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Old 8th March 2009, 16:01   #1
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Default Test drive: Superbly equipped 7 star luxury on wheels. Skoda Superb!

just got an opportunity to test drive the new skoda superb today morning.

please do not ask me which dealer, location, how and why etc as the car is not officially launched yet.

kindly bear with me for the worst quality pics that i have to put due to security concerns as i do not want to disclose the area and the identity of the dealer and i again request you guys not to even indirectly mention the name, even though some of you may be able to make out.

official launch is on the 10th of march.
expected ex-showroom delhi price: Rs. 19,50,000

skoda superb 1.8 TSI 7-speed DSG 7-star luxury

looks and styling:****

i quite liked the handsome understated looks of the superb which is based on the existing passat platform, hence front wheel drive.

from the design of the dynamic xenon headlights with the embossed "superb" name (which also move in the same direction as the car is taking a turn in the night) to the sleek bonnet to the continental flying spur-like sides to the sleek rear (some think it is awkward but i quite liked the taillights) to the twin exhausts, it looks majestic in black magic.In addition to that, other colours will be white, silver, dark maroon red and cappuccino beige.

the white protective covers will come of soon and it will look better again.

overall much better looking than the japanese duo.
evolutionary, but not revolutionary.

Tyre size is 205/60 R16 continentals as equipped in the demo car.

interior design: ****

again truly superb with the best-in class quality materials with rich mahagony wood finish and beige interiors.

some features i liked were:

ac-vents on b-pillar for rear passengers
touch screen stereo which has multi-information radio station display-can display up to 9 different FM stations and just on the touch of a screen, you can choose your desired station.
blue tooth connectivity with controls on steering wheel
trip computer with full information including service level indicator
driver's 8-way power adjustable seat with 3 memory settings (not sure of the front passengers as I forgot to pay notice)
digital display of temperature for rear passengers also behind the gear console.
dual zone automatic climate control with individual temperature controls
electric roller blind on the rear window
manual roller blind on the side rear windows
when the car is locked, the mirrors (OSRVM) automatically retract
automatic boot lid opening from the key fob
boot locks automatically when closed down softly due to electromagnetic
buttons
twin-door system-either open just the decklid or the rear hatch-an electromagnetic botton on the left opens the decklid and one on the right opens the hatch.
enormous boot space of 565 litres with seats up, 1670 litres with seats down.
front and rear parking sensors
tyre pressure monitering system
rain sensing auto-on wipers
60:40 rear split seat
front, side and curtain airbags with knee airbag etc

overall, a nice feature packed car.

comfort: *****

the old superb was the benchmark for the rear seat comfort, the new one just improves it. even though the wheelbase is small, legroom is actually a bit more.
though the seating is low, still it provides limousine like comfort and huge legroom.

well cushioned with great thigh and lumbr support.

ditto for the front seats. the design is superb, has an electric lumber support for both the front seats and huge legroom, suited for almost all kinds of human frames.

ergonomically, there is little to find fault except the bonnet opening lever is located on the wrong side, near the front passenger's seat.

quality, fit and finish is easily best-in class and built to last.

engine:
overall:****
refinement at idle: ****
at high rpm: ***1/2

before you start the engine, on turning on te ignition, the needles on the speedo and tacho take a full clockwise round and come back! pretty weird!

refinement at idle, as with modern turbo petrol direct injection VW motors, i just awesome.

this motor is
all aluminum
turbocharged direct petrol injection (fuel stratified injection)-tfsi
16 V DOHC
1798 cc
160 bhp@5500 rpm
25.1 kgm torque@1800-4500 rpm

on taking the drive, the turbo lag was almost not present. the reason-awesome torque from as low as 1800 rpm, something common in modern CRDi engines. the turbo kicks in at 1200 rpm and the big heavy superb picks up speeds which can be described as ludicrous.

