When the new Skoda Superb was launched some months ago, the media in Britain said that it was a worthy competitor to Mercedes E Class and the Audi A6. One look is all that is enough to agree with them; a drive removes all doubts, if any.
Volkswagen is, in essence, history of cars of a particular era. It is also a mix of brands. Those who believe that Volkswagen is German need to know that it is now a mix of British, Italian, French, Spanish, Swede and Czechoslovakian expertise. The car, which started off as the common man's car in Germany, has now acquired premium brands such as Porsche and Audi. In addition, French Bugatti, Italian Lamborghini, Czech Skoda and the British Bentley are all Volkswagens. So is the case with Ducati of Italy, Scania of Sweden and Germany-based Man.
Even though there are many brands under the Volkswagen umbrella, Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda share key parts, design and manufacturing facilities while other brands have tried to maintain their identity intact. Ever since Volkswagen started production in India, Skoda has shared the facilities to produce cars.
Passat, A6 and Superb share the same platform. So is the case with gearboxes and engines. However appearance, facilities and luxury change as per the brand and its positioning. Skoda is the first Volkswagen that Indians experienced in their own soil and that is the car which revealed to us that luxury available in Mercedes cars can be purchased at a lower cost. That is the USP of the brand even now — providing luxury at a comparatively lower price.
The Superb has a new platform and a new design philosophy and comes in straight lines. It has LED running lights as well as power washers. The changes at the back are more welcome and the position of the glass reminds one of a Limousine. From the sides, the car seems to compete with a Limousine in terms of sheer size.
The interiors are as good as a Mercedes, or a BMW, or an Audi. The steering, trim and touch screen systems have all undergone changes. Power seats in the front offer better facilities to front-row passengers while the pillions are spoilt for a choice with business-class facilities. Eight air bags and tank-like features provide enough security and feeling of safety.
The two-liter TDI engine belts out 177 ps of power, which is 37 ps more than the previous model . Fuel efficiency is 18.19 kms. A six speed DSG automatic gearbox is on offer. The light steering offers nimble handling and those who need more power can switch to sport mode. Those who opt for the manual shift can derive lot of driving pleasure using the paddle shift gears. Braking and control have all improved.
Ex-showroom price: INR 26 lakhs
Test Drive: Pinnacle Skoda, Tel: 7025200200