Test Drive - Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI part 1

15/05/2009 - 11:37 | ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

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These fellows could victoriously sell two generations of the Octavia side by side in India, but on a segment higher, the level of competition is completely different and needs a different approach. The Superb sales were not so superb in India. BMW and Mercedes Benz even chuckled about it.

Skoda to me is a brand which can sell any kind of car with success in India. Their debut car came at just the right time, and it was the right car too. Before Skoda's entry, hardly a few foreign car makers were trading in India, and the lack of competition was the advantage Skoda rode on.

Now given a choice between Skoda, VW and Audi, majority of the Indians would put their money on Skoda due to their longer experience in India and better service network.

The irrefutable fact is the Superb aged faster than Skoda's calculations, faster than anyone's calculations for that matter. Time was running out but the fix was clear as crystal. It was more a issue of when.

Skoda was succeeding to sell a fair volume of Skoda Superbs until the new Accord and more recently the VW Passat emerged in India, stealing whatever thunder remained after the Mercedes C Class and the BMW 3 Series shared among themselves.

Honestly, the Skoda Superb seemed like a Skoda Octavia on healthier diet. The number of sales enquiries diminished over time sending Skoda back to the discussion board.

'When' is now, and look what they've got.

The latest generation Superb nicknamed the Superb 7Star was sent to us for a couple of days. We got down and dirty with the turbocharged 1.8-liter engine and the withdrawal symptoms are similar to seeing off a sweetheart at the airport for her master's degree. You don't know how to not cry.

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Exterior -

The bulky and broad stance mingles well with the long wheelbase classing this luxury sedan in head turner's group. From a distance, one can feel the lines flowing through the car, like a wave in the ocean.The twin crease bonnet is typical of a D-Segment car and the slight bulge on the bonnet leading to the logo is reminiscent of the Mercedes Benz SLK.

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The build quality is top notch, the finest we've seen on a Skoda and the same can be said for the fit and finish- tight and smooth. This Skoda just like its relatives settled in India oozes quality.

The overhangs are marginally more in comparison to its stable mates, but if it adds to the serenity of this car, it's a good thing. The Superb looks more mature and independent now. It always seemed like the Octavia's image was at its rescue previously.

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The front end is characterized by the wraparound headlights. It amalgamates different shapes and angles. To me, it looked like a hawk's eye- sharp and deadly.

The washer slips neatly beneath the headlamp unit, popping out only when needed. The nozzle does not burden its owner by accumulating dust, making it dysfunctional, neither can it trouble the aerodynamics by spoiling the air flow over the car's body.

The large fog lamps are not there for the objective of design compensation or balancing. Besides supplying the bumper a big car identity, it adds a quotient of simplicity, it works adequately in lighting up the pot hole strip (that's what I call the road near my home).

A nice touch is the chrome trim fragments that function like a marker pen on a candidate's resume if you are the evaluator, highlights the portion "You see I wear a Skoda badge, and I'm stylish."

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The rear end's design quantity is minimalistic, the tail lamp shape mimics the side profile of the car somewhat is worth mentioning. This also has a hint of an Aston to it. The chrome strip running across the boot lid provides a rich feel to the rear. Don't ask me how or why. Imagining the rear without it, it would be blunt and unappealing. The magic of chrome is such.

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The doors are huge with capital H and open wide, they have the typical thud when you shut them and shut tightly, it does. The doors feel heavy, but the upside is they are reassuring. You get the feeling of being inside a safe cabin once they are shut.

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