Test Drive - Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI part 2
Shrawan Raja, I'm the Founder & CEO of IndianAutosBlog.com. I love teamwork and talking about cars.
If you have not read Part 1, click here to read it.
The Skoda Superb is laden with an annoying number of driver and occupant assist gadgets, EPS, Parking Assist, power seats (driver and front passenger), a large touch screen in the centre of the dash which displays information on the CD playing, your phone, the radio station to cite few.
The list proceeds easily on to the next page, but this is the stuff we used for the time of our drive.
The touch screen positioned mid-dash is wide and clear and the level of information conforms to every driver's needs. It does away with buttons, minimizing clutter.
Steering Wheel -
The steering is like the Audi A4 I drove last month. I didn't want to take my hands of it. The buttons to control the stereo and my mobile phone ensured my hand stayed there during the drive and I never needed to take it off the wheel to change settings.
But the bad bit is pretty errr.. bad. All the gadgets look, feel and give you the sensation of being in a NASA space shuttle except for the steering wheel's rake and reach adjustment, which need to be done manually!
Only the steering adjustment and the seat belt fastening need muscular energy. Rest of it is all electrical energy. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I think it's bad.
The large speedometer and the tacho dials (dressed in chrome) are easy on the eyes and needs one glance to infer data. Amid the two is a large MID (Multi information display) which presents all sorts of information like fuel average, cruise control setting, trip meter, time taken for the journey, expected time of the arrival etc.
To sum it up, the screen is as informative as the one on the Mercedes C-Class.
Gear shifter -
The gear changer is chunky and the perch is reassuring though used sparingly. This recalled Mahindra and how they are adopting the large gear knob on all their vehicles. The shifter's movement was silky smooth in getting us into whichever mode we wanted to through the drive.
The changer has a bit of chrome to it and by now we can decipher the signals Skoda is sending out to us.
Chrome, if I was Skoda - rich, premium and royal.
The leather seats are very comfortable, made us feel like emperors. They suited all of us throughout the two day drive, each of us had different body dimensions, mind you. The seats have generous lumber and thigh support and their settings are adjusted via motorized controls. Unlike the Volvo S80 drive, Ritesh did not develop a back ache after spending an afternoon behind the wheel.
Rear passenger room -
To put it in the best possible way, leg and headroom at the rear beats the BMW 5 Series, which costs several lakhs more, and beats it by some margin. We can substantiate that too, one of us in that car owns a BMW 5 Series. Room for three six footers? Hell yeah!
The Air conditioning for the driver and the co-passenger was fantastic, but we'd like to focus attention to the back seats, where things were a bit more interesting.
Rear A.C vents placed on the doors and B-pillars lowered cabin temperature in no time. We felt the A.C was very effective and the settings had to be fiddled now and then as it was getting too cold inside. There are also A.C vents under the front seats which help in speeding up the cooling process.
The A.C was whimsical in its operation. I unintentionally touched the rear window glass, and believe me, it was a reflex action that withdrew the hand back. Temperature outside was 41 degrees centigrade, but we could have never guessed if it wasn't for the display.
craving for more? Come back later. We discuss more on the interiors and move our attention to the engine and the drive in-depth.