Skodas are all about providing ingenious solutions to the needs of the everyday driver, and nowhere is this philosophy more starkly clear than in its flagship
Good design is about more than just being aesthetically pleasing. According to Dieter Rams – former chief designer at household electronics company Braun, and one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th Century – good design also involves innovation, discretion, simplicity, functionality, honesty, and above all, should make life easier for the consumer.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but in all other aspects, we feel that Skoda makes a – ahem – superb example of good design, in the form of the Superb.
The flagship of the Skoda range, the Superb is a large liftback (with a wide-opening tailgate, rather than a regular boot), with the size, space, and features of a big luxury car, yet with a price closer to a large family sedan.
Apart from luxury features like wireless phone charging, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats with memory function, and a surround-view parking camera, the Superb also has a whole host of innovative functions that provide a great deal of convenience, and will probably leave you wondering, “why don’t more car makers have things like this?”
These features are unified by the slogan Simply Clever, which is the guiding principle that underlies every Skoda car.
But pictures alone won’t do these features justice, so we’ve created the images in GIF form. That way you can see for yourself just how clever they are.
Did you know the Superb actually has something in common with high-end luxury cars? Well, two things actually. The first is limo-like amounts of legroom for rear passengers, but the other, Simply Clever feature in the Superb is one that’s shared with none other than Rolls-Royce.
For those sodden days which seem like the sky’s been painted nothing but grey, the Superb’s front doors each have a pocket for a small umbrella, so you can stay dry when you get out of the car, and likewise your car’s interior when you get back in.
Detachable Boot torchlight (magnetic)
Singapore is one of the most well-lit cities in the world at night, but that doesn’t mean you don’t occasionally come across dark moments where a bit more illumination wouldn’t go amiss.
For those moments, one needs only to look behind, for the Superb’s boot light also doubles up as a detachable torchlight. Whether it’s to look for something that’s dropped underneath the seats, or minding your step on a poorly-lit, uneven path, the Superb’s magnetic LED torch will surely be your guiding light.
When you’re behind the wheel, you should ideally always have your attention on the road, but in reality, our minds do need some relief from the monotony of driving – that’s why we listen to music or the radio in our cars.
Switching between songs or stations can sometimes be a fiddly affair, but the Superb makes it simple for you. With Gesture Control, you can quickly flip between menus on the 9.2-inch touchscreen with just a swipe of the hand, providing a safer solution to operating the infotainment system.
Storage slot for tablets
One perennial challenge for parents in a car is the issue of keeping kids entertained on long rides. Letting them watch videos on a tablet is a common solution, but then what do you do with them when you reach your destination? Their large size means some might find them too bulky to carry around, and it can also be tricky to find a safe place in the car to keep them out of sight.
Thankfully, the central storage console under the Superb’s front central armrest has a Simply Clever notch in it that’s designed to hold a tablet, so you’ll always have a secure place to store it when you park up, and keep the cabin decluttered when you’re driving.
We’ve all been there before: returning to the car with armfuls of shopping, sports gear, or luggage, with no appendages free to open the boot.
With the Superb’s Virtual Pedal, no longer will you have to suffer putting your stuff on the floor and getting everything dirty while you fish for the key or the boot release handle: just wave your foot under the rear bumper and the tailgate will open up faster than you can say, “Open Sesame”. Unfortunately, “Close Sesame” won’t work on the Superb either, but it has the next best thing – simply wave your foot under the bumper again, or press the button on the inside of the tailgate and it will whirr itself back shut.
Partly why the Superb can offer so much space is because it’s so long, although that can be intimidating to some when it’s time to squeeze into a parking lot. With Park Assist, sweating and worrying about expensive contact with another car can be relegated to the past.
At just the press of a button, the Superb can maneuver itself into a parking space. Whether it’s perpendicular or parallel parking, the Superb will take control of the steering to park perfectly for you – all you need to do is look out for pedestrians and control the pedals. Parking a car doesn’t get any simpler that this.
Shopping hooks, and boot floor dividers
The generosity of the Superb’s boot area is great if you ever need to transport heaps of stuff, but does also give smaller items the opportunity to do laps around the boot floor if left alone.
Thankfully, the Superb has a number of Simply Clever solutions to keep your boot area organised. Only bought one or two small bags’ worth of shopping? Just hang them from the fold-out shopping hooks. Got small, loose items that you don’t want sliding around? Strap them in under the adjustable cargo net. And for everything else, there’s also the freely adjustable velcro cargo dividers.