The on-going 2015 Geneva Motor Show is an epitome of how every petrolhead will like to organise a show in his/ her dream, featuring cars of fantasy – in a land of make-believe where money you have is infinite, and appetite for power and speed is extreme. But, hello, come back to the real world! We actually live is a world of ordinary cars, limited bank balance, poor road infrastructure and with moderate driving sense for our everyday needs. Where were such cars? Well, There weren’t many (quintessentially Geneva!), and among those present is the 2016 Skoda Superb – the elegant and astonishing, impressive and luxurious ‘real world’ sedan. So, why buy an Audi A6 or VW Passat??
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You may ask that the Rs. 20-30 lakh Skoda Superb is nonetheless a costly, luxury car in Indian sense, but, fellas, this is what you can pick at the Geneva with a pinched wallet! The all-new, third-generation Superb is certainly a hug hit at the show full of supercars and luxury movers. The car will go on sale from June this year in Europe, and will enter our Indian showrooms by mid 2016.
The car is incredible on counts – its design, and luxury-cum-equipment levels. Like the 2014 VW Passat, the new Superb is now built on the VW’s latest MQB (“Modular Transverse Matrix”) architecture, making it 75 kgs lighter in spite of slightly large body than the existing one. It is dressed in an all-new design, basically the production version of the Vision C Concept from Geneva last year. The angular surfaces and vibrant lines define the design idea, which is feel has to be an expensive design to achieve without compromising the ‘family’ look. The imposing bow-tie grille is now lower-slung, the side with cuts and slashes are really attractive than earlier, and the rear is well crafted with wide tail and LED lights. The number plate has gone back to the boot-lid once again. The Bohemian crystal inspired detailing of the headlamp and tail lamp units are more premium. But what actually distinguishes the new car from the existing one is the coupe-ish silhouette, combined with flared wheel arches, chunky wheels and large body. Though the new design hints at the Audi’s, it is more artistic in flair.
Having said that, the cabin and the interiors are a huge let down, there are not well sculptured as the exterior design. Especially the dashboard fascia is more an evolution from its predecessor than anything new, looks reminiscent to the new Octavia. The interiors feel simple and basic to an otherwise upmarket car. The Indian versions may get additional chrome and wood treatment, but that’s not going to excite us.
But the exciting part is this – equipments and luxury features. The new superb come loaded with a host of entertainment, utility and safety features, which is bound to entice buyers. There’s a new-generation touchscreen infotainment system that automatically connects your smartphone via
what Skoda calls as SmartLink. It includes VW’s MirrorLink, Apple’s CarPlay and Android auto. Another feature named SmartGate allows you to access vehicle data on your smartphone. An onboard high-speed internet lets you turn the Superb into a mobile Wifi hotspot! The centre console display is also used for parking assistance with a rear-view camera.
This Skoda gets plenty of safety systems – seven Airbags, ABS, ESP with Multi-Collision Brake, Front assist with City Emergency Brake, electronic tyre pressure monitoring, seven airbags, and a new Emergency ssist that can bring the car to a halt in the case of an emergency. A variety of assistance like auto-levelling head lights, radar-guided
adaptive cruise control, lane assist, traffic sign recognition and
attention assist and blind-spot warning.
The superb also offers Audi A6 level of luxury – spacious cabin and comfortable rear seats with enormous legroom and ride quality. The MacPherson struts at front and a multi-link rear axle with adjustable shock absorbers optimises ride and handling. The car also features a new electronic differential system.
The Superb’s engine line-up is similar to the existing one, but are now cleaner burning and better in efficiency. Indian models may get a slightly more powerful 177bhp version of the 1.8 TSI petrol engine, and the 2.0 TdI diesel is likely to be bumped up to about 188bhp as well. DSG automatic gearboxes should be a mix of six and seven-speeders, and there will be manual versions for sure.
So, why should we pay twice for an Audi A6 when you get Superb? Even the VW Passat renders an unexciting buy comparing to the Superb. But the new-gen Passat will also arrive in 2016, so let’s see how Volkswagen prices it. I expect it to be priced below the Superb to buck the trend, just like their 2015 Jetta strategy. However, the 2016 Skoda Superb is beyond belief and my favourite ‘Everyday’ car at Geneva this time.
Photo Credit: Netcarshow, Rushlane, Autoportal