Car Launches

Superb! Skoda’s first electrified offering hits NZ


The new Skoda Superb iV was showcased for the first time in New Zealand last week and it promises to be another strong choice for Kiwi motorists who want to take advantage of the Clean Car Discount.

This is the first time we’ve seen a plug-in Skoda in New Zealand, and we aren’t the only ones to be excited by it – the NZ Police will be busy testing it over the next four to six months, with the possibility of seeing it on the frontline in 2022.

Image 1

The Superb iV starts from $71,990 (+ORC) for the sedan, or $74,990 (+ORC) for the wagon. Both shapes are also available in the top-end Sportline specification. All variants are eligible for the $5,750 Clean Car Discount.

Why now?

Skoda New Zealand say the Superb iV is the first roadmap towards electrification, and although it’s unlikely that we’ll see the full-electric Enyaq SUV within the next couple of years, the Superb iV is certainly a step in the right direction.

The reason for the slower rollout is due to many European countries having much larger fines for manufacturers who fail to reduce the CO2 emissions of their fleets, but don’t worry – New Zealand isn’t being forgotten about – in fact, we’re the first country outside of Europe to have the pleasure of driving the Skoda iV.

This is the first time we’ve seen the ‘iV’ name on a Skoda, but it certainly won’t be the last. Under the iV umbrella, Skoda bundles the development of its own family of electrified cars sporting emotive designs, futuristic interiors and innovative technologies, as well as the establishment of special ecosystems for mobility solutions.

While the ‘V’ in iV stands only for the word ‘vehicle’, the ‘i’ stands for six key adjectives:

  • Individual
  • Intelligent
  • Intuitive
  • Iconic
  • Inspiring
  • Inventive

01 iv

Skoda admits that adding an electrified car to its fleet will no doubt bring a completely different type of customer to its showrooms, and training has been done already to get all sales teams up to speed with the new, greener technology.

By as early as 2025, up to 25 per cent of Skoda vehicles delivered around the globe are to be electrified, and CO2 emissions across the fleet are set to be reduced by 30 per cent compared to 2015. A massive 68 per cent of Skoda customers want to embrace vehicle electrification.  

How does it drive?

The Superb iV drives very much like a regular Skoda. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to notice many differences between it and its less economical sibling. The only differences on the car’s exterior are the different grille (which houses the electric charging port), and the ‘iV’ badging.

On the inside, there are some further differences, including a new instrument cluster which does well to split up the information of both the battery and petrol engine. A wireless smartphone charger is included across all variants, and so too are heated and electric front seats.

The main differences, however, are underneath the bonnet where the electric motor and 1.4-litre petrol engine combine to create a power output of 160kW and 400Nm, which equates to a total range of up to 930km. That’s the benefit of choosing a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) over a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – you benefit from a superior range, avoiding any potential range anxiety.

Image 2

On electric power only, the Superb iV is capable of travelling up to 62km on a full charge. Although we didn’t achieve that when we first sampled the car, we have no doubt you’ll get close to achieving it with forward-planning, economical driving (and under the right conditions). Combined, the Superb iV has a fuel efficiency rating of 1.7L/100km, and a CO2 efficiency rating of 40g/km.

Charging the battery takes approximately seven hours from the mains (a charging cable for this is included), or you can half this time by using a Type 2 charger. The Superb iV also has the ability to charge the battery on the road via regenerative braking. The new technology that comes in the Superb iV also enables smart features such as scheduling a time to start charging, or even a time to pre-heat/cool your Superb dependent on the weather.

Fortunately for us, Skoda maintains it’s ‘Simply Clever’ philosophy with ingenious storage solutions and neat features like umbrellas built into the sides of the doors, and an ice scraper ready-to-use inside the petrol flap.

Image 5

The car drives well, and performs very much like over vehicles available under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group. Quality-wise, everything feels solid. It’s no surprise that Skoda won the recent contract to supply the NZ Police with vehicles. Power is driven to the front wheels via a six-speed DSG transmission, which did well on our drive around the country roads of south Auckland, particularly when ‘Sport’ mode was enabled. 

Skoda plans to educate potential customers about the benefits of wagons over the increasingly popular SUV. They argue that wagons are more than capable of fitting into a typical Kiwi lifestyle, and with a braked tow rating of 1,600kg and a seats-up boot capacity of 510 litres, we tend to agree. Rear occupants have more than enough space to stay comfortable on a long road trip.

Image 3

Safety

All variants of the Skoda Superb received a five-star ANCAP rating back in 2015, and the iV boasts safety systems like ‘LANE ASSIST’ & ‘SIDE ASSIST’ using multifunction camera, ‘CREW PROTECT ASSIST’- Proactive protection for driver & front passenger, and Dynamic Chassis Control with ‘Driving Mode Select‘ to name just a few.

What do the NZ Police think?

The NZ Police are interested in the Superb iV, with their test model arriving last week. Over the next six months, it will go through vigorous testing to see if it’s suitable for the frontline. “No vehicle gets a free pass,” explained Brian Yanko, National Fleet Manager for NZ Police.

The relationship with Skoda is going really well so far, with the first Skoda police car already scheduled for its first 15,000km service.

Image 4

If the NZ Police do choose to go ahead with adding the Skoda Superb iV to its fleet, it would be one small step towards electrification - one which would come at the perfect time given the Government’s recent push to incentivise the uptake of greener vehicles.

At a glance

Models

Skoda Superb iV

Engine

1.4-litre four cylinder petrol, plus electric motor

Price

Sedan from $71,990 (+ORC), Wagon from $74,990 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

5 Star (2015)

Power and Torque

160kW, 400Nm

Transmission

Six-speed DSG

Fuel economy/CO2

1.7L/100km, 40g/km

Towing capacity

1,600kg (Braked)

2WD/4WD/AWD

2WD (Front)

Seating capacity

5

Luggage capacity/payload

Sedan: 485 litres, Wagon: 510 litres

Safety systems

  • ‘CREW PROTECT ASSIST’ Proactive protection for driver & front passenger
  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors and Rear-View Camera
  • ‘FRONT ASSIST’ - Radar scanning in front of car, city autonomous braking
  • Cruise control system + 'SPEEDLIMITER'
  • Adaptive cruise control including Front Assistant emergency braking (Sportline only)
  • ‘LANE ASSIST’ & ‘SIDE ASSIST” using multifunction camera
  • Rest Assistant (Drowsiness detection from driver steering input)
  • Dynamic Chassis Control with 'Driving Mode Select'

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a new car:

Vehicle experts you can trust

Tags
Previous post
Next post
The differences between transmissions
Read more
Knowing your different engine oil types
Read more