Tag Archives: 2018 Skoda Superb

2018 Skoda Superb Laurin & Klement – Irish New Car Review

Anyone who is into 70’s, 80’s and 90’s classics and modern classics will find it hard not to be intrigued by trim lines. Yes, hear me out. We see Ford Cortinas, Mitsubishi Galants and Saab 9000’s around Ireland and find them fascinating with their corduroy cloth seats and simple, but at the time, futuristic features. Embracing them in all their period-correct glory. But we have been missing out on these “prestige” models of everyday cars in recent years. However, Skoda have kept with it and have achieved the ultimate luxury executive car replacement, the 2018 Skoda Superb Laurin & Klement.

2018 Skoda Superb Laurin & Klement

Laurin and Klement, or L&K, was an auto, motorbike and bike manufacturer founded in 1895 in the Czech Republic. Today, L&K is Skoda’s top spec trim on the Octavia and Superb. As for the Skoda Superb, it adds driver select mode with adaptive suspension, rear heated seats, electronically opening and closing boot lid and ambient lighting. This mightn’t sound like it is worth the €43,895 price tag the 2018 Superb L&K commands but it would be hard to get this value for money from its competition.

It’s all on the interior

I’m a sucker for brown leather. It makes any car 100 times better, in my opinion. The Superb is no exception, especially combined with Candy White paintwork on the outside. The Comfort seats impressed me from the moment I slouched into them when I collected the car. I drove a Skoda Superb Sportline and Volkswagen Arteon back-to-back a couple of months ago. This resulted in the Superb winning. But what impressed me most, other than the 1,100km range on one tank of diesel, was the comfort of the saloon on the motorway. So considering the Sportline has firmer suspension, you can only imagine how much more serene my hours spent on the M7 were this time round. Two round trips from Dublin to Limerick and back were helped eased by the 9.2-inch Columbus Infotainment-capable Apple CarPlay and Android Auto System.I must admit, I pulled the short straw everytime it came to driving the Superb. I would much rather have spent the time lounged in the rear, stretching my legs out in front of me. The 2018 Skoda Superb does space so well. Although I’ve driven almost every variant of the Superb at this stage, for some reason the Superb L&K felt a lot larger. This was evident when parking and negotiating tight streets and lanes.The same 2.0TDI 150hp lump that I drove in the Sportline and Arteon was in the L&K. Although, just because of what the L&K is, I would spec mine with either the 190hp version of the 2.0TDI or the 2.0TSI 280hp, also found in the Superb Sportline. I noticed a slight lack of power in the 150hp when pulling away from toll booths on the motorway and overtaking. However you can’t argue with the 6.3l/100km (45MPG) over 1,110km. Having the 7-speed DSG may have compromised this.A simple question to ask would be is the executive car dead? Definitely not, no. The Audi A4 and 2018 Audi A6 are very good offerings from the brand, as is the 2018 Mercedes E-Class. But, while the 2018 Skoda Superb Laurin and Klement might be not be as elegant in every way as these, it’s people like me who would rather one over the E-Class or A4. I don’t go for a certain brand, I go for value for money and, boy, does the Skoda Superb L&K offer that.

2018 Volkswagen Arteon vs. 2018 Skoda Superb – Twin Test Review

Back in 2016 when I drove my first Skoda Superb in Ireland, the Superb L&K, I thought Volkswagen had shot themselves in the foot with it. It was far superior than the Passat, and still is for that matter. However, is it better than the Volkswagen Passat CC’s replacement, the 2018 Volkswagen Arteon? I conduct a twin test on Irish roads between the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Arteon to find out.I start on the most obvious point and that goes to the Arteon. The sheer beauty of this four door coupe is not to be overlooked. Volkswagen really worked their magic with its smooth, elegant and swooping lines. The elongated saloon almost pays homage to the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia of the 50’s. Especially painted in, one of my favourite colours on modern Volkswagens, Turmeric Yellow. It really makes this five seater saloon pop.As for the Skoda, the Superb is the Czech Republican company’s Flagship model. The lights are more angular, front and rear. In this Sportline trim, it gets black accents throughout; a subtle lip spoiler, the door surrounds, the grill and 19-inch alloys. What the Superb doesn’t have though, that the Arteon does, are frameless windows. This feature gives the Arteon’s already elegant design more suppleness and classiness. Although, pairing the Moon White Metallic paint of the Superb to the black trim details, it really stands out in Sportline trim. Enough to put it on par with the Arteon.Moving inside, both cars are alike. Both cars get similar tech, similar comfort features and similar novelties. But the Skoda takes the biscuit this time. The Superb now has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Skoda Connect, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is a Volkswagen unit so unsurprisingly, the Arteon also has the same system. But while the Skoda didn’t have Sat Nav on the infotainment, the Arteon did. This seemed quite pointless to me. This was because each time I got into the Arteon I connected straight to Android Auto, which has Google Maps.Although the Superb had adaptive Cruise Control, the Arteon had this and predictive speed control. This is self-explanatory. The car recognises speed zones while connected to adaptive cruise control and adjusts the car’s speed to that zone. This might seem convenient going from an 80km/h to a 100km/h zone without having to touch the steering wheel controls, it would also be convenient if the system actually worked as it should. When travelling along the motorway, the system would regularly pick up the 50km/h speed zones on the slip roads and begin harshly brake. This is not good when you are travelling at 100km/h and the cars in your review mirror get frighteningly closer. I didn’t see the advantage of the Arteon’s extra tech for the extra price, I am sticking with the Superb for the moment.As for space and comfort, both saloons are comfortable. Nothing has changed for the Superb’s excellent rear passenger leg room and the Arteon has taken this on board. The Arteon’s sloping roof takes a small hit on taller rear passengers compared to the Superb but really isn’t all that noticeable.As you might have grasped before even starting to read this new car review, the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Arteon drive very much the same. I covered 1,100km behind the wheel of the Superb and 670km in the Arteon. Both were predominantly motorway kilometres so I got to put the 2.0 TDI 150hp diesel engines in their natural environments. I was very impressed by the Skoda Superb’s average fuel economy of 5.5l/100km, even though it is missing 1 gear on the DSG compared to the Arteon. The 7-speed DSG mated to the Arteon helped return an average of 6.1l/100km.

Both test cars I had were optioned up with 19-inch alloys giving both cars loud-ish cabins while on the move. I say “ish” because it wasn’t so loud that I couldn’t have a conversation with my passengers.Up to now, both cars seem to be on par with each other, in my books. So in this case, it all comes down to price. The Skoda Superb range starts from €28,150 with the Sportline starting at €36,500. The Arteon starts from €38,270, with R-Line starting at €43,270. Both cars optioned up cost €43,908 and €53,553, respectively. Particularly with both of these cars, I couldn’t justify spending the extra €10,000 on the Arteon. As standard on Skoda Superb Sportline, buyers get the 8-inch infotainment system, 19-inch alloys, Alcantara sports seats and driving mode selector (Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual). As for the Volkswagen Arteon R-Line, it gets predictive cruise control, the 8-inch infotainment system, 19-inch alloys and high beam headlight control.So really it comes down to whether you want to spend the extra money on a re-bodied Volkswagen Passat or the Skoda Superb. Yes, the Superb is based off the Passat but the interior is different. Sitting inside the Passat and Arteon you don’t notice a difference. It doesn’t feel as special. And frankly, this means a lot. Besides, you’ll be spending most of your time behind the wheel. Based on this, I’ll have the “Made for Ireland” Skoda Superb Sportline.