Monday morning is car swap day for the majority of the motoring press and with time not on my side I opted to get a taxi from my drop off to the next press car. Ironically or maybe not the car that arrives is a pristine 2012 Skoda Superb and with the launch of the latest generation Superb on the same day I decided to essentially interview the driver on his ownership to date. It turns out the gent had only recently purchased the car with 60,000 kilometers on the clock from a dealer in Kerry. He now had 110,000km of trouble free motoring and was looking forward to easily putting 400,000km’s like he had done on his previous taxi, which was of course, another Superb!
There is no doubt about it the Superb has always offered plenty of bang for the buck since its launch in 2001 but after laying eyes on the new Superb at this years Geneva show, we knew Skoda was about to raise the bar yet again. My pleasant morning chat with the taxi driver echoed praise for not just the reliability but also the space, comfort level and overall driving experience. That same afternoon I was handed the keys of the latest generation Superb at a rather damp Carton House and set about scrutinizing Skoda’s latest flagship offering. With prices starting from €26,795 there is still heaps of value for money on offer. Aside from looking a lot fresher with angular LED lights and a sophisticated profile it still has class leading legroom thanks to a stretch of 28mm and some 625-litres of luggage space. For space the Superb is simply unrivaled at this price point.
There are three specifications for buyers to choose from right now which include Active, Ambition and Style. We seemed to get lucky today and although the premium L&K (Laurin & Klement) model isn’t available until next August, there was one available to test. Additional equipment like the 19-inch alloy wheels, Canton sound system and adaptive suspension make this one luxurious place to be. Pulling out of Carton House we got a our first chance to sample the Superb’s new Dynamic Chassis Control system which essentially lets you adjust the suspension and driver profile selection at the touch of a button. It felt so soft, in fact the car felt like it was riding on air over the speed ramps leaving Carton Hose with the Normal mode engaged let alone comfort but we did find it a touch soft of the back-roads. With Sport engaged the barge effect was lost and the car became more focused and surefooted allowing you to push on.
Our test car was fitted with the 2.0 TDI 150bhp power plant mated to a 6-speed DSG box but Skoda have announced five new petrol and three TDI common-rail diesel engines are now available. We found 150bhp surprisingly adequate for a car of this size even with the added weight of the L&K spec. Prices for this beauty will start from €39,745. Although our test drives were short we thought it was imperative that we got a drive in the volume seller before the afternoon ended. The new 1.6 TDI with 120bhp has been treated to a 14% increase in power and 13% improved fuel economy. The diesel prices will kick off from €27,795 and for this you can expect Dual Zone Climate Control, 7-Airbags, Bluetooth, Front Assist and the Electric Handbrake with Auto Hold. The Ambition model gets a Colour Touch Screen Sound System, Bi-Xenon Lights with front and rear LED’s, 16-inch Alloy Wheels, Front Heated Seats and Rain Sensing Wipers. The top Style model receives Columbus Sat Nav unit, 3 Zone Climate Control, 17-inch Alloys, Full Leather interior and Reversing Camera. All this reaffirms the bang for your buck statement we made earlier regardless of what model you choose.
We enjoyed our time in the new Skoda Superb today and already look forward to a week-long test drive where we can become more familiar with the new infotainment system. The new large colour touch screen interfaces allow occupants to use Apple Car Play, MirrorLink and SmartLink, which is fantastic for business drivers. There is also a new ‘Little Driver’ app available for free on iOS or Android tablets and is suitable for children between the ages of three and six. Essentially it allows kids to mirror the driver’s inputs in game format to pass the time. This is something we will look forward to exploring in more detail. We should also mention that the new Combi model will arrive in September 2015 and there will be an all wheel driver version of both cars ready for order. Skoda have yet again raised the bar with the Superb and we have no doubt it will be a huge success.
Technical Specification 2.0 TDI DSG (L&K)
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||8.9 seconds|
|Road Tax||Band A €200|
|Price as Tested||€42,745|