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Skoda launched its flagship sedan, the Superb, in the Indian market back in 2001. Over the years, the car has gone through some generation upgrades and facelifts. However, to date, enthusiasts still prefer a pre-owned first-gen model of the superb because of its low-slung gangster looks.
However, the current third-generation facelifted Superb looks fantastic and is available in the L&K and the Sportline trims. We got the Sportline variant for a couple of days and the sedan left us surprised by the way it looks, drives, the comfort and the way it handles. Here is what we have to say about the facelifted Superb Sportline.
Design & Style
The test car that we got was in the Race Blue colour and boy the car was looking gorgeous. Even so, people came up to the parking and appreciated the sporty colour. Now since this is the Sportline variant, it gets the black-out treatment. At the front, the element around the grille is finished in black. To be honest, there are only four places on the exterior with chrome on it, that includes the front logo, side ‘SPORTLINE' badges and a strip at the rear end.
Moreover, the Sportline variant gets a sleek-looking all-LED headlight unit, that the company likes to call 'Skoda Crystal Lighting'. The fog lights on the bumper are also LED, but for some reason, only the front turn indicators featured halogen bulbs. Overall, from the front, with all the blacked-out elements and the sharp lines and creases on the hood, gives the sedan an extremely sporty stance.
Moving onto the side, the Superb Sportline gets a decent ground clearance of around 164mm. The might look low, but it manages not to bottom out on speed breakers unless there are five passengers seated. It gets blacked out ORVMs and black trim around the windows. It also gets a half-black roof. Well, as we mentioned above, the only part in chrome is the Sportline badge on the side of the fender. However, the 17-inch multispoke wheels finished in anthracite grey looks damn cool, but we were expecting 19-inches as it was showcased at the Auto Expo earlier this year.
Now the most amount of blacked-out treatment is done to the rear of the car. Instead of the traditional Skoda logo, the Sportline gets the blacked-out SKODA badge right in the centre and the Superb badge at the bottom left-hand side. The sedan also gets a black boot lip spoiler and even the trim that connects the taillights is finished in black. Only at the bottom of the rear bumper, there is some chrome accent, but we think that that was not necessary, it could have also been black.
The taillight of the Superb gets the same crystal elements present on the headlights. The entire unit is an LED one and features dynamic indicators. The unit is sleek and blends in really nicely with the overall stance of the car. In fact, the smoked treatment and the mirror finish in the taillights accentuates the sedan's sportiness from the rear.
Interior & Features
The blacked-out treatment on the Sportline is not only on the outside but inside as well. The entire interior on the car is black, that includes the dashboard, seats and the roof. Well, the car actually looks really sporty from the inside as well, but we wished that there was some amount of red accents present to enhance the sportiness.
Let's talk about the seats, the front two seats are just like the ones on the Octavia vRS, of course without the badging. They are really comfortable and offer good under-thigh support and side bolsters that keep the drives in place during hard turns. However, there has been extensive use of Alcantara and leather on the seats and everywhere else.
Both front seats are electrically adjustable, but only the driver's side gets the seat memory function. The front seats also get the fixed headrests that make them look like bucket seats. One more thing that the Sportline misses out is ventilated seats that are there on the L&K variant. However, the 625-litre boot on the Superb is massive and can accommodate almost anything. Seriously, you do not need more trunk room when you have that much boot space.
Now coming to the rear seats, the Superb is known for space at the rear, metaphorically, it is literally like a one BHK flat in Mumbai. There is plenty of legroom and headroom and the seats can easily accommodate three passengers. However, it is best for two people. Since the car features three-zone climate control, the rear gets AC vents and a temperature control unit. Again one thing that the Sportline misses out on is the Boss mode switches, through which you can control the front left passenger seat.
The infotainment system takes the centre stage and provides a lot of information about the vehicle. It also gets AndroidAuto and AppleCarPlay and gets an eight-speaker audio setup that is really good. It also gets matte carbon fibre trims on the dashboard and the doors and a Sportline badge in front of the front passenger side.
However, the main highlight is the digital instrument cluster that enhances the sportiness of the sedan. The cluster has different view settings and can be customised according to the driver's needs. One thing that we loved about the car is that wherever you change the ambient light on the car the backlight on the cluster also changes according to the colour of the mood light.
The Sportline gets a flat-bottom steering wheel that is wrapped in leather and looks the same as on the VRS models, again except the badge. The steering mounted controls control both the infotainment system and the instrument cluster and keep the driver's focus on the road. We also expected that the Sportline variant would also get a heads-up-display, which it did not.
Engine, Performance & Handling
Under the hood of the Sportline is the 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine. The unit makes 188bhp of power and 350Nm of peak torque and is mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission. Surprisingly, the car does not get any driving modes except the ‘D' and the ‘S' mode on the transmission. On the flip side, it comes with launch control fitted from the factory, just in case you want to impress your friends.
The engine delivers brilliant power and performance and the DSG transmission works like a charm. Shift the gearbox in the manual mode and you will get full control over it, although it will shift automatically if it sees that you are not shifting manually. There are paddle shifters to make the shifts easy and they work best on the ‘S' mode.
As far as the power delivery is concerned, if you go light-foot on the peddle the car will respond smoothly. But if you floor it, then there is a sudden surge of power that will throw you back to the seat. If you want to overtake someone you just need to step on the gas and the car will do the needful.
The suspension setup on the Superb has always been on the softer side since it is a luxury sedan. But on the Sportline, the setup is slightly stiffer than the setup on the L&K version and because of that one can enjoy the best of both worlds. Seriously, the sedan handles like a charm. Show the car some corners and you will be surprised how well a sedan this size can handle.
On the other hand, the bumps and potholes that the city has to offer are absorbed really nicely and almost nothing is felt on the inside. The NVH levels and the cabin insulation is excellent and it does not allow the outside noise to enter at all.
As far as the mileage is concerned, we were surprised that the Superb Sportline gave up around 10 km/l in the city and around 14 to 16 km/l on the highway. With a fuel tank capacity of 66 litres, you can easily go for more than 550kms on a full tank.
The Skoda Superb is one of the best luxury sedans in the market that one can buy. However, the facelifted third-generation Superb looks absolutely fantastic. There is absolutely nothing that you will not like on the car, except the halogen bulb on the front indicators.
The Superb Sportline carries a price tag of Rs 29.99 lakh ex-showroom. The sedan offers tonnes of comfort and at the same time, when you want to go fast, especially around corners, it just surprises you by the way it handles.