The Skoda brand for some would mean motorsport as for years they have ran cars in varying championships around the globe, for others a quality family car within reach that is more than practical and economical while for many all they think when they hear the word Skoda is “taxi”.
To be fair, no one is thinking wrongly as we are all our own individual people and as such see things differently and for me personally I see Skoda as an affordable well built car (so much so that i actually own a ten year old Octavia VRS). Being part of the Volkswagen Audi Group the Skoda brand that was born as the more affordable option within the VAG group has in recent years perhaps surpassed its bigger brothers.
OK, it may not be just as hand crafted or finely finished inside as say the Audi’s or even the VW’s but underneath the skin they are all pretty much the same gear and for many that is all that matters. Where the Skoda may surpass these sister company models is with the sheer size of some of the models available such as this all new Skoda Superb we tested.
From the outside the latest Superb is attractive looking and bang up to date with clean cut edges and intriguing angles and I must admit suited the Moon White metallic paint very well indeed. In the estate/tourer guise this Superb is massive in size and the electronic open/close tailgate was a nice touch.
Whilst in the boot, I must commend the superb on what can only be described as a cave and indeed if ever a car was required for a heist this would be the top of my list as there is room for more swag than Ronnie Biggs could ever wish for, but in the real world ideal for a couple of sets of golf clubs and a month’s shopping for a large family alongside a buggy.
Inside the Superb is also incredibly roomy, if a little lacking in quality in some of the switch-gear and plastics but I wouldn’t be put off due to the affordability and massive spec. This test car was fitted with one of the nicest touch screen infotainment systems I have used (a £1600 option), a massive 8” screen with all the usual DAB Radio, media inputs and Bluetooth with navigation etc.
The seats where surprisingly supportive and comfortable with good sport styled bolsters hugging you in. The rear seats were equally comfortable and I was close to picking up the phone and calling my rear seat passengers on a journey as they are so far away with massive amounts of leg room in the hugely spacious cabin, I really don’t know if there is much else on the market at this value (circa £26k including all its options for this test car) with so much room inside.
Driving the Superb estate was effortless and although it won’t inspire the “driver” among us, it was smooth and cornered well for its size, if a little vague on the steering but overall a nice experience during 500 miles of mixed driving including a day around the Mourne Mountains I was amazed at how well it absorbed the bumpy roads.
Equipped with a 1.6 TDi 120bhp engine and six speed manual gear box, I felt this test car was a little under powered for our roads and to keep up with traffic and/or to keep it moving swiftly on our B roads it seriously ate into the claimed 67.3mpg combined figures with an average return over a week for me personally of mid to high 40’s mpg.
I have no doubt that if you were doing purely long jaunts on open roads in sixth gear, mid sixties economy is more than achievable with this engine, though for me I would be opting for the larger diesel unit with more power and torque if I was purchasing and combining it with the fantastic DSG gearbox.
So if you need an idea for a hugely practical car with great spec starting at just over £22k then seriously consider the Superb as it is an all in all great package for the money with a proven record.
Words & Photos: Graham Curry