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Skoda Superb Ambition in India: Full Review







Launched back in 2009, the Skoda Superb is one of our favorite cars in the premium sedan segment. With subtle Czech’s appeal, clever engineering and premium class interiors, you will be surprised to know that it is not a Beemer or Merc. Following rise on excise duty implied by Union Budget, several automotive brands were compelled to compensate by offering a revised price tag. Others offered stripped down variants of high-end models at a cheaper rate.

For Skoda, it is the Skoda Superb Ambition trim, the cheaper variant of the marvelous Superb sedan. We know that most of us have this picture of a cut price variant to be stripped down, low quality machine with just the essentials. Don’t mistake the same for the Skoda’s new Superb Ambition. While holding on to the same styling as top-of-the-range model, Elegance; the new Ambition trim does not compromise in terms of safety or comfort of the occupants.

Skoda Superb Ambition in India

As per the revised prices, the Skoda Superb Ambition loses the bi-xenon headlamps and panoramic sunroof, but we can live with that if asked to keep Rs 1.5 lacs on its price and get rest of the car. We cannot deny that the steering mounted controls and Bluetooth are some of the features that we’d love to have, but that aside, the model is pretty much luxurious as the higher variants.

Design:

When you look at the Superb, the first thing that cannot go unnoticed is the beastly appeal of the car. Growing in dimensions from its predecessor, the Superb measures 4838 mm in length and 1817 mm in width, while standing at 1482 mm from the ground. In cities, the Superb has great road dominance with the 2761 mm limousine like wheelbase. If you know the previous models, then you are probably very familiar with the traditional Skoda look on the exterior. Well, the Skoda Superb Ambition trim is pretty much the same, with no ‘Ambition’ tag stickering on the body panel.

On the front is the familiar Skoda grille that retains itself in the Ambition trim. Moreover, the chrome inserts across the grille and the lower on the air dam are also not sacrificed for the cut-price variant.

Skoda Superb Ambition in India

Halogen projector headlamps will now do duty instead of the Bi-xenon lamps. On the minor end, the headlight washers are also shown the door for the Ambitions variant, while it retains the auto On/Off as featured on the Elegance trim. Other noticeable retains are the fog lamps with auto bend feature and the auto folding RVM with auto-dim function and integrated indicator lights. The wing mirrors come with defogger function.

Some of the features that boats class in the Superb are the chrome door strips, and gladly, this feature still hangs on to the Ambition model. The chrome finished window frame and blackened pillars trickle down the Ambition model from the top-line Elegance trim. There is no change in the tyre specs, however, the Ambition sports a redesigned 5-spoke Spectrum alloy wheel.

Moving on the rear profile, the soft glow look tail lamps along with the chrome tipped twin exhausts seen in the Elegance are also featured in the Skoda Superb Ambition trim. The fishtail radio antenna is now replaced by a printed antenna, while the Panoramic sunroof will be missed in the new Superb. However, the iconic twin-opening boot lid of the Superb are retained in the Ambition trim. On opening the boot, you will see a strip running across the edge with the SUPERB inscribed over it along with the large Skoda brand logo.

Skoda Superb Ambition in India

Speaking of underpinnings, the Superb sports the same McPherson strut with lower triangular links and torsion stabilizer upfront, and Multi-element axle with one longitudinal and three transverse links doing duty on the rear. There is very less roll in the Superb and it drives rather effortlessly on bad roads. Skoda offers all four discs to bring to halt the beefed up machine.

Although there are certain features missing, the quality and styling of the Superb Ambition wouldn’t let you complain. In fact, you cannot make out the difference between the Ambition trim and the top-end Elegance model from the exterior features.

Features and Safety:

In terms of cabin comfort and quality, the Superb has class-defining features and the sedan is also packed with features to keep you busy on the go. Our Superb Ambition also stands by those terms and features light beige Nappa Leather upholstery. Catching up with the features of the Elegance model, the Ambition features electrically adjustable driver and front passenger seat, along with fully adjustable back lumbar support. Unlike the VW cars, the Skoda is built around the driver for improved driving comfort.

