fuel efficiency but in real world conditions you may get around 10 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – German cars are known for their well engineered ride and handling balance and same is the case here. The Skoda Superb just floats over rough edges and potholes with fantastic damping that keeps away the clunks. There are high profile tyres that further make the ride cushy at low speeds. You don’t feel the stiffness as the India spec Superb is more comfort oriented. You might have to compromise a wee bit in the handling department because of the softer ride, there is a hint of body roll when you push it hard. Otherwise the Superb responds to steering inputs very briskly and is quite agile for its size on the ghat sections. There are some driving modes on offer including Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual. These modes alter steering responsiveness, engine and transmission. The steering feedback is precise in the Sport mode while it is light and easy to manoeuvre in the normal mode for city driving conditions. The Superb is very stable at high speeds and it can munch miles all day with its perfect ride and handling balance.
Safety and After Sales Service – Skoda has done no compromise in terms of safety as you get top notch equipment with the new Superb. The list is long and here it is – 8 airbags, ABS, EBD, Hill Hold Control, multi-collision brake, anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock, traction control system, electronic stability control and more. Skoda after sales service has been controversial in India but according to the carmaker, they have improved a lot in terms of turn around time, spare part costs, customer satisfaction after the launch of the new Octavia. The Czech carmaker says customer satisfaction level has gone up in the recent past and they are working hard to get everything right when it comes to after sales.
Verdict – We agree that the upper D-segment sedan space has diminished in India recently because of luxury brands introducing budget cars and the rise of premium SUV demand. However, there are still many who admire this segment and specially the Skoda Superb, there are many enthusiasts waiting for this new gen model. As a product, the latest offering from Skoda is sublime, they have priced it competitively, the styling is very unique and posh, cabin is luxurious and spacious while the driving experience is also quite pleasurable. The overall package of the new Superb is appealing and if you are not fond of SUVs then look no further. It can be your chauffeur driven car on the weekdays and a fun machine to drive on the weekends. The new Skoda Superb offers the best of both worlds in its segment yet. Having said that, if you are looking a car solely for driving purposes then the Octavia makes more sense.
* Scintillating design which is simple yet elegant
* Good attention to detail on the interior styling
* Extremely spacious and comfortable cabin
* Long list of fancy features and extensive safety equipment
* Butter smooth TSI engine and refined NVH levels
* Pliant ride quality and engaging handling characteristics
What’s Not So Cool
* No auto parking feature, which is present in international models
* No V6 petrol engine on offer this time
Alternatives: Toyota Camry
2016 Skoda Superb Specifications
* Engine: 1798cc, TSI, 16V, 4-cylinder, Turbocharged, DOHC
* Power: 180 PS @ 5100 RPM
* Torque: 250 Nm @ 1250-5000 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed DSG
* 0-100 km/hr: 7.92 seconds (D AT)
* Fuel Consumption: 10 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: McPherson Strut (Front), Multi-Link (Rear)
* Tyres: 215/55/17
* Brakes: Ventilated discs (front), disc brakes, ABS
* Safety: 8 Airbags, ABS, EBD, Hill Hold Control, Multi-collision brake, ASR, EDS, TCS
2016 Skoda Superb Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4861 mm X 1864 mm X 1483 mm
* Wheelbase: 2841 mm
* Ground clearance: 198 mm
* Turning radius: 5.5-metres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 66-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1540 kgs
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