The Superb is the flagship model of the Skoda range, and is back for a third generation on a new platform and with a striking new design. The brand has had high aspirations for its cars for many years now, and the new Superb really looks like the car that can deliver on these aspirations.
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With styling inspired by the Skoda VisionC concept car, the new Superb is more dynamic looking than before and is a genuinely handsome car. It’s a bit taller, wider and longer when compared to the car it replaces, but it carries its size with grace.
The high-end feel is not limited to just the way the new Superb looks from the outside. The cabin has a high-quality finish and a simple, attractive design. At night, a little strip of ambient lighting around the doors and dash adds wow factor (blue, white or green, depending on your preference!).
There are neat touches everywhere like the umbrella in the driver and passenger door on some models, a cupholder that grips a bottle so you can open it with one hand, an ice scraper inside the fuel cap, and Velcro shopping dividers and a removable torch in the boot. The Superb is a good example of the Skoda ‘Simply Clever’ tagline!
The new car keeps the spectacular class-leading legroom and boot space that the Superb has become known for. You really have to see it to believe it. The boot is now 30 litres bigger compared to the old car and packs in a huge 625 litres with the rear seats up.
And there’s only one word to describe rear legroom and that’s “stately”!
There’s an extensive engine range including 1.4-litre (125bhp) and 2.0-litre (280bhp) turbo petrols and 1.6-litre (120bhp) and 2.0-litre (150bhp or 190bhp) turbo diesels. Manual or automatic gearboxes are available and there’s also the option of four wheel drive.
My test car was powered by the 2.0-litre diesel with 150bhp and it’s got plenty of pull in it for a big car like this, breaking the 10 second barrier in a sprint from 0 to 100kmh (it will do it in 8.8 seconds with a manual gearbox). It’s a bit grumbly under hard acceleration, but settles down well for cruising.
On the road there is a bit more road noise getting through to the cabin than what I would expect from a large car like this, but it is very comfortable and assured for long trips on the motorway. The handling and steering response do not feel particularly sporty, but the Superb does feel very predictable and safe in the corners.
The 2.0-litre diesel (150bhp) will return up to 69mpg with a manual gearbox and costs €190 to tax per year.
There are four trim levels: Active, Ambition, Style and L&K. Equipment levels are high and entry level cars get electric windows and mirrors, emergency city brake, cruise control, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth and a 5” touchscreen, though you will need to go up to Ambition for alloy wheels. The Style model I had on test has a whole lot of kit typically associated with a more luxurious car including a full leather interior, electrically adjustable, heated front seats, parking sensors, rear view camera, tri zone climate control and an 8” touchscreen including navigation. All cars have Bluetooth phone connectivity and touchscreen infotainment systems, which get bigger and more advanced as you up the trim levels. From Ambition trim up, the Superb comes equipped with “Smartlink”, which allows for mirroring of your phone screen and access to selected apps on the infotainment system.
Skoda has really upped the ante with the new Superb. The brand has had high aspirations for its cars for many years now, and the new Superb really looks like the car that can deliver on these aspirations. For a start it looks the part of a more expensive, premium car – the clean lines, sleek profile and the commanding gaze from that new front end.
But most of us spend more time inside our cars than admiring them from afar and luckily the Superb will do a good job of making you feel special and comfortable behind the wheel. The interior is well-made, there’s not a whiff of budget, and it’s classy in its simplicity of design. Comfort levels are high and even base level cars are well-equipped – but start to go up the trim levels and the equipment is really piled on.
On the road, the Superb’s mature road manners will reassure that the car’s affordability is not sacrificed to poor driving dynamics, and the only inkling that the Superb might not be as premium as it aspires to is a bit more road noise coming into the cabin for it to convince as a truly premium driving experience.
But the big selling point for the Superb is that it’s such good value. For an entry price of less than €30,000, you get so much car – so much rear leg room, so much boot space, and plenty of equipment. The fact that this car has a high-end cabin and is sleeker and more striking to look at than before…well that’s just the icing on the cake!
Model Tested: Skoda Superb 2.0-litre TDI (150bhp) Style
Price: €35,895 (Range starts at €27,895)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
0-100km/h: 8.8 seconds
CO2 Emissions: 108g/km
Motor Tax: €190 per year