Tested: Škoda Superb L&K 2.0 TSI DSG – the Here and Now Super-Urban Solution

Speak to almost any European car dealer and you will hear the lament that diesel sales continue to plummet amid urban air quality concerns.

However, this trend has revitalized the gasoline powertrain which, for most business users at least, has become the go-to engine of choice. That’s because the majority of the current electrified options require some compromises in how they are used to extract a better economy-to-convenience rating than that a straight gasoline powered ICE can offer.

Such a package you will find in the range-topping Škoda Superb Laurin & Klement 2.0-liter TSI DSG. Here’s a car targeting two very clear markets – the more mature private owner and the business user who, both, value the vehicle’s premium credentials at an affordable price point. That’s because it boasts a wealth of advanced tech and comfort features in standard trim, as befits the L&K badge that harks back to the luxury Czech brand of the pre-WW2 period, at a price tag that barely breaks the £35,000 ($46,000) barrier.

Yet, it’s the engine that will be the car’s biggest attraction thanks to a real-world touring consumption that rivals many similarly sized diesel-powered premium executive cruisers especially on constant highway speeds where its on-board computer would claim more than 46mph (38mpg US) and 139g/km of CO2 emissions. This despite a bright 187bhp four-cylinder turbo-charged gasoline engine boasting a healthy 236ft-lbs of torque. That’s enough to sprint this big car to 62mph from standstill in just 7.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 142mph.

For its target mature/business user, the car ticks all the right boxes offering a sizable trunk capable of stowing 660-liters of luggage swelling to an impressive 1,950-liters with the rear seats folded down. Even more importantly, the ride is extremely comfortable despite the optional fashionably large 19-inch alloy wheels that are prone to destroy the ride on some of the car’s big-brand competitors.

Standard technology features are just as impressive including adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, cornering fog lamps, drive mode selection, driver fatigue sensor, safety systems that include multi-collision braking, in-car voice enhancement, lane assist, park assist and the brand’s SmartLink+ featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connectivity.

Yet, despite all this technology, it’s the sheer fact that the car’s powertrain offers its target market probably the best, most flexible super-urban transport solution, at least for the medium term, until electrification can be refined to the degree that meets most users’ daily needs.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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