0-100 is claimed at 8.7 sec.

this engine is easily one of the best petrol motors in this segment.
even though it is only 1800 cc, it does a good job of keeping the big car at serious triple digit speeds within the soft touch of the throttle pedal.
also, relaxed during cruising speeds, this carloves to be driven.
you almost will never miss having a diesel, due to its advanced tecnology and flat torque curve.

transmission:*****

quite easily, the best DSG ever on a VW group car. it never jerked, shifted on quick micro seconds and even on city driving, downshifts are quick to prevent over-revving.
upshifts are smooth and on the highways, this car has serious mile munching capabilities, thanks to the 7 speeds that complement the engine's torque curve perfectly.

ride quality:****

bad road package works brilliantly on the rear seats.
on sharp edges, the rear tends to pitch but only just.you almost never feel any bumps and despite the low 60 profile tyres, the rear multi-link suspension keeps you isolated from the bad roads and potholes.
the more faster it goes, the better the ride.
given the limitations of front wheel drive, the front end does tend to pitch a bit but only on the worst of craters. the lightweight engine and solid body structure ensure that superb has a better ride quality overall than other class in this class, even better than the passat.

handling:***1/2

limousines are meant to travel people in comfort rather than spirited driving and front wheel drive also has limits. though no merc or BMW, which handle better due to rear wheel drive, the superb handles brilliantly for its size. the electro-hydraulic power steering is speed sensitive, tilt and telescopic adjustable and provides great feedback on twisty roads, which again surprised me. i was tempted to drive this car even harder and the more you drive, the more you can understand of the hidden talents this car has.

turning radius is good for its size and the car is easy to maneuver.

stability:****1/2

typical of skoda cars, the superb tracks dead straight unruffled evn at speeds as high as 150-160, the taut body structure and VW's German engineering playing an important role here.
it does what it is designed to do best: relaxed cruising and munching miles at serious speeds.

brakes:****

the car has ABS, EBD, traction control and also Electronic stability program (ESP) which can be turned off via-a-button near the gear lever.
braking was awesome with no signs of fade and the large discs-front and rear, ventilated do a good job of keeping all the speeds under check.

fuel efficiency:
claimed: city-9-10 kmpl, highway: 11 kmpl

ownership experience:***

this is one area where skoda has to pull up their socks, especially to superb owners who are more demanding.
parts have to be readily available, reasonably priced and dealer attitude overall must be improved to make this car a success.
more dealers and a wider service network is welcome, if skoda wants make its owners enjoy the 7-star luxury that the superb is claiming to offer.

overall:****1/2

does the car really gives you the 7-star luxury it claims to be?
yes and no.

no because it is no rolls royce or maybach or even the s class.
yes, because at the price tag of 19,50,000, you truly cannot get a superbly equipped luxurious sedan which has more features than an E-class for the price.

all skoda needs to do is to ramp up their marketing efforts, revamp their dealer and service network and launch a diesel version soon, which will only add icing to the cake.

now comes a threat-accord V6.
even though it is expensive and carries an engine that is a 3.5 V6 with 270 plus horsepower and VCM technology, it ought to be a road rocket.

but in terms of ride quality,features, fuel efficiency, turbo direct injection technology, solid european build and stability and overall feel good factor, it is the superb that promises to redefine the class when it gets launched on march 10, 2009

pics added, enjoy!
Attached Thumbnails
Test drive: Superbly equipped 7 star luxury on wheels. Skoda Superb!-dsc00335.jpg  

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Test drive: Superbly equipped 7 star luxury on wheels. Skoda Superb!-dsc00338.jpg  

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Test drive: Superbly equipped 7 star luxury on wheels. Skoda Superb!-109345d1236508205testdrivesuperblyequipped7starluxurywheelsskodasuperbdsc00342.jpg  


Last edited by v12 : 8th March 2009 at 20:18.
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Old 8th March 2009, 16:16   #2
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Damn. I was going to TD it tomorrow.
You beat me to it.

Yes the Accord V6 is coming but then that will be expensive and then that will not give similar FE.

Love that engine.

P.S. deisel not launched side by side. Will come in later.
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Old 8th March 2009, 16:24   #3
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I hate the looks, but that's a heck of a positioning by Skoda. Job well done. The Accord will in all certainty feel the heat, though Honda has its own loyal following due to the usual reasoning (reliability etc.).

First thing I saw that interior pic, and my lower jaw dropped! Definitely looks like its out of a 40 lakh rupee car. And that rear legroom . The bench seems to be perfectly contoured as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
from the design of the dynamic xenon headlights with the embossed "superb" name (which also move in the same direction as the car is taking a turn in the night)
Beauty in the finer details. A German trademark.

Quote:
ac-vents on b-pillar for rear passengers
A la S-Class! Thats a respectable equipment list.

Quote:
the old superb was the benchmark for the rear seat comfort
While the legroom was great, low speed ride quality and the incline of the backseat never did it for me. Hope the new one has improved on these.