Having said that, the driver seat features programmable pre-set seating positions, for three memory settings. Sadly, the steering mounted controls will be missed out in the Ambition trim, while it retains leather finish. The steering is also fully adjustable for tilt and depth. Upfront, the speedometer is same as the one seen on the Elegance trim.

Skoda Superb Ambition interior

Competing against big-fat German rivals, the car features several chrome inserts throughout the interior of the car. The black-beige dash with wood inserts makes it way on the Ambition model form the higher variant Elegance. Other features include plastic finish dash, black-beige door pads, chunky switchgear, auto headlamps and single CD/Radio system.

However, the top-range model plays the system on eight speakers all together with 6-CD changer. Climate control with dual vents at B-pillar will do service for the rear seat passengers. The front and rear parking sensors of the Elegance are replaced for single front parking sensor in the Skoda Superb Ambition.

As we said, seating was never a problem in the Skoda, and the car is completely built around the driver. Skoda has not compromised in terms of size and quality of the Ambition trim and there is ample legroom at the rear seat despite the large boot space.

While the traction control system is stripped off the Ambition trim, the automatic rain sensing wiper still comes as standard. Though the sunroof is missing, the dark interior elegance is maintained thanks to the incabin lighting package that includes the Cat Vision (under dash, seats) lights, footwell lights, door pad warning lights, reading lamps, vanity mirror lamp, glove box light and the boot light.

Skoda Superb Ambition interior

Despite the large legroom that the rear passengers enjoy, the Superb Ambition gets ridiculously large boot space with 565 liters capacity, extendable to 1700 liters with the rear seats folded. The Superb Ambition does lose a bit on the interior package, but it is a lot more in terms of quality and styling.

Although the Ambition is a cut price variant, Skoda has not compromised in terms of safety. The Superb Ambition comes with front dual airbags and side curtain airbags for front & rear. Also standard is the height adjustable seatbelts and active front head restraints. ABS and EBD continue to do duty in the Ambition, though the Cruise control option is left out.

We can say that there was room for more design features in the Superb, but it looks classy as any German luxury limo. It is the right car for a corporate associate who demands luxury without pulling the attention of the crowd.

Performance:

Skoda offers some hot diesel and petrol options for the Skoda Superb Ambition trim. For the petrol trim, there is a 1.8-litre TSI engine that pumps out a staggering 160 bhp peak power together with 250 Nm torque. The DOHC inline-four cylinder engine gives a fuel-economy of 11.5 kmpl. There is ample power under the hood waiting for you to step on the pedal. It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox with intelligent gear ratios to give improved drivability. In traffic, it does have an extra edge with the enormous torque, but then it won’t win you any signal light drag races.

Skoda Superb Ambition in India

For the diesel option, Skoda offers a 2.0-litre Turbocharged diesel engine that is good for 140 bhp output and 320 Nm of torque. Though it isn’t as powerful as the petrol version, it is the better option over the petrol motor with the remarkable toque figure. Fuel economy figures stands at 10.1 kmpl. The cabin is silent at low revs and you won’t feel the massive 2.0-litre turbo under the hood. But as you step on the pedal, the engine just roars and the 140 bhp monster unleashes. Mated to the CR TDi diesel motor is a 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox with Tip-Tronic pedal shifts for manual shifting.

The DSG transmission comes with intelligent dual clutch, which operates the 1,3,5 gears on one clutch and 2,4,6 on the other, giving max torque at all engine rpm. Paddle shifting is also fun on the go, which is possible with the Tip-Tronic option. The steering is surprisingly light unlike VW cars, and it just cruises through the traffic effortlessly.

Prices (ex-showroom):

  • Skoda Superb Ambition 1.8 TSI MT :    Rs 18,32,000
  • Skoda Superb Ambition 2.0 TDI CR AT :     Rs 22,90,000
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