Skoda Superb versus all new Hyundai Sonata

Does the newly launched Superb Ambition priced at Rs. 18 lakh offer a better value for money proposition than the all new Sonata (MT) variant priced at Rs. 18.5 lakh? Let’s find out!

sonata vs superb

The Superb is one of the hottest selling luxury sedans, thanks to its value for money proposition and the long list of creature comforts. The Superb has impressive engine refinement, great handling characteristic and abundant interior space as well.

The all new Sonata is attractive with its fluidic curves and smooth edges. The Sonata, like all Hyundai models, comes with an impressive list of creature comfort and safety features.

The newly launched Superb Ambition petrol variant is essentially, a stripped down version of the Superb Elegance variant. Hence, some of the comfort and driving assist features are not available in the Ambition. That said is the Superb Ambition, a better buy than the Sonata manual variant? We find the answer here. Also read: Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI DSG road test and review: Affordable luxury

Driving and handling

The Superb Ambition variant is powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged, direct injection petrol motor that puts out 160 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque. The Sonata is powered by a 2.4-litre GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) petrol motor that puts out 198 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The Sonata engine with 38 bhp more power will offer better acceleration and top-end performance than the Superb.

skoda superb action
Photo: The Superb is a good handler and is also has very comfortable and smooth ride

With regard to handling, the Superb is a great handler despite its large dimensions. The steering feedback is confidence-inspiring even at high speeds. The suspension is a bit stiff and some undulations do filter into the cabin at low speeds. However, as the speed increases, the ride quality improves. We haven’t driven the Sonata, so we reserve our comments on whether the Sonata is a better handler than the Superb.

Space and Comfort

Dimensionally, the Sonata is longer and slightly wider than the Superb. This essentially means that the Sonata offers slightly more legroom and shoulder room than the Superb, though it falls short in luggage space.  To be precise, the Sonata offers 464 litres while the Superb offers 565 litres of boot space.

There are acres of space on offer in both these luxury sedans. The Sonata impresses with well sculpted front seats that nearly hug the body, but the rear seat has a prominent hump in the middle making it best suited for two passengers. Also read: Variants and prices of the new Hyundai Sonata across five major Indian cities!

The Superb has supportive front seats and also has comfortable rear seats that offer perfect recline angle as well as adequate under thigh support. The provision of middle headrest on the rear seat shows that the rear seat has been designed keeping the comfort of a middle passenger in mind. Both cars are nearly equal in terms of space and comfort.

Looks

The Sonata looks gorgeous, thanks to the attractive fluidic design theme. The chrome front grille, tear drop headlamps and widely positioned fog lamps give the Sonata a majestic road stance. The roof ends as it would in a coupe while the rear tail lamp cluster penetrates into the boot lid that makes it look up market.

new hyundai sonata india
Photo: The Sonata's looks are good and sharp while the Superb has effortless elegance in terms of design

On the other hand, the Superb has the typical European look and corporate styling. On a casual look, the Superb may look like a Laura, but it has subtle design cues that manage to give unique profile to the Superb. For instance, the radically designed boot door and peculiar tail lamp cluster talk a lot about the distinctiveness of the Superb.

When it comes to interiors, the Sonata looks modern and has a lively feel in it. The clever usage of chrome and soft touch plastic makes the Sonata, a cool place to be in. The Superb dashboard layout looks a bit dated and so is the usage of dual tone shades.

Overall, the Sonata, with its proportionate curves and livelier interior has an edge over the Superb.

Features

As we mentioned earlier, the Superb Ambition is a stripped down version of the Superb Elegance. Hence, it does not come with features such as bi-xenon headlights, Adaptive Front light system (AFS), retractable headlight washers, engine start/stop button, touch screen infotainment and electric sunroof. It also lacks ESP (Electronic Stability Program), steering mounted audio controls, hill hold control, ESP and Tyre Pressure Monitoring system.

Despite losing the aforementioned features, the Superb Ambition still has ABS with EBD, Hydraulic Brake Assist, Electronic Differential lock and eight airbags which includes dual front airbags, side airbags at front, side airbags in the rear and curtain airbags at front and rear. Hence, safety has not been compromised on the Superb Ambition variant. The Sonata too, gets dual front airbags with passenger detection system, side and curtain airbags, ABS and EBD.

When it comes to entertainment features, the Sonata MT, features 6-CD changer, CD/MP3 music system with USB, aux-in sockets, Bluetooth as well as steering mounted audio controls which the Superb Ambition lacks.

Also, the Sonata MT has engine start/stop button, rear seat ventilation, rear view camera, rear parking assist system, impact sensing door unlock and cluster ionizer which are not offered in the Superb Ambition variant. The Superb Ambition though, gets a Skoda swing audio player with eight speaker system with aux-in port.

Summing up, the Sonata when it comes to comfort features.

Price, mileage and VFM

The Superb Ambition is Rs. 52,000 cheaper than the Sonata MT which is priced at Rs. 18.52 lakh. With regard to mileage, both the cars can return about 10 kmpl on an average, so there is no clear winner here.

The Superb Ambition variant may not have a couple of creature comforts such as rear camera and engine start/stop button, but it has all the safety features and essential comfort features that a buyer would expect in this price point. Hence, clearly, the Superb Ambition is a better VFM than the Sonata MT.

Pros and Cons

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Verdict

The Sonata MT has an edge over the Superb Ambition in terms of looks and features, but, it costs Rs. 52,000 more than the Superb Ambition. Nevertheless, the Hyundai Sonata is a good buy. But if you are willing to trade off a few features such as the engine start/stop button and rear camera, the Superb Ambition is the best buy in the Rs. 18 lakh price point.