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2015 Skoda Superb

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2015 Skoda Suberb driven: almost as comfortable as a Rolls-Royce

Previous Skoda Superbs haven't lived up to the immodest name, but the latest version is much more impressive
Skoda-Superb-front-static-xlarge.jpg The latest Superb has looks inspired by the sleek Vision C concept that Skoda showed at the 2014 Geneva motor show Credit: Uli Sonntag/Uli_Sonntag
30 April 2015 • 9:15pm
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Andrew EnglishMotoring Correspondent, Telegraph Cars Get in touch

Of course it’s a ridiculous name. I’m thinking of changing mine to Andrew the Magnificent. And giving a car the name Superb was probably a monstrous act of self aggrandisement even back in the 1930s when Skoda first used it, despite the Czech firm having a considerable reputation as a maker of fine motors back then. More recently we have seen the fall of Skoda during the communist era, followed by its inexorable rise under Volkswagen ownership.

Only bad comics joke about Skodas these days - they are no longer cheap and cheerful flivvers. But the company needs to be more than just a budget VW to survive, and so far it’s done well in gaming VW’s parts to build interesting vehicles such as the Yeti and Roomster, even if there’s been a suspicion of late that the ride and handling department have fallen asleep on the job.

The outgoing Superb, launched in 2008, was interesting, too, but not in a good way. It wasn’t really aimed at Europe, where big, non-premium cars struggle against the German hegemony (Ford Granada, Vauxhall Carlton RIP). No, this was a car for Eastern Europe, Russia and China, which is its biggest market.

It stood out only by having a boot that could be opened like a saloon car’s or a hatchback’s; Skoda narrowly beat BMW to market with this feature, but both car makers have since dropped the idea. František Drábek, project leader on the new Superb, admits it was too heavy and expensive and no one really understood it.

“I caught a Superb taxi in Shanghai recently,” he said. “Even that driver didn’t know what the saloon/hatch boot was for.”

It also made the car look really ugly, which is perhaps why 61 per cent of the modest UK Superb sales (5,900 last year) were of the handsome estate version which, like the old Rover 75 Tourer, looked like a lot of car for the money.

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The 2015 Skoda Superb uses a stretched version of the platform that underpins the VW Passat Credit: Uli_Sonntag

But a year after the launch of the last Superb, VW introduced its common platform/parts/design/production system known as MQB, which underpins everything from from the Polo to the Touareg. Drábek sheds an interesting light on the conception of this system where Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat sat down to hammer out what they each wanted out of it.

“We needed value for money,” he said. “We can’t ask Audi prices so we are always trying to keep the costs of the system down.”

And that’s exactly what Skoda got, along with goodies such as a new entertainment system, radar- and camera-based safety technology and DAB radio, to go with the better proportioned and lighter chassis incorporating sophisticated multilink independent rear suspension. Underneath, the new Superb is effectively a stretched VW Passat. While on top it borrows heavily from the rather lovely Vision C concept, which Skoda unveiled at last year’s Geneva motor show.

What driveway wouldn’t look a little better for one of these parked on it? It might be a hatchback rather than a saloon, but frankly the new Superb makes the efforts of most premium German rivals look rather blousy and ham fisted.

Inside, meanwhile, it’s bigger than my living room. I sat behind a six-foot two-inch driver with six inches of knee room to spare and enough headroom to accommodate a top hat. It’s also as wide as three adults can be and the boot is so big you could have a game of cricket on the retractable cover. The hatch opens automatically and has one of those kick-sensing opening systems, which is more problematic in use than it should be.

Simply Clever is Skoda’s slogan for the plethora of knick knacks that accompany its cars: umbrellas in the doors, ice scrapers in the fuel-filler and so on. The latest such feature is a gripping device in the cupholder that’s there so you can undo a screw-top bottle one handed, although it doesn’t work that well. Drábek admits it’s getting more difficult to come up with these gimmicks and said that in future “Simply Clever is likely to be in the multi-media systems.”

