1 Aug 2009
SKODA’S flagship Superb arrives in Australia for the first time, pitched directly at upstream Australian and Japanese large sedans, with pricing that’s also similar to the closely-related Volkswagen Passat range.
Available as a single five-door liftback with the unique combination of opening a traditional rear bootlid or a large rear hatch, the Superb comes powered by Volkswagen’s latest turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, all mated to six and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
Launched at $42,990, the front-drive 1.8 TSI Ambition opens the Superb range with a 118kW/250Nm 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine, while the mid-range Superb 2.0 TDI ($45,990) runs VW’s up-spec 125kW/350Nm turbo-diesel four and the top-shelf all-wheel drive 3.6 FSI Elegance 4x4 ($56,990) scores a 191kW/350Nm petrol V6.
The big and somewhat bold Superb delivers stand-out refinement and build quality, a notably big and versatile boot, Statesman-like rear seat accommodation and German engineering with a Czech badge. It’s well worth a test drive if you’re in the market for a Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Aurion, Holden Berlina or Ford G6.
In May 2010 Skoda rolled out the long-awaited wagon version of the Superb.
Mirroring the oddball TwinDoor five-door sedan range of direct-injection EU5 emissions meeting petrol and diesel models, the Wagon comes with 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.
Bodily speaking, the big Skoda is completely different 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 1865L with the split/fold rear bench folded down. To aid loading the sill is a low 600mm off the ground.
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 Superb sedan will instantly recognise the engines on offer in the Wagon – 118kW/250Nm 1.8L 118TSI petrol, 125kW/350Nm 2.0L 103TDI, and 191kW/350Nm 3.6L 191FSI.