2023 Skoda Superb new car review

2023 Skoda Superb new car review
  • PublishedDecember 24, 2023

High riding SUVs make up about half of all new car sales, but this vehicle is proof that you don’t actually need one to boost space and practicality.

They were once kings of the road in Australia, but large, powerful sedans are a dying breed these days.

Kia’s Stinger is the closest thing you’ll get to a V8 Commodore or Falcon, but the Skoda Superb is another feisty four-door that warrants serious consideration.

Cars like the Skoda Superbused to be the first choice for Aussie families.

Cars like the Skoda Superbused to be the first choice for Aussie families.

It’s like the car your dad drove, but different

Four doors, punchy motor, acres of legroom: it’s the formula that had hairy-chested blokes swooning a couple of decades ago. And it still has plenty of appeal for those prepared to swim against the tidal wave of boring, functional SUVs. The 2.0-litre turbo power and torque numbers are almost a perfect match for the 3.6-litre V6 in the last homegrown SV6 Commodore (206kW/350Nm v 210kW/350Nm). But thanks to an abundance of low-down torque, all-wheel-drive traction and a slick-shifting dual-clutch transmission, the Skoda stops the clock at 5.9 seconds in the 100km/h sprint, roughly half a second faster than the SV6.

It’s got plenty of grunt, too.

It’s got plenty of grunt, too.

It looks like a sedan but it’s actually not

To the untrained eye, the Skoda looks like a garden-variety sedan, but it’s what the Europeans call a liftback. Lift the boot and the entire rear window lifts with it, in the same way as a hatchback or SUV. It’s a clever design that means you can have a lockable space away from prying eyes, while still enjoying the extra luggage space and versatility of an SUV. With the rear seats in place, the Superb has a bigger load area than a Toyota Kluger. Fold those seats and the space is enormous, while the huge tailgate opening makes it easy to load bulky items. Another clever design feature is the remote tailgate: simply swipe your foot under the rear bumper and it opens automatically.

Despoite its sedan shape the boot opens like a hatchback.

Despoite its sedan shape the boot opens like a hatchback.

The cabin feels pretty special

There’s only one “bells and whistles” model in the Superb range and it’s not cheap at $69,990 drive-away. But the cabin has a luxurious feel, with soft leather upholstery, a crystal clear centre screen and a digital driver display that can be configured in a range of different layouts to suit individual tastes. There’s an element of sportiness to the body-hugging seats, the flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather and the flashes of imitation carbon fibre and red highlights throughout. The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto hook up wirelessly and there’s a wireless charging pad as well, removing the need to carry a cable around. There’s a caveat, though. On longer trips, the phone will get too hot on the pad and CarPlay will begin to act up.

The cabin is classy with plenty of hi-tech features.

The cabin is classy with plenty of hi-tech features.

It’s as safe as houses

Sedans are inherently more stable and agile than their high-riding SUV cousins and the Superb’s all-wheel-drive underpinnings add an extra level of reassurance in the wet and on gravel roads. Skoda has also packed the Superb with the latest in crash avoidance technology, including auto emergency braking in forward and reverse, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It also monitors your driving on long trips and warns you if your inputs are becoming erratic, a sign of fatigue. The active cruise control is another welcome feature on longer drives, keeping a safe distance to the car in front. The Skoda’s driver assistance tech is well calibrated and chimes in only when necessary.

It’s fun to drive

For those who still enjoy a drive along a winding country road, the Superb is a great companion. It has oodles of grip, well-weighted, communicative steering and great balance. The suspension delivers a fine balance between comfort and body control, while the 2.0-litre turbo and six-speed dual-clutch auto are a match made in heaven for driving enthusiasts. You can dial up the fun further by choosing sports mode, which sharpens the Superb’s gear shifts, acceleration, steering and suspension.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM.AU

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