Skoda Superb is considered to be an underdog in its segment and when you factor in all the things which make it such a great sedan, it currently has no direct competition. Skoda updated the Superb for its 2020 iteration and we got a chance to drive it recently. Needless to say, we came back pretty impressed. It is currently available in two trims, namely L&K and Sportline. The L&K retails at INR 32.99 lakh while the Sportline will set you back by INR 29.99 Lakh.
Differences between the two trims
The Sportline version gets a black grille, a sportier pattern for the alloy wheels and a diffuser in the rear bumper. While the L&K variant gets chrome grille up front. The L&K variant, being the costlier of the two gets some extra goodies which includes Skoda logo projection, tyre pressure monitoring system, storage pockets on the front seats, power nap package for the rear seats, umbrellas, fatigue alert, virtual boot release, ventilated seats and adjustable headrests.
In the L&K trim, the Superb gets coffee brown coloured leather seats and Canton 11-speaker system while the Sportline trim gets black Alacantra upholstery and 8-speaker system. The Sportline also gets a virtual cockpit which the L&K trim misses out on.
On the outside, the 2020 Skoda Superb gets a few styling updates in the form of new LED headlights and a larger butterfly grille. The LED headlights also get cornering function. The styling up front screams Skoda on top of its lungs and one can see the influence of traditional Czech glassmaking shards housed in the headlamp units too. The bonnet is muscular and makes the sedan look even more visually appealing. The side profile is highlighted by two-tone 17-inch alloy wheels which receive an all-black treatment in the Sportline.
Like all other new Skodas, the Superb also carries the Skoda lettering on its boot instead of the logo. The Sportline version gets a black grille, a sportier pattern for the alloy wheels and a diffuser in the rear bumper. The taillights are styled in signature Skoda styling and one can instantly recognize that it is a Skoda.
Engine and Performance
For now, the Superb is only offered with a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine which cranks out 190 PS and 320 Nm of torque, mated to a 7-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. Skoda claims that the new motor churns out 28% more torque than before. The Superb is mainly bought for the rear seat comfort but if you are in the mood for some spirited driving, this baby won’t disappoint. The powertrain is very enthusiastic in nature and its performance figures reflect the same. 0-100 kmph comes up in jist 7.7 seconds while its top speed is electronically limited to 239 kmph.
The DSG transmission does lag a little at slow speeds but give it some beans and it will put a wide smile on your face with its quick gearshifts. The Superb also gets paddle shifters which is a testimony to the fact that it is indeed a driver-centric car. The L&K trim also gets four driving modes: eco, sport, normal and individual. The engine is a free-revving unit and redlines at 6000 rpm. The power is delivered in a linear fashion but there’s a strong pull once the needle crosses the 3500 rpm mark. The muffled exhaust note also provides the perfect background score which elevates the driving pleasure even further. Its closest rival is the Toyota Camry and while the Japanese sedan is more powerful than the Superb, it’s the Czech sedan which takes it home when it comes to an engaging driving experience.
Ride and handling
As we mentioned earlier, most of the Superbs that we see on the road are chauffeur-driven but if you are a person who loves to get behind the wheels to enjoy the winding roads, the Superb proves to be an engaging drive. The steering is full of feedback and lacks the artificial feel which robs away the driving pleasure. Oh and yes, did we mention that it is very precise too? The tyres too, proved to be very grippy in the brief stint that we had with the Superb.
The ride quality is a little on the firmer side when you are driving it on low speeds but the suspension setup becomes pliant when the speed increases. It is a comfortable ride but not as comfortable as the Toyota Camry. But then again, the Camry is not as engaging as the Superb. If we had to trade in a little extra amount of comfort for a bucket-load of driving fun, we would do that in a blink of an eye. The ground clearance stands at 156 mm which will see you gliding over minor potholes but the sharp bumps require a little bit of caution.
The luxurious cabin
The Skoda Superb might be an engaging drive but it doesn’t forget that it is a luxury sedan to start with and the cabin portrays its intentions very well. The cabin is loaded with premium materials and the leather feels premium too. Both the front seats are electrically adjustable and are ventilated too. Skoda has also included a decent amount of lumbar support. There’s a crisp 8.0-inch display which takes care of the infotainment duties but it misses out on connectivity features. The infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
It does miss out on some vital features though, like wireless charging and a heads-up display. The Toyota Camry on the other hand, comes equipped with both. The Superb also misses out on 360-degree camera. It does get 3-zone climate control, ambient lighting and an electronic parking brake. Skoda has also thrown in a wide sunroof. Fans of panoramic sunroof might be a little disappointed here.
The rear seat comfort, as expected, is nothing we can complain about. The seats are spacious and the legroom is well, humongous. Honestly, Skoda has blown it out of the park when it comes to the comfort of the occupants and if we really had to nitpick here, we would say that the rear seats should have come with reclining feature. The boot space too, stands at 625 litres and will swallow most of your luggage pretty easily and if you try, it could fit two decently sized adults as well. Don’t ask the context of the said statement too.
Although Skoda claims that the Superb will give 15 kilometres to a litre, the actual figures stand a bit low. The actual city mileage stands at 8-9 kmpl while on the highway, the Superb has a fuel efficiency of 12-13 kmpl. But a person who gets himself a Skoda Superb wouldn’t care about the fuel efficiency so much. And if you get behind the wheel, frequent visits to the petrol bunk won’t seem irrational because it is that fun to drive!
The Skoda Superb actually delivers the best of both the worlds. It is comfortable, in the exact manner how a luxury sedan is used to be and it is an engaging drive too. Whether if you want to commute to the office, all cocooned in its luxury or take down some twisties, putting the potent powertrain and the DSG transmission to some good use, the Skoda Superb delivers! The Toyota Camry might offer some more features and slightly more comfortable ride, it’s the Superb which will put a grin on your face. And that’s a win according to us.