Sunday, 1 January 2017

Skoda Superb Estate Review

Skoda Superb Estate

There is a decent range of engines for the estate, but it’s worth bearing in mind that this is a fair-sized car, so you might find the 123bhp 1.4-litre petrol and the 1.6-litre diesel engines a touch wanting if you’re loading up the seats or boot. At the other end is a 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, which is quite a snorter, and comes with four-wheel drive as standard.

In the middle there is that 1.4-litre engine with 148bhp, and a 2.0-litre diesel with the same power output. Either works well here, as a balance between performance and economy. In fact, we’d choose one of these two over any of the others in the range.

Handling is very competent if not exactly exciting, epitomised by steering that is sharp but not terribly communicative. If you’re after a more exciting driving experience then the Ford Mondeo Estate would better fit the bill. However the ride is comfortable and smooth, especially if you steer clear of the bigger wheel options.

You can add adaptive suspension so that gives you more modes to play with, from Comfort to Sport. While these in theory do better address specific road conditions or speeds, the reality is that they have their drawbacks, and we’d stick with the standard – and cheaper – passive suspension.

Skoda Superb Estate

Adding to your sense of comfort is a high level of refinement. The petrol engines in particular are very quiet, even under acceleration, and the manual as well as auto gearboxes all work smoothly, although the autos can be a bit jerky in stop-start traffic.

The Superb Estate is benchmarked more against cars like the BMW 3 Series, yet in terms of cabin space it’s more like a Mercedes E-Class Estate. That’s big. It’s not just big, it’s clever with plenty of novel storage solutions, including a couple of brollies tucked into the front door pockets.

There is plenty of space and then some for the occupants, and the boot area is just huge. Again, it’s not just big. You get carrying hooks and even a rechargeable torch back there, to ensure you can safely carry whatever size of load you have.

If you go for SE trim or above you get a 6.5in screen, although this can rise to 8.0in on SE L Executive and above. It’s not as good as BMW’s iDrive, but it is pretty good and we like the larger screen if only for the fact it has bigger buttons, which are easier to hit on the move.

Skoda Superb Estate

It all feels so wonderfully put together. Quality is first rate, and really you wonder how they do it for the cost, it really is that impressive. Speaking of costs, assuming you’ve gone for one of the 148bhp engines, then you’re looking at good fuel economy, lowish emissions, low depreciation and reasonable servicing costs, quite apart from the sensible asking price in the first place.

For a company car buyer we’d go for SE Business trim, although private buyers can’t get a finance deal on that trim level. This gives you sat nav, front sensors, and an electric front seat with memory. Any trim level still looks like remarkable value compared to the German counterparts from Audi, BMW or Mercedes.

This is also a five-star car with the Euro NCAP safety tests, with a lot of standard safety equipment. All this and the Superb Estate has a great reputation for reliability – better than VW, better than Audi, better than BMW. This really should be on your shortlist.



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