Does brand perception and brand value hold much importance to you? Today we bring for you a slightly different take when it comes to comparing two of the premium D segment cars that are slugging it out for the top honours - Skoda Superb versus Toyota Camry Hybrid in a unique battle.
Why these two, one would ask? Well, to set the record straight they both fall nearly in the same segment. However having said that, their power plants are totally different and so is their price. So what then? It’s the myth that we at CarDekho are trying to identify and co-relate with as to how does traditionally perceived diesel oil mill stack against petrol hybrid technology. Distinctive in characteristics, can the Superb out shine Camry’s attributes? Let us find out.
Engine & Performance
Since this is an indirect comparison and more based on technological aspects of both machines, let us start with their respective power plants. The Superb is known as an oil burner and even with the recent facelift, the engine and the specs remain the same with 2.0 TDI unit in comparison to Toyota Camry that features a 2.5 litre unit comprising of Hybrid technology on board. Both cars offer savvy Start/Stop buttons. Skoda instantly makes the presence of its diesel engine felt immediately when you switch it on while the Toyota comes to life silently with the electric mode and even when the petrol engine comes to life there is not much difference in the overall NVH levels. Total power output of the Czech is 138 bhp with 320 Nm of torque while the Japanese on the other hand puts out 158 bhp with 213 Nm of torque. The Camry’s figures are just of the petrol engine alone and there is a Permanent Magnet Synchronous motor on board that provides a maximum voltage of 650 units. In sheer numbers, together with the motor, Toyota Camry Hybrid produces a combined power output of 202 bhp.
Both Superb and Camry Hybrid are special in their own ways. Once behind the wheel, the Superb feels planted at all times, providing a linear pickup from the word go. Camry on the other hand is very silent with its initial phase being handled by the motor and then the engine takes over as swiftly. The basic difference lies in the power delivery where the Camry is the natural winner considering the number of horses it houses under the hood. The Superb does not disappoint either, but somehow the petrol and hybrid combination will grab your emotions instantly. There is no doubt the much acclaimed DSG on the Superb does wonders with the 6 speed automatic transmission on board to hand out impressive shifts whereas the 7 step CVT on the Camry manages to be a good rival too. Ride quality on both machines is at par with one another as they tend to soak in potholes and broken surfaces with ease. In case of handling, the Superb is the better one out of the two. The availability of an ECO (economy) & EV (Electric) mode highlights the petrol model as against the diesel which is decent on fuel economy.
Premium interiors are definitely the call of the hour and the diesel Superb scores pretty well on this count. However, the Camry Hybrid goes one step higher and has certain features which can only be found in really high end cars. On that note, the built quality in regards to the plastics on board truly stands out for the Czech as against the Japanese. Individual centre consoles provide integrated music systems with Bluetooth connectivity, however, features such as a USB port and in-built reverse camera is non-existent in the Superb as compared to the Camry. Dual Climate Control and Steering Mounted Controls are common between the two; but when it filters down to the steering wheel, the new design and overall feel is much better on the Skoda. Instrument clusters are different with Camry offering a hoard lot of elements such as a speedometer, RPM meter and power indicator – that specifies the amount of charge left in the motor.
Since these are top of the line saloons comfort is one aspect that plays really high on the cards. Neither of them disappoint as both offer leather upholstered seats. Front seats available on the Skoda are a snug fit restricting movement while the Toyota provides air ventilated well cushioned seats which are a pleasurable experience for the driver and co-passenger. Meanwhile the rear as expected is pretty roomy with ample amount of head, leg and shoulder room. The availability of reclining seats in the rear of the Camry earns it a brownie point when it comes to comfort.
Styling, this is where things really get interesting especially in regards to comparing both these charismatic set of wheels. Riding high on their latest design philosophy, Skoda Superb offers a sculpted body line whereas Toyota Camry comes across as an imposing yet subtle design. Chrome highlighted front grille, LED incorporated headlamps, new logo design, a set of fog lamps adorn the Superb. Meanwhile the Camry brings forward flowing lines that merge into the overall design quite smoothly. A substantial difference to note in its case is the Chrome grille which incorporates the Trademark Toyota logo with a blue outline stating its “Hybrid Status”. The headlamps for that instance feature LED lights along with a pair of halogen bulbs. The fog lamp clusters have chrome surroundings that make it look extra premium. Curves and bulges are a comprehensive part of the side profile when referring to Skoda with Toyota going in with sharper and smooth outlook. Besides the LED tail lamps, the rear remains the same to its previous generation in comparison to the Camry that has wedged tailgate with elegant looking tail lamps.
Despite their individual high and low points, one can say that the Skoda Superb is the best diesel saloon available in its segment which provides ample of comfort with a drive that is pleasurable and at the same time performance oriented. Toyota Camry on the other hand is a product that is status driven considering its higher price and the combination of petrol along with a Hybrid motor does provide impactful performance. The kind of features Camry offer on board is really impressive, and let us not forget it is kinder to the environment. From a functionality point of view, a petrol hybrid does make sense but only if the pricing is competitive and the infrastructure taken care of considering that presently such kind off machines are being imported as CBU’s resulting in its escalated costs. If your run is on the lesser side, go in for the Camry Hybrid. Else, the Superb naturally comes out as the preferred choice due to its design, comfort and performance.