A new Skoda Superb will debut in the latter half of this year, building on its past and offering even more in terms of practical features, passenger space and an enhanced engine offering with longer-range plug-in hybrids. We had the chance to test a pre-production example of the diesel-powered Combi estate.
In the metal
Even though it's a new generation, the overall proportions of the Skoda Superb remain largely unchanged, with the wheelbase the same as its predecessor. A minor increase in length, primarily due to bumper design at each end, amounts to 43mm (40mm for the estate).
Skoda's design team promises a more sculpted front with slimmer headlights detailed with crystalline elements that create a three-dimensional look. The optional full-LED matrix units are distinguished by a subtle green hint of crystal glass. Meanwhile, the front bumper features subtle aerodynamic bodywork enhancements to optimise airflow and improve efficiency. Along the sides, crisp lines run through the lower door sections and along the shoulder line, while the wheel designs are styled for enhanced aerodynamics.
As seen before, Skoda has plans to introduce Sportline and more luxurious Lauren & Klement versions.
The interior remains an impressively spacious affair, with generous amounts of room in the front seats and class-leading levels of rear passenger space. The redesign of the bodyshell results in a few precious millimetres of extra headroom for passengers. Up front there is a completely new dashboard layout dominated by a 12.9-inch touchscreen perched up high, similar to that of the Skoda Enyaq. A 10.25-inch digital instrument display is also standard and there is the option of a full colour head-up display. New physical controls for cabin ventilation incorporate digital displays, not too dissimilar to how Land Rover does it in some of its models.
There will be three petrol engines, two diesel and one plug-in hybrid available in the new Skoda Superb. That plug-in hybrid is an interesting offering as it now uses a larger high-voltage battery than the previous generation, which Skoda says will be capable of more than 100 kilometres of electric-only driving.
Our experience of the Superb in this instance comes not in the PHEV, but in the 2.0-litre TDI diesel, which has been a popular choice among Superb buyers thus far. The engine has come in for some minor updates, primarily focusing on efficiency improvements, and it will be available in 150hp and 193hp guises, the more powerful engine paired with all-wheel drive. The seven-speed DSG gearbox is now the standard across the range, and it has also received some updates to enhance its performance. This is more apparent when shifting into the Sport setting and works well with the engine, making better use of its mid-range torque.
The Superb chassis receives some upgrades, incorporating a redesigned front axle and a new aluminium subframe. These contribute to the car's performance in corners, translating into precise handling with a heightened sense of stability. The Superb isn't the type of car you'd want to push to its limits, but it offers a reassuring and predictable driving experience. An adaptive chassis setup is available offering several modes, though this is unlikely to be standard across the line-up.
What you get for your money
Irish pricing for the Skoda Superb will only be confirmed closer to the time of the car's official reveal in November, while the first customer deliveries are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024 at the earliest. Given the additional technology being rolled out for the Superb, it is likely that there will be a price increase over the outgoing model.
Judging from this early glimpse of the next generation, Skoda's tradition of punching above its weight looks set to continue. As other manufacturers are departing from the large saloon segment, Skoda is staying put and doing what it seems to do best, which bodes well for the future.