The new Superb - Skoda’s flagship model that was first shown to the public at the Geneva Motor Show - has gone on sale in Ireland. Skoda says that it will strengthen their presence at the upper end of the family car market, it replaces a model whose sales in Ireland have increased year on year since it was first introduced here back in 2002.
Designed as a powerful cross between a saloon and hatchback, the new Superb has the looks of an up-market saloon with the versatility of a roomy hatchback. Its interior spaciousness and combination of standard specifications and technical features make it worth consideration.
Skoda says that the Superb is modern, elegant and distinctly upmarket, and that it has a most striking appearance with added comfort, more space, a more efficient engine range and better driving characteristics amongst its most appealing features.
With ten automatic transmission versions, three diesel-powered 4x4s, a low tax Greenline version, six engine alternatives and choice of three trim levels included in the mix - Comfort, Ambition and Elegance - the range covers 34 models in total.
Amongst its most innovative aspects is an unique rear Twindoor tailgate design. A standard feature, it offers owners two methods for accessing the boot area. In one, the boot lid alone can be opened when small items are being placed inside. Then, when bulkier items are being carried, the entire tailgate can be raised to provide easy access to a 565-litres large luggage area, expandable to 1,670 litres when rear seats are folded.
Skoda says that " following the standard set by its predecessor, the new Superb is amongst the roomiest in its segment. Seats are better and more supportive. There is a much higher standard of interior trim while added rear seat legroom ensures an even higher level of stretch-your-legs comfort".
With a 5-star NCAP rating and standard ESP, safety items have been brought to a new level. Seven airbags, including a front knee airbag, are fitted to protect front and rear passengers in the event of an accident.
Comfort items include standard dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control and radio remote controls on a leather bound steering wheel. A 6.5" touch screen radio with 6-CD changer is standard on the Ambition range.
Standard Elegance specifications include bi-xenon headlamps with AFS, an adaptive front light system that helps drivers to see around corners, full leather interior, four heated seats. electrically-operated front seats and 17” alloys. Other optional items include a touch screen navigation system and a park assist self parking system that equips the car to park itself automatically.
Skoda tells us that when fully available, the Superb range will consist of six engine offerings - three diesel and three petrol. Diesel versions begin with a Superb Greenline version powered by the 1.9-litre TDI PD fitted with DPF whose CO2 emissions come in at a low 136g/km. Lower than the previous lowest in class competitor, this positions the new Superb within the low B-rated €150 tax band.
Other diesels are a 6-speed 2.0-litre TDI PD DPF 140 bhp unit (also with 6-speed DSG automatic ) and a 6-speed 2.0-litre TDI CR DPF 170 bhp version (also with 6-speed DSG automatic or 4x4 ) all manual versions of which fall within the C-rated EUR290 tax band.
Petrol versions begin with the super-efficient 1.4-litre TSI 125 bhp 6-speed manual unit. This is followed by a 1.8-litre TSI 160bhp 6-speed manual unit (also available with optional 7-speed DSG automatic or 4x4 format ) and a 3.6-litre FSI V6 260bhp version standard with DSG and 4x4 transmission
Skoda boasts that the Superb is billed as the most highly equipped car it has ever produced. It adds that prices emphasis on the attractiveness of the diesel range with the entry-level Greenline version starting at €25,990 excluding delivery. Two other models within the 1.9-litre diesel range check in at €26,895 (in Comfort specifications ) and €28,645 (Ambition ).