There is no car on the New Zealand market that can compete with the generous interior room of the Skoda Superb, certainly not for a starting price of $43,900. The sedan and wagon are all about space.
Now comes the all-new Superb with even more room – and if Skoda NZ general manager Greg Leet gets his way, the price/roominess ratio will get even better.
The third-generation Superb is slightly bigger all-round, but Skoda’s interior designers have crafted more interior room in critical areas, says Leet. For starters the driver and front seat passenger get 39mm more elbow room and more headroom.
Rear passengers get a whopping 157mm more legroom (double that of the upcoming Holden Insignia, says Skoda), 69mm more elbow room and oodles more headroom. Boot capacity is 625 litres with the seats up and 1760 litres with them down, up 30 litres overall on the current Superb.
Asked if that extra space throughout will add to a jump in price when the Superb sedan arrives later in the year, Leet said: “No, I hope not, but it very much depends on the competition.” The wagon gets here next year.
There are four models in the current Superb range, priced from $43,900 for the 118kW 1.8-litre front-drive petrol sedan to $63,000 for the 191kW 3.6-litre V6 all-wheel-drive petrol wagon. Two 2.0-litre diesel units (103kW, 125kW) sit in the middle.
There will be four engine options (two petrol, two diesel) in the new line-up, too, each one EU6-compliant and therefore cleaner, more fuel-friendly and powerful than before. The big change is the axing of the current top-range 3.6-litre V6 in favour of a new premium all-wheel-drive model, powered by a 206kW turbocharged 2.0-litre unit, a version of the Volkswagen Golf GTi engine.
The new engine choices, along with a bigger car with an altogether roomier interior “gives us more options,” says Leet, who has spent the last 10 days with executives from the Skoda factory in the Czech Republic briefing dealers in NZ on upcoming models. (The new Fabia is the first, in April).
Those options, says Leet, will allow Skoda to further compete for the corporate buyer looking for a bigger car, but with a smaller car’s taste for fuel. “The Superb is officially a B-segment vehicle (Mazda6, Ford Mondeo, VW Passat) but it will now be a serious competitor to official C-segment cars, those the size of Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon, for example.”
Skoda says it has cut 75kg from the new Superb and that weight loss combined with improved aerodynamics helps contribute to a 30 per cent reduction in fuel use. Safety gets a boost, too. Available is forward collision braking, automatic distance control, lane assistance, blind spot monitoring, reverse parking assistance, driver fatigue detection, speed limiter, traffic sign recognition and hill-hold assist.
There’s a clever new touch for rainy days: the umbrella tucked into the left rear door on the current model has been replaced by one in each of the two front doors. Superb is in classy company – Rolls-Royce did it first.
The extra ‘brolly is one of 29 features that Skoda headlines as ‘Simply Clever’ solutions – 23 of them new to the brand. They include a mechanically retractable towing device, a tablet holder in the rear, a tablet storage compartment in the front centre armrest, a USB port and 230V socket in the rear, cup-holders that allow single-handed opening for 0.5-litre bottles and an extra high-visibility vest storage compartment in all four doors.
Both front and both rear doors will each hold a 1.5-litre bottle. The interior’s versatility is increased by the option to fold down the back seats from the boot. The front passenger seat can also be folded forward. New cargo fasteners secure loose objects in the boot. An ice scraper in the fuel filler flap is standard. In addition, there are new storage nets on the inside edges of the front seats, and a removable LED torch in the boot.
The new Superb is “the best Skoda of all time,”says its CEO Winfried Vahland. “Our new flagship is now the highlight of Skoda’s most comprehensive model campaign ever, and shows where Skoda stands today.
“The car’s outstanding design and engineering qualities, and the unbeatable space make our flagship the new benchmark in the automotive mid-class. The new Skoda Superb is a clear demonstration of our growth and points to the future of the brand.”