Quote:
on taking the drive, the turbo lag was almost not present. the reason-awesome torque from as low as 1800 rpm, something common in modern CRDi engines. the turbo kicks in at 1200 rpm and the big heavy superb picks up speeds which can be described as ludicrous.

0-100 is claimed at 8.7 sec.
Impressive.

Quote:
claimed: city-9-10 kmpl
More like 6 - 7 kpl.

Quote:
ownership experience:***

this is one area where skoda has to pull up their socks, especially to superb owners who are more demanding.
parts have to be readily available, reasonably priced and dealer attitude overall must be improved to make this car a success.
more dealers and a wider service network is welcome, if skoda wants make its owners enjoy the 7-star luxury that the superb is claiming to offer.
Skoda seems to have gone full trigger with the Superbs positioning, the least they can do is take care of their customers. Easier said than done, lets wait and watch.

What a marked difference from their previous blunders (Skoda Superb : What a BLUNDER of positioning)!

Thanks for sharing, Sidindica.
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Old 8th March 2009, 16:33   #4
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Nice review Sidindica. Hope they launched this car with some new shades too.

Btw, dont worry about the number display, i am sure most of the folks out here are quite respectable and wouldnt bother calling it
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Old 8th March 2009, 16:35   #5
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It will be around 7-8 as rightly said by GTO.
considering its an A/T and too heavy.
But then with the TSi technology coming , it might be a bit more.

Also the deisel which will come out will be a 2.0L 140 BHP PD.
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Old 8th March 2009, 16:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
on turning on te ignition, the needles on the speedo and tacho take a full clockwise round and come back! pretty weird!
Pontiacs do that. So do the new Lexus's from what I understand.

But, what interiors! Bloody awesome! I'd love to be in that cabin.

Skoda in India = diesel engines. By launching a petrol now, I think Skoda are taking a big risk. I'd hate to see a potential winner like the Superb die because it wasn't avaliable with a diesel from day one.

By the way, the Camry should be worried now.

Last edited by amit : 8th March 2009 at 16:40.
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Old 8th March 2009, 16:49   #7
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Fantastic review and a truly Superb car. I have been smitten by it since my first encounter at the Paris Auto show last year.
Any news of the diesel engines arrival date?
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Old 8th March 2009, 17:17   #8
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sidindica, what a fantastic review by you on this luxury, believe me though not being a skoda fan, jaws drop to see that heck of interiors and leg room on its rear bench, wow fantastic.Thanks for sharing.
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Old 8th March 2009, 18:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
Any news of the diesel engines arrival date?
Not before 6 months.
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Old 8th March 2009, 18:30   #10
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Great news! And the interiors are smashing. You'd have to pay a million rupees more to enjoy luxury in the same bracket.


I doubt the 3.5 V6 will be much of a match for the Accord V6 in terms of performance, but yes, as mentioned earlier, it will provide KILLER performance with an interior that rightfully belongs to segments higher than it's price.

For the smart buyer, the Superb is a no brainer. Limo luxury+ Great performance

I will be waiting eagerly for a report on the V6 when it does come
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Old 8th March 2009, 18:52   #11
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nice review man maybe you forgot 1 important feature the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel
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Old 8th March 2009, 19:53   #12
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and sidindica strikes again. nice review. maybe you shouldve gone to the posrche showroom in this car and seen their reaction.
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Old 8th March 2009, 20:00   #13
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Fabulous review and pics, sidindica---as always, you are the first to bring us scintillating reviews of new models.
I think the exterior looks too old-fashioned---the front grill looks Fabia-ish. The outgoing Superb looks better IMO. But the interiors are awesome. Somehow the dash resembles the Sonata Transform's. AC vents on the B-pillars are a huge plus.
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Old 8th March 2009, 20:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
maybe you shouldve gone to the posrche showroom in this car and seen their reaction.

hahaha i was thinking the exact thing , anyways, to the topic, looks fabolous, will be going in to TD this princess
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Old 8th March 2009, 20:39   #15
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Very 7 series-ish looks, something Skoda India seems to want to emphasise with that large 7 ******* sticker on the demo car.

Terrific interiors, but why the 1.8 motor still? Surely a car in this segment deserves better!

Still, the market for this segment is not particularly bothered about performance stats as long as it will keep them comfortable in the backseat and moving at a decent pace. So they've got their priorities right and have given the interior their best shot - I think it will do well, provided prospective owners are willing to forget Skoda Octavia support and spares horror stories.
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