Superb choice: Skoda’s 3rd-generation flagship sedan

The Superb is easy at the helm, without a trace of the unwieldiness often associated with big sedans and cool detachment associated with executive carriers.
The Superb is easy at the helm, without a trace of the unwieldiness often associated with big sedans and cool detachment associated with executive carriers.ST PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHER TAN
The Superb is easy at the helm, without a trace of the unwieldiness often associated with big sedans and cool detachment associated with executive carriers.
The Superb is easy at the helm, without a trace of the unwieldiness often associated with big sedans and cool detachment associated with executive carriers.ST PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHER TAN

Skoda's third-generation flagship sedan lives up to its name

Naming a car Superb requires supreme confidence. Or delusions of grandeur.

Whichever the case it may have been, Volkswagen-owned Czech make Skoda has been adequately vindicated.

The third-generation Superb nails it on every front, coming across clearly as an obvious premium choice for those who do not wish to spend a bomb on brand-name cars.

The test-car is a top-end Superb Laurin & Klement, named after the founders of Skoda. For a $155,900 car, it is peerless.

Size-wise, it is between an Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz E-class, which means it is large enough to offer more-than-decent quarters, but not so big as to be a handful at the wheel.

In the design department, the Superb has a saloon profile, even if it comes with a liftback tailgate which opens up to the largest boot in the business. Form with functionality.

Dynamic folds and creases line its sheet metal, with a touch of chrome in all the right places to complete the premium look.

  • SPECS / SKODA SUPERB LAURIN & KLEMENT

  • Price: $155,900 with COE

    Engine: 1,984cc 16-valve inline-4 turbocharged

    Power: 220hp at 4,500-6,200rpm

    Torque: 350Nm at 1,500-4,400rpm

    Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch with quick shift

    0-100kmh: 7 seconds

    Top speed: 245kmh

    Fuel consumption: 6.6 litres/100km

    Agent: Skoda Centre Singapore

On either ends of its 2,841mm wheelbase are sporty 19-inch wheels, which give the car a powerful stance.

It is a quietly impressive package. And it gets better inside.

The cabin is as spacious as you expect a car of its dimensions to be. It is also refreshingly unpretentious, with the ambience of an executive car rather than a luxury wannabe.

Premium features include memory driver's seat with ventilation, three-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, an infotainment system with navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Park Assist automatic parking and wireless smartphone charging.

In short, an adequate suite of goodies which you are likely to appreciate - and not a superfluous one which you pay for but rarely use.

It is the way the car moves which seals the deal, though. Powered by a punchy yet efficient 2-litre turbo, the Superb provides sporty progress without much guilt.

And the acceleration is wonderfully linear, with the engine and transmission remaining acoustically subdued throughout.

As for ride comfort, the car surpasses all expectations. The Superb glides like a Teutonic grand tourer, but without the associated stuffiness. It is weighty yet breezy, measured yet possesses more than a hint of spontaneity.

Having driven the superlatively comfy Audi A8 limousine just before the Skoda does not significantly diminish its ride impression. The car is that good.

And not being overly large clearly helps in the handling department, too. The Superb is extremely easy at the helm, without a trace of unwieldiness often associated with big sedans and cool detachment associated with executive carriers.

Like all Skodas, the Superb comes with many handy features, including an umbrella holder, start button on the steering column and automatic braking when reversing too close to an obstacle.

At the risk of sounding campy, this ride is really quite superb.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2018, with the headline 'Superb choice'. Print Edition | Subscribe