The new Skoda Superb looks to be the Czech brand’s most practical family car yet, but what’s new? We compare it to its predecessor
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Since its release in 2001, the Skoda Superb has always been known for delivering class-leading space with excellent value for money. If those are your top priorities in a family car, then it makes for a highly tempting alternative to the liikes of the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat.
2015 sees the release of the third-generation model, which aims to build on these strengths, while adding some of the qualities it perhaps lacked before – such as a dash more style. So what is new exactly? We take a look in detail at how it compares to the outgoing model.
Skoda Superb old vs new – styling
The Superb has always been a fairly handsome-looking thing, if not necessarily the most exciting. Although the new model looks instantly familiar, it’s apparent that every line is tauter, and every detail more contemporary-looking. The familiar Skoda grille remains, but the new headlamps are far more intricate in design, with new LED daytime running lights running along the lower edge. A new recess below the lights give the impression that they are floating – quite an original design touch, and one that adds a dash of modernity to the car’s shape.
The rather slab-sided appearance of the old model has been broken up by much sharper creases along the waistline, and the rear doors are now slightly more in proportion with the fronts. The rear looks quite familiar, only more elegant (and dare we say it, Germanic) than before. The traditional hatchback opening for the boot – in place of the overly complicated split hatch/saloon boot of the old model – is mainly responsible for the improvement.
Skoda superb old vs new – interior
If there was one area in which the old Superb really lived up to its name, it was for its passenger accommodation. The space available to rear seat occupants was limo-like, and the boot was huge, too. The latest model builds on those strengths. Thanks to an 80mm increase in wheelbase, it offers rear legroom that is almost double that of what is available in some of its rivals: even the tallest passengers will be able to stretch out.
Out back, a huge 625-litre boot rivals many estate cars for outright volume. The un-announced new Superb Estate will surely have a luggage capacity to mock your attempts to fill it.
Up front, as with the outgoing car, the dashboard is fairly inoffensive and well-thought out, but an improvement in the quality of trim materials used undoubtedly makes the new car feel like a more luxurious place to sit.
Skoda Superb old vs new – driving and engines
The two diesel engines available in the old model remain, with a third – an ultra-economical 1.6-litre emitting just 96g/km of CO2 – due to be introduced early in 2016. For now, that means the entry level engine is a 150hp 2.0-litre unit, and a more powerful version, producing 190hp, is also available. Both of those figures are higher than when they saw service in the old model – up by 10 and 20hp respectively. As before, both will be available with a six-speed manual or DSG automatic gearbox.
The petrol lineup, however is all new. A 1.4-litre turbocharged motor has been introduced as an entry point to the range. It sees service in many other Volkswagens, Audis and SEATs, and in this application produces 150hp.
The old thirsty (but amusingly fast) 3.6-litre V6 has been dropped. In its place sits a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This is the same unit found in the SEAT Leon Cupra 280, and has 20hp more than the old V6 model. Combined with four-wheel drive and a DSG gearbox, expect the 0-62mph time to be around the 6.0-second mark – a few tenths faster than the 3.6, while fuel economy should improve, too.
The new platform on which the latest Superb sits is stronger and lighter than before, which should help every engine perform better and more efficiently than before, while the extended wheelbase has the potential to make it even smoother riding than before too, particularly at motorway speeds.
Skoda Superb old vs new – equipment
One of the biggest improvements tech-wise is the introduction of a 6.5-inch colour screen. In SE-L models and above, this also houses the satellite navigation functions. Top-spec Lauren & Klement models feature a lovely leather interior as before, but are now available with 4G based wifi. If you ever need to check your emails on the move, you know which car to follow now…
Even base-spec models gain Emergency city braking and Bluetooth connectivity, which were all lacking from the old entry level Superb.
Skoda Superb release date
First deliveries of the new Superb will start in September 2015.