The Skoda Superb is one of those cars that ticks almost all the boxes for a comfortable, practical, luxurious, powerful and a premium package. Over the years, it has managed to create a noticeable space for itself in the market. However, that comfort zone for the Czech car has been shaken by the arrival of the Volkswagen Passat. The Passat has been reintroduced in India in its eighth-generation avatar, after an absence of four years. The seventh-generation model was discontinued in 2013 due to its lacklustre sales figures.The Volkswagen saloon, which was launched on October 10, 2017, is available in two variants – Comfortline and Highline. No matter which of the two you choose, you’ll get a diesel-DSG combination. Interestingly, the Skoda sedan also has two variants with a diesel-DSG blend – Style and Laurin & Klement (L&K). You know what that means. Let the battle begin!
Before we dive into a variant-wise comparison, let’s get the standard stuff out of the way.Both cars use the same engine, producing identical power. Even the transmission unit is exactly the same. However, that’s where the similarities end. Even after being longer, wider, taller and 15kg heavier the Superb is still more fuel efficient. Thanks to those larger dimensions, the Superb also has the bigger boot of the two and if you fold the rear seats down, the storage capacity increases to a whopping 1,760 litres. Do the same in the Passat and that figure only manages to reach 1,152 litres. That’s 608 litres lesser than its Czech cousin!
Since both these cars come loaded with features, it is next to impossible to list each one of them. But to differentiate between the two, we’ve narrowed the list down to the most important ones. Here you go.
In these trims, the Passat is over Rs 83,000 dearer than the Superb. It misses out on features like a sunroof, rear view camera, voice command control and door sills that the Superb gets. Mind you, these features are present in the Highline variant where even the size of the alloy wheels goes up by 1 inch.A closer look at the offerings in the Passat Comfortline gives a clear indication that it’s a car made for those who often drive themselves, and generally have friends or family along. So you get creature comforts like a 3-zone climate control, front seats with massage function, electric adjustment for front seats and hands-free boot opening. There’s also an additional airbag for the driver for added safety. That said, there are two things that the Passat shouldn’t have missed out on in this variant – a rear parking camera and a sunroof – to become the natural pick for those looking for a premium German family sedan.On the other hand, the Superb gets both a sunroof and parking camera, but its equipment list otherwise suggests that it’s the car you should buy to sit at the back more often than not. So it cuts down on the knee airbag for the driver, massage function for the front seats, LED headlamps, electrically adjustable front passenger seat, and hands-free boot lid opening.
If you’ve already stretched your budget to get one of these premium German sedans, then Superb should be your pick if you have a chauffeur. For others, the Passat will make more sense.The top variants of both the Passat and the Superb are significantly more loaded in comparison to the entry-level variants. If you’re not budget-constrained and are looking for a fully-equipped premium sedan, the upgrade to the top variants is worth considering. Here, the price difference between the cousins expands to around Rs 1 lakh. However, in their respective top-spec trims, it is the Superb that outshines the Passat on most fronts, given that it gets more equipment and is still less expensive than the Passat. The only main feature that the Passat gets over the Superb is the hands-free parking. But this miss is more than compensated for in the Superb with other creature comforts like air conditioned front seats, a Canton 12-speaker sound system and electrically adjustable front seat from the rear.So what do we think of the Passat? It is a car for those who want something refreshing, sporty and understated at the same time. Additionally, with its all-black interior, the Passat feels more of a driver-centric car. However, we do maintain that the Rs 3 lakh difference between the two Passat variants is a bit too much. The extra kit that you get for your money isn’t going to floor you either. Factor in the overall value that each of these fully-loaded cars offer, and the Superb starts to make more sense. While it not only makes for a better chauffeur-driven car, the top-end variant makes a lot of sense for even those who drive themselves. In fact, the top-end Superb is only Rs 2 lakh more expensive than the Passat Comfortline, and the added equipment adds enough value to the package, if not more.
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