SUVs have stolen the thunder from sedans and hatchbacks in India. Heck! They have stolen the thunder from all segments all around the world. They are the reason why Italian super car makers are now also producing SUVs.
These SUVs are available in different forms and sizes in different price brackets. There are compact SUVs, mid-size, full-size SUVs, and in the last few years, SUVs have sold in droves. The basic psychology of getting more car per rupee/dollar spent is exactly why SUVs sell. People believe that because an SUV looks bigger, it has more space than a similarly priced sedan and gives them more presence on the road.
Moreover, SUVs tend to be more comfortable with a better ride quality begging the question whether our Indian roads are that bad? (As a Mumbaikar, I would agree that roads have gotten really bad, and it is not even June yet). In spite of this strange little conundrum, Skoda quite bravely has released the BS6 facelifted Superb and 1.0 TSI Rapid. Both are very able sedans but in a market like ours, would people look to these cars when they could probably get an SUV at the price of the either of the 2 sedans? Is it even possible for SUV buyers to move to a sedan? Let’s find out. And NO, Skoda didn’t pay us for this article so please make it reach them so they do pay us!
The Skoda Superb has garnered a lot of attention over the past few years, and often been a choice of purchase against vehicles like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 or Mercedes C Class. The Superb has been often been picked out from the above rivals primarily due to the space it offers. No car in its class provides such leg space and roominess as the Superb does. The Superb was recently briefly discontinued as it was a BS4 version but now the BS6 Superb is here and it has received a face lift, and things have changed inside, outside and under the hood as well.
The refreshed exteriors of the 2020 Superb
The looks of the Superb have been updated, but they are subtle yet elegant. The front end of the new Superb now sports all LED headlamps, a redesigned grille and front bumper, and chrome accents have been added on the rear.
Furthermore the wheels also sport a new set of handsome looking alloy wheels, all in all, it looks quite very, superb.The looks differ a tad bit on the basis of the variant which you choose, options being the Laurin and Klement and Sportline, and amongst these the Sportline variant has only sporty cosmetic updates without any mechanical upgrades.
In its L and K form the Superb is available in colour options like, Business Grey, Moon White, Magnetic Brown, Magic Black and Lava Blue. The Sportline is offered in colours such as Moon White, Steel Grey and Race Blue.
The refreshed interiors of the 2020 Superb
The cabin of the Superb has always been a great place to be in, and that experience gets only better with the facelifted Superb. The newest addition on the Superb is the new all digital instrument cluster which uses the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ system, an 8 inch infotainment system and a wireless charging pad in the PhoneBox.Apart from that, the Superb has continued to offer features like the hands free parking, panoramic electric sunroof, 11 speaker Canton sound system, 3 zone climate control, electrically adjustable front seats, front and rear sensors with rear parking camera, ambient lightning, electric tailgate and many more features. Features continue to differ on the basis of variant chosen.
The power train and price of the 2020 Superb
Skoda seems to be dropping diesel engines from their BS6 range of engines, and the same applies to the Superb as well, as the Superb sports a single engine, which is a 2.0 TSI turbo petrol which produces a generous 190 ps and 320 nm of torque. This engine is coupled to a 7 speed dual clutch transmission and Skoda claims that this spacious sedan can accelerate from 0-100 in just 7.7 seconds.
The Sportline variant is priced at Rs 29.99 lakhs while the L and K trim is available at a price of Rs 32.99 lakhs (prices being ex-showroom). In its segment, it would go up against the Camry Hybrid but as this is an Indian market, you could expect people drifting to SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mahindra Alturas G4 and other SUVs. Well, what remains unique to the Superb is the pliant drive, quiet performance, leg room, easy ingress and egress and simple things like will be difficult to achieve for the heavy SUVs which are priced at similar price points. The only con which comes to haunt the Superb is the horror sales service record which Skoda has been working hard to improve.
Skoda Rapid 1.0TSi
The younger member of the Skoda family is the Rapid who too has been launched with a new 1.0 TSI engine, and this is the only engine being offered in the Rapid as Skoda is moving on to launching ‘petrol only’ vehicles. Priced competitively at Rs 7.49 lakhs (ex-showroom), does the Rapid have in it the features and performance to beat its rivals which range from sedans to compact suvs, let’s find out.
The exteriors of the 1.0 TSI Rapid
Nothing much has changed on the exteriors of the Rapid, the entry level Skoda sedan LED daytime running lights, with chrome on the grille, door handles and windows. Furthermore, the sedan now sports 16 inch alloy wheels. However, differences can be seen on the top end different variants which are the Monte Carlo and Onyx edition. The Monte Carlo variant sports a black grille, smoked out headlamps and ORVMS, boot lit and roof. The Onyx edition on the other hand uses black ORVMs and glossy black alloy wheels.
The Rapid offers 4 colour options, Brilliant Silver, Candy White, Carbon Steel and Toffee Brown. The Monte Carlo trim is available in 2 colours, namely, Flashy Red and Candy White, and the Onyx variant can be had in 2 colours, Lapiz Blue and Candy White.
The interiors of the 1.0 TSI Rapid
The interiors of the Rapid remain quite similar, with a few new changes, them being the new 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system which supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Moreover the cabin uses leather upholstery, climate control, auto dimming IRVM, rear A/C vents and a few other features. Though the Rapid is well equipped, it still falls short on the feature list, as some of its rivals still outnumbers is with respect to having more interior features.
The 1.0 TSI engine of the Rapid
The biggest change on the Rapid is the mechanical change which comes in the form of the BS6 1.0 litre TSI engine. This engine replaces the 1.6 litre petrol engine and 1.5 litre diesel engine. This new engine produces 110 ps and 175 nm of torque, and it is mated to a 6 speed manual. For now only a stick shift is available on the Rapid, but an automatic transmission will make its way to it in the coming months.
Variants and prices of the 1.0 TSI Rapid
The 1.0 TSI Rapid is available in 5 variants, namely –
- Rapid Rider – 7.49 lakhs
- Rapid Ambition – 9.99 lakhs
- Rapid Onyx – 10.19 lakhs
- Rapid Style – 11.49 lakhs
- Rapid Monte Carlo – 11.79 lakhs
(all prices INR ex-showroom prices)
At an entry variant price of 7.49 lakhs, the Rapid just about undercuts all the vehicles from its segment and that makes it a great value for money vehicle. By being priced at this mark the vehicle will find rivals in the Hyundai Verna, Maruti Ciaz, Honda Amaze and even compact SUVs or CUVs (duh!) like Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV-300, Hyundai Venue and Maruti Brezza. Surely the Rapid would give tough competition to all these cars thanks to its great pricing, strong engine and features offered.
According to me, if you have around INR 10-12 lakh for a car, you should look at the Rapid or the Verna or wait for the upcoming Honda city. Although, since only the Rapid’s high end models would fit your budget, our suggestion is to go with it.Because this sedan under no restriction to be less than 4 meters in length like the CUV’s, it has a bigger boot and most importantly, much better rear seat comfort and legroom. As far as looks and engine are concerned, I have always been a fan of the understated elegance of a VW reflected in Skoda along with those amazing engines.
Both these sedans are more than able to battle its competitors, but what remains to be seen is, whether they will be able to steal some sales back from the suvs of its price point, or will the suvs continue to bully their way through, only time will tell, and I cannot wait to know how this goes.