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Car reviews - Skoda - Superb - 5-dr wagon range

Launch Story

Skoda logo14 May 2010

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

SKODA is serious about making an impact in the Australian large-car segment against the popular Holden Commodore Sportwagon with the new Superb Wagon.

The Skoda wagon range kicks off from $40,990 for the 118TSI Ambition, mirroring the oddball TwinDoor five-door sedan range of direct-injection Euro 5 emissions-qulified petrol and diesel models.

That’s $2000 more than the $38,990 Superb sedan equivalent, which – along with the $41,990 125TDI Ambition – is now $1000 cheaper than before.

But the gap with the sedan is halved when you factor in the wagon’s standard issue Park Assist feature that uses radar to help guide and manoeuvre the car into a suitable parallel spot.



“This is one of its unique selling points,” says Skoda Australia product manager Petr Beneda.

All Superb wagons have nine airbags, ESC stability and traction control, front fog lights with a cornering action, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, integrated roof bars, tyre pressure monitors, heated front seats, auto-on lights, rain-sensing wipers, and an umbrella socket in one of the side rear doors, as well as the usual cruise control, electric windows, remote central locking, CD/MP3 audio, tilt/reach steering wheel adjuster, driver’s seat-height raiser and a multi-function trip computer.

SkodaSuperb center imageBodily speaking, the wagon is completely new from the B-pillars back, boasting a deliberately conservative but typically neat Volkswagen Group ‘estate’ silhouette. Its length, width and height measurements come to 4838mm, 1817mm and 1462mm respectively make it a longer and taller vehicle than the sedan.

With all five seats in situ, the cargo capacity is 633 litres, expanding to a large-car league 1865 litres with the split/fold rear bench folded. To aid loading, the sill is a low 600mm off the ground.

Luggage hooks and cargo floor and tailgate illumination with a magnetised rechargeable torch are also included, while an optional rail system with movable restrainers, an electrically powered tailgate and a ‘dummy’ second floor with an 80kg rating that slides out 50mm to further facilitate packing are available.

To address increases in weight and payload the rear axle now has dampers fitted with anti-vibration attachments that also curb noise transmission into the cabin, while the ESC and ABS anti-lock braking system has been recalibrated.

Based on the current-generation Volkswagen Passat platform, the Wagon follows its sedan stablemate in using a transverse engine arrangement driving either the front wheels (four-cylinder models) or all four wheels (in the Haldex-equipped V6 4x4) via a dual-clutch DSG gearbox.

Australians familiar with most of the latest Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda powerplants will recognise the engines on offer in the Superb Wagon.

A 1798cc 1.8-litre turbocharged twin-cam direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 118kW of power at 5000rpm and 250Nm of torque from 1500 to 4500rpm motivates the 118TSI.

On 95 RON premium unleaded, it urges the 1583kg wagon to 100km/h from standstill in 8.6 seconds on the way to a 218km/h top speed, while the combined average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions ratings are a respective 7.5 litres per 100km and 173 grams per kilometre.

This is the only Superb variant to employ the DQ250 seven-speed DSG gearbox – with the ‘250’ denoting the torque max in Newton metres.

The others employ the DQ350 six-speed DSG, with the only diesel version – the 103TDI – expected to account for the lion’s share of Superb sales.

Its 1968cc common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder unit pumps out 125kW at 4200rpm and 350Nm from 1750 to 2000rpm, to pull the 1627kg 103TDI to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds and the same top speed as the four-pot petrol. Skoda says 6.6L/100km and 175g/km lows are possible with this turbo-diesel.

Finally there’s the 1777kg Superb Wagon flagship – the 191FSI Elegance V6 4x4.

For your $57,990 you get a direct-injection double overhead cam 3597cc V6 petrol engine capable of 191kW at 6000rpm, 350Nm from 2500 to 5000rpm, 6.6s for the 0-100km/h-sprint time, 247km/h, 10.4L/100km and 242g/km. As per the sedan, the wagon’s suspension is via a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear, with four-wheel disc brakes and an electro-mechanical power steering system.

Since its launch in May last year, more than 90 per cent of Superb sedan buyers have chosen the Elegance trim, which includes Bi-Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights with an active cornering function, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory, leather upholstery, parking distance control, an alarm, upgraded audio system and satellite navigation. But the base wagon’s Commodore positioning means that Skoda expects the Ambition to raise its market share considerably.

Among the options are a panoramic sunroof, a powered tailgate, roller blinds, sports suspension, an automatic cargo cover release, and keyless entry and go (due at the end of the year).

To the end of April, just 43 Superbs were registered in Australia, adding to the 123 sold in Australia in 2009.

Skoda hopes to skim sales from the Commodore Sportwagon as well as wagon versions of the Ford Mondeo, Mazda6 with the lower-end models, while the Elegance cars are bridging the middle ground between these and the Volvo V70/XC70.

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