Rarely has a car lived up to its name as much as the new Skoda Superb.
The slightly awkward, dumpy look of the last version has been replaced by a sleek, chiselled design capped by Skoda’s signature LED running lights.
Longer, lighter, higher and wider, it’s also safer, roomier, more economical and better value for money than ever.
Slip inside the spacious cabin and it’s not just comfortable and attractive, but well made with a real sense of quality. In fact, spacious doesn’t do the Superb
justice. Up front there’s more than enough, even for the tallest drivers. At the back, it’s limo-like.
Open the massive hatch (shame there’s no wiper) and there’s a cavernous 625 litres of luggage space available, rising to a massive 1,760 litres with the rear seats down.
I tested the Skoda Superb SE Hatch with the 2.0 TDI (150PS) engine and six-speed manual gearbox. The basic price is £22,090, though the optional extras on my car bumped it up to £24,995.
Extras included £1,600 for a Columbus sat nav with 8-inch touchscreen, heated front seats and special Corrida Red paint.
Even at £25,000, the Superb represents fantastic value for money – an executive car for the price of a family hatchback.
Standard equipment includes adaptive cruise control, electrically adjustable heated and folding door mirrors, dual zone climate control, LED rear lights, seven airbags, 17-inch alloys – and, of course, an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap.
The engine, also available as a 1.4 petrol and 1.6 diesel, is refined, smooth and punchy. In fact, it zips along so well I’d say there’s no need for the extra power offered by the 190PS version. For the record, it’s capable of reaching 62mpg in 8.8 seconds and goes on to a 137mph top speed. Its claimed CO2 emission is 108g/km.
It’s also very economical. In theory it’s capable of 68.9mpg and I have no reason to doubt that it could be achieved. I managed 55mpg on one trip without even trying, which is extraordinary for such a big car.
There are drive modes to match your mood and wallet – Normal, Sport, Eco or Individual. They make a difference, though even in Sport mode you are aware that it’s a big car and is not as nimble as many a performance car of the same size. That said, executive cars are more about cruising than hustling.
The Superb is the safest Skoda ever, thanks to its array of crash-prevention systems, and boasts a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP rating.
I’ll be honest, the new Skoda Superb is hard to fault. The only aspect of my test car I would question would be the transmission. The manual gearbox is perfectly good, but I would opt for the DSG auto – with a car this slick and laid-back, changing gear seems like an unnecessary inconvenience.
Verdict: Handsome, spacious, comfortable, frugal and great value for money, the new Skoda Superb is a fantastic all-round proposition.