EDITOR'S PICKS - D Segment Gems

Michelle Lim
18 Oct 2018
 

What exactly are your A, B, C, D, E-segment cars? In automotive lingo, these various segments refer to the length of the car and the D segment describe cars that have seat room for five adults and have an average length of 4.6 to 4.8 metres. In this Editor’s Picks, we’ll cover the D Segment Gems, which are your slightly larger than compact sized executive cars without the executive prices. Oh, and the packing (space on the inside) of these few cars may just surprise you!

Skoda Superb 

The Skoda Superb, now in its third generation, is more gigantic than its already huge predecessors. At 4.861m in length, the Superb is almost the length of a Mercedes-Benz E Class and a BMW Series 5!

From its side, you can see how Skoda has allocated its space: its rear doors are humongous. Rear passengers will definitely enjoy greater ease of entrance and exit of the vehicle. The added wheelbase also provides plenty of leg and knee room for the rear passengers.

The additional length of the vehicle also enables it to have a voluminous lift-back style boot, at 625 litres. Folding your rear seats down will get you a cavernous 1,760 litres! The signature lift-back style opening makes loading and unloading larger items into the cargo area much easier.

With more edgy styling featuring angular lines and lesser curves, the Superb’s design language clearly exemplifies the Czech brand. Its angular and cleanly styled bi-xenon headlamps with its LED daytime running lights flank a wide grille that forms the indisputable face of the vehicle. At its rear, the new signature C-shaped lights are embellished with crystalline elements adding to the brilliance of the design.

On the inside, the Superb features conventional classy piano black surfaces alongside a large 9.2” ‘Columbus’ touchscreen infotainment system (for the range-topping car) with navigation and has gesture control. For better user flexibility, the screen also splits, enabling you to display what you have on your playlist and your phone status.

All models of the Skoda Superb utilise the Volkswagen-sourced 2.0 turbocharged engine, the same one that powers the Volkswagen Passat in the exclusive line trim. Great for a 217 bhp, with a generous 350Nm of torque between a band of 1,500rpm to 4,400rpm. With its quick-shifting 6-speed dual clutch automatic (DSG) transmissions, the Superb accelerates to 100km/h in 7 seconds.

What’s even better is the comprehensive selection of drive modes. Should you want to save a few cents, the “Economy” mode allows you to coast on most gears. The transmission slips back into gear when the system identifies when the car takes a corner or when the brakes are depressed. Stepping on the accelerator will allow the transmissions to slot itself into the most ideal ratio in relation to the vehicle’s land speed. There’s also the “Comfort”, “Normal”, “Sports”, and “Individual”, allowing drivers to customise the set-up of their cars.

The top of the line Laurin and Klement model is also the first to be fitted with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), an adaptive suspension system to firm up the suspension of the car when you switch into “Sports” mode. The DCC also monitors how the car reacts over various surfaces, making necessary adjustments to minimise jolts from the road surface and ensure a smooth ride.

Parking such a large vehicle is no sweat at all, thanks to the good all-round visibility of the Superb alongside Park Assist that helps drivers to park the car automatically.

Prices start at $123,900 for the entry-level model and goes up to $155,900 for the range-topping Laurin and Klement model. Even though it may come across as rather pricey as compared to its Japanese counterparts, the sheer space, versatility, good looks, and definitely its Superb (no pun intended) Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) suspension system, it has far beaten their Passat cousin in the pricing game. In terms of performance and refinement, we must say that the Superb is hard to beat in the D-segment and is a truly a gem!


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