2020 Skoda Superb Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the 2020 Skoda Superb.
Car Tested: 2020 Skoda Superb Sportline AT; Road Test No. 1233; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 35.70 – 39.40 lakhs
While SUVs are the craze these days, if you’re in the market for a D-segment sedan, the Skoda Superb is probably your best bet
The Skoda Superb has always been a car that had everything one could expect, and most importantly, it was a car that was built well. While the theme with these large sedans has always been subtle, Skoda has incorporated a bit more bling that would make this car stand out more. The previous version was a considerable change in direction of design, and the 2020 Superb develops on what Skoda came up with last time.
Exteriors – The 2020 Superb sees sharper updates to the design that came to India four years ago. The headlights have become even slimmer, and the indent now houses the blinkers, instead of a decorational plastic piece. The fog lamps are now longer, and are LEDs. The bonnet now gets sharper character lines that flow all the way down to the indent, where the logo rests.
The Superb has always looked sharp, sleek and elegant but the facelift takes it a to a whole new level
Along the side, the alloys have become bigger, and there is a very sharp body line that extends all the way to the taillights, from the headlights. While we are at the side, the sheer length of this car can be appreciated. Since this car is technically a hatchback, the rear is indeed slightly bulky, almost reminiscent of the Polestar 2 EV.
At the back, the first thing that you notice is that the taillights get more contouring and 3-D shaping. They work really well, especially in the Sportline variant. They also get the dynamic swipe indicators. The logo at the back is now replaced by widely spaced letters, an aspect that seems to be getting more and more popular nowadays.
The massive length and Skoda’s minimalist approach to design makes the Superb extremely gorgeous and elegant
A big plus for this car is in terms of practicality. As mentioned before the boot is a hatch, and this means that the full width of the boot can be accessed. It is of course, electrically operated. The chrome trim that mimics twin exhausts are there, and the real ones are hidden away underneath the car. I say ‘ones’ because this car does have two tailpipes, but Skoda decided to hide them anyway!
Interiors – Depending on the variant you choose, the interior actually gives you different vibes. The L&K variant, aimed at the more professional buyers is fully beige, and is quite airy. The Sportline variant is fully black, and swaps the teal accents for red. Once again the build quality is top-notch, and nothing feels tacked on. The plastics are all of good quality, as expected in this price range, and the carbon fibre trim along with the ambient lighting add some character to it.
The Sportline trim gets an all-black cabin with alcantara upholstery while the L&K trim gets a beige cabin with leather upholstery
The infotainment system is an 8-inch unit, and is really nice to use, with the main shortcoming being its size. However, it does come with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. The ‘Virtual Cockpit’ drivers display is standard, and the graphics are really smooth, and the interface is intuitive. Along the front, Skoda has even included umbrellas inside the door, a feature we first saw in Skoda cars with the Kodiaq.
The rear seat is a very important aspect of this segment, and this car is quite comfortable with that. There is ample knee room and headroom. The passenger in the middle might be uncomfortable despite this car’s width because of the rather large transmission tunnel. There are rear AC vents to go along with the three-zone climate control this car has. There are rear sunblinds, and can be manually retracted.
The rear seats are extremely comfortable and spacious making the Superb ideal for chauffeur-driven owners
The L&K variant gets ventilated seats which the Sportline variant does not. The Sportline variant also gets alcantara upholstery, and the L&K gets beige leather. One thing to note is the express of gloss black used in the dashboard of the car. They do get scratches very easily, and require care. The 8-airbags of this car is really impressive, and is something we hope to see in lower-priced cars as well.
Performance – The Skoda Superb facelift only comes with a single powertrain choice which is a 2.0-litre petrol engine (mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic), better known as 2.0 TSI in VW Group speak that also powers the Tiguan AllSpace. This motor is turbocharged and gets direct injection, it not only replaces the 1.8 TSI but also fills in the space left vacant by the frugal 2.0 TDI unit. Producing 190 HP and 320 Nm of torque (an improvement of 10 HP and 70 Nm over the 1.8), the Superb is a quick car, taking just 7.7 seconds to reach the ton while the top speed is an equally impressive 239 km/hr.
The 2.0 TSI motor comes mated to a 7-Speed DSG automatic gearbox and also gets direct injection
The 1.8 TSI engine was a gem in the Superb and the 2.0-litre unit just sets a new benchmark in terms of refinement and performance. Drivability is good and this motor is eager throughout the rev range, having eager performance all throughout, no lag, no flat spots, none of that, just an unending surge right from the get-go. That said, the mid-range feels strong and the top-end is eager with a sporty snarl as it approaches its near 6200 RPM redline.
The Superb also gets launch control which is activated by a left-foot on the brake and right foot on the accelerator start. The system works flawlessly to eliminate the initial hesitation from the dual-clutch box which itself is quite fast with shifts, only a bit hesitant at low speeds. The Superb also gets drive modes (4 of them that alter the engine, steering and air-conditioning) which ironically aren’t offered in the Sportline (there is a Sports mode for the gearbox though along with manual mode and steering mounted paddles too) and is reserved for the L&K. Fuel efficiency is improved over the 1.8 and real-world economy is between 8-12 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The Skoda Superb is a long car but doesn’t feel that way when you drive it as it has light controls. The steering is light at low speeds and does weigh up at higher speeds but the suspension is soft, lending the Superb a great ride quality even on the worst of roads. Due to the softness though, it does tend to move around a bit at higher speeds, over road undulations, especially expansion joints. There is quite a bit of body roll due to the softness of the suspension but the handling is neutral at best and this isn’t a car you would like to push around corners. Braking performance is very good with surefooted stopping power.
Verdict – The Skoda Superb has always been a very solid offering from Skoda. With the general theme of subtlety now going too well with the sales, Skoda has taken a comparatively more contemporary approach to the design language of this car since the previous version. The car looks better than ever and even the interior has seen some welcome changes too. The car is set up more towards comfort, which is what most buyers would want. Most importantly, it is built well, and is a safe car too.
The price and the positioning of this car may not be for everyone, especially considering the massive love for SUVs currently. But, if you are in the market for a large sedan, at this price point, you would seriously be hard-pressed to find a better alternative than the 2020 Skoda Superb.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Toyota Camry
Further Reading –