Skoda’s Superb executive sedan gets even better with an upgrade, featuring refreshed looks, more features and a new 2.0 engine in Singapore
Photos: Lionel Kong
We’ve always been huge fans of the Skoda Superb. A spacious European-engineered executive sedan with lots of luxury and premium features for the price of a Toyota Camry is always a good deal in our books.
Our ex-colleague Jon equated driving the Superb to flying on an airline’s premium economy class (remember when that was a thing?) when he took the previous version up on a Malaysian road trip. If that’s the case, then the facelifted Superb we have here could probably count as an upgrade to business class.
Skoda has given the Superb a mid-life update, and the changes are actually fairly extensive. It gets revised styling, new features, and even a slightly more powerful engine. And yet it’s still as reasonably priced as before.
Visually, the Superb has been given a minor but noticeable nip-and-tuck. The front grille is now bigger, and the LED headlights have been redesigned, and the overall effect gives the Superb some really strong Audi vibes. Even the indicator lights flash in that same sweeping out motion as its Audi counterparts.
At the rear, the most visible difference is the omission of the Skoda logo, now replaced by the letters ‘SKODA’ across the boot lid. There is also now a thin chrome strip that stretches between the taillights, and if you ask us, it actually looks a bit like the Maserati Quattroporte when viewed from afar. Not a bad thing to be going for surely.
Inside, there’s more of that ‘Audi-ness’ in the Superb’s overall interior ambience. The all-digital Virtual Cockpit instrument panel that Audi pioneered makes an appearance here, and it makes the Superb’s cabin feel really upmarket.
The top-spec Laurin & Klement version you see here, which goes for $153,900 with COE, throws in a massive amount of standard equipment, including a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, a panoramic sunroof, electric memory front seats, 3-zone climate control, park assist, adaptive cruise control, and ‘Laurin & Klement’ inscription on the leather upholstery.
But even if you decide to save yourself 15 grand and go for the lower spec Ambition model, you still get some pretty impressive stuff. There’s still an 8.0-inch touchscreen, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and crucially, safety systems like front collision assist with emergency braking function, and rear blind spot monitoring and warning function.
They all add up to pretty good value, but what truly impresses is the sheer spaciousness and premium quality feel you get throughout. Rear passengers won’t be wanting for legroom, with plenty of space to stretch out even for the tallest of folks. The boot too is simple massive, with a colossal 625 litres of capacity, and access is greatly aided by the Superb’s large opening tailgate.
There’s more fresh news under the bonnet too, with the Superb now featuring a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 190hp and 320Nm of torque. It’s only a 10hp power gain over the outgoing model’s 1.8-litre powerplant, but torque has been bumped up by 70Nm, from 250Nm previously.
It gives the Superb slightly more spring in its step, with a truly responsive throttle that makes it such an effortless cruiser on the highway. Overtaking manoeuvres are executed and dismissed with a light touch, and the Superb feels well capable of taking a long road trip to Malaysia without so much of a fuss (not that we could do that any time soon either).
It helps that the ride quality is similarly comforting and soothing, with a softly-sprung suspension that soaks up the bumps and makes light work of most road surfaces. The trade off is a car that, while generally a decent handler with a good amount of poise and composure in the bends, is not quite as engaging or exciting to pilot when the roads get twisty.
But that’s not really the point of the Superb. Instead, what you’re getting is a car that’s properly comfortable and reasonably luxurious, and flushed with features that are normally found in cars with much bigger price tags. It’s probably the automotive equivalent of travelling on business class on an economy budget, and who wouldn’t like that surely?
|Engine||1,984cc, inline 4, turbocharged|
|Power||190hp at 4180-6000rpm|
|Torque||320Nm at 1500-4180rpm|
|VES Band / CO2||B / 144g/km|
|Agent||Skoda Centre Singapore|
|Price||S$153,900 with COE|
|Verdict||Spacious, feature-packed and comfortable, the Superb remains an excellent value-for money executive buy|