No matter how popular SUVs become, there’s no better way to arrive for a business meeting than in a long saloon, or sedan, whatever you want to call it. And it’s not just about the class they exude but also the backseat comfort they offer. And unlike SUVs, these luxo-barges won’t make you sick while your chauffeur tackles corners with the speedometer needle pinned at _ (enter the maximum speed limit here, because no matter how good your car is, speeding is not cool!). And they’re more affordable than Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz sedans, and cost significantly lesser to maintain too.
Skoda Superb (Current generation)
Bar the not as reputed after sales service, most Skoda products are applauded for their quality. And sitting at the top of Skoda’s line-up, the Superb epitomises that. What really works for the Superb, apart from the strong engine line-up and near-perfect build, is the fact that it drives very well, too.
It’s currently offered with two engine choices (a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol and a 2-litre diesel), while gearbox choices are limited to only automatic on the latter but the petrol can be specced with a manual also.
The light shade of the interior certainly makes it very roomy, but with 2.76 metre long wheelbase, it actually is roomy. And at close to 600 litres (with the rear seats in place; fold them down and the total space increases to about 1,700 litres), the boot space is also massive. The present generation (for India) Superb also comes with a twin-door boot opening mechanism, which makes it slightly more practical.
Slightly more expensive than the Skoda, the Camry brings along the fabled Toyota reliability and longevity (so get ready to pass it on to your great grandchildren!), and of course, the option to pollute the world a little less, thanks to the Hybrid version.
The Toyota Camry is available with two engine options: one’s a regular petrol while the other is a petrol hybrid. Given that neither will be as frugal as an everyday diesel, if you travel a lot, the Camry makes little sense. But if your commutes are confined mostly to city limits (and not too many kilometers), it makes a lot of sense to get the hybrid.
Given the 2.77 metre-long wheelbase, there’s a lot of leg and headroom, but look beyond the space, and you’ll find gadgetry that wouldn’t look out of place in a Lexus – look at that console on the rear armrest!
At the global level, Skoda has started to introduce a new version of the Superb, and its launch in India isn’t too far. The new Superb looks sharper, is lighter, but most importantly (since we’re talking of luxury here), it offers more space inside.
Engine options are likely to remain unchanged, but a drop in body weight means the car could be a little better performing than before, while a marginal increase in fuel economy (in real world) wont’ be too wrong to expect.
Honda continued to surprise everyone with their sales even without going the once India’s favourite diesel route. But that’s history, and sadly, Accord too is, until the next version, likely to be launched in 2016, comes.
What’s likely to remain unchanged is Honda’s loyality with petrol. But like the Camry, the next-generation Accord for India will also have a hybrid variant, reports IndianAutosBlog. Unlike the Camry, though, the hybrid version could be based on a smaller petrol engine, while the regular Accord could be offered with the usual 2.4-litre unit.
Sharing the same platform as the upcoming Skoda Superb, the new Passat is also expected to arrive soon. And while it will continue to make for a good driver’s car as well, the Passat now looks distinguished, and non-trained eyes won’t be confused between it and the Jetta. Hopefully!
Engine options will be similar to what will be offered on the Superb, but the Passat is available with a plug-in hybrid version in certain markets. The car will be equally luxurious inside (as others here) but with a longer wheelbase (of 2.79 metres), it can also the most spacious as well.
Prices for these three upcoming cars will be crucial, because these vehicles cater to a very specific group of buyers. Those looking for more fun to drive vehicle might opt for the slightly expensive but less luxurious European saloons. And the ones looking to make a statement could also choose something like the CLA, the A3, or the V40, etc.