Every new Superb is available with the whole gamut of Volkswagen safety systems, while further up the five-model range you find adaptive cruise control and dual-zone climate control. The top model is the fully loaded Laurin & Klement, which comes with system to help you deal with parking, blind spots and staying in lane on the motorway, as well as a heated windscreen and a Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system which lets you alter the steering, throttle sensitivity and suspension between Comfort, Normal and Sport settings.

Skoda-Superb-interior-xlarge.jpg
Skoda-Superb-boot-xlarge.jpg

Prices start at £18,640, but the Superb Estate will carry a £1,200 premium when it arrives in September, and the 2.0-litre diesel SE L Executive hatch that's expected to be the best seller costs £25,065.

MQB cars tend to exhibit similar driving characteristics, most good, and the Superb is no exception. Noise is well damped, even if the Superb isn’t as uncannily quiet as the latest Passat, while the steering is direct, with well judged weighting in most versions; only the 4x4 model disappoints in this regard.

The VW Group’s 148bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine is a really smooth unit, not at all out of breath driving this big car. Similarly, the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel feels gutsy and is generally refined, although it gets a bit gruff at large throttle openings at low revs, and you feel some fizz through the throttle pedal. As for the 187bhp version of this engine, it certainly has some go, but the combustion vibration is stronger and so is the noise.

What really strikes you about the Superb, though (apart from its enormous interior), is the quality of the ride. It’s not quite Rolls-Royce smooth, but is damn close with only a slight nibbly quality over ripples betraying its mass-market nature. I can’t think of a single rival that could ride so comfortably over the truck-damaged autostrada found on the launch route.

True, there’s a tad too much wallow through a series of corners when you put the DCC-equipped car in Comfort, but Normal sorts it out, and there’s virtually no penalty to pay for the Superb’s cosseting nature in terms of pitch and squat.

This probably isn’t a car you’d throw through the bends, but if you do, it’s secure, with well-judged damping control and just a bit of lift off tightening of the line for those who like such traits. Fun? Not really, but dignified and damn comfy. The new Superb isn’t going to steal many sales from BMW or Mercedes, but that’s only because of the badge on the nose. It’s a good looking alternative and the residuals are looking good, making it a lot less risky than most non-premium big cars.

THE FACTS

Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE L Executive

Tested: 1,968cc diesel engine, six-speed manual gearbox (optional six-speed twin-clutch automatic), front-wheel drive

Price/on sale: £18,640-£34,505/June (first deliveries September)

Power/torque: 148bhp @ 3,500rpm/250lb ft @ 1,750rpm

Top speed: 135mph

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 8.9sec

Fuel economy: 58.9mpg/68.9mpg (EU Urban/Combined)

CO2 emissions: 108g/km

VED band: B (£0 for first year, £20 thereafter)

Verdict: A great looking family car with loads of space and a terrific ride. Estate version is likely to be more popular, but the hatch isn’t the pariah it was. A great alternative to premium German rivals

Telegraph rating: Four out of five stars

 


A handsome looking car that probably feels solid and more competitively priced than it's VW brethren. Pity that Skoda is no longer on sale in Singapore. Probably give Camry and Accord a good run for their money.

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Great car to have for family hauling in comfort for about 19k Sterling.

 

Unfortunately the diesel engine attracts too much tax in SG and the 19k Sterling price likely closer to 160-180k SGD.

 

Wrong country for this type of cars lor.

 

If I was in the UK, yes I would buy cars like this for daily runabout and family hauling. Keep the performance car for solo drives.

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Great car to have for family hauling in comfort for about 19k Sterling.

 

Unfortunately the diesel engine attracts too much tax in SG and the 19k Sterling price likely closer to 160-180k SGD.

 

Wrong country for this type of cars lor.

 

If I was in the UK, yes I would buy cars like this for daily runabout and family hauling. Keep the performance car for solo drives.

