First introduced back in 2001, the Skoda Superb has been developed and gradually become the flagship model for the Czech powerhouse manufacturer following a move into the executive car market back in 2015. Since then, it has led the way in terms of technology and design for the Czech brand – coming in both sedan and sportswagon body types. Though typically priced for the lower budget end of the market than many of its executive segment rivals, the Superb still manages to offer loads of space and equipment than you might expect from a much lower price point.
It’s a well-rounded vehicle that’s incredibly strong in nearly every department, and has developed a well-deserved reputation as an excellent executive/family car with more than generous spaciousness.
However, in this article we shall take a look at the perhaps often overlooked or understated power and speed (thus the likening to a ‘sports car’ in the title) of the Superb.
For this purpose we will focus on the performance of the Skoda Superb Sportline variant, one of the higher trim levels that is motivated by the more powerful of the two engines in the range. We will also see how it stacks up against its distantly related stablemates like the Volkswagen Passat Estate and Audi A4 Avant, with the Kia Stinger thrown in the mix for a bit of spice.
Skoda Superb Sportline
$59,990 plus on-road costs
The Superb Sportline is fitted with the top-spec four cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine pushing an output of 206kW and 349Nm of torque. Paired to a six-speed DSG automatic transmission and four-wheel drive on 19-inch allow wheels, the Superb is able to sprint from 0 – 100 kms in 5.8 seconds and can reach a maximum speed of 250 km/h. Fuel economy is rated at 7.3L / 100km.
With that power and transmission combination, the Skoda Superb Sportline handles overtaking and acceleration within its stride and is incredibly responsive. The change from the DSG transmission is quick and smooth, and with the sport chassis installed, the Superb corners well and doesn’t feel overly cumbersome despite its size. Drivers can also choose to use the gear change paddles on the steering wheel for manual gear changes (for that professional racing driver experience), and the response of the gearbox from the paddles is sharp, so you can crack on with tackling bends and corners and transition between different sections of road.
Volkswagen Passat 140TSI Business Sedan
$46,590 plus on-road costs
Our first challenger is the Volkswagen Passat 140TSI Business Sedan. Though featuring an efficient drivetrain that delivers a somewhat punchy response, it is unlikely, however to set your pulse racing.
As its name suggests, the 140TSI Business Sedan is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine offering 140kW and 320Nm of torque. It is a front-wheel drive matched to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. It is fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels. Its acceleration from 0 – 100 km takes 7.9 seconds with a fuel economy of 6.4L / 100km (combined).
Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI
$70,300 plus on-road costs
Coming in next is the Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI quattro S line. There’s a lovely linearity to the drivetrain, with transition being smooth and refined. Acceleration from standstill is smooth, whether on steady climb or a quick take-off. Out on the road, the 45 TFSI has enough in reserve to handle overtaking without too much trouble, although there is a noticeable depreciation in performance when revs are pushed too high.
The Audi A4 Avant is an all wheel drive machine (hence the ‘quattro’) fitted with 19-inch sport alloy wheels, and motivated by a four cylinder 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine that delivers 183 kW of power and 270Nm of torque. It is matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It has a top speed of 250 km/h and boasts an acceleration from 0 – 100 km in 5.8 seconds. Fuel consumption for the A4 Avant is rated at 7.1L /100km.
Kia Stinger GT
$60,990 plus on-road costs
And to round off the list we have the Kia Stinger GT, which is somewhat of a standout in this comparison line-up in terms of the fact that it originated with high performance and a classic sports-car style at the core of its design. Fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels, it is the only car in this comparison line-up with a rear wheel drive setup.
The Stinger GT is powered by a six-cylinder 3.3-litre TTV6 twin-turbo petrol engine offering an output of 272kW and 510Nm of torque and paired to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission that’s fitted with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It races from 0 – 100 km in just 4.9 seconds, up to a top speed of 270 km/h and runs with a fuel economy of 10.2L / 100km (combined).
So in looking only at price-performance criteria, it would seem that the performance-oriented Kia Stinger GT is the winner, with the Skoda Superb Sportline a close second – an impressive achievement given that it runs on a more efficient lower-spec engine.