It’s simply Superb
Back when Skoda first introduced the Superb model name, there were many who smiled wryly at what was perceived as the misguided arrogance of the Czech-based Volkswagen-owned upstart.
Mitsubishi had a badly-named car called the Carisma at the same time, which was anything but, so Skoda seemed to be setting themselves up for a fall. However, it was also around the time when Skoda were starting to really prove themselves as a brand to be taken seriously.
Critics were presented with a car, which was well built, ridiculously spacious, and as comfortable as it was vast. Now, some 14-years later, the third-generation of the Superb is just two months away from landing in Skoda showrooms in Ireland, and this is now a model that commands enormous respect, often being seen as an alternative to larger executive cars from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
Weeks ahead of its Irish launch, Skoda chose the winding roads around Tuscany to showcase the third-generation of their Superb, and the new car is now better-built, more handsome and comes with a new range of more-powerful, yet cleaner engines. The new car is 28mm longer and has a 80mm longer wheelbase than the already vast current model, and boasts an impressive 625-litre luggage capacity in the saloon model.
The new car is much better looking than the previous Superb, which wasn’t quite ugly, but was very much let down by the styling at the rear end. Gone is the clever twin-door boot, probably for weight and cost reasons, but this clever feature didn’t do much for the car’s looks. This is now a much better looking car. The design is clean, simple and Germanic. This carries on to the interior where the dash and major controls are uncluttered and simple to use.
Five new petrol and three TDI common rail diesel engines have been added, with the volume seller in Ireland expected to be the 1.6 TDI 120bhp that boasts 14 per cent more power and 13pc improved fuel economy, when compared with the outgoing unit. There is a 15pc improvement in fuel economy on two new 2.0 TDI units that have been introduced with 150bhp and 190bhp. Buyers of the big-selling 1.6-litre TDI won’t be left wanting, as despite the car’s considerable size, the 120bhp unit acquits itself really well.
Better still is the 2.0-litre 150bhp diesel, which is the model we would go for given the option. Less likely to sell in large numbers will be the 190bhp 2.0-litre diesel and the 280bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol, but the 2.0-litre 4x4 190bhp DSG model, coming in at less than €40,000 in Ambition grade, is a car well worth considering if your budget allows, as not only is it fast, but it will offer limpet-like grip in all conditions.
Diesel entry prices start from €27,795 with standard equipment including dual-zone climate control, seven Airbags, Bluetooth, front assist, electric handbrake with auto hold. The Ambition model receives colour touch screen sound system, bi-xenon lights with front and rear LEDs, 16-inch alloys, front heated seats and rain-sensing wipers. The top Style model receives a Columbus sat nav unit, three-zone climate control, 17-inch alloys, full leather interior and reversing camera.
There are three specs from launch; Active, Ambition and Style, with most buyers likely to opt for the middle-spec Ambition model, although opting for the top-spec Style model on a PCP is only likely to cost €20 extra per month.
The stunning new Skoda Superb goes on sale here in late July.