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Toyota Camry vs Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI - Make it barge
Two big shots engage in a takeover manoeuvre. Which one wins?
By : Aditya Upadhyayula | Published : November 06, 2012 | Photos : Pablo Chaterji
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We had a couple of luxo-barges to test, so ideally we should have taken them to Nariman Point to check out their business-like aspects. But that’s not what you’d expect us to do, right? So we took them to some of the best hill roads around to see how well they go around corners. The fresh tarmac was nearly ripped off its roots by the sheer weight of these two behemoths. Well, not exactly, though it felt quite dramatic to say that. For starters, these two cars aren’t

all that heavy to begin with and surprisingly, they aren’t the boats they used to be, either. But we came back with an answer to this tricky question: can the petrol Superb fend off the challenge from the new, rejuvenated Toyota Camry?

Which one should you take up a mountain road?

The Superb, of course! You may have heard about cars that shrink around you as you drive. Well, despite its dimensions, the Superb is one of them. Plonk yourself into the driver’s seat and set off and I guarantee you, you won’t feel like you’re driving something that’s nearly 16 feet long! The steering wheel tightens very nicely as the speeds build up and you’ll be in for a real treat. Mind you, you won’t be beating smaller sedans around the bends, but you know what, it comes really close. The Camry, on the other hand, doesn’t inspire as much confidence and the steering wheel remains light even as the speeds rise, but that’s expected. The Camry is isolated to an extent from the driving experience as opposed to the Skoda. The Toyota is all about the ride quality and that means the dynamics, er, take the back seat.

In terms of engine performance as well, the Skoda has a slight edge, on the butt-dyno, at least. There is some initial lag, but once on the move, the DSG keeps the motor on the boil to keep you pinned in your seat. The 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine under the hood of the Superb was originally designed by Audi and is one of the most widely used engines in the VAG group. It’s a well proven performer and since its been in production for so long, parts are aplenty and you can be sure it’s going to be reliable too. The 2.5-litre unit in the Camry isn’t nearly as exciting to drive, but there is something to be said about its refinement and smooth power delivery. And then, of course, is the fact that it will be reliable to the T.

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