 

There is a 4x4 206KW 2.0TSI with 6-Speed DSG that does 0-100 in 5.8 sec. That will be very interesting. :wub:

 

http://www.skoda-auto.com/en/models/new-superb/overview/

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There is a 4x4 206KW 2.0TSI with 6-Speed DSG that does 0-100 in 5.8 sec. That will be very interesting. :wub:

 

http://www.skoda-auto.com/en/models/new-superb/overview/

 

VAG parts bin lor, mix and match everything. Their 2.0 TSI is like BMW's 3.0 Turbo, gets stuffed into everything with various boost levels.

 

Pity the inline 5 turbo from VAG doesn't see more deployment. That should be more suited for a car the size of a Superb. Or a Polo....

 

 

They should have the 129.98 hp version of the 1.4 TSI for Singapore market. Then the Cat A brigade will KPKB about this big car eating their lunch. In fact, should stuff the 129.98 hp version into A6 and A4 too. Just to let LTA policy look stupid like it is.

Edited by Ake109
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change the Skoda distributor first then talk

 

also please bring in SEAT cars again

 

 

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Ha,

 

 

Yes, yes - please bring back the SEAT.

 

Miss my last SEAT in the 90'

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Ha,

 

 

Yes, yes - please bring back the SEAT.

 

Miss my last SEAT in the 90'

 

dont think its gonna happen.

 

it simply killing themselves as they are from the same group

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change the Skoda distributor first then talk

 

also please bring in SEAT cars again

 

and give me an Octavia VRS or a Leon ST FR/Cupra ...... :yeah-im-not-drunk:

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The only way I can see this happening is if Skoda decides to become an importer themselves (a la VW), do something to the OMV, and price it at Toyota levels.

 

I have always believed that if Octavia is priced at the same level as an Altis, Toyota would be in serious trouble.

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I think it will be tough for Skoda to be here. Ppl are expecting Skoda to be priced below vw range of cars. Dealers here are expecting to make a profit from conti cars. VW are already selling cars at competitive prices. To sell Skoda cars as cut priced vw. I dun think it will happen.

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Why not? They have been selling cheaper than VW in the past from previous AD. Their Superb is cheaper than Mondeo during that era.

 

 

 

I think it will be tough for Skoda to be here. Ppl are expecting Skoda to be priced below vw range of cars. Dealers here are expecting to make a profit from conti cars. VW are already selling cars at competitive prices. To sell Skoda cars as cut priced vw. I dun think it will happen.

 

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It's all about how the Skoda brand is marketed.

 

Remember Kia in the 90s? The Kia Sephia using a Mazda engine. Outright failure. See how The brand had evolved today under C&C? And the Hyundai Pony, Stella, Prima,...

 

Eurokars Group should give another shot at the Skoda brand, with a shrewd pricing and mkting campaign. If I can save $30K on the Superb over the Passat, the choice is obvious.

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The only way I can see this happening is if Skoda decides to become an importer themselves (a la VW), do something to the OMV, and price it at Toyota levels.

 

I have always believed that if Octavia is priced at the same level as an Altis, Toyota would be in serious trouble.

Fully agree. The Thaiyota is selling based on perceived value. Don't see why the Nissan Sylphy is inferior in anyway. Cheaper, more spacious with rear air con, yet buyers still choose the Thaiyota Altis.

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Fully agree. The Thaiyota is selling based on perceived value. Don't see why the Nissan Sylphy is inferior in anyway. Cheaper, more spacious with rear air con, yet buyers still choose the Thaiyota Altis.

 

The current Altis styling is indeed nicer than the Sylphy's... but Octavia definitely beats either one.

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New Vision S

  – the ŠKODA VisionS – at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show.

 

 

http://www.skoda-auto.com/en/experience/concepts/pages/visions.aspx?_cldee=amVyZW15NDhAaG90bWFpbC5zZw%3d%3d

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