Review: Skoda Superb

Review: Skoda Superb
Review: Skoda Superb

It really is

The Skoda Superb covers quite a wide range, with competitors from the Ford Mondeo at one end and the Audi A4 at the other. There are also petrol and diesel options, manual or auto and two- or four-wheel drive.

For such a luxurious car, it’s remarkably priced, and that extends into when you sell it, as resale values are strong. With that as a major selling point, along with huge amounts of cabin space, the Superb makes a strong case for itself.

Those looking for maximum economy might be tempted by either the petrol or diesel entry-model engines, with 123bhp and 118bhp respectively. We’d see that as a false economy as the Superb isn’t a small car and, heavy laden, those engines can struggle a bit. We’d prefer the 2.0-litre engines, either the 148bhp petrol or the 148bhp diesel.

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Naturally, the petrol version is a bit quicker and has a bit more snap to it, but the extra torque of the diesel would probably suit most people better, particularly if they’re carrying passengers and luggage. However, if you’re feeling frisky then the 2.0-litre petrol engine can be had with 276bhp and four-wheel drive.

One thing we would avoid is the bigger wheel option. Stick with the standard wheels and you’ll have a comfy and quiet ride. Even on standard springs it’s very comfy, if a touch wallowy if you press on. However, the adaptive suspension option – standard on top-line models – allows you to switch between modes. Sport mode does tighten up the suspension so the handling is sharper, but you do pay the price of a slightly firmer ride with more fidgets over potholes and broken surfaces.

While this is all very comfy, if you’re looking for a spirited drive then you’ll need to look elsewhere. The Superb is sensible, practical and steady but not exciting to drive. With the four-wheel drive option you also have the added security of traction throughout the year.

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But cars like this are used for covering the miles, and at this the Superb is very good. The petrol engines are quieter and smoother than the diesels, and the dual-clutch auto boxes are slick in operation, if a bit rougher in stop-start traffic. The manual box is very smooth too, and simply cruising along in any of these Skodas is quite relaxing.

The cabin will help you relax further. It’s well made, comfortable and hugely spacious. The quality of fixtures and fittings is certainly above the Superb’s price point, so no complaints there.

There is at least a five-inch infotainment screen, even in SE trim, but this can rise to an eight-inch screen for top spec. For most specs you can use your smartphone from the screen and, although the system works well enough, it’s not up there with BMW’s iDrive.

Drivers and front-seat passengers get more space than in even a Jaguar XE. And in the rear you’re looking at virtually Mercedes S-Class space. We also really like all the thoughtful touches, like the air-conditioned glovebox and the two umbrellas that stow into the front wide-opening doors.

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With split-folding rear seats, you have a huge area back there for people, cargo or a combination of the two. Even though it’s a huge boot area, you can divide it with plastic dividers with Velcro feet so shopping or whatever doesn’t roll around – Skoda has put a lot of thought into the detailing of this car.

If you’re a business user then we’d suggest going for SE Business trim, although this isn’t available to private buyers. Company car drivers might also be taken with the amazing economy and low tax bills of the Greenline model, but whichever model you go for, you’re looking at a sensible buying price – helped if you haggle – pretty strong residuals, good economy, reasonable servicing, and a large, luxurious and spacious saloon.

And if you’re worried about reliability, then in the latest What Car? survey, Skoda beat VW, Audi, BMW and Mercdes. That should be the final base covered.

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