Describing luxury and driving pleasure

Describing luxury and driving pleasure

It's Superb

Describing luxury and driving pleasure
European cars epitomise practicality, grace and performance. In recent times, the Indian auto market has opened its doors to a slew of European carmakers, who offer various steeds across segments, be they hatch-backs, sedans, or SUVs — and they all come loaded with goodies and tech surprises.

Think Czech cars, think Skoda! Skoda has been wowing Indian car enthusiasts since 2001, when it launched the robust, majestic Octavia. However, Skoda Auto India has not seen much of the success compared with group siblings, VW and Audi.

However, the carmaker’s fortunes are likely to change as Skoda recently launched the third generation of its premium luxury sedan Superb, which is a combination of plush luxury and driving pleasure.

The long, sleek Skoda Superb has always been a head-turner, enthralling onlookers as it glides through India’s roads. The newest model continues with the same legacy, with some additional cool elements.

The third-generation Skoda Superb is more powerful than ever, and yet it is up to 30% more economical than the earlier versions, thanks to new and efficient engines and improved aerodynamics. This is Skoda’s second MQB (VW Group’s modular platform) car for India after the latest version Octavia came in two years ago.

Exterior elegance

The credit of the magnificent design that makes the Skoda Superb look all the more stand out, must go to its Slovak-origin chief designer Jozef Kabaň, whose team has beautifully crafted the sharp, precise angular lines on the car’s exterior.

The luxury sedan is a dream. The signature angular contours and sharp dynamic lines reflect how the beauty of the whole is revealed in its exciting details. The car is inviting and seems fresh right from the beginning.

The car’s hallmark lies in its precise and aesthetically crafted proportions, which makes the entire vehicle seem perfectly balanced, with the glass areas and headlamps sweeping around the sides, lending the car and extraordinary presence and stylish appeal.

Also, in terms of light, the LED technology combined with crystalline elements in the distinctive C-shaped rear lights further adds to the feeling of poised elegance.

The Skoda company insignia on the front of the car, flanked by slanting sword-like headlamps, is cherry on the cake. The intricately-designed front bi-xenon headlamps, which the company says is inspired from Bohemian glass-cutting skills, include decorative cut crystal high beam lamps. The sleek sharp contours of the external side-view mirrors with integrated indicators whip up a sporty look, while the snazzy electronically adjustable sunroof, adds to the feeling of freedom.  

The car is large, standing at a length of 4,861 mm, and width of 1,864 mm. Surely, taking a cue from all that size is the massive boot on the Superb, which is claimed to be the largest in the segment. The otherwise 625-litre boot space can be extended to 1,760 litres, with the rear seat-back folded down. One cannot miss the virtual pedal to open the boot. With hands full of luggage, one must just swipe his foot underneath and it will open.

Exterior features also include 18-inch alloy wheels, LED taillamps, and power-operated boot release, and parking assist.

Interior indulgence

If the boot-space was not enough, just wait till you get into the car. You are invited into a world of convenience, comfort, an above all, space. There is place for everything in the Superb, with car offering a range of compartments, pockets and holders. When the first-generation Skoda Superb was launched in India years ago, a striking aspect of the car was its rather longer rear door, rather limousine-like. The latest car has similar styling, and rear passengers can revel in an experience akin to flying first class on an airline.

Speaking about intelligent spaces that have been offered within the car, the spacious Jumbo Box storage compartment housed in the front armrest, the cool storage compartment on the dashboard, the twin cupholders in the rear seat centre armrest, are smart. Besides, the angled foot rest at the rear attached to the tactile floor mats turn long trips into a joy.

We sit in the car and feel pampered with the plush premium interiors. The seats are perforated in the Laurin & Klement equipment version, which is a combination of high-class and high-tech.

The multifunctional steering wheel wrapped in leather and adorned with chrome elements makes driving a pleasure. The car comes with a host of thoughtful futuristic features, composed of a radio with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, featuring AM and FM tuners, USB/AUX-in connection, Apple connectivity, SD car slot and Bluetooth.

The Smartlink infotainment system, and a 12 speaker CANTON audio system, come as a standard, while perfect sound is guaranteed, turning the whole driving experience fun.
With dual zone climate control for front passengers, second row gets its own adjustment too, along with a 3-zone climatronic air-conditioning available on the Laurin & Klement trim.

Drive delight

On a sunny day, we embark on the journey with the 1.8 TSI (AT-Petrol) from MG Road. At Brigade Road junction towards Hosur, the signal turns green. Once you punch on the accelerator, the car flies and we reach the next signal in few moments, leaving behind many cars.

Thanks to a 177 bhp, the 1.8-litre petrol engine comes mated with seven-speed DSG auto transmission, making the car one of the finest driver-friendly cars to spin. After steering the corners in the city, we hit the highways towards Chennai. The roads in the state of Tamil Nadu are fantastic and allow many an occasion to test the resolve of any motor beast, and it is here that we are able to easily cruise the Superb effortlessly. The car’s superior braking system, ground clearance of  164 mm, and turning radius of 11.1 metres, ensures a sublime drive experience.

On the highways, the new Superb feels planted, and the faster you go, the better it feels and responds. At 2,500-3,000 rpm, you can feel the grunt. On the Sports mode, we could touch the speed of 190 kmpl. Surprisingly, even at this speed, the Superb is remarkably stable and still allows us to zip through.

However, on the Sports mode, the car’s mileage drops drastically. But for the sheer fun of it, the car darts 0-100 in 9.5 seconds.

The push button start is a hidden find. One has to lean and look for it. Most carmakers provide it on the right-hand side of the dashboard. However, on the Superb it is behind steering wheel. On the safety front though, the car is proudly European, leaving nothing to chance.

With the common set of 8 airbags, Ant-lock Braking System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Reverse Camera, the car also comes with the innovative Adaptive Frontlight System which helps illuminate the road ahead, responding the speed changes and surroundings and the Multi-Collision Brake system that makes use of Electric Stability Control, among others.   

Worth the wait

We visited a few dealers in different cities, who claimed that the waiting period of new Skoda Superb is minimum 2-3 months. Industry experts believe that the waiting period might change the customers’ mindset as large number of options are available in the market. However, we bet that it is worth waiting for the Superb, which is available in five versions, with two basic trim levels — Style and Laurin & Klement.

The third generation of the sedan comes with a new 1.8-litre petrol (1.8 TSI has the option of seven-speed DSG or the six-speed manual transmission) and 2-litre diesel engine.

The petrol variants of the car are priced at Rs 24.25 lakh, Rs 25.57 lakh and Rs 28.75 lakh while the diesel trims are priced at Rs 28.22 lakh and Rs 31.40 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Bengaluru).

This Skoda is as its name suggests, Superb.

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