Space, comfort and luxury, our Superb proves it can do it all, and effortlessly at that.
With long weekends around the corner and friends and family to ferry, I borrow our long-term Superb. Driving the big Skoda around feels like time spent with an old pal, one I’m very familiar with. But this time around, the experience is a bit different. The weekend involves a lot of to and fro city commute; not strictly ideal for a near five-metre-long sedan. This is especially true with all the Metro, Trans Harbour Link and Coastal Road construction activity going on all over Mumbai.
Size apart, the Superb feels well suited to the city.
Size apart, the Superb feels well suited to the city. The light and direct steering is just what you need to turn this ‘aircraft carrier’ on a dime, the responsive engine and gearbox work well together to deliver a burst of power when you need it and the 360-degree reversing camera and front parking sensors allow you to easily get into gaps when you are parking.
RAMP MODEL: Good ground clearance helps clear speed breakers, steep ramps.
The other thing that impresses me is the manner in which it takes speed breakers, even when we are five up in the car. It isn’t ground clearance that’s a problem per say, but the huge 2,841mm wheelbase that messes with the ramp-over geometry. Luckily, there’s more than sufficient clearance and the Superb sails over most of our carelessly constructed speed breakers.
FIRST AMONG EQUALS: Audio system rocks, equaliser helps tune sound.
Then, on Independence Day, I unwittingly get stuck in a two-and-something-hour jam. Out on a drive to see the city illuminated in the colours of the tricolour, we run into the mother of all jams. I say a silent prayer to the god of automatic gearboxes. And while step off and initial progression aren’t as smooth as a torque converter-equipped gearbox, the twin-clutch unit does a fair job and allows me to drive without having to pay too much attention to the throttle.
SMALL SCREEN: The touchscreen feels small for a car this big and expensive.
What I appreciate even more are the simply massive front seats. Extremely wide and long in beam, with just the right amount of bolstering for lateral support, they just hit the spot. The perforated real leather on this L&K version, something even the Mercedes-Benz E-Class doesn’t get, feels soft to the touch and luxurious – the stiff cushioning is just right for long drives and, of course, the seats are cooled. And what the rear seat passengers enjoy, apart from the massive legroom, is the fact that the seating position is more ‘lounge-like’ and allows them to stretch out; unlike on the more upright rear seat of their SUV.
DAMPER DAMPENER: Adjustable dampers would have helped control bobbing on bad roads.
The Superb isn’t perfect, the ride isn’t as flat or as silent as it could be at medium speeds and the touchscreen feels small by today’s standards, but the more time I spend with the Superb, the more I’m charmed. No wonder it leads its class, effortlessly.