Spotlight: Škoda Superb
Styling tweaks, updated tech and a plug-in hybrid iV version are enough to back the refreshed Škoda Superb, explains Martyn Collins.
The current Superb has been a top seller, shifting on average 80,000 units a year in Europe since it went on sale. So, whether in estate or hatch bodystyle, the big Škoda is clearly popular with fleets. If those buyers liked the look of the last Superb, then they’re going to be fans of the updated one – as you have to look hard to spot the changes!
It’s available in a wide range of trim levels, up to the range-topping L&K designations. Outside, there are new bumpers, a redesigned grille, full LED headlights with Matrix technology, revised rear lights with horizontal chrome trim, spaced Škoda family badging first seen on the Scala, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels in a new design and two new colours: Crystal Black and Race Blue.
Inside there’s the latest all-new Volkswagen Group digital instrument cluster and door trims plus revised infotainment systems, while extended front seats are available as an option.
Superb’s biggest change is the introduction of a new plug-in hybrid estate and hatch in January 2020. This new model will also pioneer Škoda’s electrified iV branding.
The Superb PHEV combines a 156hp version of the 1.4 TSi petrol with a 116hp electric motor. Combined output is 218hp with 400Nm of torque and Škoda claims the Superb hybrid will have a WLTP-rated all-electric range of 55km.
It’s a significant development for the brand and this model; according to the a Škoda spokesperson, the plug-in hybrid Superb is expected to generate a lot of interest from fleets looking to improve their overall efficiency and cut fuel costs. The charging socket is neatly hidden behind the front grille. In fact, the only Superb iV giveaways are the aerodynamically styled alloy wheels unique to these models.
Elsewhere, there’s a comprehensive choice of petrol and diesel engines in the updated Superb range, including a new 150hp version of the
2.0-litre TDi diesel, with 340Nm of torque. Petrols start with a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder – due later this year and delivering 150hp and 250Nm of torque. The range-topping petrol has 272hp, 350Nm of torque and standard all-wheel drive.
Diesels start with the 120hp, 1.6-litre TDI four-cylinder unit, with 250Nm of torque. This engine is mated with a seven-speed DSG transmission. The other diesels are both 2.0-litre in size, with 150hp and 340Nm of torque (also due later this year), or the range-topper with 190hp, 400Nm, DSG-only transmission and the choice of front- or four-wheel drive. Pricing hasn’t been revealed for the iV models, but the rest of the range starts at around €27,500 for the entry-level hatch model. At the other end of the spectrum, the premium-level L&K hatch, with the 2.0-litre, 272hp petrol engine, will be priced around €44,500.
The third-generation Superb changed Škoda’s fortunes in the upper-medium sector, with its continued popularity amongst fleet buyers. It is no surprise then that Škoda has played it safe, largely leaving the spacious estate and hatch models well alone. iV plug-in hybrid versions, if Škoda’s predictions are true, could make up a significant section of fleet sales when they’re launched early next year.