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Driven: Updated Skoda Superb
Driven February 2014
You'd be highly mistaken if you thought Skoda would sit idle after launching their blockbuster sedan, the Octavia in the last quarter of 2013.
To keep up the momentum this year, Skoda has let us have a go at the updated Superb that they plan to launch at the Auto Expo this February. So what's new in the updated Superb? Here goes...
Skoda has redesigned the headlamps that now come with integrated daytime running lights, which admittedly, look really neat. Apart from that, the grille too sees a change and now looks more in sync with Skoda's new design language.
Changes are not restricted to the front - the tail lamps too have undergone a design change, and now boast a new look. Though the update does make them look similar to that of the Audis. Moreover, some creases have been sharpened, giving the new Superb a distinct look compared to the current model.
Skoda hasn't bothered altering the interior of the new car, which is a good thing. It still looks neat and sophisticated with quality materials and good fit and finish. One tiny change that you will find in the new cabin is that you will not find a key slot anywhere; it's been replaced by a start/stop button, to make life a bit easier.
Much like the interior, there's also no change under the hood. You still get to choose between the 1.8 TSI petrol engine and a 2.0 TDI diesel. Our test car had the peppy 2.0 TDI unit that keeps the turbo lag in check and it doesn't shy off when you want to pile up revs. It's mated to a six-speed DSG and like all other DSG boxes, it's decently quick and knows its business well. It keeps you in the powerband at most times and in economy mode, will keep the revs as low as 1900rpm at 100kph.
If you show it the beans, it'll hit 100kph in 10.29sec. And if you ask about fuel economy, it won't disappoint you. It'll do a good 15.5kpl on the highway and 10.1kpl in city limits.
The Superb was always a nice ride and the new one is no exception. It'll flatten out most bumps but if you put it through really sharp potholes, the suspension will crash, making a loud thud. In the handling department too, the Superb scores well. But it reminds you of its size and weight every time you try to take a corner quicker than you usually would. The steering feedback is limited but it isn't like the ones that disconnect you from what's happening down on the road.
Skoda Superb's USP continues to be great rear seat space and comfort with a decently-long feature list. But one thing that you'll miss is the reverse camera. There are, however, sensors though to ensure you don't back it up into a wall.
Skoda has just launched the refreshed Superb at a starting price of Rs 18.87 lakh for the base manual gearbox-equipped petrol car, going up to Rs 25.20 lakh for the range-topping diesel automatic (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi). It may be stop-gap till the all-new Superb lands on our shores in 2016, but it's still a really good buy.
4cyl, 1968cc, 140bhp, 320Nm, 6A, 0-100kph: 10.29sec, 80-0kph: 27.47metres, 2.247sec. Highway kpl: 15.5, city kpl: 10.1, top speed: 200kph, Rs 25.20 lakh (Elegance trim, ex-showroom, Delhi)
The best luxury sedan if all you want is space and comfort and don't mind compromising on the snob value.