The new Superb is, in the manufacturer’s own words, “the best Skoda ever”, yet we somehow get the feeling that it’s still trying to find a place in the market.
The Superb is a bigger, more elegant-looking and tad more luxurious car than Skoda’s existing Octavia, with the two cars positioned slightly below and above the mid-size segment respectively. At the end of the day, they both target the likes of the Ford Mondeo, VW Passat and Mazda6.
To that extent, it’s a shame that Skoda didn’t give the Superb the same rakish looks as last year’s dramatic VisionC Concept, even if it would have come at the expense of passenger and luggage space. Instead, the Czech carmaker borrowed some key design elements and themes from the study such as the front-end styling and the taut surfacing treatment applying them on a more conventional three-box sedan.
And whereas the VisionC had a sexy slanted rear end, the Superb gets a brick-like design. On the other hand, this allowed Skoda to increase the Superb’s boot space by 30 liters over the previous generation model to a capacious 625 liters.
Speaking of space, which has always been one of the main strengths of the Superb series, the car rides on the VW Group’s new modular MQB platform with an 80mm longer wheelbase at 2,841mm (111.85 in), though, at the same time, the front overhang is 61 mm shorter than before.
Skoda says the driver and front seat passenger get 39 mm (1.5 in) more elbow room and more headroom. At the back, rear passengers gain 69mm (2.7 in) elbow space while also enjoying 157 mm (6.2 in) legroom and 980mm (38.6 in) in headroom.
The Superb gets a host of what Skoda describes as “Simply Clever” solutions and features, which range from the hidden umbrellas in each of the two front doors and the ice scraper in the fuel filler flap, to plenty of storage solutions, a USB port and 230 V socket in the rear and a mechanically retractable towing device.
Available features for Skoda’s flagship include the brand’s first adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) with Driving Mode Select, three-zone air conditioning, electric tailgate, electric sliding and tilting panoramic roof, rear-view camera, electric parking brake and a new infotainment and connectivity system with Wi-Fi hotspot.
Skoda says that the third generation Superb has shed as much as 75kg (165 lbs), while its new engine range that mirrors the Octavia offers up to 30 percent lower fuel consumption and emission figures.
The lineup includes 1.4-liter, 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged petrols delivering between 125PS and 280PS (123hp to 276hp), and a range of 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesels producing from 120PS to 190PS (118hp to 187hp). The most frugal version at launch will be the Superb GreenLine that returns 3.7 l/100 km (76.4mpg UK or 63.6mpg US) and emits 95 g CO2 per km.
With the exception of the entry-level petrol engine, all other units are available with a dual-clutch transmission, while four engines will be offered with all-wheel drive based on the Haldex 5 clutch.
The new Superb will have its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show and go on sale in Europe later this year.